I don’t have an inspirational quote and a pretty picture for you today. In fact, I barely have time to write this post. However, I think that my busy schedule provides a great opportunity to talk about motivation beyond nice quotes and pretty pictures. Motivation is easy when it is wrapped in a pretty bow and presented as aspirational. Everyone likes to read a quote and say, “yes, I can do this.” But how many of us read those quotes without really thinking about how to apply their message? How many of us still find excuses to not do the things that we are “motivated” to do?
For example, yesterday was a gorgeous day in Detroit. Nice temperature, very sunny, but I spent most of my afternoon doing finance homework. Why? Because it had to get done and I didn’t want to be up until midnight this week squeezing it in. To be perfectly honest, I was not happy to give up the pretty day to sit at a desk and run numbers through Excel. I was really unhappy when I was giving up that pretty day and then feeling like I wasn’t understanding part of the homework. Yet, as I went to bed last night, I felt good about what I had gotten done that day. I wasn’t behind on homework and I had plenty of time before class to figure it out. This morning I woke up and went for a run and realized that the details I struggled with in the homework suddenly made sense. If I had pushed off the homework until tonight or tomorrow, I would have been struggling closer to the deadline and added a lot of stress to my week.
The takeaway here is this, motivation does not come from pretty pictures, quotes, and hashtags on Twitter and Instagram. It comes from inside. You can like, retweet, and pin all of the quotes you want, but until you make the decision to act, those pictures are just empty promises.
Now, go take on the week!