Confession time: I have a really difficult time self-motivating. I mostly blame it on my age. Other times, I fear that I’m becoming a lazy monster with no future. Whatever the cause, it is difficult for me to really get going almost every single day. I wake up, eat, drink tea, faff, go online, faff some more, drink coffee, think about the fact that I should be working, feel guilty, faff more… you have the gist of it. A day in the life. It’s what The Beatles were trying to chronicle, I’m sure.

Since I work from home, it is pertinent that I find ways to motivate myself into actually earning a living every month. It isn’t easy, and it hasn’t been easy, but I’ve found a few things that have the ability to make me move when I need to move:

  • The Greatest Salesman in the World – Og Mandino
    This book came to me at an important time, when I was spending most of my days withering away on Tumblr, not achieving any of my goals, and feeding into a depressing circle of self-doubt and guilt. With solid advice from “ancient scrolls”, such as “Today I will be master of my emotions” and “I will act now”, I was inspired to do something about my goals, instead of just hanging around and waiting for them to land in my lap like reality TV taught me they would.
  • Yeezy Taught Me
    Kanye West is one of the most inspirational people to me. Not only does his music make me want to conquer the entire universe – as he even says, “If you’re a Kanye West fan, you’re not a fan of me. You’re a fan of yourself. You will believe in yourself. I’m just the espresso.” – his quotes and ramblings, which many perceive as narcissistic, fuel my fire. Watching Kanye West’s New Testament before I write diminishes all my crippling insecurities and imposter syndrome-related garbage. USA Today’s Kanye West Self-Confidence Generator also helps.
  • The Right Music At The Exact Right Time
    When you need to wallow in an infinite abyss of self-pity, you listen to Cat Power or Bon Iver, right? Well, when you need to power-box your way to success and you’d rather stay in bed and binge-watch Community, the right music helps, too. I don’t only use the power of Yeezy here – I also find inspiration in upbeat radio tracks, Paramore, Best Coast, Lauryn Hill and many, many others. Whatever songs inspire you to have the most productive day on earth should be the thing you’re playing in the morning.
  • Extra Extra Large Skinny Cappuccino, Please
    We all have our vices, right? While I have cut down quite a lot, coffee is and forever will be a huge motivator for me. Not only does the caffeiney goodness boost my brainwaves into super-go, drinking a cup of coffee feels like a big hug to me, due to a not exactly healthy Pavlovian-type situation I have going on with warm beverages. A lot of days, I can do everything to make words vomit out of me, but, without a cappuccino, it’s a useless endeavour. We all have little rituals and habits that get us going and, as long as it isn’t cocaine or something equally as destructive, why fight it? Why not just embrace it and use it to your advantage?
  • Inspiration (But Not Plagiarism)
    Sometimes, you’ll find that you’re at your computer/desk/microphone/dinosaur fossil (IDK what job you have), and you can’t make the next move. Inspiration is vital, and people claim it’s everywhere, but that’s just the kind of BS they spew to sound like they have what they would undoubtedly call an “old soul”, so here we are: inspiration is not everywhere. But it’s still possible to find. If you’re a writer, I’m sure you’ve realised that it can be valuable to read the kind of writing that you enjoy or would like to achieve. Which is why I regularly read The Great Gatsby, in anticipation for the sequel I plan on writing. On a serious note, participate in activities that inspire you, or that you may wish to emulate in some way. But don’t plagiarise. Please.

Do you have any secrets to self-motivating? Inspirational practises? Favourite Kanye song?


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