Tag Archives: Motivation

new leaf

5 Jan

So a new year begins again.

A chance for a fresh start and endless possibilities.  There’s an energy to the beginning of a new year which encourages us to cleanse last year’s baggage and commit to making change in our life.  Turning over a new leaf.

Everyone is tinged with the aura of celebration and beginnings.

What are you going to do to make this year different from the last?  I am going to change the patterns in my life that hold me back.  How I will achieve this and measure it is another story.  First there are a lot of little milestones to be set, and habits to be changed.

They say it only takes a month to break a habit.  That has got to take some concerted effort.  And you need to know what you are changing that habit for, and what will replace that old behaviour.  Decide where you want to be, what is keeping you from being there and break that down into small singular parts which you can change one by one.

Focus.  Never give up.  Believe.

And so another unwritten year begins…

 

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NaNo wind down

24 Nov

The first of the plums are starting to blush with ripeness, and summer is just days around the corner.

This change of seasons is also the closing of NaNoWriMo.  These last few days of spring will be full of furious typing by tens of thousands of writers around the globe.  And if all goes well, sometime in the next year or so, there will be some new novels born from this month of literary abandonment that we all can enjoy.

I am one of those typing manically to try and achieve my goal (50,000 words by the 30th of November).  And in between I’m looking at my garden growing wild with my neglect, and wondering if I’ve done enough to prepare it for the sun-filled months ahead.  Only six more days and I can play in the dirt again!

While life beckons me to come back and enjoy it’s richness, I am happy to have had NaNo to push me to write every day (almost) and to find my way past any plot walls.  Without it, when you get to that point where you don’t know what comes next, it’s so easy to put it aside for another time.  NaNoWriMo gives you the urgency to think it through, to try other avenues you may not have envisioned at first.  It has been a wonderful experience, and I will try it again.

I still have thousands of words, and many chapters to go and less than a week to get there.  So it is back into the wilds of my imagination for me!  And I wonder what I can make with the plums this year…

                        

NaNo beginnings

3 Nov

So NaNoWriMo 2011 http://www.nanowrimo.org/ has officially begun.

All those hours spent daydreaming with a purpose has led to these days working to manifest the story.  There is an extra energy in the air and a sense of ‘needing’ to achieve your goal, there is also a sense that you may have been mad to commit to this when there’s, you know, life.

My first moment of NaNo madness came in my dreams after day one…  By the end of Day One I had written chapter one and 2,368 words; my imagination was spinning with where the story would go next and in this mind I fell asleep.  In my nightmare the words I had written went through the ‘official’ count and came back with only 892 words because all the words with three letters or less were discounted…

There are an awful lot of words with three letters or less…

And now the first day excitement is wearing down and it is time for the real test: can I change my habits for the month and sustain a daily writing regime?  I confess my daily word count is dipping after some long draining days at work… still 27 days to go and 4 weekends to make up some ground.

Surely this is where the ‘persistence’ mentality must kick in… https://emilyelst.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/living-in-flux/    ‘Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence…’

There are 27 more days of possibility to go.

If I truly believe I can do anything then I can surely do this!  I wish my fellow NaNoWriMos out there all the best of luck for their storytelling and their sanity in this month.

 

small moments

5 Sep

Some days just feel good.  There doesn’t have to be a big celebration, just a series of small moments which make you feel alive.

You wake up in the morning and the sun is shining and the sky is pale blue, there are new flowers and budding green growth everywhere you go, a song you really love plays on the radio, people smile wherever you go, you get some good news, you feel productive and it is effortless, someone you love gets good news, outside smells green and verdant, everything feels in its place and you walk tall.

I love the start of spring, and I love living life for all the little things which lift my spirit.  There is wonder in the steamy smell of eucalypt in the warm air after the rain.

Everything may turn on its head tomorrow, but for now, for today, for this moment it feels good and fresh and alive.

I am making a fresh commitment to creativity.  With the living buzz on the air, anything must be possible.

living in flux

24 Aug

A constant state of fluctuation.  The ordinary rollercoaster of life.

One day you are motivated, determined and confident.  The next day you are lethargic, procrastinating and flat.  And of course there is the whole range of emotions you experience in between these highs and lows: elation, happiness, depression, sadness, anger, frustration, satisfaction and the list goes on and on.

And this can all happen in the course of an ordinary day.  It’s the little things that swing you up and down, and then on occasion there’s big events, but it’s the little things that sneakily chip away.

How do we maintain the upswing?  How do you stay positive and inspired, how do you keep yourself trying to do better, to be better…

What else can we do but persevere.  Perseverance is the only thing which has ever really proven to be essential to success.

So, yes life fluctuates every day and we swing back and forth along with it, but if we hold true to what we believe in and keep striving for our dreams we can (eventually) achieve the life we hope to lead.  There will be days where you just don’t seem to have the stamina, and that is when you need to take a short rest and contemplate the fact that all great heroes fail and then they get up again and again and persist.

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race” – Calvin Coolidge

I may be living in flux.  I may be motivated one day and procrastinating the next, but I will always remember to keep on keeping on.

I believe in persistence and I believe in enjoying the rollercoaster journey wherever you can.  Every up and down and plateau in between means I am alive and living and then there is always hope.  I have hope (and a stubborn streak I am counting on!)

no regrets

15 Aug

No regrets.

Some days you remember that it is the little things in life that make a difference, be that good or bad is entirely up to you.  Life is just too short, and it always finds its way.  So you can choose how you live it.  You choose how you respond to all the little stories that sweep you up from time to time.  And you choose what life means to you.

So, many years ago, I decided that I had cracked the meaning of life, and that I could sum it up in two words: To Learn.

Sounds simple, right?  And, in fact, in every existential pub conversation I have had about the meaning of life, those two little words always seem to win.

Someone will say: “The meaning of life is to be happy”  to which I can say “You learn to be happy”.  Someone else will say: “The meaning of life is to love” to which I can say “You learn to love”.  Someone else might say: “The meaning of life is to contribute and make the world a better place” and, you guessed it, I can say “You learn how to contribute.”

Every day you learn and hopefully you grow.  You become wiser and fuller.  There are a handful of people who refuse to learn, and life just keeps them going around and around reliving the same lesson until (hopefully) one day it clicks.  So, unless you learn and move forward you stay on repeat.  To truly live you must learn and advance.

This works for me, but as nice as it is to sum up the meaning of life, it is not all there is.  What about when life is over?  Is learning in life really going to seem satisfying in the end..

Whenever it is over I want no regrets.  I don’t want a single undone moment to lament.  I hope to have said and done and tried everything I want to do.

These can be the little moments on any given day.  Saying goodbye when you leave for work, appreciating the flaming colours of the sunset, telling the people you love that you do love them.  It can also be big things.  Adventures and challenges, or trying something new you have never tried before.

So, this is a reminder.  Live life to its fullest every day that you have.  Learn in life wherever you can.  And live with integrity and passion so there will be no regrets, and only valued memories.

I will try to remember this every day, and try, try again.

shuffling the jar of life

25 Jul

Sometimes you realise that your life is full of pebbles.

So, take the opportunity to re-evaluate what is really important in your life.  What are your big rocks?  You control your life, you can choose the priorities it will follow.  Anytime you want to shuffle the jar, focus on your rocks first and the rest will fall into place around them.

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A professor stood before her philosophy class with some items on the desk in front of her.  When the class began, she wordlessly picked up a very large and empty jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks as big as golf balls.  When she could not fit any more rocks in the jar, she asked the students if the jar was full.  They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar.  She shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the rocks.  She then asked the students again if the jar was full.  They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.

Of course, the sand filled up everything else.  She asked once more if the jar was full.  The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the
sand.  The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.  The rocks are the important things in your life—your family, your health, your beliefs, your friends and your favourite passions— if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

“The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

“The sand is everything else—the small stuff.  If you put the sand into the jar first,” she continued, “then there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks.  The same goes for life.  If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

“Play with your children.  Spend time with your parents.  Visit with grandparents.  Take time to get medical check-ups.  Take your partner out to dinner.  There will always be time to clean the house and fix the light.  Take care of the rocks first—the things that really matter.  Set your priorities.  The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised their hand and inquired what the beer represented.  The professor smiled and said, “I’m glad you asked.  It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of drinks with a friend.”

Challenging beginnings

20 Jul

How easy we are sidetracked by the mundane petty events of each day.

I still believe that you make your own reality and that you can achieve anything you set out to do, which you strive for with determination.  But it has been one of those phases where the distractions of everyday things make persistence hard to maintain.

There is the initial motivation which carries it’s own momentum.  It is truly easy to believe in possibility then.  To believe in your own capacity to create, persevere, and achieve your goals.

Then the momentum wears itself down, you procrastinate or excuse yourself just for one day.  And suddenly life throws its distractions at you.

Distractions, insignificant dramas that suck you into their segment of time.  Suddenly you are just your day to day moments and all that inner glow is drowned out in just making it through another hour and the next one and another day…  Make it through all the scenes just to get closer to not being in them anymore, closer to the mystery day where it will all be better and you will be all activity and satisfaction.

Every week that mystery day on the horizon, is for me ‘The Weekend’.  Every day, to convince me to get out of bed I remind myself it is one day closer to the weekend.  Aaah, the weekend, when I can wake up the morning without alarm, and get up for myself and My Life.

I am always going to do so many things then… I tell myself this each day of the week.  Of course then it is the weekend, and you can do whatever you like then, it’s your Day Off.  So if you want to do nothing, that’s what you do.  Now, I realise this makes me sound lazy, and I wish I truly was but unfortunately that’s not reality.  I just put my energies into things which are not of true importance to my heart and soul.

I work.  For someone else.  I work at work, I work at home, I work in transit.  I think about work, sometimes dream about work.  I worry about work, I am genuinely concerned about work related things.  I am distracted by work.  And it is not of true significance to My Life.

So here I sit.  Tired, distracted, emotionally drained and feeling like I am not achieving.

And, then he reminds me..  I have love!  How fortunate I am.  What more purpose do you need in life than love?  Love, learning and whatever else it takes to support both.  Everything is better when you see it from a life with love.

So, inspiration, there you are!  Step by step, persistence, perspective, hope.

All I need is a good night (or two) of sleep, and the occasional reminder of what life is all about.  Start filling the jar of life with the big rocks, and the rest will fall in between the spaces.

Inner light

14 Jul Inner Light

We all have light inside.  A brilliant, blinding and burning light.  Mostly we hide it away, bury it deep inside our flesh.  When we focus and let it loose, it shines through the cracks.  I want to find my light again.  That inner blaze I had almost fogotten.

Inner Light

Something new

6 Jul

I have always believed in possibilities.

I also believe that you have to create your own opportunities, and steer your life in the direction you want to go.  It may go off on it’s own tangent most of the time, but you have choices and those choices will alter your course.

So, something new, for me at least.  The blogosphere.

I am challenging myself to take hold of life and my dreams again.  I intend to do this while maintaining the mundanities of my life which keep a roof over my head (e.g work which does not satisfy the soul, and hours on public transport).  And, while enjoying all the little things in life which give me joy.  Good food, good company, ideas, observation and life.

And so, it begins…