Once upon a time, I tried this dating app. Yep, I just admitted that, moving on. So this one time, I was talking to this dude about nothing important and we got on the topic of work. I made some offhanded comment like “Oh, yeah, we will see if I am motivated enough to work tonight.” To this, the dude responded, “So what do you do to motivate yourself? How do you find motivation?” I then sat down dumbfounded, I didn’t have an answer.
No, really, I have nothing. My mind is blank and I have zero idea how someone is supposed to do that. But, fear not, I asked a random sampling of people that exact question:
“I think how much I love school and if I’m a f*ck UP I’ll be sad and alone at home” – College Student
“Depends on context. Single task or bigger picture?” – Some Guy with a (Supposed) Plan
“Uhhh what’s been motivating me lately is looking at my budget sheet for the wedding / looking at my mortgage bill” – Guy About to Get Married…
“I just have it” – A Workaholic
“Self-Criticism; knowing I can be better for those I love.” – Random Past Fling
“To be as stable as possible for my future husky” – Future Husky Owner (I guess?)
While I waited for their replies, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to Google it. As I read on hoping to find the secret ingredients that I seem to be missing, I noticed one annoying similarity among all the articles—apparently motivation stems from “inside.” As seen above, everyone has a different way to motivate themselves, but one thing is consistent: It is unique for each individual.
With that said, I would love to give you the five tips to getting and staying motivated but it just doesn’t seem right. I mean, sure, I can gather the results from these articles and pick my Top 5 and pretend they are the secret sauce to accomplish your goals but, naw, that just isn’t going to solve your problem.
Instead, I am going to suggest something entirely different—take the day off. Yep, you read that correctly, do the opposite of every single suggestion you have ever heard on motivation by just taking a break. Take a day to stand still and chill (rhyme so intended). Take a minute to breathe. Take a second to realize that life is pretty freaking awesome.
Sounds like a great plan, right? Well it sounds great because it is great. However, there is one catch, you have to leave your house and go outside. This is not a day to sit behind a computer or to stare at a TV screen. This day is a day to realize the sun is out and the world is beautiful.
Ok, there may be one more catch—while you are sitting out and enjoying the outdoors, jot down some notes. Whatever comes to mind, whatever you are thinking, whatever is floating around in your head, jot that s**t down. At the end of the day, you will have some random notes that mean nothing to no one but you and feeling a heck of a lot more relaxed.
But, wait, how does this help with motivation?
I’m glad you asked because it doesn’t really. Sometimes the best thing you can do is take a moment to stop. When life is at full speed and your to-do list is never ending and you get stuck in that same dumb routine, the best thing to do is to be you without distractions. When you take an unexpected “day off” to smell the roses, the world looks brighter.
I get it, most motivational articles talk about how to do things and check things off that to-do list, not put it away. But think about it as a reboot. Every once in a while, your brain needs a reboot. Your brain needs a reason to find that motivation again. If you keep go, go, going, you will never realize what it is that you truly need (or, rather, want) to do.
So here’s to doing nothing tomorrow. Here’s to a day filled with discovering all the beauty the world has to offer. Here’s a day to rebooting your brain. Here’s a day to realigning yourself to, well, you. Here is a day to forget about motivation and remember that you are pretty awesome just the way you are!
My name is Samantha Walters and I am what you would consider a “millennial executive” over at Colocation America. Every Monday (get it, get it, Samantha on Mondays – the S.O.M column) I will write a little something on whatever is on my mind from business practices to current events and everything else in between.