Don't seek to be motivated, seek to be energized
What gives you Energy!?
Call it energy, bliss, motivation, inspiration, passion, whatever. What sets your soul on fire?
If you still can't understand what I mean imagine or remember a time when your heart beat just a little faster and your mind was racing but not in a way that felt overwhelming, or at least not the usual day to day overwhelm we're used to feeling. No... this feels overwhelming in a sense that anything is possible, all negative is gone, sometimes all reason too. It's the one thing that no matter how hard you try, you can't break away from it.
What is that for you?
And even better, do you know why?
For me, it's the process and imagination of creation.
And why? Well, because I honesty just feel like that's how my brain was wired.
It's normally an accident and it's certainly almost always larger than what I should be daydreaming about. I don't find myself imagining simple things, hardly ever. They are always larger than life plans, projects, and visions that you would need a whole team to achieve, but never do I in that moment realize, nor care, about anything impossible, because in that moment I feel alive, and that feeling alone feels incredible. All feels incredibly possible.
There are 2 things that, without a doubt, make this process even more dangerous and that's coffee and road trips. A cup of coffee and talking about big dreams will make my day go from mundane to electric in under 30 mins. Car rides and conversation leaves me obsessively thinking about how to bring what started as just an idea, to life.
I never sit down and think to myself, right now I'm going to create something new in my mind. It's an organic process, things just come to me. After that do I start, execute, or ever finish any of what I've dreamed up and created? Sometimes. But if I was being honest with you, 75% no.
I started to think that my daydreams were useless unless they had a goal I wanted to achieve attached to the end of them. And that's when I became overly obsessed with business (which has been good and bad all at the same time.) But, creation started to feel like work. And work started to feel like my life, essentially because creating IS my life. I got trapped in a love-hate relationship with what felt like a never ending circle. Having no definition between the two can get unhealthy. And that's also when the energy can die off. This is where the line between what you’re motivated to do and what simply sets your soul on fire when you do it becomes faded.
(Eventually I did find ways of coping and organizing these overwhelming thoughts, which further helps me sort out the things I am just excited about in that moment and then the things that truly MOVE me and should be acted on.)
Seeking energy shouldn’t feel like work
Make sure whatever DOES set your soul on fire that you allow it to have one job, and one job only- and that is to fulfill you and enhance your life on the simplest level. If that bleeds over into other things, ok, but create a barrier that also allows you to enjoy this energy fully on its own with no rules, goals, or restrictions.
This barrier will help you define if what you’re chasing after truly gives you energy, or you just fooled yourself into thinking it does. We can convince ourselves of a lot of things, we can push ourselves to reach new goals, and we can trick ourselves into feeling motivated. But that’s the kicker- whatever sets your soul on fire NEVER is unleashed by tricks, promises, or cons. It just lives inside us, organically, even if that side of ourselves never goes on to be rewarded.
The most honest example I can give you is my own story. Imagination and creation makes my brain buzz in ways I can’t explain. It’s who I am truly becoming alive. When I first began creating I did it for myself- drawing, clay throwing, photography. And then I started my portrait business. As a portrait photographer you are hired to beautifully and creatively capture people and their story. I was motivated to do that. I LOVE doing that. But does it set my soul on fire? I told myself it did because I was convinced if I could create a successful business with my skills that was everything I had ever dreamed of. I carried that with me for years until I realized I hadn’t created the art my SOUL yearned for, that expressed my deepest emotions, in years. I also fooled myself into thinking technology was the way I could create best. But truly I feel most connected with a craft when I can create with my hands. I’m lucky enough to have realized this late last year and start a new path, privately at home and publicly here, based not around motivation, but pure passion.
Let me give you a few non creative examples too-
I, personally, might get motivated to run a mile every day because the reward would be a healthier body. But that doesn’t get me excited. I just want to be able to hike further without getting winded. But if I get up and do yoga, THAT gives me energy! I’m not forcing myself to do it, I don’t even really have to motivate myself to do it, I’m not looking for an awesome outcome, I’m not hoping I’ll be doing headstands in public. It just simply brings me joy. I may never do it enough to get fit, or flexible, but I like it.
Another example- I have to be motivated to drink water. When I remember it will help my body function better and make my skin look better I reach for a glass of water. But I have to remind myself to do it. I mean, come in, it’s flavorless water, it’s not coffee! But- a year and a half ago I decided I would no longer eat meat at home (only when we were out and with others). This was so easy for me. I felt so good and positive about this choice I never had to be reminded why I made the decision. Nothing motivates me to do this…it’s an energy I get from the choice.
Also, don't ever think whatever brings you joy is senseless if there is no end game.
Forget the bigger picture just for a moment and live in that feeling of energy. Embracing THAT fact has lead me here, to this blog, this entry, this life that's based around imagination and creating for the sole purpose of.... just creating. Not creating for world peace, to end hunger, to be the next big thing. Simply just creating in the moment with no fear that it's right, or wrong, or unnecessary. If those things happen because of it, then I’ll know what I am dong is right, but I’m past trying to figure out WHY I need to do what feels so right, and just do it.
What brings you joy is never unnecessary. In fact it needs to be searched for and hunted down more often than what we do, we need to make it more necessary in our day to day lives for no other bigger reason.
Fighting my energy and looking for a bigger purpose to motivate me just made me feel confused about who I was and what I was meant to do.
I now know I wasn't meant to do anything more or less than exactly what I'm doing in this moment.
So what's that 1 thing that your were meant to do? What's the one thing in life that makes you feel most alive? Leave a comment below. Don't be afraid to share it with others! You may just inspire someone to live out what they've been missing out on.