While I'm the type of person who sometimes is motivated by the carrot dangling in front of me, it is fleeting. It comes and goes. When I get the carrot, there is the momentary rush of accomplishment and then the letdown. I sit here and wonder if that is all there is or ask myself, "What's next?"
I have felt it each time I have prepared for and run a half-marathon. I train and then run it. When I finish, there is that moment of elation. That sense of accomplishment. And then I feel a little lost.
Anyone else out there feel that way?
If so, it's because we are motivated by something extrinsically. Although I was excited about being in great shape to run a half-marathon, the real rush for me came from the medal at the end and the attention of friends and family for completing it.
This probably explains why after running seven half-marathons, I suddenly stopped running. The rush of the accomplishment was no longer new and shiny. The extrinsic motivation had worn off and I was left with a shallow and empty feeling.
Who wants to feel that way?
I certainly didn't and so I stopped running. For three years.
And now I have started again, but this time my perspective has shifted. I'm looking within for motivation rather than the extrinsic rewards.
I'm doing it for me now. I'm doing it for my health. I want to feel better on the inside, because I know it will do so much for my physical, mental, and spiritual health.
Srini Rao, Unmistakeable Creative Podcast Host and author says, "On the other hand, if the work feels like a privilege, it's a lot easier to show up day after day."
I feel privileged that at 51-years-old I have overall solid health, but I know I can do better for myself. I haven't always looked at it that way, but I am now and it feels a lot better. It makes training easier, and I want to work out rather than telling myself I have to work out.
It's all in the perspective. When we remove the outside factors and look solely within, we find more motivation. In the big picture, that's what counts.
Wowza! The last three weeks have been an incredible whirlwind with the launch of my book, which explains why I've been MIA on my blog lately.
I'm so excited that Slices of Life from the Little Blue Desk has finally made its appearance into the world. And, I've made it easy for you to order your own copy. Just click on the title. ;)
The last three weeks have been filled with edits and revisions, finalizing the format, and putting the marketing plan into action.
On top of all that, I started a new job!
And I started training for another half-marathon after a three year layoff.
Needless to say, I'm juggling quite a bit but I'm equally excited to get back to writing here more consistently.
So, I'm hoping you'll forgive me. :)
What's your story?
No, I don't mean, what do you do for a living?
I mean, how are you living your life?
If someone asked you that question, think about how you might respond. Think about who you are and what themes run through your life.
I think about how my story centers around living simply and being positive. It's about how I work to continuously grow and improve each day as a person who is contributing to the world. I think about what my life is saying to the world through how I live it.
I'm a pretty simple person really. I love being with my family. I enjoy interacting and connecting with people in different ways. I can be social but I'm just as content sitting on our deck reading a book. I'm a sports junkie -- yesterday was a great case in point...The Masters, watching the Astros beat the Mariners, and then capping the day off with the St. Louis Blues losing to the Winnipeg Jets (bummer). In between all the sports, I read and wrote down my half-marathon plan. I ate pizza with my hubby and enjoyed every delicious bite. I'm into fitness but not over the top. No I don't prep my meals for the week but I pretty much know what I'm going to have each day because I'm a creature of habit.
And, writing is my passion. I can't imagine a day going by without doing some type of writing. It could be a blog post, editing my book, journaling, or doing my 750 word brain dump. It doesn't matter what I'm writing, I just love to write.
Writing is where I feel like I have the most potential to positively impact others.
When people ask what kind of writing I do, I tell them self-help. If they cringe because they have a negative connotation of what self-help means, it's awesome since it then gives me the opportunity to set the record straight. It's all about self-awareness, personal growth and development, and living your life by your definition.
It's living your life story.
So, what's your story? I've given you glimpse into mine. I would love to hear about yours.
I received the second proof copy of my book, Slices of Life from the Little Blue Desk on Wednesday.
I'm now going through it again, this time reading it out loud to see what I notice along the way in terms of how it sounds. I'm not finding very many grammatical errors or typing errors this time around thankfully, but I'm making changes to word choice. I'm figuring out wording and phrasing that sounds better. I'm asking myself, "If I read this out loud in the form of a podcast, how would it sound to a listener?".
It is making a big difference, but you know what I'm truly freaking out about?
The countdown on the home page!!!!!
Seriously, each day I look at it with a mix of anxiety and excitement. Anxiety as I wonder if I'm really going to have this book ready to go, but excitement in that I'm actually going to do this. I'm going to put a book out into the world.
I will be an independently published writer!
And while I love the sound of it, I want to throw up just a little bit. Once I'm done with the writing part, then I head into the marketing part which is foreign to me. Yet, I'm strangely enthusiastic about a new challenge. Plus, I have a son who is a marketing director. So, basically I have an expert to rely on throughout the process.
The other part that is making me freak out a little is that when it's all said and done, what am I going to work on next? There's always that valley after the peak, and to lessen the potential of that happening I want to make sure I get started on my next writing project as soon as possible.
But for now, I'm going to get back to editing and revising. I will let the complete freak out happen later!
“Age is no longer the primary factor that determines where you are on the map. Life is now less about how old you are and more about when you decide to live.” --Jon Acuff, Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work That Matters
It’s never too late to start but start sooner.
Instead of waiting until you are established before you do something you are passionate about, do it now. Stop waiting for permission. No one is going to give it to you. Give yourself the permission to do a cannonball into the deep end.
What’s the worst that could happen?
You could quite possibly have an epic fail and belly flop. But sometimes failing is half the fun. You get to try something a variety of ways before you fine tune it to the way you want it to be.
Last year I went to an acoustic concert at a coffee shop. It was Josh Radnor and Ben Lee. They slipped up a few times to which Radnor commented, “Hey, we’re human and we make mistakes.”
They didn’t even skip a beat when a string broke on Ben’s guitar in the middle of a song. He just took Josh’s guitar and they continued on with the rest of the set.
I loved every second of this concert because they weren’t afraid to make mistakes. They knew it would happen, because well, you know, we’re human.
And we make mistakes. And it’s part of the learning process but it’s what sometimes keeps us from turning thought into action.
We’re afraid of what others might think. We’re afraid of letting others down. We’re afraid of letting ourselves down.
We have so much fear that we paralyze ourselves and so those passions lie dormant. We step back from the edge of the pool and move into the routine of what we’re “supposed to be doing” with our responsible, respectful lives.
While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with following a conventional path, make sure you are the one who put you there rather than being on a path that someone else has placed you on.
“If you don’t build your dream someone will hire you to help build theirs.” --Tony Gaskins
I love this quote, because it’s a reminder to stop putting our dreams on hold for the sake of working on someone else’s. They don’t have your best interest in mind. They have theirs in mind.
But what if you don’t know what your dream is?
Start by making a list of what you enjoy doing. If you could design your ideal day, what would that day look like? What is one action step you could do today to start making that happen.
“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.” --Neil Gaiman
Now go out and do it!
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.