It is Labor Day here in the US. A day of commemorating “…the social and economic achievements of American workers” according to the US Department of Labor. To many though the holiday translates simply to a day off and will be used to celebrate the waning summer, and to attend sales. Lots of sales. I actually saw a television commercial yesterday that exclaimed it was a “crime” to work on Labor Day so… get out and shop in their store! I wondered if their working employees appreciated that very much.
But work I must today, too; writing to do, of the type that is easy to procrastinate.
(My lack of motivation is strong enough right now that as I finished typing the previous line a friend texted to invite me to coffee. I love how the Universe works! But, I declined… finding my strength!)
What exactly is motivation, or the lack thereof? Many define it as some sort of desire, and its lack as the experience of a missing desire or interest or some driving force. It makes sense, but I see it differently. I prefer to take a more neutral stance, seeing motivation, as well as its lack, as two sides of a common coin, but both having a common mission: To be a guide that nudges me in a direction that better expresses my passion in that moment; one that allows me to live in joy more of the time.
When I feel motivated I know I am on a right path for that moment. When I am aware of something more akin to procrastination I might feel frustrated and even anxious, but I can put those reactions aside and instead ask the procrastination for its help (which is really what is coming forth to offer) in answering a couple of pointed questions:
- What small thing might I do in this moment to change my circumstances so that the task before me becomes a more fulfilling one?
Or, if it feels more appropriate,
- How might I modify what I am faced with doing just enough so that it gives me satisfaction?
Sometimes looking in a mirror helps the dialog happen. At other times I open a blank screen in the text editor on my computer, close my eyes, and let my fingers type the responses without any sort of editing. Recording the answers that feels easiest in the moment, I am always surprised at how easily the answers come; and usually just as surprised at what the answers are.
My new-found wisdom in hand, I agree simply to act on what I was given without bias, trusting that I have what I need to feel more motivated to accomplish what I must. And if the procrastination becomes more chronic I also make the promise to explore other options later that day so that I can begin progress on more substantial change.
With Blessings and Gratitude,
from Santa Fe, New Mexico