All of us from time to time find ourselves uninspired, unmotivated or both.
In times like this we tend to procrastinate and our activity often comes to a grinding halt. There are things we want to achieve, but they’re just not happening for us right then. There are some big tasks to complete, like maybe finishing that marketing report, or business proposal, or lyrics to a song, but we just can’t get into it. Or perhaps it’s that job or extra income we are looking for that’s not happening as quickly as we would like.
So, we let our thoughts wander and engage in all kinds of unproductive activity that helps the time pass. All the while, scattered around us are little jobs we could do. That pile of paper on the desk that we’ve been putting off sorting through. The unread inspirational emails some friends have sent that we have saved in an email folder called “read me later”. The document that’s sitting on our desktop called “my to do list”. Maybe it’s the car that needs vacuuming, the dog that needs a walk, a friend we should call, the lawn that needs mowing or that pile of stuff sitting in the car port that we just keep walking past. When we ignore these things long enough, we begin to not notice them at all.
I believe there are some very important dynamics at play here. Two of them are resolution and motion.
Let’s start with resolution? Musicians understand this quite well. Melody is about tension and release. We’ve all watched thrillers and heard the tension in the sound track. Imagine stopping the soundtrack at that point of tension, rewinding it a bit and playing it again to that same point of tension, then doing that over and over again. There is no resolution; instead, there is dissonance and it doesn’t feel all that nice. Consider this: All of those little things we don’t complete create dissonance in our lives. It may not be apparent, but under the surface, subconsciously, a little voice is crying out for resolution. The more unresolved things we have in our lives, the less room there is for creative thought. It’s as if we have told ourselves that we can’t start anything new until we finish all of the other things we started.
What about motion? You can’t steer a parked car! You need to be moving in order to get somewhere. You need to take action to see some kind of result. When you start to move again, things that were not so apparent will come into sharp focus. For instance, while you are mowing the lawn, that last line to the lyrics you have been writing just might pop into your head or perhaps it’s the solution to a problem that was preventing you from finishing that business proposal. Besides, the air and exercise will do you good!
Take a moment and clear your mind. Close your eyes, take some nice slow deep breaths and relax. Now, open your eyes and look around you. What little thing will you complete? You might ask, “But where do I start?” Wherever you want! Pick one and finish it. Then move onto the next one. If you do, you will be in motion and you will bring resolution into your life. You will be creating space where there had been clutter and it is within that space that you will find new ideas and the solutions you are seeking.