I’ve allowed myself to rest the last few days and not do any work. I had an excuse, being sick, but as I get better I am still haunted by the ticking clock of deadlines and obligations. Obligations that, in some cases, I’m having trouble remembering why I continue doing them in the first place. It’s at that point that motivation switches from a reason to want to do them to a reason to simply not stop, which are the negative consequences of quitting.
There are certain commitments, like the military or school, among other things, that seem to have strong, even passionate reasons for beginning that journey. Yet, somewhere along the way, those reasons get lost, and we find ourselves doing it for the sake of not wanting the consequences of stopping more than the reward of finishing.
I am at such a point in my studies in university life. I’m sure everyone reaches that point at one time or another. Something that started possibly as a passion or exciting opportunity has turned into something that feels more like drudgery.
We can’t necessarily control the feelings, but we can change the focus, which may change the feelings later. Maybe what I’m studying, or the job you’re at, or the commitment you have doesn’t have the same appeal that it once did, but it’s not too late to salvage it to still be one of the best things in your life. If the reason you started isn’t reason enough to finish, then it’s time to dig deeper and find a strong, positive reason to finish.
We often start things because of personal desires or self-interest, but when the going gets tough, the things that pull us through more easily than doing something for ourselves, is doing something for someone or some cause that is far bigger than ourselves.
People are watching you all the time, whether you realize it or not. What you do and how you handle challenges tells people a lot about your character, and whether or not you have something deep inside you that can provide a solid foundation to push off of when life pushes you down. Without that solid foundation, people can crumble once they lose motivation or forget their reason to keep going.
What’s your foundation? What is that immovable rock that gives you solid footing, that allows you to push back and jump high again? What is the thing that is always there, that can always be counted on to give you strength when you have none left?
For me, it is my faith. So, if I can’t remember a reason to finish the commitments before me, and to keep going, even when I don’t want to, I remember that God placed me where I am for a reason, that He is perfectly good and faithful, and that if I do the work for myself, then the reward will be small and can easily be undermined as feelings and desires change over time. But if I work as for my Lord God, Jesus Christ, the reward is eternal and will be well worth my while, beyond what I can ask or imagine.
I will keep going, not for me or my own desires, because those have faded, but because the work I do is for someone and something immeasurably bigger than me.
Be a person who finishes what they start, even if you’ve lost interest in it. Feelings follow action and can be rekindled (also true in relationships). Set the example, lead with strength of character. People are watching, and children or people who look up to you will follow your example and learn how to overcome challenges by watching you. Will they see that what you’re going through can be overcome? Or will they think there is no hope?
Know your foundation, and push through!
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