You have a project, an idea, an invention, a story, whatever it is - and you want to make it happen. You’re so excited and passionate, and you dream about this thing coming to fruition. You imagine yourself at the finish line; triumphant and glorious! What can possibly stand in your way?
The rubber then meets the road and you realize all the things you have to do to make this thing happen. Oh... I have to spend money to start a website? I need to invest capital to purchase products to make my things and sell? I have to spend hours, and hours, and hours of my precious time devoted to this thing?
Well.. maybe it wasn’t such a great idea after all.
The light fades, the idea dissipates, and your life goes on.
But why does it have to be that way?? It doesn’t! What you need to do is keep yourself motivated. Think long term goals and ask yourself these questions:
- Do I want my life to look the same 5 years from now?
- Am I really okay with where I’m at?
- What if the idea really could work?
- Am I just being lazy?
Be honest with yourself here. If you genuinely want your life to look better than it is now and you want to be better off in 5 years than your situation at this very moment, well what are you waiting for? If you answered yes to that last question… well, then you better get your butt in gear. Slothfulness is really dangerous and it does absolutely NOTHING for passion projects.
So how do you stay motivated? Let me break it down for you:
1.) Have a long term mindset
If you are thinking short term only, you are guaranteed to lose motivation very quickly. Yes, starting something new from the ground up takes time. You’ll be spending many hours, sometimes pulling all-nighters, and *gasp* you’ll probably have to do work over the weekend. (I know, I know, a scary thought, right?)
But the truth is, that’s only going to be for a short period of time, a “season”, if you will. During that season you will definitely bust your butt, but in the long term, it will pay off.
That’s why you have to keep your eyes set on long term goals and realize that if you sew strong, labor-laden seeds now, you’ll reap robust, huge rewards.
2.) Protect your passion
What this means is that you have to make sure that your passion (whatever that is) doesn’t become work for you. Most people, sadly, do not like their current jobs. They robotically go to work everyday, counting down the minutes until they can come home.
You don't ever want that to happen to your passion. I can write many more blog posts on this concept, but the short of it is this - make sure your bills are covered by a day job that is in a different industry than what you love to do. This way, you are not drained of the energy that you need for your passion and it doesn't become a dreaded "job". I'll expand on this in a future post.
3.) Setting goals within goals
Ultimately there is one big goal you want to reach. Sometimes it can be so big that it's daunting and you get jaded. The way to stave off that burnout and keep the motivation at full steam is to break up your goal into smaller, more manageable goals.
If you want to become well known for your craft and have a sustainable income from it, first thing you should do is spend time perfecting that craft. Within that goal, set daily tasks that will make you be able to achieve a higher degree of proficiency at whatever it is you want to do.
If you want to be a freelance illustration artist, you need to be skilled. So a manageable goal would be to make the commitment to draw every single day. That doesn't seem so scary as the thought of having to drive off all other competition and become top dog in the illustration industry, now does it?
You have to set for yourself goals that you feel are within reach. As you accomplish each goal, not only does it feel good, but you're one step closer to reaching your ultimate goal.
Now go out there, get motivated, stay motivated, and pursue that passion!
Share in the comments below what you're passionate about. What awesome project are you working on? What stage are you at in the process? I want to know!
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Thank you! :)