Finding Motivation


SUPERSCRIPT FOR CITATIONS: ¹ ² ³ ⁴ ⁵ ⁶ ⁷ ⁸ ⁹ ¹⁰

It's been a long while since I felt moved to write. It's been almost two years. I've spent that time reflecting, and I'm excited to be back. If you are reading this, hello! I hope you've been well.

I started this blog in 2019 with so many things to say, so many things I wanted to share with anyone who would listen. First I wanted to spread the word about living zero-waste, and that goal was strong enough motivation to get a procrastinator like me to buy a domain name, make my blog look nice, and churn out pages of commentary (and cite my sources, too!). Then after my manic episode, week-long hospitalization, and bipolar diagnosis, my goal shifted to simply wanting to tell my truth and feel understood, but let's be honest, I was more so shouting my truth from the rooftops. By Jan 2020 I was on a painfully slow uphill climb back to "myself." I had come to a lot of shocking realizations about myself, and the realizations that emerged in the aftermath of my manic episode warrant their own post. I was not the "me" that I wanted to be, but I was doing things again. I was figuring things out.

The pandemic hit, and we all know it was rough. But I was determined to keep going and keep climbing, particularly being lucky to still have a job. But I can't lie, I was angry inside. I was frustrated with a lot of people. My house was full of clutter and my cats were stressed. The sun-loving perennials in my garden was choking to death under invasive weeds that grew two new heads for each one I cut. I slogged through that year. Another year of wading through mud. I was jaded at work and unengaged in my hobbies and relationships. As always, I presented as cheerful, polite, and productive to my friends and family, whom I kept at a distance.

My good friend Sophie said something to me that stuck with me. While languishing over my slow mental health healing journey, I had said something like, "I just can't wait until I'm me again." And before I could barrel down yet another road of self-pity, Sophie kindly stopped me and said, "Can I say something? You're You know?" She got me thinking. It was just me, living inside my body. I was thinking of myself as categorical 'me's that were distinct from each other, when really I was a shapeshifter, not a collection of clones. If that were true, But whether this 'me' was good or bad, I knew this was not the version of me that I wanted to be.

I'm a big believer in the universe. Even random events are divine (or shall we say especially); random events exist because the universe is so vast and expansive. And one day, I came across Jim Kwik's book Limitless which was on sale for 99 cents. Even though my moods were so low that everything except watching TV felt like the most grueling chore, and even though I hadn't read a single book that year, I decided to purchase his book and read it.

I finished his book right at the end of 2020 in December and in a low-key way, it was life-changing. His book was easy to read, and he was very encouraging. He made

On New Year's Day of 2021, I had another epiphany that lasted an intense 3 days and overflowed into a week. While my manic episode had brought me the Earth-shattering realization that I was not an idiot (and, Jim's book was even better. It was the next piece of this puzzle that has been playing in the back of my head for as long as I can remember. Maybe I was smart, but so what? Being smart didn't mean I wasn't still a lazy piece of shit and a procrastinor. But Jim Kwik told me that I could grow. I could level up my brain. I could learn how to learn.

And that's kind of where I am now.

Right now I am trying to learn as much as I can. And I'm applying that knowledge. I'm implementing many self-care practices and I hardly recognize myself from a few years ago.

There was another realization that was key to my finding my motivation. My mom used to tell me as a kid, "When you really want to do something, nothing can stop you." She said this right after telling me that if I didn't want to do something, which was often, I wouldn't lift a finger. I realized that what I want most, more than anything, is a safe and productive world free of intentional violence. A place where everyone has a safe space they can call their own. Where everyone has love. Where we realize we are all blessed to live consciously on this planet, to contribute to our species and earn our place in this universe.

It's a little dramatic, but it's something as grandiose as that that has been an infinite source of motivation for me, which translates to energy. And I invest my energy into more energy-creating activities. Drinking water, cooking nutritious meals at home, practicing deep breathing, building a meditation practice, spending more time socializing, crafting a morning routine, then an evening routine, and then actually doing those routines and holy shit I have never gotten that far and can't believe I've actually done all that shit. Writing it out now, it's hard to believe that in 2017 I was chained to my bed, daydreaming of my own death on the daily, eyes glazed over like the donuts I was stuffing in my face as they stayed transfixed on my phone, television, or computer.

It's a good reminder to appreciate the journey, because I have come really far. And I notice that people don't realize that. Even people who are reasonably close to me. Pretty much anyone besides Josh, to be fair. Especially people I just met, but mostly everyone because I have that sort of a mask. We all have our own stories and struggles, and without reflection, it is impossible to appreciate how far you've come. This realization of your progress can help sustain your motivation.

But truly, motivation must come from love. I think back to Dr. Lo who told me this in one of our sessions. I almost laughed in her face. I love Disney movies and a "love is the answer" vibe as much as the next person, but love as a source of motivation? A person like me who had spent literally her entire life motivating herself through fear (learned from somewhere) could not comprehend this.

But slowly, I started to see. And slowly I began to unlock a pure and everlasting source of energy, and at no cost to my mental or physical health. It was actually improving my health; now I actually have the energy to go to the doctor, cook my own meals, and I'm well enough that I don't crave sugar and fried foods constantly (I guess I have enough dopamine? check this). When motivation comes from love, I learn to love myself and want to take care of myself and my body and brain and mind. I want to take care of my home while also giving myself a clean environment, which is great for the brain.

I do have to thank Jim Kwik for this, so shout-out to him. He's not perfect and has made minor comments that are stigmatic towards people who experience psychosis, but he is constantly learning and a strong proponent that learning is great for everyone.

If you want to find motivation, you need to first think about whether you believe that motivation can come from love. Then, think about who you love in this world. Or what vision of your future would help you feel the most abundant level of love. Then, reflect on what your goal actually is, and mind-map out multiple ways that you can achieve it. What would you do if you had the motivation and methods to do anything you want?

if you know you grow

© if you know you grow 2023.