I must say that I find myself very moved by Mark McGuinness lately. This post about motivation during recession got me thinking about things and I do adore anyone who can get me thinking - which is a rather expansive thing to say if you think about it but that's fodder for another post .....
I tend to agree with what he says about the four fields of influence but find it fairly difficult to keep them all in focus all the time - I always did struggle with balance. Accordingly, motivation for me has always been whichever way I can find a balance and a sense of getting something done. When I am balanced and thusly satisfied, I am creative.
Of course there is also the issue of having so many things to keep balanced in one's head that one forgets some of them. This has necessitated a constant litany of repetition for me - this perpetual mental drone list of things I am reminding myself about and then (hopefully) ticking off. The mental noise got so loud that my creativity was eventually stifled by that too, well, my productive creativity anyway. I became incredibly good at creating mental lists and organisational skills with regards to them which is an artform to be sure (anyone with a bad memory will tell you so) but which is incredibly energy draining and for which artform one can never find reward really because all that there is to show for it's creative outpouring is that vague sense of unease when you aren't 100% positive that you got everything done that you should have.
A new way had to be found because my brain became cluttered and just like the mantra about the need to declutter your physical space so that you can think, so too the mantra which is applicable to decluttering your brain and creativity.
"The Way" (my own version of "The Secret" - :)) was identification of the areas from which my intentions sprung or my "influence zones" to quote Mark McGuiness again, and then writing those down - soul searching stuff I must say. Once that was written down, I split my zones into the fields of focus or what I like to call my "life areas" (lots of goal achievement stuff having been read - :) again) such as work, home, relationships, health etc etc and then turned each field into a number of points on a list each point being something that I thought was out of sync or capable of improvement (improving is after all a form of creativity) in that particular are of life interest for me.
I then turned each list into a sort of neverending to-do tasklist which I colour coded and put into Outlook (my most adored organiser EVER) I keep "The List" handy and amend it and add to it as new thoughts and imbalances cross my mind. The point is though, that the TICKING off on the list has become the motivator ie, today, I ticked off 5 things that I knew I had to do to succeed and keep balance and the knowledge that SOMETHING has been achieved then IS the thing that constantly keeps me motivated.
It's a bit like an Gratitude Journal except I call it my Success Journal. What works better than knowing that something is working to cause one to want to keep on working on it? What could be a better motivator? There is nothing that moves me more than knowing progress is being made and if I have no place to keep track of said progress, how do I move or motivate myself? Where do I derive that knowledge?
I truly believe that this is what has kept me sane during my emigration, during this horrendous recession, during my jobhunt, during my new marriage (yes, I even have a task list for that), during my transition to being a "domestic technician". After all, I think we all really just want to do the very best that we can at whatever we are doing and knowing that we have the tools to achieve that, is motivational. It's a lifestyle. There is that saying: " It's not the circumstances but the man which makes the difference". Applied to this topic, the ability to self motivate, to create the tools you individually need to do so, is a vital life skill for success during any times, good or bad.