These are my thoughts as I try to get going this morning, coffee in hand, feeling beat up and old, and trying to stay motivated in 2021.
It’s been over a year and we are still walking around with masks on, the COVID fear is still being pumped across all media, the job market still sucks (at least in Tampa, FL) and if you are 55 like me, or close to it, staying motivated in 2021 is tough.
I never remember a time in my entire life that the country is so divided, hate is being spewed out of so many mouths, and there is such a lack of respect for authority, other people, property, seniors, and even oneself. My parents have never seen anything like it in their lifetime either, and it’s alarming and sad.
But regardless of all of that, this is the environment we have to work in to accomplish our goals.
Can’t Look Forward
As I continue to learn about online business and the different ways to generate income online, I follow some experts online. Most often I watch their videos or listen to their podcasts while I am doing other things, and they are motivating and informational, all giving their opinion on what they feel the best path to success is.
I finish listening or watching and get to work on making my goals happen, but as soon as I take a break to go check the mail, or have a cup of coffee, I find it hard to get back to it again.
I fight through it, but then when relaxing in the evening I begin to assess where I am at and what the rest of the year looks like. I am still unemployed and have not been able to find a job, and my knees and shoulders prevent me from doing physical work, but I do not qualify to be considered “disabled”.
Thank God for the unemployment extension for COVID, but that will most likely end in September, and then the income stops. Then what? Successful businesses, like everything else, take time to build, and I know I will have to find a job with good health benefits, while I continue to work on my goals on the side.
This is the first time in my life I can’t look forward beyond a week or two. I have no answers, and everything is a huge unknown based on the government and current state of our economy and society.
I have lived with a warrior mindset my whole life, fighting on no matter what the obstacles, and always getting back up after life has knocked me down, but this time is different.
Maybe it’s because of my age, maybe because it is that my injuries and physical limitations have made my resume pretty much null and void, but finding the motivation to keep going, fighting, and working toward my goals is tougher than ever.
I hear motivational podcasts and watch motivational videos on everything from business to martial arts, to bodybuilding, but they wear off quickly, and I am left to just gut it out and push myself to work out, write an article, create a course, and look for work.
Many days, while my wife is at work, and I am home looking for jobs and working on my goals, the motivation vanishes, and I feel like just crawling back in bed, but I never do. I just push forward, but my productivity suffers severely.
The military and martial arts are in my blood and the indomitable spirit they produced in me will never allow me to quit, no matter how bad it gets or how much pain I find myself in.
I know there are many more out there feeling the same things and in the same situation during this “pandemic” but quitting or sitting around doing nothing is not the answer for me, or anyone else.
I don’t know what depression feels like (maybe there is a bit of that setting in) but I do know that the struggle is predominantly mental. Yes, there are physical challenges that must be dealt with, but the motivation to do what needs to get done, focusing on our goals, and shutting out the hate and negativity going on all around us is all a mental game.
I’m reminded of a scene in my favorite movie The Last Samurai where Tom Cruise is learning to use the sword and keeps getting beaten. He is told he has “too many minds” that he is focusing on his opponent, the people watching, the sword, and everything around him instead of just being in that moment and only focusing on the task in front of him, allowing his body and mind to push forward and do what it knows must be done.
You can check the clip out below, and if you have never seen The Last Samurai I highly suggest you watch it.
Being a martial artist I know this, and I am embarrassed how I have allowed my physical limitations to interfere with my training and how far I have drifted from such lessons.
To stay motivated in 2021, we all must tune out the noise, the hate, and fear spread by the media, those we think are watching and/or judging us, what others think, or those hating on us. We must quiet our minds, and just let ourselves do what we know needs to be done to reach our goals, change our situation, and achieve the future and life we want, not what anyone else says we should do.
We need to take time, even if it is only 10-15 minutes a day to get alone by ourselves in a quiet space, and just breathe, allowing our minds to slow down from the barrage of messages it takes in every second.
Be grateful and thank God for the blessings we do have, and we all have something to be grateful for, and for the opportunity to have another day to make a positive difference.
Then, with “no mind” given to all of the noise out there, work on the next task at hand and focus only on getting it done. Once that is accomplished, move on to the next, paying the last one “no mind” because it is done and in the past, your next task or opponent is in front of you.
Staying motivated in 2021 is a difficult task at best, and I don’t think it’s really about staying motivated as much as it is staying focused on the next task in front of us, and only that task until it is completed,
The sayings, memes, podcasts, and videos help, but they aren’t long lasting. We need to start drowning out all of the noise, hate, and fear of 2021, and have “no mind” other than the moment we are in, the task immediately before us, and allowing ourselves to just act, letting our body and mind do what it knows it must.
Each and every day, doing all that I can do, and leaving the rest at God’s feet, because I know there is so much totally out of my control. I leave all of that with Him, and refuse to worry about it or pay it any more thought. I have faith and know that He will handle it according to His will.