Motivation is a fickle thing.
Last week I was riding a wave of success in writing every day while also successfully completing most of my other daily commitments (meditating for fifteen minutes and reading for around an hour). As you may have noticed, though, I’ve gone a few days now without publishing anything. What’s striking about this, at least for me, is how the difference between how I was feeling in the midst of my steady routine and how I’m feeling now is so small. It’s not like I was riding a manic high and now I’m pulling myself through a deep depression. It’s not that at all.
I think that’s why I’m left sitting here without necessarily a super clear point of view about this. On the one hand, the fact that the difference between me functioning at my highest capacity and me being just okay is not particularly great, is reassuring. Meaning, it shouldn’t be too hard to tap back into that more elevated state of mind because it’s not that far from where I am right now. On the other hand, the fact that all it takes is an extremely minor slip in focus or motivation or discipline for me to be at a place where I’m not doing the things I know I need to do is pretty disconcerting. It means I need to be ever more vigilant to make sure that minor slip doesn’t happen. Or, if it does, identifying it immediately and then taking corrective action (which is what this article that I’m currently writing at 10:30 PM even though I want to go to sleep actually is).
I guess that’s the point of developing habits and routines, right? If something is truly a habit then you don’t have to sit down and write an article about how the balance point between executing your intentions perfectly and consistently failing at those intentions is so small. I’ll never feel the urge to write an article about how my tooth brushing habit has started to slide or that I keep forgetting to do my Friday pizza routine. That’s what makes them habits and routines. They have been successfully offloaded from my conscious mind and are now just things that happen.
Anyway, the fact that I was able to write anything this week while finishing up a major 6 month project and preparing for a vacation is a step in the right direction. I’ve been surprised by the reaction these silly little articles have elicited from folks in the responses here on Medium and on Twitter. I’ve really appreciated chatting with people about some of the ideas I’ve written about over the past week and a half. Let’s keep doing that.
Finally, I’m headed out the door for a two week vacation that’s going to be fairly off the grid. I’ll still be writing daily but those efforts won’t be finding their way to Medium (at least, not right away). A large part of this vacation (10 days of which will be completely by myself) is to try to really focus in on these daily habits I’ve been trying to inculcate which is probably why this topic is on my mind.
Keep the lights on while I’m gone — see you in a couple weeks!
I try to write articles every day (or as close to every day as I can manage) in 30 minutes or less. This was today’s. Thanks for reading.