As we come to a close on 2018, I wanted to share some thoughts on motivation. I was recently asked by a friend what my morning ritual was, and as I explained my daily habits, he asked: “what motivates you?” I had to pause and think carefully because many things came to mind, yet I wanted to share the deepest sense of motivation I had for the way I try to live my life, personally and professionally. (I find little if any distinction between the two.)
Then I remembered this graphic that was generated for me by an app based on my age. It shows my life’s “battery” and how much “energy” remains based on an average lifespan.
That’s when I realized that I’m most motivated by my desire to use that energy as wisely as possible. Learning that I had “32%” of my life’s battery left was a hard cold necessary reality check. Time is what I value more than anything else, because it is the most valuable thing I possess, and is the only thing I possess that will continue to increase in value as I get older.
I could certainly earn more money doing other things, and that might seem motivating, but I’d have to give up the time I spend doing what I love, which I decided long ago I could not do. There were certainly huge compromises in that choice, but time is consumed at a constant and steady rate, without any regard for me and what I want. I can only exercise control over how I use the time given to me, nothing more.
We only get one opportunity to utilize the time we have for the benefit of our mental and physical well being. We can improve our lives by considering how best to develop those areas, or simply coast with each passing moment, often without us realizing it.
I want to be as intentional as I can with my time, whether that means actually working hard at something I value, like creative pursuits of being the best husband and father I can be. Or just using the time to enjoy life, letting its ephemeral and fleeting nature sink in for just a moment, realizing how precious each and every breath really is.
This should be the starting point for our engagement with reality and nature. It teaches us to clarify the meaningless from the meaningful, and realize that life is a gift. As Neil Degrasse Tyson says, we are the lucky ones that beat the enormous odds against life in the universe and were given the gift to experience a tiny sliver of consciousness.
What a beautiful idea that is. I want to minimize the time I spend worrying about money, possessions, anger, jealousy, and selfishness. I still have much to learn for sure, but I believe my life is much better lived when I help others and try to make the world a better place, even in my tiny zone of influence. And I feel good helping and sharing my hard earned lessons with others, simple as that.
That’s all I need to get up every morning and keep going. The struggle and opportunity to improve and grow is a privilege I don’t ever want to forfeit.
I’ll have more to share about success, morning rituals, and creative expression, and photography in the coming year.
Have a Great 2019!
“You live as if you were destined to live forever, no thought of your frailty ever enters your head, of how much time has already gone by, you take no heed. You squander time as if you drew from a full and abundant supply, though all the while that day which you bestow on some person or thing is perhaps your last.” -Seneca