Motivation-Are you looking? she’s right there!

Motivation is a strange thing, as mysterious as the sea and mercurial as a cat. At times, it can be easy to grasp and other times it manages to stay just beyond our reach. I’ve tilted with this windmill myself, throughout my writing career. I wish I could say it gets easier, but it never really does.

There are those people who always seem full of energy and never lacking for motivation. As much as I would like to be like that, I just can’t seem to manage it. Although I am a writer, much like many writers I have a “day job” to pay the bills until writing becomes more than a passion. I’ve published several novels and continue to do the right things, but success is writing is as much about luck as it is hard work. Some days, you take the good with the bad.

I’m certainly not into Crossfit, I’m not a fixture at my local gym and I’m not always happy-go-lucky. Some days, I’m just in a bad mood. That doesn’t mean you can’t still motivate yourself. There will be times with it will take a bit more effort than others. Depending on what you are going through, it will vary just as much. We’re all different and unique. What works for some of us might not work so well for others. Sometimes, it only takes willpower. Others, it might take a bit more than that. It’s different for each of us.

I can’t give you a “be all, end all” list of things that will motivate you. I don’t think anyone can. There will be people who claim if you buy their “program” then you’ll lose weight, grow hair, get the weeds out of you garden and transform yourself into the perfect you. However, I’m a realist and I know that there’s no cookie cutter solution.

The following is a list of things that have worked for me. They might help you or you might just find that they point you in the right direction. Your path to motivation will likely be as unique as you are. Don’t be fooled by the plethora of “self-help gurus” out there.

  1. Music can be used to bring emotional change in a big way. There have been entire studies done about it. Look into the psychology behind it if you like, but I assure it that it works. Select music that fits the mood you are trying to achieve. If you’re trying to inspire your writing, try something that is soothing and promotes creativity. If you’re needing extra energy, try something with a heavy beat or really powerful lyrics. Only you truly know the music that really gets to you.
  2. Yeah, I know. I’m not pushing the gym or anything, but you’d be amazed at the difference that you will feel by just taking a walk along a nature trail or hitting the treadmill for a good jog. The truth behind this is nothing more than a release of endorphins. Exercise releases them and you will “feel” better.
  3. There’s an old adage that says “change your surroundings, change you mood.” It’s true. Go sit on the beach, by a lake or a river, or even just find a rock in the park. Being away from all the hustle and bustle of everyday life can let you just breathe in your surroundings and let go of that stress you’ve been bottling up inside. Besides, even if it doesn’t work, you’ve spend a few moments enjoying the beauty of nature. Even if you’re not motivated, you will undoubtedly feel better.
  4. Reward yourself with something that tastes good. You don’t have to go overboard and eat an entire cheesecake, but a small piece that you savor and enjoy slowly will fire off the receptors in your brain and make you feel better.
  5. Bake some cookies, drive by a bakery, go to a flower shop and just smell the flowers. Smell evokes strong memories and can take you back to more pleasant times in your mind. Believe it or not, it really works.
  6. I can’t tell you how great it feels to go sit in a sauna. If you’ve never experienced it, it’s totally worth the cost of a gym membership just to enjoy the sauna. Not only is it great to sweat and clear your pores, breathing in the moist, humid air feels amazing. Give it a shot, sometime. I really think you’ll love it.
  7. A good drink can wash away a myriad of stresses. Be that your favorite juice, a soda or an alcoholic beverage. Again, the key is moderation. I’d never recommend overindulging in any drink, especially strong ones. However, this keys into taste. I’m a scotch guy and just sipping a glass of that strong, smoky liquid makes me smile and relax while I appreciate the subtle layers of flavor. Find your own taste sensations.

 

Basically, anything that engages your senses on any fundamental level can alter your mood. By learning what things invoke different moods, you can use that as a guide to inspire whatever mood you choose. That’s the key to motivation. Breaking the cycle of being in a bad mood or “just not in the mood” to accomplish your task.

In one way or another, I’ve used each of these methods at different times to motivate me in my writing and in my “day job.” Sometimes all you need is a nudge in the right direction. Motivation isn’t something that you have to pay to achieve. Don’t let the latest craze or fad motivational speaker lie to you and trick you into purchasing an expensive program that really does nothing more than make you feel like an idiot when it doesn’t work.

Take some time to take care of yourself. Too often we forget the simple things in the rat race of our daily lives. Eat a good meal, have that slice of pie, listen to that music. Take a moment to remember the things you love and enjoy. You’ll be surprised to find that will motivate you in ways you could never imagine.

I tell this to the fans of my writing, but it applies to life as much as it does to literature. Writing is a journey that we all take together. Thank you for taking it with me.

By DA Roberts. Author and an inspirer

 

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Guest Post- First taste of Ceroc

 

My husband wasn’t even my husband as we walked through the shopping mall in the centre of busy Norwich. The month was September, the date I have no idea, but it was a dull Saturday in 2007. Wandering aimlessly, with no real purpose, we were each happy to enjoy the other’s company. Drawn to the lively beat of music playing at the far end of the mall, we headed towards the happy sound. As we drew nearer, we realised it was a dance class demonstration. A local Ceroc franchise was showing off their skills and encouraging newbies to go along to learn to dance, meet new friends and, apparently, it would be the most fun we could have midweek!

We were hooked on the idea of a new and shared experience, heading to the website to find our local classes, we chose one and, a few short weeks later, we stood in front of the desk, filling in membership forms with hands ever-so-slightly trembling with anticipation.
The dance teacher announced the start of the class and couples headed to the dance floor while single dancers, headed to the side of the room to pair up with other singletons. None of it mattered because the dancers moved along the rows, learning to dance with everyone in the room. The first move was broken down into smaller parts and, midway through the move, the ladies were asked to move four men along. Reluctantly letting go of my partner’s hand I moved along and, only in my life could this happen, came face to face with one of my ex-boyfriends. One word threatened to escape BUGGAR! Composure firmly in place, the actual word that was uttered was HELLO!

The class continued and, having learned only three moves which was most definitely enough for the first night, we felt like Fred and Ginger as we danced said moves repeatedly. Resolve firmly in place, we signed up for the latest offer and tucked away our 6 for the price of 3 card and left with much excitement and very sore toes.
As with most new ventures, the way to improve is to practice, practice and practice again. We practiced in our tiny lounge, bickering being a major part of our sessions, and we attended two classes a week for months. Slowly, but surely, we started to improve, and dancing quickly became a huge part of our lives. At times, we struggled, and tears were high on the agenda. Mine, not my partner’s. He struggled with some moves but soldiered on, bravely asking teachers and fellow dancers alike to join him for a dance. I, on the other hand, hid away from other dancers. I followed my partner when he went to the bar and even to the toilet (I didn’t go in with him, naturally) but it meant I could avoid dancing with strangers. I was so nervous that if I noticed a male dancer approaching the table, I darted to the toilet myself or launched myself into my dance bag and continued to rummage until the danger had passed. This went on for months. Sometimes I wasn’t quick enough and, the answer ‘no’ being light-heatedly frowned upon when asked to dance at Ceroc classes, I had to dance. I was often difficult to lead and bordering on rigid, such was my fear of tripping over or making a fool of myself.

Looking back, I wish I had danced with more strangers as my fears would have passed far more quickly.
Having now danced for over ten years, my husband (that happened about two years into our dance classes) and I are now good dancers and do our best to encourage beginners to enjoy the experience and not take themselves so seriously. We didn’t start our dance lessons until we were in our late thirties, but it doesn’t matter when you start. Learning to dance is a fun, enjoyable experience and, unless auditioning for the Royal Ballet, should remain so. Looking back, it’s the one thing I would tell my non-dancer self. BE YOURSELF. RELAX. DANCE WITH ANYONE AND EVERYONE WHO ASKS YOU.

My husband was recently asked to become a helper in the beginner class, we call them Taxi Dancers, and I dance with the dance teacher on stage. Don’t be overly-impressed, I do not teach. I follow the lead of the teacher and simply demonstrate the follow role. That is not to say I don’t find it an honor. I love that I have been chosen to demonstrate how the moves are put together. Dancing has pushed my confidence to new levels, not to mention it keeps us both fit, supple and is, apparently, extremely good as an exercise for the brain, helping with prevention of age-related dementia, for example.

I would recommend dance classes to anybody who asked me. It doesn’t have to be Ceroc. There are numerous classes such as Salsa, Ballroom, etc. Each style differs but they are all a great boost to both mental and physical health. Give it a go! Contact me if you have questions. I am always happy to spread my enjoyment and love of dance.

By Julie Goodswen, a passionate writer and dancer, she also manages (https://storytellingdancer.com)

5 Characters that will make you feel ‘The best is yet to come’.

  • Tyrion Lanister

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What!! He was totally worth even before he became the Queens’s hand. But yes, the slow  rise in power even after being despised by his own family seems amazing. I just hope George R.R Martin doesn’t read this and end up his head on a silver platter.

  • Artemisia

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Miserable childhood to the Xerxes Naval commander. Sheer hated can be so powerful.

 

  • Christopher Gardner 

pursuit-of-happyness

Male protagonist from ‘The pursuit of happiness.’ Those who saw this movie might agree. Those who haven’t, go watch it & then you might agree. The movie aint a complete fiction

 

  • Severus Snape

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I need extra sheets to describe professor Snape, but I will keep it short. Shy, different. He could impress Lilly even when a kid. Grew up into a double agent & a  wizard of an impecable reputation. But I could not digest the fact that a horcrux killed him, which was later killed by Neville Longbottom. He deserved nothing less than Avada Kedavra.

 

  • Michael Corleone

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Son of Don Corleone and he needs no introduction since HE IS THE SON OF DON CORLEONE & Al pacino played it

“Making of a man is so incomplete if void of pain and suffering”                                                -You Know Who