Finding balance in a chaotic world

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December 2017
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More Motivation

Whenever I’m interested in learning something new, I fire up the internet and head over to my local library’s webs site. I then start searching for books on the topic and anything that looks remotely interesting, I click the Request button. Typically in a few days, a slew of books are waiting for me. I then go through the books looking for information. Some I’ll just glance at and return. Others I’ll actually read in depth. In the span of two weeks, I’ll digest a large amount of information on the topic and have a pretty good feel for whatever the subject is. Occasionally, something I’ll read will really strike a chord with me and I’ll make that important switch from passive reader to active participant. The interesting thing is; what is it exactly that flips that motivation switch?


Obviously motivation is a multi-faceted thing and what works for one person simply does not work for others. In fact, what works for you at one particular time may not work at a different time. I know I’ve read things that just did not stick but months later I reread it and suddenly I’m having an epiphany. You have to be in the correct mental frame of mind to really glean the most out of what you are reading. For instance, the first few times I watched “Clean Sweep” on TLC it was fun but hardly motivating. After a few months of watching the show, however, my perception of the clutter around me changed dramatically. The show motivated me to get rid of stuff I don’t use and to better organize my life, but it took a while for the message to penetrate my brain.


Similarly, writing a novel happened the same way. I always wanted to write one but the tasks seemed so huge that I couldn’t figure out where to begin. When I was doing research on writing a non-fiction book, one thing I read off handedly mentioned that the typical novel was 75,000 words and had around 15 chapters. Suddenly the large task didn’t seem so large, still I was not ready to really write one at that point. It took reading a few other books to truly get my motivation up to speed and start typing.


So the point of all this is that when it comes to motivating yourself, realize that it will often take multiple exposures to a concept before the brain finally engages in a plan. So if something does not stick immediately, don’t be frustrated but periodically revisit the task, learn new things about it, and then suddenly you’ll find the motivation you need.