Finding The Balance Between Being Motivated And Being Present

I’ve been mulling something over lately and thought now (currently it’s 12:18 a.m. and I’m WIDE awake) would be the perfect time to dig into it a bit. I’m hoping I’ll fall asleep fast. If not, at least I’ll be able to get some of these thoughts put into words.

Okay, so here’s what’s on my mind: I’ve been working at being increasingly more present (especially since having Maggie) and, though I still definitely have some work to do (I know I check Instagram waaaay too often, for example, when I’m hanging out at home with Kevin) I do feel like I’ve made good strides. One of my favorite things about being present is how it reminds me to be so grateful for what I have. Right now. This very minute. As Walt Whitman wrote:


YES. This is perfectly worded, and so incredibly important. I do, in fact, have so much to be thankful for today, and I’m well aware of it and so very grateful.

But here’s the rub: I also want (and need) to be a person who’s future focused and who’s goal oriented. I want to dream big and then roll up my sleeves and do the work needed to make those dreams come true. (I’m currently having trouble identifying my goals, but that’s kind of a separate issue that perhaps I’ll save for another blog post!)

What’s hard for me, then, is finding the right intersection point between these two important things: motivation is important and healthy, but so is being present and thankful for the here and now. I’ve been in a funk in a big way for the past few weeks, and I think it’s had a lot to do with trying to figure out how to reconcile these two states: contentment and drive.

The good news? I think I’m (finally!) starting to break through this funk. The more I think about this conundrum, the less it seems like a conundrum after all. (Huh?)

Let’s try a new line of thinking. By being fully present, I am setting the stage for growth (and dream setting and dream catching) by:

  • Creating a calm, happy environment to breed motivation and spark energy
  • Enjoying genuine connection that can lead to inspirational conversations, thoughts, and more
  • Reminding myself that perfection is a myth (something I always need a reminder of!)
  • Giving myself time to explore or learn something that could impact my future
  • Letting me take action (because there’s thinking about what’s on the horizon and then there’s the here and now, when we can actually take steps toward that horizon line…)
  • Enjoying life, which counts for a lot when planning for a happy future

Mental shifts like these are hard for me, but I’m liking this merged (versus “either/or”) way of thinking about these two things. Instead of NOW (present) and THEN (future), perhaps I just need to start thinking about it as one circular life, where these two states connect, and my past is factored in as well. Everything just kind of works together, and so I can — and should — relish today as much as I prepare for tomorrow. (Whoa. That got pretty hippy dippy fast — not my intention! But I think you get the drift…)

Do you struggle with balancing these things, too? How do you come to terms with it?






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