How to Not Only Stay Motivated, But Flourish in Hard Times


: the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

If you're going through a rough patch and having a hard time staying motivated, you're not alone. For months at a time, I'll go through periods where I have to push past the uninspired, murky, indifferent, stale thoughts and feelings vying to keep me down and unproductive. With my schedule, I can't risk being stuck, so I've learned a few techniques to keep me going even in my worst of moments.

Here are 4 tactics I use not only to survive hard times, but to flourish in the midst of them:
1. Remember: This too shall pass. Trust me when I tell you I understand the seemingly never-ending drudge of hard times and down moments. My best practice here is to remind myself that nothing lasts forever and brace for the storm until it's over. It will always be over. Of course, when in the midst of the monotony, we need more to keep us going than that, but it's the start. Embracing the truth of our hardest moments can bring powerful realizations and deep transformations, so taking advantage of these times while recognizing they won't last forever is key.
2. Understand the consequences. Too many of us drift into a dismal lethargy when we feel down or uninspired, but we don't consider the outcome of staying in such a state. Think forward into next week, next month, the next few months when you finally emerge your bright and triumphant self again. What will you have left unattended if you don't stay on top of things now? What will be unfinished? How much will you have to backtrack? What will you have to explain? What about your reputation, will it have unraveled while you weren't maintaining your success because you were too busy sulking and ignoring aftermath?
3. Remember why you're here - or create a new reason. It's difficult to feel the passion and excitement of life when we're down in the dumps, but remaining clear on why you do what you do will keep your mind on an underlying stable ground even in the darkest of times. If you're in the depths of obscurity as you read this (I'm so dramatic, right?), you may not have laid out that foundation ahead of time and you'll simply need to find a new reason to stay afloat now. In this case, think of your future, what you want, who you want to be, what you would love to do - then remember you'll have that opportunity if you just keep moving forward. So keep moving forward.
4. Be generous. Ask yourself, "Where/how can I add value?" in any situation you're involved in. This is the single most effective way to stay up when you feel down. Consistently giving to others takes the focus off of you and directs it outward, where you'll be forced to get out of your mind even for a few minutes. From that point, you can parlay those vibes into the next constructive scenario. Reach for one feeling better than the last and keep going from there. Everyone has something to offer, we all have talents, skills, gifts, and bright spots. Make it a point to use those in every possible situation, especially when you're going through rough times.

My most somber and painful moments have spawned the most longstanding and beneficial developments in my life. I learn how strong and helpful I can be, I participate in the most rewarding acts of generosity, I find new ways to show sentiment for others and I determine that I'll give back even if just to pass the time and distract myself...and it works.
Lastly, striving to fall back into alignment with your greatest self can save you from the lowest vibrations of discouragement. I urge you to find a meditation practice that connects you to who you really are, even in the most disheartening moments in life. Mindfulness can alter the framework of your mind and easily rival medication specifically intended to battle certain effects on the brain caused by depression or sadness.

Photo by sydney zentz on Unsplash

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