Motivation: The most overused word in the artistic world, and how to obtain “it”

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Motivation. It seems that every time I open up an article about art, writing, or learning, the topic of motivation is one of the key things that are mentioned. People discuss it, people give advice about how to get motivation, and about how to achieve things when you are motivated, and about how to keep your motivation. Yes, motivation is important.  I would go so far as to say that motivation is the key to success! If you don’t have motivation, you’re not going to do anything, you’re not going to work on the things that you need to be working on, you’re not going to be where you need to be. In short, if you don’t have motivation, you will have nothing.

But. Motivation isn’t some magical thing, or some sort of mythical feeling that’s going to just give you the abilities you need. When you talk about how you’re feeling, and about how you don’t have motivation, what you’re doing is basing the outcome of what you do and what you accomplish, solely on feelings. At that point, the foundation of your everyday life is how you feel! Why would you want your life to be based on how you wake up in the morning? It’s just like sand on a beach.  One moment, this little granule of sand is happy.  It’s content.  It’s not going anywhere, and it knows what it’s going to do for the rest of its life. However, a moment later the wind kicks up, and a huge wave rolls across the beach.  In just a moment, that granule of sand is gone, washed out to sea!  And before you know it, for no apparent reason, that little granule of sand is back on the beach, just waiting to be back out at sea. You’re feelings are just like sand on a beach, they’re going to be washed out to sea for a second, only to return a moment later, or maybe weeks later, or months later. But, thank goodness, these things are on the inside. They don’t need to affect our actions, and our appearance. Motivation is merely a feeling.

Now, how to overcome those feelings of doubt?  Those feelings of emptiness?  Let’s talk about how to obtain it.  In order have motivation, you must first understand WHAT your motivation is.  What it is, is entirely different from motivation in and of itself. You must have a reason as to why you’re motivated, a reason why you do things. If you don’t have a goal, it would be impossible to be motivated. We all need to have goals we are working towards, things that we want to be able to do. Whether you are a writer, or an athlete, or a student, or an artist, you must have something that you are workings towards, a purpose. A positive purpose, one that will give you the ability to maintain a positive outlook and keep working. For some, they are motivated by failure, or by what other people think. For others, they are motivated by wanting to challenge themselves, or merely to see what they are capable of doing. Some have an image they want to obtain, some want to be able to tell a story. Needless to say, just because you are motivated by something, doesn’t mean that you will stay feeling motivated. I sure don’t always feel motivated. It’s a struggle, something that’s difficult! But get that goal, and work toward it. Don’t worry about it when you don’t feel motivated, just keep pushing and keep working. Motivation will come and go, but your goal will stay the same. Don’t stop working towards it, and you’ll only get closer to achieving your dream. Trust me, your dream isn’t going to get farther away if you keep working at it.

So yes, of course, sometimes you’ll be tired, sometimes you’re going to feel sick, I understand that. But those are merely the exceptions that prove the rule. You have no right to complain about a lack of motivation, or even talk about how difficult it is to get motivation if you aren’t even trying to push through it. You must always push throw the big waves to reach the calm sea. I’ve heard it so many times from so many people, “I just don’t have motivation.”, “How do I get motivated?”, “I don’t feel motivated right now.”. What are these things?! How can you say that you aren’t feeling motivated, or have the guts to ask someone how to do something when you aren’t pushing toward accomplishing this thing RIGHT NOW? You’re being controlled by your feelings, and you’re just talking nonsense. So instead of just asking me, or someone else how to do something, or how to learn something, just start doing it! I understand that usually people need some sort of direction, but if you haven’t even started learning and striving to meet your goal, you’re just wasting your time as well as everyone else that you talk to. So stop whining about your lack of motivation, and set yourself some goals, get yourself on the right track. Once you’ve done that, then I’ll start to listen to you, and try to help you as much as possible!

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