Calling, Faith, Trusting God

Motivation: 5 Thoughts for Choosing Motivation

@JeanneTakenaka

In May, I participated in a twelve-day Instagram writer’s challenge. It was both stretching and fun. We were given a different word each day and created posts about those words relating to our writer’s life. 

As I contemplated each word, I discovered correlations between writing life and real-life. I’ve expanded on the original posts, and I’d love to read your thoughts on these words as they relate to your life as well.

*****

Last fall, I left a writer’s conference motivated to finesse the book I’d begun writing early last year. I was going to tear the story apart, make it stronger, put it back together, polish it, and send it to the people who had requested it.

Sometimes we have the best of intentions . . . and then life tromps right over them.

I had no idea I’d have to learn how to choose motivation. 

As I edged back into normal life, hubs left for a two-week business trip. The boy with the month-old concussion had worsening symptoms. The other boy was undergoing testing to determine some things. 

My personal December 31st deadline seemed unachievable as I chauffeured kids to appointments and commitments, worked with them through some of their issues, and kept up with online deadlines.

Real life stole my creative energy . . . which stripped my motivation to “git ‘er done.”

My story became this big, unwieldy thing that wouldn’t be finessed into submission. 

In mid-November, I decided to take a blogging and social media break in December so I could focus on family, Christmas, and my book.

And then my mom had a serious accident.

God knew I needed December open so I could be available to my family, to help my parents. 

As 2019 dawned with oodles of empty squares on my calendar, I tried to drum up the motivation to continue working on my story.

The thing about motivation is that I have to choose it. I can’t wait until I “feel motivated” to work on something. 

At times, life demands that I set aside my dreams because I need to be completely present with my family and loved ones. 

If I’m honest, there are times I don’t feel like investing the energy to work on my book. I make excuses and justify them. 

But . . . stories don’t edit themselves. 

God’s given each of us callings to fulfill. When we lack motivation, we need to ask Him to reveal the why.

*Are we hearing God’s leading clearly?

*Have we strayed off-base in how we’re trying to fulfill our calling?

*Is there a lot of life happening that saps all that we are? 

*Are we keeping things in balance? Family, relationships, job, responsibilities, fulfilling our callings?

*Are we caring for our bodies in what we eat, do, and how much we sleep?

*Have we allowed this calling to occupy more space in our hearts and time and minds than God intended? If so, we tend to pressure ourselves in a way that saps motivation.

When we stop to evaluate why we’re not motivated, we can talk with the Lord about them. When we seek the Lord, He promises we will find Him. When we come before Him with hearts open to His leading, He meets us and leads us where we need to go. 

He always equips us when He gives us a calling. We just need to remember that it’s His calling, not ours. We are the stewards, and He is the Giver.

Thoughts that help me choose motivation:

God gives each of us dreams. Mine is to be traditionally published. To share stories woven with His truths and encouragement. I’m the only one who can write the stories God’s given me. He offers the inspiration, but I must do the work.

When I set an achievable goal, I’m motivated to attain it. Knowing the goal is out there (and often having a little reward tied to it) motivates me to keep working.

When I’m weary because of life, sometimes I need rest. Life has a way of wearing me down beyond the brink of exhaustion. To renew motivation, I need to be refreshed in the ways that work best for me.

From time to time, I need a trusted friend to give me a good kick in the backside, to speak some truth and to re-ignite my motivation.

When I remember that writing is a calling God has given me, I must not make excuses for not living it out. Yes, life can be hard. And, yes, there are seasons when God may say, “Set that aside for now.” But, when I’m not writing because “I’m not feeling it…” I’m squandering this desire—this gifting—God’s given me

When our motivation is high, let’s work with it! When it’s low, let’s pray about it. And then determine to follow wherever God leads. 

What about you? How do you stay motivated to complete a project? What do you do when you don’t feel the motivation to do something?

Click to tweet: God’s given each of us callings to fulfill. When we lack motivation, we need to ask Him to reveal the why.

I’m linking up with #RaRaLinkup 

Advertisements

37 thoughts on “Motivation: 5 Thoughts for Choosing Motivation”

  1. Right now it is not my station
    to provide for others’ reading;
    I must reserve my motivation
    for the simple task of breathing.
    If I can take the next short breath,
    I’ll stay alive, and then decide
    what needs completion ere my death,
    what dreams I need to keep alive.
    And then another breath’s demanded,
    half a lungful, burning through
    the prison to which I am remanded
    above which, perhaps, the lark once flew.
    But his wings, remembered by the sky,
    beat in my heart, and bid me try.

    Like

    1. If I may add a PS, I find humour a great motivator. There’s much hope to be found in a smile and a laugh.

      So, here’s a Youtube clip of what I consider the funniest scene ever made, from the beginning of ‘Star Trek Beyond’.

      Like

    2. Andrew, this is beautiful. And your words give me insight on how to be praying for you. Thanks for being a voice of hope and determination during the darkest of times. Sending you prayers, gratitude, and gentle hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes and amen!

    I needed these words so much today (funny how God does that!) Thank you for sharing your story and your heart. I’m not sure how to get motivated to do the right things, but I’m learning this truth:

    I can’t figure it all out — especially not in summer when kids are home and routines are off. BUT I CAN DO THE NEXT RIGHT THING

    Like

    1. Rebecca, I love when God does that…speaks to the needs of our heart . . . some of which we don’t even realize are there until we read someone’s God-inspired words. I am with you, trying to “figure it all out” in summer, with kids home is about impossible. So, I’m taking your words too, to do the next right thing. 🙂

      Like

  3. This post is a great example of our struggle to find just the right life/work balance. For me, stories seem to unfold, and I can’t push the unfolding. It happens in God’s own time–not ours. Great post. Thanks and God bless!

    Like

  4. Oh, Jeanne, I run into this with my own writing goals, and the interruptions come. I’m beginning to realize though, that I’ve got to do some subtracting before I can add anything else of any size to my do-list, so this is a matter of prayer right now. And you’re right about one thing for sure: we have to do this with God’s help because no one else can do it for us.

    Like

    1. Oh, Michele. I know what you mean about doing some subtracting on the list of commitments before adding anything. It’s only as we bring everything before the Lord and ask for His priorities that we have the insight to know where we should focus. It seems like when we know His direction, motivation to do that which He’s put on our to-do list comes more easily. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This motivated me, Jeanne. 🙂 Seriously, you present great insight on the subject. I agree in how we need a balance between being present when our family needs us and not making excuses for the calling God wants us to live out. I’ve learned over the last few years God is the biggest dreamer of all. My best motivation happens when I dream with the Lord.

    Like

    1. You’re right, Karen. God is the biggest dreamer of all. When I stop to consider that, I’m humbled that He gives us dreams, and He helps us achieve them . . . when we trust Him. I love that: dreaming with the Lord. If He’s not part of the equation, the things we attempt are in vain. Thanks for sharing your insight!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. “If so, we tend to pressure ourselves in a way that saps motivation.” This line resonated with me, and the need for refreshing which I have denied myself because my summer ‘list’ is not completed. May we always give ourselves grace when needing to be present to the everyday stuff that happens too! Great post. Thank you!

    Like

  7. Awesome post, and yes I have definitely been in those modes sometimes, where I can’t get out of my own way. That’s when I have to remind myself that its ok to take some time off even if it’s only an hour or two a day to do something relaxing. Sometimes I will motivate myself by saying, ” Get a big task done and then the rest of the day you can relax.” Even God took a day off to rest right. God Bless and once again great post!

    Like

    1. Your words, Stephen, about not being able to get out of your own way . . . I understand that. 🙂 And, time off is essential for our well-being. I like how you motivate yourself. Sometimes knowing what we need to accomplish and that there is a reward when it’s done is extremely motivating to me. Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

      Like

  8. This is a great post, Jeanne! It makes me think and challenges me. There’s a project I started with lots of enthusiasm but motivation has been lacking lately (as well as time!) This is a great prompt to pray about it and figure out the reasons for the lack of motivation, and if it is really something God is calling me to do.

    Like

  9. Such good advice, Jeanne. I have to admit, I am one of those women who tries to push through anything. I need to learn how to take a step back more often to listen for God’s words. I need to ask myself if I am following MY plans or His! It is never the wrong choice to focus on family.

    Like

    1. Laurie, my go-to mode is to push through, too. God has shown me over the past year, that that’s not always His plan for me. Of course, I usually figure that out after I’ve pushed to the point of exhaustion. Your question is a good one . . . it’s important for us to know whose plan we’re pursuing: Ours of His. Thanks for the reminder that it’s never a wrong choice to focus on family. You are so wise. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. So many distractions wear away my motivation, similar to the steady drip-drip-drip of a leaking faucet. If I’m not intentional about my writing goals, I would never get to them!

    Like

    1. Ava, I’m with you. When there are a lot of distractions in my day, my life, my motivation seems to leak out through the wasted moments. I’m with you…I need to be intentional about making time to write and work toward my goals. Thanks for sharing!

      Like

  11. Thanks so much, Jeanne! My motivation is the hope that it would please God to share, work, and do things that need to be done over and over and over again …even when I don’t see results I have to remind myself that I am His servant …oh and, looking forward to when He says, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” … can you just imagine??? 🙂

    Like

    1. Yvonne, I imagine we all go through seasons where we question our motivation. And that’s not always bad, if it leads us to bringing our questions before our Father. 🙂 Thanks for your encouragement. I’m saying a prayer for you today.

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.