I’m having a rough time concentrating this week. Is it because I have fled the city and am back in the woods? Is it the heat? Is my coffee not strong enough?
I don’t know. What I do know is that when I get into these (unexpected and dreadful) foggy states of mind, I need motivation to get my brain working properly again.
And because listing and routine keep me grounded, I’ve found adhering to the following questions to be quite helpful in lifting my mood, clearing my mind, and ultimately, producing good work:
What motivates me to be a better person?
What motivates me to be a better mom?
What motivates me to be a better partner?
What motivates me to be a better career woman?
What motivates me to be a better me?
I have found that when the above are in check, the creativeness (and overall willingness to work) pulls through on its own. And the common theme that has to be present in order for it to work is always, always, other people.
While I do a lot of this self-improvement work on my own, I have to remind myself that relying on other people — through conversation, phone calls, meeting up, and collaborating — is essential to our wellbeing.
Making connections with people motivates me. Making people feel good about themselves motivates me. Fostering relationships motivates me. Knowing that I’m making someone’s day more enjoyable motivates me.
Working in tandem, these things give me energy, which in turn provides creativity.
What motivates you to be a better you?
In a recent New York Times Well Newsletter on how to escape pandemic worries, readers weighed in on finding distraction to avoid the daily onslaught of bad news. Their personal stories were simple, every day things we can all do to feel better and live better.
Some examples included:
Find a good artist to look forward to playing every day. And/or, blare broadway music in your home while you cook or unwind from the day. Music lets you cope and heal.
Pack a picnic and sit at the base of a tree for an entire afternoon reading or knitting (anything but be on your phone).
Volunteer — helping with socially distant work at food banks or sewing masks for healthcare workers.
Turn to art — by way of painting, selling jewelry on eBay, writing, or learning a new language.
Find an exercise buddy to sweat with. Walking for 3 miles 3x a week with a friend gives you something fun and productive to look forward to. You’re moving your body, you’re socializing, and you’re getting fresh air. That’s a lot of endorphins happening at once.
Happy Wednesday. May you find the motivation you’ve been looking for.
PS! If you’re looking for daily mental clarity & focus, I highly recommend giving CBG a whirl. It’s a subtle yet effective boost necessary for creatives. And probably everyone.