I searched this question on Google today, hoping that somehow I’d mysteriously find it there. To my surprise, there were pages and pages of articles and message boards filled with people asking exactly the same thing. Though I didn’t find my OWN motivation on the search engine, it was good to know that I wasn’t alone in my query.
I was full of motivation in my 20s. I was a writer and a comic, flitting from one city to another. I had a great day job and an exciting night job. I had hopes of one day getting married and having children and having a TV show and living in a mansion. I saw the Yellowbrick Road in front of me, right there under my ruby slippers with Oz sparkling on the horizon. Where the Hell did it go? I’ve checked everywhere for it and it’s nowhere to be found. It’s not in the closet, it’s not under the couch, it’s not in an old notebook or even tucked into my old pair of gym shoes. It’s just completely M.I.A. Sometimes if I walk around JoAnn Fabrics for an hour or so, I glimpse my motivation behind a bolt of fabric, or shoved behind a row of glitter pens. But my last two trips yielded nothing. I left only buying a Sprite from the checkout because I was so parched from spinning my wheels.
To say that I’m too unmotivated to even look for my motivation isn’t an understatement. In fact, I’m barely motivated to write this blog post, but figured that if I just kept writing, somehow the motivation would pop up. So far…nothing.
You see, I’m stuck. Every couple years, as my savings account dwindles down to dangerously low levels and my job seems to be dragging and lagging without any hope of advancement in sight – I start to panic. I have a sudden urge to better myself – to make more money, get creative, change the world, sock more money away, come up with an idea that will free me from the ol’ 9-to-5. But the more I force myself to think about becoming motivated enough to be motivated, I come up blank. Truly, blank. It’s like that Chinese woven thing you put on your fingers. The harder you pull at it, the harder it is to release. Same with my motivation. All I seem to be motivated enough to do these days is sleep.
About every 28 days my hormones motivate me for a few hours. There’s a small window of opportunity where sparks start to fly. My mind clears and all sorts of ideas come rushing through. I write them down, start to research them, get really excited that perhaps my motivation is BACK and then…BAM! The window shuts and out go the lights. I have to wait another 28 days for PMS to usher in a little estrogen-fueled brainstorm session. But as of this writing, nothing earth-shattering has come to pass.
There are three things that often stop me from carrying my “good” ideas to the next step. We can call these “Motivation Busters.” Those are:
1. Lack of funding.
2. I’m too old for anyone else to be excited about what I have to say, and…
3. Crap, somebody already thought of that!
If I were independently wealthy, I’d have already had 10 ideas go to market. But I never seem to have enough funding to even get them off the ground. Either that, or I discover after a quick Google search that my million dollar idea has already been thought of by 5 other people. And none of them seem to be millionaires from it, either.
When I think about getting my resume out there to perhaps get a higher-paying job, I immediately shut down. I mean, who is going to want to hire a 48-year-old? Everyone wants 22-year-olds, don’t they? They want the young dreamers, the fresh-faced grads, the just-sprouted youth who are all poised behind the starting line waiting for the gun to go off. Experience seems to be equated with “stale” and “baggage” and employers are looking to hire blank slates.
This can’t be all there is to life, is it? I mean, is where I am now where I’m going to stay forever? I can’t bear the thought of that. I’ve never been one to stagnate. And I don’t want to do it now.
If I could just get motivated enough to think about what I need to be motivated about I’d have enough motivation to get out of bed today and think about my next big motivator in life.