With everything that has been going on over the last few years, a common question I get is, “how do you keep doing what you do?”
First, I always try to be clear about what motivates me. It is easy to get all mixed up in your brain jar if your motivations aren’t things that actually motivate you.
For example, the world revolves around the idea that money is a great motivator, and although this is a popular belief, I have found that money is a poor motivator for me. Don’t get me wrong, I will be elated when something works out, and I make bank, but then what?
I have had projects work out beautifully, only to discover that I hate working on said projects. At that point, I have a choice, continue making money, or move on to something I love doing. Neither choice is necessarily bad, but if I were being honest, I would have to admit that I am only doing it for the money, and chances are I will have to find the motivation to do it.
Second, if you make no money with said project, money being a motivator will drain you and do the opposite of motivating you.
So, what motivates me?
Honestly, it’s the things that excite me. Even still, I always have to be on guard about my motivations. The world loves to measure success in dollar bills. We have been trained to see success that way since we were little rug rats. It is easy to trick ourselves into thinking we are not motivated by the need for money.
Because of that, I ask myself several questions.
If I received nothing monetary from this, would I still do it?
If I received no recognition for this, would I still do it?
What reward do I want from this?
I sit with these questions for a while and allow myself to ponder. I think it is important to meditate on these questions because, in the end, what we do is what matters, not what we gain in the process.
Spoiler alert: The more you do, the more money you make as a side effect. The irony is if you are focused on it, it works against you. Besides, when you focus on money, you fall prey to believing you can predict the future… and that can be dangerous and discouraging.
So what motivates me? The act of putting myself out there as an art form and finishing up the projects lingering in my brain jar for over a year. Sometimes motivation looks like, “I just want to put this behind me.”
The important thing is just to keep going.
What motivates you?