Sunday, 29 September 2013

Motivation - Improve Yourself

I'm planning to post about my business trip to Japan (which I just got back from) but first I wanted to ramble on a bit about motivation. I know we've all had times when we've wanted to do something but we haven't done it. We've gone "I'm going to do this for at least 30mins every day and it's going to be amazing". But we don't. And the more we don't do it the more we like not doing it because we feel like we suck.

I've gone through that many a times with Japanese but I've noticed a lot of my friends are going through this same issue too lately. And it's important because with everyone (including myself) its to do with something that we love, to better ourselves in the area we love and to hopefully succeed in that area as more than just a hobby. Success isn't going to just fall on our laps, we need to work for it, no matter how long that takes.

I'll use a random/fictional example. A friend wants to become an author. (I believe you can do anything you set your mind to.) But she has no experienced or published works. So she plans to write 1000 words a day. Of anything, and upload them online for critic to improve her writing and then eventually enter them into competitions and editorials and publishers when she has a novel. She feels motivated and does it for 2 days. On the third day she feels like she's quite busy and can get it done in the evening. But she doesn't feel like writing then. Well if she writes 2000 words tomorrow then that'll make up for it. Ah so now she HAS to write 2000 words which is so much! Ok, then I'll just do it tomorrow and then another 2000 words the following day. Oh but I'm going out with friends tomorrow.....etc. etc. etc. And she looses all motivation. Suddenly a week, month, year has passed with no writing being done and she feels guilty and horrible and hates herself. And all in all doesn't want to write.

It's great to have dreams and to push yourself to want to achieve that dream, but when you are your hardest critic you will burn yourself out. And you won't enjoy what you love to/need to do. (Yes you can even love the things you need to do)

I've found a few things help get yourself back on track:
1. Don't worry! What's the point in worrying? It will only stress you out.
2. Don't make up for lost time. Trying to compensate for missed days/deadlines will only stress you out more. Just accept that it's happened and carry on the next day.
3. Do it in the morning. No matter what make time in the morning to do what you plan to do. Morning is good because a) you get it out of the way, b) you feel like you've done something productive, c) you can adjust morning times easily, d) you're more awake and focused compared to the evening when you want to spend all your time on the internet.

I don't always follow my own rules. This last week when I was away I did no Japanese study and now my anki flashcards are all up to 100 reviews ;_; BUT I will keep working on them because the 2 weeks before the trip I did a TINY bit everyday and found that I had improved a lot even after only 2 weeks! This motivates me to do more. I guess it's like quitting smoking but instead trying to take up a good habit rather than a bad one. It's hard to start, but once you get going you find you become more motivated.

Oh I forgot one thing:

4. Enjoy what you do! Even if you knock yourself down and make yourself feel like poop for not doing this for so long (me with violin), just let that go, do it and try to enjoy it! This is something you've been wanting to do, wanting to improve at for some reason or another. It shouldn't have to be a chore so don't make it one otherwise you'll never enjoy it.

(I wish all of my friends the best and want them to know that myself and others are there for them. It's often hard when you're unmotivated, and even harder to admit that you're having a hard time. I love the friends that have admitted it to me and I really try to push them to help themselves. Everyone has people that can help push, but you are ultimately the one that needs to do what you do need to do.)

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