We are knowingly motivated towards a feeling of satisfaction. We strive to create an agreeable balance of effort vs change.
A lot of us run because we like to eat; a lot of us write because it feels cathartic to get the words down. Running and writing can be hard, but we still do it because there is no reason to stop. We find our motivation in the process of doing.
Motivation is more than immediate rewards. I found out that motivation is what elicits, controls and sustains our beliefs. Values are what motivate us; we don’t actually get as encouraged by an end result as much as by what we feel is intrinsically correct about our beliefs. I found that we also believe we all have the same inherent values, but this is pretty far from the truth.
Sometimes I think I am motivated by chocolate. I play this trick with myself that if I run so many interval repeats or run fast enough up a hill, I can have my chocolate. I do the run, but the chocolate reward does not taste as good as I ever imagined it while running. I enjoy it, but the satisfaction and fulfillment is in the doing.
Sometimes when there is more to say I am motivated to write. There is more than what comes out aloud, more that I’ve learned to change. I write a lot and then edit heavily, because what I feel repeats itself. It’s like each time a record goes around it’s on a new groove, but in the same approximate space. (New, but the same; new, but the same.) Sometimes it’s just a lot of words. I have snippets… but it can be hard to put the snippets together. I want to express the inside out.
When I want to write, I reshape my attention to nurture my process. I seek out feedback. I focus on what I want as an end result and stay present in the process. The value I find in what I am doing encourages me.
I think it’s important to know what feeds you. Beyond eating chocolate, I find a place where I want to let go of the words and just keep running. It’s a creative wave that I want to let crash and spill and enjoy. My writing is getting better, my running is faster and now both are less laboured.
Sometimes even a ripple can overturn a canoe. How can you see that coming?
* How does your writing, or running, or cooking (or ?) get you to a place of fulfillment? What motivates you to reach further?