Motivation. Just seeing the word elicits so many polarizing (and paralyzing?) emotions — from empowering abundance to debilitating scarcity. From “Yesssssss!!!” to “Nooooooo”. From “I’ve got this!” to “I had it, but wait…where’d it go?” With memes, mantras, and musings transmitting from every corner of the web universe, we have unlimited access to all of the influential inspo we could ever need to achieve our goals, right? With motivational mojo re-trending in our news feeds by the millisecond, our desire to energize our ooomph should be in overdrive, don’t ya think?
Mmmm, no. Not necessarily.
Fact: For some of us, the motivation machine is always in high gear. Yet, for others, the motivation machine seems to remain eternally stuck…in “park”.
With every click, swipe, and scroll through our news feeds, we unknowingly internalize the attitudes, beliefs, and values of those influential forces that energize us from across the interwebs. Charismatically powerful, these forces get us up. They get us moving. They give us confidence. They give us hope. And they give us something to believe in when we’ve lost all belief in ourselves.
Yet, when “The Next Big Thing” mysteriously disappears from our news feeds, we feel discouraged. We feel lost. We feel defeated…and, perhaps, even cheated. As our never-ending quest for “The Next Big Thing” leads us to discover “The Next Next Big Thing”, we eventually have a mic drop moment that ends our vicious cycle of disappointment, dejection, and despair:
What we’re looking for isn’t ‘out there’. It’s ‘in here’.
Imagine not having to rely on people or things in the external world to motivate you. Imagine not having to depend on an outside force to bridge that intention-action gap. Imagine what it would be like to self-generate the motivational power that you’ve been seeking from [influencer]. Imagine discovering that you already have the ingredients for your own homemade motivation creation. Hmmm. Imagine…
When we let go of our motivational ‘dependencies’, some amazing things begin to happen. We stop being distracted by the irrelevant energies that fail to jive with our authentic passions. We stop engrossing ourselves in obsessive energy drains that draw us further away from our center. We set realistic, attainable goals that resonate with our true wants and needs (not someone else’s). We stop externalizing blame for the choices we make — the good, the bad, and even the ugly. And we finally ignore the cacophony of voices that tell us who to be and, instead, heed our harmonious inner voice — the one that knows us better than we know ourselves.
The old saying is true: Motivation really is an ‘inside job’ — an internally wired, eternally inspired force of positive change. Let us never forget that we have the self-determined power to change our lives at any given moment — yes, even right now. So, resist the push toward the unreal, the irrelevant, and the wrong. Instead, embrace the pull toward what feels real, relevant, and right.
Blaze your trail…from the inside out.
About the Author: Joshua GARRIN is one of Your Monthly Mentors. He holds a Ph.D. in health psychology, an M.S. in cognitive psychology, and a B.S. in general psychology and journalism. He currently resides in the Hudson Valley region of New York. Following the completion of his doctorate in 2014, Joshua was the recipient of Walden University’s Harold L. Hodgkinson Award for Outstanding Dissertation Research for his inquiry on health beliefs, outcome expectancies, and stress appraisal in college seniors. Read More…