This is a lot of words, but I have a lot to say. Bare with me.
When I was in high school (wow, that feels so odd to say), my music teacher, Mrs. Christensen, did these things called “motivationals.” Each week, a designated student would stand up in front of the class and give their “motivational,” in which they would talk about something in their life that has given them motivation, inspiration, etc. It was a glimpse into that person’s mind, heart, and experiences, and though brief, it really did put life into perspective.
Fast forward. I graduated from high school two weeks and three days ago, and though only a small amount of time has passed, it has felt like a lifetime. Sure, the summer after senior year is supposed to be a time of freedom, stress-relief, and movement into this crazy thing called “adulthood,” but I’ve found that it also comes with a lot of reflection on the future. Though I am having fun, I have quite a lot on my to-do list for the summer, and for the first time, I’ve had to pull my motivation completely out of myself. I no longer have assignments threatening low grades if I don’t finish them. I no longer have a sports season looming in the future, urging me to put down the chips and go for a run. I no longer have a graduation day countdown ticking perpetually in my head, pushing me to finish strong. Now, my motivation to get up in the morning, get myself together, and do something with my life, is completely resting in my hands.
I’m reading this book right now called Garden City by John Mark Comer, gifted to me by my sweet friend Ashley. In the book, Comer talks about how everyone’s life has a purpose, and that a human’s greatest purpose is the ability to work and serve and use their potential to its fullest capacity. That fact has really been resonating with me, as I now am in charge of the direction of my life and the use of my time. I am not forced to go to school, I am not forced to have a job, and I am not forced to pursue my passions. I have to make choices, and I suppose the trouble I’m having right now circulates around the fear that I will make the wrong ones.
I think everyone feels this way at some point, and that feeling is what causes the motivation to lack. It’s easier to stay in bed, to sleep until twelve. It’s easier to click the “next episode” button on Netflix, even though you’ve already been watching for two hours. It is even easier when you’re trying to avoid working on something that is actually important. But, to quote The Fray’s “All at Once”, “sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.” I think the mistake that a vast majority of my generation makes is believing that life is supposed to come easy, and that difficult times don’t surface if you’re a good person. That is just not true. It is a shame to believe that you “deserve” a certain life, and that belief is what kills the motivation of so many when facing times of hardship. The hardest thing is putting your head down and pushing through, but it is also the right thing, if it means overcoming difficulty and making something of yourself. Motivation is not going to do the job for you, but it will give you the tools to do the job, if you let it. In the last few weeks, I’ve found so many things to do that distract me from my motivation, but not one of those things is as fulfilling as the times when I listen to my motivation and do. There are days when I sleep in, there are days when I don’t workout like I plan to, and of course, there are days when I watch way too much Netflix, but I’m learning that the best days are the days when I get up, drink some coffee, and get to it. It is as simple as that.
So, that is my motivational for y’all today. I hope it is as helpful to y’all after reading it, as it is to me after writing it. Just keep swimming!