Where does motivation come from? Are motivation and inspiration the same thing? How do we get it? Does it just happen to us when we are passionate about something, or believe something to be worth doing? Is it a skill we can develop, or the result of a disciplined practice?
These are the questions my tired brain has been asking a lot lately. Where is my motivation?
I have never been a big believer in the concept of burnout, for myself. I can completely see how it happens to other people. Single parents, in my book, are absolute superheroes. Healthcare workers in a pandemic are definitely heroes. But for me? Of course not! I have a 9-5 office job and a partner to share the load with at home. What do I have to be burned out about?
Then I find myself wondering aloud to a friend, that there must be more to life than just this grind we are in. Cook, clean, go to work, get kids to school, make sure they get their homework done, take them to the activities, clean some more, cook some more, day in and day out. Don’t forget to eat well, keep active and get enough rest. How exactly can one actually accomplish all that?
There has to be more to it right? Or less? It just doesn’t seem meaningful. What is this feeling?
Yeah, that’s burnout, they say.
Who me? Can’t be!
When you start fantasizing about having any other life than this, I figure it’s a safe bet something is amiss. Turns out even us 9 – 5’ers can get stuck, grinding away at all the daily things, and can no longer see the things that bring us joy, or even find joy in them if we can see them—and that hurts. It is exhausting. It is hard to find the motivation to get up and face yet another day of the grind. My get up and go got up and went.
Which leads me to wonder, how did the disciples do it? How did they go out day in and day out, face persecution and hate, and almost certain death if discovered by the rulers of the day? That is some kind of insanity. I can’t even bear the thought of another weekend spent doing laundry and cleaning bathrooms. No one is threatening my life. I won’t end up nailed to the cross for my convictions, or lack thereof.
Is that simply the power of the Holy Spirit? Was that the inspiration they needed to ride it out, to share the gospel—to bring God’s love to the people? And can we all have that same motivation, inspiration, and passion for our lives and what we do with them?
If we can, I haven’t found it just yet. Or it hasn’t found me. Or maybe I’m too stubborn to let it in.