When motivation disappears: Having faith in what we’re doing

So when we’re starting something new, it’s usually because we feel like it.
There’s some reason that drives us to do something.
It feels good.
We feel this kind of positive feedback loop as we do something more and more, and we get a good reaction, we get good results from doing it, and so we continue.
But inevitably, over time, this is going to change, because conditions will change, feelings will always change.
So what at the beginning seemed like this wonderfully fresh, new activity, then at some point will start to feel old.
It’ll start to feel like a tired routine.
It will no longer have that same kind of feeling.
It won’t give us what we want.
And that’s where the real challenge is, the real challenge of motivation.
That’s why we’re always looking for motivation.
So many people want that hit of motivation energy, so that they can be reminded of that feeling where “Wow, I am doing something good here.
This feels good.
I feel like I’m part of something good.” Inevitably, it always fades into dullness, greyness, a faded old routine that we do out of habit, becomes harder and harder, until we get that feeling refreshed.
So we cannot rely on the feeling.
We cannot rely on continuing to be motivated day after day.
We cannot trust motivation.
We cannot trust being happy and satisfied with what we’re doing in the moment continuously.
If we focus too much on the feeling in the moment, we’ll always be let down.
Because the feelings will always change.
Feelings, like the weather, like life cycles, feelings rise and fall.
I believe we need to have something that can last beyond simply feeling like doing it.
We need something else, something else that we can look to, something else we can hold on to in those times when we no longer have the feeling.
We don’t feel like doing the work.
We’ve decided that this is our program of work, that we should do, but then we no longer feel like doing the work.
That’s the time when it is necessary to have something beyond simply a feeling.
So this is where the idea of faith comes in.
And when I say the word “faith”, I immediately think of some kind of a religious faith, as the term is normally used, but it doesn’t need to be in a religious context at all.
If we simply believe in something that is not there, if we believe in something that we don’t see, believe in something we don’t have: that is faith.
If we feel like something is very boring, unfulfilling, we don’t see any signs of it yielding any rewards, it just seems like a complete dull waste of time, and we’re tired of doing it, yet we still believe that something good will come by continuing to do the work, continuing to do the activity: that is a faith in the future, a faith that we will get something out of what we’re doing, even though there’s currently no sign of it.
The feeling is empty, and yet, if we have the faith, we can continue, even without any feeling at all.
And this is the bridge that can help to go over the chasms of the bad feeling.
If I look at the activity, I can decide: is there a future reward in it for me, a future harvest? If I plant the seeds through working now, what will I harvest? What will come to me in the future? What can I believe in? What can I have faith in in what my future may be if I continue with this activity? And when it comes to self-development activities, the details can always change, and just as we learn more, we change our perspective, we learn more about ourselves, details can change.
But I believe strongly in the rewards that will come, in general, from working on ourselves, improving our lives and making things better, in whatever way, to the best that we know how, while continuing to learn.
So my idea for today, my thought, is that whatever you’re doing, if you no longer feel it, if it starts to feel empty for you, ask yourself: what do you really believe about this thing? What is the reward? What can you have confidence in, trust in, and faith in, for the future of doing this thing? If you can really picture that future state, that idea.
Even if it’s not in detail.
You may not know exactly how something will benefit you.
You may not know exactly how it will turn out.
But just the idea that it will somehow make things better.
If you can hold on and really feel the belief that what you are doing will somehow make things better, then that is something that you can have a strong faith in, and you can look to that on those days, in those times, when you’re simply not feeling it.
And if it’s something that you don’t see the payoff, if you don’t see what good it can bring to you in the future, if you don’t trust it, if you don’t trust this activity to deliver for you, then it may be time to change.
So, when we don’t feel good, then we can have faith, if we’re doing the right thing, that the good times will come back even better.

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