The self and motivation

As a new year has come upon us, it’s healthy to assess how things went the year before and how we want to improve for this one. I don’t mean New Years Resolutions that we write down, try for the first few weeks, but then forget about by the end of January. I mean taking a real hard look at where you are and where you want to be. Looking at what type of a person you are and what type of a person you want to be.

One of my favorite things to do is to ask myself this question every time I have to make a decision: will this help me to be closer to the person God has called me to be? If it doesn’t, then it’s probably not as important as we feel it is or we should be focusing on something else. This can be applied to the simplest of decisions. What should I eat today? Will what i’m choosing to put into my body help me to become closer to what God has called me to be? Am I taking care of my body? Should I watch a few episodes of that Netflix show i’ve been binging or should I use the last half hour of light to go for a run? Should I stop and give that person sleeping outside a blanket or keep driving? Whatever the decision is, I try to remember to ask myself if it is true to my character and who I want to show to the world.

Assessing who I was last year, what decisions I made, the thoughts that I let inhabit my mind, and each action that I took, it’s easy for me to pinpoint some things that I was not doing in my best interest or in God’s. And I would like to carefully change my habits to reflect who I want to be. For example, there are moments in which I had chosen not to try my hardest and to just do the bare minimum when completing a task. And I bet you do it too. We all do. Changing this can be pretty difficult considering the ways in which our society has made it easy for us to get by while doing the bare bones. This is especially difficult now during what I like to call “COVID times” because a lot of us are working from home. We don’t have anyone looking over our shoulder making sure we are working hard. A lot if it, depending on your job, is self motivation and integrity.

Many of my work days look something like this:

A cup of tea in hand, staring at the computer.

Considering how much I also look at my phone each day, staring at the computer is not doing my mind much good. Sitting for eight hour work days is also not doing my body good. And it’s easy to slack off a little bit. To do the bare minimum. And sometimes it’s okay to do that! Having a bad day? Give yourself some ease. Have a headache or feeling under the weather? Just complete what you absolutely need to! It’s great to rest and it is highly encouraged.

On my regular day to day work day when I am feeling good, I like to remind myself that I am doing this work because it is what I am called to do. I would argue that whatever you do, even if it is not your passion, you’re called to do that in this moment. Working a temporary job that you don’t love? Inputting data? Working at a fast food restaurant where you do actually have to show up even during a pandemic? Are you an essential worker? Depending on your situation you might be either drained from having to work during a pandemic or you might just feel like doing what you have to do to get by and not putting much more effort in. Which is understandable. We’re working during a pandemic! Regardless of your situation, you’ve been placed there and we are each called to give our best effort to the best of our ability while taking care of ourselves.

I want to be a good employee not just because I have the privilege of liking my job, but because I’m a Christian and Christians should go above and beyond in everything that they do. Because that’s what Jesus did. He rested well. He worked hard. We’ve not been put where we are just to survive and wait for the next thing. We’ve been put where we are to be examples of how to live well and to work well. And in every place you are you have the opportunity to impact those around you with positivity and grace. This is true of every job in every place.

Some days last year I woke up late, slugged downstairs still in my pajamas, hardly ate, and showed up to my home “office” with an attitude of wanting to get through the day as fast as possible. And my goal this year is to do a little less of that.

I wake up on time, I fill my body with nutritious foods, I put on clothes that make me feel good. I show up to work with a positive attitude and an excitement. I make sure to stand up and stretch to keep my energy up and I remind myself to look away from the screen every once and a while. I write down lists of what I’d like to accomplish that day and take my time talking to each client making sure they know that they matter and that I am listening to them. Little things like this boost my passion for my work.

So although my work day might look like me sitting at a desk in front of a computer, at least I am dressed for success and feel ready to do my job with some “umph.” This attitude will impact not only yourself, but those who are witness to your radiating love and happiness.

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