Soon we will be welcoming a new year and like many people I start to think about new beginnings. The new year seems to spark a desire within us to create some kind of change or to make resolutions.
But I'm not a "new year's resolution" person. I think resolutions create too much pressure and often by the end of January we have abandoned them, given up, and end up feeling kind of shitty about ourselves.
Instead of making a new year's resolution I think about how I want my life to be, look and feel. I consider what will stretch me a bit, or move me just outside of my comfort zone. I also consider what is important to me or what I want to nurture in my life.
I came across and am sharing here a few ideas that are alternatives to making resolutions:
I like all of these suggestions and I think it would feel really great to incorporate one or two of them into the new year! How about you? How will you acknowledge and welcome 2020? Leave a comment!
Inspired or motivated? There is a difference, and Wayne Dyer's explanation resonates with me. He says that motivation is ego-driven and inspiration is spirit-driven--a force that takes hold of us, not the reverse.
Being inspired is an experience of joy: we feel completely connected to our Source and totally on purpose; our creative juices flow, and we bring exceptionally high energy to our daily life. We feel whole and aligned. When you are building a life/business that depends on creating new products, ideas or services inviting inspiration to drive your process feels lighter, and helps you to create with more flow and ease.
Motivation vs. Inspiration
Arthur Miller, who was perhaps the most accomplished playwright in the U.S., is an example of a man who knew the difference between being inspired or creating motivation in himself. In an interview late in his life, he was asked, “Are you working on a new play?”
Mr. Miller’s answer went something like this:
“I don’t know if I am or not, but I probably am.” This delightful response suggests that Miller’s writing came from inspiration—that is, something other than ego spurred him on.
If you search "get motivated" on the internet you will get 387 million results!
Everything from Get Off Your Butt to Ten Things that Steal Your Motivation.
So it seems that motivation is something that we must get or find or create in ourselves.
Motivation has a striving and sometimes fearful energy attached to it, a "don't let anything stand in your way" approach. (to be fair, this may be necessary at times, depending on what the goal is)
However, often in our culture, we seem desperate for immediate results, or we don't trust that inspiration will arrive in time. So we force it, sometimes pushing ourselves to accomplish at all costs. The results can be burn out and stress or loss of interest and boredom.
Motivation follows Inspiration
You've probably figured out that when you've been touched by inspiration, than motivation or the energy needed to follow through fires you up. Motivation is a natural by-product of inspiration. Just think back to the last time an inspired thought arrived. You were probably super excited and couldn't wait to get started working on it!
How do we invite Inspiration to visit?
We cannot force true inspiration. It visits us. It visits when we are not crushingly busy, when we are feeling open, trusting and relaxed. Inspiration surprises us, it comes when we are least expecting it. Here are a few ways to relax and create more space in your life for the spirit of inspiration to visit you:
And lastly, a fun fact about the word Inspire. It can be traced back to the Latin inspirare (“to breathe or blow into”), which itself is from the word spirare, meaning “to breathe.” So the next time you find yourself feeling less than motivated....give yourself some room to breathe and be inspired!
If you want less confusion and doubt; then work on becoming clear about what a meaningful life looks and feels like for you.
I’ve spent periods of time in doubt and stuck-ness…and it drained my energy and any bit of motivation I had. I realized that to become clearer, I had to be prepared to do some digging. I have also worked with people who aren’t sure what they want, and it leaves them feeling flat and uninspired.
We need to make space for clarity. Take some time for yourself to reflect and inquire. This can’t be stressed enough. Whirling around in confusion and doubt will continue until you hit the stop button. Life is a myriad of tasks and distractions that keep us from gaining the clarity we need to take meaningful steps.
Where do you feel relaxed and open? A space in your home, outside in nature, or a cabin in the woods? Wherever it is, go there and set aside an ample amount of time to freely explore what matters to you.
Journal and write about what you’re passionate about, what goals you are working towards and don’t forget to include how you want to feel and experience your life. Let yourself be free in this, don’t edit or rationalize. Dream and see and feel what you want.
Part of this process is also naming what gets in your way. What brings about your confusion and doubt? Are you reaching higher for something, a new challenge or new goal? Are you bored with what you are doing or perhaps don’t feel as passionate about it as you used to? Do you have too many distractions that pull you off course? Are you busy taking care of others and leaving yourself at the bottom of the list? Be fiercely honest with yourself because that is the only way to get unstuck and gain clarity about the direction you want to go.
If you are having a hard time really nailing down what you want, experiment. Try out a few different things. Sometimes knowing what you don’t like leads you to what you do like. And taking some kind of action disrupts the inertia!
Once you find some clarity, will you always be clear? Probably not. We evolve and change. Our wants and needs change. We grow. Our interests shift. Commit to doing a regular check in with yourself whenever you start to feel doubt or confusion creeping in.
Remember, doing more of what you enjoy brings out the very best in you. And continually clarifying what it is that you want to do, be and have in life keeps the way forward clear!