Motivation is not always easy to find. In my case, I had a big idea rambling around in my head, waiting to be put into action. I sat on it for a while, wondering if it’d stick with me and prove itself legitimate, not just a passing thrill that I got excited about after a couple of beers. It did, but still, I wasn’t acting.
Fresh off the plane from a visit to the States, where I spent time with friends and family, the number one thing I miss about life in Namibia, I was in a bit of a low this week. Returning to a country where, besides my man and our animals, I’m pretty much on my own, can be disheartening. However, I tried to light a fire under my butt, saying, “Look, you’re not going to live in Namibia forever. Make the best of it while you’re here, and then when the time comes to move on, you’ll know the years weren’t wasted.” And so, I gradually pumped myself up for the year ahead and tackling my big idea. Although I was still half-exhausted from the long, nearly-sleepless flight, I stuck with the mantra “make the best of it” and pushed forward.
But as the first days slipped by and the load of farm work waiting for me quashed any productivity I had for my personal plans, I began wondering if I’d dreamt too big. Thoughts like, “you have no idea what you’re doing, you’re gonna screw it up”, and, “stick with the projects you’ve got, and maybe later you can start something new when you have more time”, totally deflated my let’s-go attitude. And even the current projects, like writing a blog post, seemed monumental.
But this morning I knew I had to post something, I’d neglected it the whole time in the States. I just had no idea what to write about. So, of course, I procrastinated and piddled around on the internet, rather than committing to writing.
Slowly, though, a message started to reveal itself.
My sister’s boyfriend posted something on Facebook about no more zero days. An email from a writer’s mailing list had a quote from Amy Poehler about taking risks, getting out of your comfort zone, doing what you’re afraid of, even if you think you aren’t ready. And here on WordPress, a (again, writing) blog I follow, talked about taking little actions until you get the results you want. The message was persistent: do something everyday towards your goal, even if it’s small. You’ll never know if you don’t try and even if you fail, you learn something new.
I got straight over to my blog and started typing. My butt was lit.
It all sounds so trite, I know, but sometimes the trite stuff is exactly what you need to hear. The cosmos knew it, and loaded me up with a big helping of it.
So, moral-of-the-story #1 is: Procrastination isn’t always what it seems. If you’re paying attention, you might just find what you’re looking for.
But, don’t forget moral-of-the-story #2: No giving up. Do something everyday, no matter how small, that moves you closer to your goal. Because we all know, a little bit, over time, adds up to a lot.
As for my big ideas, small steps, alongside the farm work, are making me feel that they’re achievable. Maybe, I’ll even make some friends along the way. Or at least find better conversationalists than my cats.