Can I be real for a moment? Sometimes it’s really hard to find motivation. There are times when I don’t want to write, or there are times when I do want to write, but I have no motivation to put words on the page. And then there are times when all that I want to do is go back to bed, to slip beneath the blankets at 7:00 p.m. before the sun has even set. We all have days when our enthusiasm for life is at an all-time low… and that’s okay.
It’s okay to have moments when we feel so drained that all we want to do is lay on the floor right where we are for a couple of hours. But what’s important is that we don’t remain in that place, that we don’t let those moments turn into hours, and hours into days, days into weeks, and weeks into a permanent mindset. I’ll admit that I’m living in one of those moments devoid of motivation right now. It’s an effort to complete the keystrokes to type these words… but I’m doing it anyway; because I know that I need to because I know that if I don’t, I’ll regret it later and because I know that nothing in life is easy. Sometimes you have to push through the hard times even when everything inside you is screaming for you to crumple onto the floor.
There’s a phrase that we have at my workplace for when someone hits that wall in the afternoon when all motivation and productivity goes out the window: “It’s 4 o’clock [insert person’s name here]”. If we’re honest, every single one of us has 4 o’clock moments throughout our days, weeks, months, and years. They happen, and there’s not a whole lot we can do to prevent them. In fact, I’ve found that when I try to ward off the 4 o’clock Katherina, all I end up doing to creating the perfect opportunity for her to slip in.
Inspiration strikes us at different points, and motivation moves in the same ways. It’s really easy to work when you feel inspired when your energy is high, and you feel like you can take on the world. It’s much more difficult to work when you feel drained and devoid of revelation. It’s in those moments of complete and utter lack of a driving force in our lives that we have to push through. We have to step out of our soon-to-be spiralling emotions and look back at all of the things that have happened in our lives to bring us to this point. All of the passions that set our souls ablaze. The issues and injustices that gets our blood boiling. The people who are cheering us on because they know that we are capable of creating amazing things. Those are all things that influence us, that start a fire in our belly, and that kick our butts into gear.
We need to be proactive whenever we feel ourselves slipping into a 4 o’clock state of mind. We need to remind ourselves of the forces that push us forward and encourage us to keep fighting the good fight, even if all that means for today is forcing yourself to sit down for 30 minutes and write (I’m speaking from personal experience here). Not every day has to be the most productive day of your life, but every day should be filled with a momentum that propels you forward, not excuses that keep you stranded in feelings of discouragement.
Step back, re-evaluate what kicks you into high gear, and channel that passion into the rest of your life. It’s okay to have days where all we want to do is lay under the blankets and wait for tomorrow to come, but what’s important is that we don’t live our lives in that space. What’s important is that we acknowledge that feeling, and then push past it to a place of renewed strength to face our days and our to-do lists with as much get-up-and-go as we can muster.
My challenge for you (and myself) is to combat the feelings of apathy with the truths of God’s calling on our lives and to live out our days in reflection of that.
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain.”
– 1 Corinthians 15:55