Thursday, April 17, 2014

Day 4: Motivation

Greetings earthlings: If you are just joining the conversation, I've challenged myself to 30 days of blogging in an effort to force myself to write e'ry day. Check out Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 or just forget the whole thing and start here.
A client just called a moment ago, his voice full of dread.

"I haaaate to do this to you," he said.

I took a breath.

"We need to scrap the May/June cover," he said. "A bar of soap doesn't work for the environmental services piece. They discourage using bar soap in hospitals because they can be hotbeds for germs. I didn't realize. I'm soooo sorry."

I took another breath and shivered at the thought of a germ-y hotbed.

It's no big deal, I explained to him, and hung up the phone with an exaggerated sigh before skipping down the hall to my designer's office.

"Uh oh," she said, her eyes widening. "You have that look."


Lately I've been asked this question a lot:

What motivates you? 

And I think: Honestly? Honestly, it's the promise of pure, unadulterated laziness that really gets me going. For example, last night I speed-walked the dogs, knowing full well I had four hours of delicious 'me time' (plus gelato and comfy pants) ahead of me. We made it around that loop in RECORD time, I assure you.

As I always say: With gelato and sweatpants, all the things can be done. But when it comes to the big stuff - personal goals, self improvement, work, etc. - I am still figuring out that one thing that really lights a fire under my arse. That is to say, I believe myself to be a driven, productive, and (sometimes) upbeat person. How I get from gelato and sweatpants to accomplishing anything by the end of the day is beyond me.

moto - va - tion

Mulling the word over in my head just now, I suddenly thought:

Self: Hey dummy! You just hung up the phone and you got that feeling. You know, the ONE.

I played coy with myself for a minute.  

Self: You know the ONE that gives you chilly, invisible goosebumps and makes your feet kick out a little bit as you march down the hallway!!!!!

Oh, that. Sometimes I get so lost in the daily execution of tasks and emotions and transfers of information that I forget that spark you can feel, snapping you right out of auto-pilot. Grab the wheel!

I've never thought of myself as a competitive person, but I do LOVE a challenge - like that of a client ripping up a cover right before we go to press. That feeling of: time to dig in; batten down the hatches, people; hold on, we can do this; heave-ho! I love the thrill of the juggling that inevitably comes with it: bending and reaching my limbs, overextending, then back again - keeping everything up in the air and moving - correcting the course at moment's notice, bringing it all back to a steady rhythm again.

Movement, I've gotta have it. I can't stand slow talking, moving, thinking, or driving. There is a time and place for slow time (see: home/gelato/sweatpants time), but the rest of it is go time. On-your-toes time. I sort of live by the belief that if I'm swerving, or reaching out, or darting to the side, or (if you know we me well) tripping or stumbling, anything other than standing still, I'm going to figure this this thing out.

Forward movement - progress - a second attempt - a door closing, another opening - a new day - an unexpected turn you take because you don't have another option and maybe because it just feels right in the moment: For me, that's IT.

Perhaps it's the going that keeps me going.



SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

I'm motivated by challenge as well, and chaos - whatever it is, I will conquer both, and I look forward to that "I did it" feeling.

I'm also motivated by ticking things off a list - I *want* to cross things off of it. That's why I always use paper planners.

alison hughes said...

I'm motivated by the end result. I visualize it in my head and dream how something could be...the house, my veggie garden, a project at work, my body, whatever it is I'm working on. I don't stop till I get it like the end result picture in my head.