How do you keep up your motivation?


Most Helpful Girl

  • Well... there's a couple of things this question could mean.


    If you mean my motivation in life, in general -- well, that's sort of depressing, but, here we go.

    [heavy shit]

    I've had to bury a couple of friends. That's something that's ALWAYS tough... but, when it happens when you're only a teenager, it's even tougher.

    One guy was close to me and a couple of my brothers. I still remember it like it was yesterday...
    After our high-school football team won a championship, my brothers carried him over their shoulders in a victory parade.
    Six days later, they carried him over the same field... in a wooden box.

    6 days.

    That's stuck with me ever since. No matter what I'm doing, no matter where I'm going, I'm haunted by the thought that I might only have 6 days left -- and that I might have used up some of those days already.

    Can't rest, can't relax, can't "chill". Go go go go go do do do do do.

    As long as I stay busy, I keep my equanimity. But, if I have TOO much "unstructured time", or if I have TOO much "rest and relaxation"... I start thinking about how I might only have 6 days.

    [/heavy shit]


    If you mean my motivation MID-TASK...

    I went through years and years and years of VERY severe sleep deprivation. Literally, survived on 10-15 hours of sleep per week (yep, that's an average of less than 2 hours a day) for more than 10 YEARS.

    During that time -- as a survival mechanism more than anything else -- I started keeping journals of EVERYTHING. Alertness, mood, depression, restlessness, sexual obsession, hunger, athletic performance, body measurements, etc., along with food intake, drugs, environment, weather, music, and suchlike.

    After years and years and years of that, I now understand EXACTLY *when* and *how* I'm going to do things best. Everything from timing, to drugs, to food intake, to my environment/surroundings and music.

    In other words, I know how to optimize EVERYTHING.
    I'm also a freelancer -- I don't work for anyone but myself, and I have complete freedom to make my own schedule -- so I *CAN* do whatever I want whenever I want, which is also an important element. (If I were stuck in an office 9-5, this wouldn't work.)

    I suppose this isn't "motivation" per se -- but it LOOKS a lot like motivation from the outside. Because whenever I'm doing work, I'm doing it at very close to my absolute best effort and best possible pace/productivity.


    There's also the whole idea of helping others out, as @empatheticlady mentioned. That's

    • a BIG part of my professional life. I've always given at least a tithe -- usually more -- to various causes, and I also do a lot of my own professional work for free with disabled war veterans. Ultimately, I don't *have* to work as much as I do -- right now, our whole family lives very comfortably on less than half of my income, so I easily COULD cut down on the amount of work I do (and I sometimes do, at certain times of year) -- but, the ability to use my talents to help others is a big motivator.


      Last but not least, there's what I call "advance laziness".

      I typically do my non-client-facing work in binges of 20-30 hours at a time. If I do this, then I don't have to do anything for the next 3-4 days, and I can just... basically chill with my kids and my husband.
      For me, this is a LOT easier -- and a lot less effort -- than doing a half-day of work and a half-day of not-work (the way that most people do). I get into a "groove" and I stay there. And then... I get to

    • Show All
    • @EmpatheticLady you're at the very bottom of my first post lol

    • Yeah, I caught it. :)

What Girls Said 7

  • I read seIf help books and writing in a journey a l helps

  • It depends on what I need to get done. It may be because I know doing that one thing will help better my life in the future. It may be because I'll be helping others out, which I love to do.

  • Tunnel vision. Eyes on the prize. I have to keep reminding myself of why I started in the first place and what I stand to gain.

  • I don't :P

  • Keep telling myself I have to do it. :D

  • By thinking about the reason why I started it all, the moment situations push me to give up..


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