Inspired by the post at the Merriweather Council Blog (http://www.merriweathercouncilblog.com/), I decided to think a little about myself and what motivates me.

My mother taught me to embroider before I could write. Admittedly, it was on one of those children’s plastic cavases and it took me a year to complete due to lack of patience, but it illustrates my point. Crafting is second nature to me. So now when I think of a job I would enjoy doing, I think of one where I have enough freedom to be creative and work on projects that inspire me… But most employers demand highly qualified people for those jobs, so the way is shut for people like me, who suddenly find themselves adults and realise that employers ask for more than a good school record. So the best solution seems to be self-employment: opening my own handmade business.

I found that this process of ‘job selection’ can be reversed at times of low motivation. Feeling like the whole business thing is taking up a little more time than you’d like? Think about the alternatives. Most people of my age work in retail or in cafes, and both are my ideas of hell. I don’t mind dealing with customers, but doing it face-to-face several hours a week? No thanks. Running a business may require more hours and, at least initially, bring comparatively little revenue, but at the very least I get a feeling of accomplishment, rather than a general feeling of dislike for humans.

For me, there is a very strong link between creativity and motivation. If I can get motivated to start working, the cogs in the head start whirring and things start going smoothly. And when I say ‘get motivated’, I mean get so engrossed in or excited about a task that I don’t get distracted. Distractions often block the flow of thought. Meditation is the most efficient way I’ve found to achieve this when I need some help. I know I’m joining a huge chorus of voices when I start praising meditation, but for what it’s worth I’ll throw my penny in anyway:

  1. Meditation helps me to organise and prioritise thoughts and tasks. I have never been good at setting plans on paper: rather, there is a portion of my ‘mental space’ devoted to the calendar. When I need to remember an event, I imagine the calendar and fill in the date and timing; I also keep a small ‘to do’ list along with my calendar. It’s efficient up to a point, but I need to get better at writing all that on paper.
  2. Meditation helps me clear my mind and focus. It can help me remember why I’m doing something and to what end – that gets me excited and bam! motivation appears! It also prevents distractions, so I can get the job done nicely and efficiently.
  3. Meditation on the subject allows me to consider a problem from different angles. It’s like having a moodboard or a pinboard in your head, and the wonderful thing about it is that you can tailor how that thing looks and works perfectly to yourself. Just don’t forget to note down the end result.

Of course, if the creative going gets really tough, Pinterest is a good place to go to. I have a separate board for inspiration, www.pinterest.com/growevergreen/inspirational/ which I go to in times of trouble. If you have a look, you may notice that there is a strong nature and landscape thing going on – that is no accident, as I know for a fact that I find nature the most inspiring. Getting to know yourself like that is rather useful, too, as you have a ready-established source of inspiration to go to when you need to.

To bring this to an end, I’d just like to note one thing: if you realise you aren’t fulfilling a goal, that is no reason to give up. Case in point: I was planning to make this blog a daily one, and so far success has been rather varied. However, every day is a new start, and success is a working progress; I may have missed some days, but I won’t give up on the goal yet!

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