Monday, February 2, 2009

Motivation Monday

Motivation is simply the reason for an action. It is the why behind what you do.

So how are things going for you? Are things going well in your life or are there areas where you feel frustrated, confused or stuck?

This post marks the start of a new series on this blog, dealing with the issues surrounding motivation. In my experience talking to other artists, former students and wanna be artists, it seems clear that many people struggle to stay motivated. People buy new art supplies only to find that they never actually use them. Some buy books and then they never read them. Others take workshops and get very excited and determined, only to find that the enthusiam fades and their good intentions vanish. Does this sound like anything you have experienced? Maybe it is where you are right now. If so, I would like to help. You see quite some time my former life :-)...I was stuck too. I wasn't just stuck, I was discouraged. Perhaps you are there now. Perhaps you are underemployed, unemployed or you are in a job you really dislike. You have a desire for a different life but you just can't seem to make it happen. Maybe you are working as an artist but you are dissatisfied with your work habits. Maybe you feel undisciplined or perhaps you are confused about what to do next or you are stuck in some area - for example you know you need to get your work out there but you just don't seem to get around to doing anything about it. I could go on and on with scenarios but I think you get the idea. No matter what your issues are, I can tell you this: you can live a better life than the one you have can move forward from a state of numbness, lack of energy, apathy and discouragement.

So where do we start? First of all you need to decide what you want. Then we can work on getting a strong enough why. You see you have to have a strong 'why' in order to have lasting motivation. Remember, motivation is simply the why behind what you do.

Do you know what you want? I ask you to take the next week to really think about what you want. Write your thoughts down to help you get clarity. Do you think what you want is impossible (because you don't have the skills, enough time, or money)? Don't focus on this. Do you think you want too many things? For example you want to be an oil painter too and you are interested in sculpture and you would like to try writing short stories. Don't worry about this either. Simply get as honest with yourself as you can.

Maybe you feel like you don't know what you want. I know this may be hard for some of you. Don't despair, take comfort in knowing that a lot of people don't feel like they know what they want. What sort of stuff do you have stashed away in your cupboards? What are the books about that you have you been collecting for years? Look around your life for clues. What is on your 'back burner'? You know, that 'thing' you always mean to do or try but the time is never quite right so it sits on the back burner...the good thing is that it is there, now imagine moving it to a front burner. Now that is exciting and just a wee bit scary...

So you have your homework assignment for the week. Good luck...and while my story of course isn't finished, I can tell you that once I changed my thinking, once I decided that I just might be able to do some of the things I dreamed of, my life changed dramatically. I became a motivated woman and I have remained that way. You can too, I have no doubt...


Christine said...

Awesome new addition Teresa! I am looking forward to this weekly segment. ;-)

Jeanette said...

Wonderful thinking Teresa. It does make sense to sit down and write down what you want, what you have and where you're going.

I listened to a talk a long time ago by Suze Orman. She's a financial planner, but the talk was about achieving what you want in life.

We throw up any number of obstacles when confronted with ways to achieve what we want.

Go back to university? No, can't do that, have kids, a mortgage, not enough time etc etc. We all have fears around making changes in life. She showed ways to break down those excuses and do what you want in life.

Anita said...

OK Teresa - I am here for the class! You caught me with that M - I collect them (strange, i know!)
I just finished a course with Alyson Stansfield - serious motivational stuff but its keeping it going that is hard. She said to right down what your dream world will be and then go out and get it.
I so understand the motivation issue and how it waxes and wanes.

Teresa Mallen said...

Hi Christine, I am glad you find the topic never know when you post something... :-)

Hi Jeanette, I have seen Suze Orman on TV and I love how she encourages women to believe that they can be financially secure. One PBS special had a moment that really impacted me. Suze was insisting that women need to 'own' their own name. She remarked how when women introduce themselves they mumble, they don't make eye contact and they give a weak handshake. She commented that when women are speakers at an event, they mumble their name when addressing the crowd. Compare that to how men say their name. She then went on to say that women understandably get that way because they start off with their family name, then their married name and then if divorced, what name to go by etc. So she said the time had come to stand up and claim you name. Decide on a name and from here on out don't say it apologetically but say it clearly and firmly.

I got the message and now I make sure that I state my name clearly and with confidence. As a business woman, I made my name part of my brand. I have to admit that I was self conscious about this at first.

I guess it was a message I needed to hear. Thanks for the Suze reminder Jeanette. I shall visit her website.

Hi Anita, I am delighted you liked my M. Do you collect letters in general or just the letter M? I had so much fun creating this letter that I came away inspired to do the entire alphabet. Like I need another project! :-)

I won't be reinventing the wheel in this series. It will all have been said before by others but I hope that maybe I can present the info in such a way that it 'sticks'. I think sometimes we just need to hear the same messages over and over again until we actually start to incorporate the advice into our lives. I listened to and read a lot of stuff back in my 'stuck' days. I finally found some info that helped me move from moaning and whining into action. So my goal will be to help the readers get from just taking in all sorts of great info to actually taking the actions they need to.

Do feel welcome to give feedback...And yikes, I have big shoes to fill if I am up next after Alyson Stansfield! :-)

Teresa said...

Wonderful post, Teresa! At the moment I feel like I'm progressing steadily... but it was just a few short months ago that your description would have fit me.

Thanks too for the helpful comments you left on my blog recently (about achieving a smooth look with cp and various surfaces). I re-read them this morning and it's really good info. Thanks a bunch for sharing your knowledge!