One Apple A Day #876 – Motivation

I didn’t know where to start, so I thought it was a good idea to check on a dictionary. It says that motivation is a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way

I’m not expert in motivation, to be honest, and I would never describe myself as a motivator. 

Plus, this morning, I’m tired, and I had to dig deep to find the motivation to open the laptop and write. Though, here I am.

I’ve learned that motivation is what get me started, but it’s creating a habit or a system that keeps me going. 

Take this daily routine. When I started, I had a clear motive. I jumped into it with energy and commitment. 

That drive was gone after the first few months, but a new habit was born. One I can’t live without. 

Now my motivation to find fifteen minutes every morning to write, even when I don’t feel like it, is the action itself. I have no goals to achieve, just the pleasure of keeping this flow.

I’ve learned that I need to act when I feel motivated and use that drive to create habits that will sustain me after that motivation dries out.

One Apple A Day #811 – the smallest thing

Not all morning I’m inspired to write. Sometimes I have no idea, and sometimes I just don’t feel like doing it. Maybe it’s because I’m tired, or I have a rough night or, and this is the worst, the thoughts about the day ahead have already taken hold of my mind.

Whatever the reason, when I drag myself to the desk, I’m tempted to let it go. I can clearly hear that small voice in my head whispering “who cares? You can do it another day.

However, I just need to do the smallest of things, and magic happens. 

I start a 15 minutes timer on the Tide app with a relaxing music loop. That tiny gesture is enough to silence that voice in my head and take me into my little morning creative space.

It happens over time without me realising it. Day after day, the small action of starting the timer with the music became a sort of a trigger or switch activating my morning writing ritual.

When I realised it, I began observing my habits and the way I do things during the day. And I discover there are plenty of such triggers and switches. Associated to both positive and negative habits. Some are really tiny and subtle, others are more evident.

The cool thing is that, when I want to activate a process, habit or ritual, I don’t have to focus on the whole thing. I just need to find the switch and trigger it. The smaller, the better.

Like for this ritual, writing for fifteen minutes seems a lot some mornings, and it may hold me from doing it. But starting a timer is such a quick and simple action that it’s easy to do it every morning.

If you want to install a habit or behaviour, it may help you to identify a tiny thing that can work as a switch and just focus on that.

P.S: I just realised I messed up with the number on the posts; somehow what was supposed to be the apple 763 became the 673. So, I updated the titles (not the URLs) to fix this and I realised that I crossed the “800” milestone. Now I’m heading full throttle for the “thousand” mark.

One Apple A Day #745 – time off

A few months ago, I took two weeks off from coffee. Mostly to be sure that a lovely morning ritual wasn’t becoming a mechanical routine.
It’s a good practice I learned a few years ago.
Because everything can become a hamster wheel if we don’t pay attention. We begin things because we need or love them. Then we keep doing them because they gratify us and they become habits.
And it’s a great thing as long as we remember why we are doing them.
Who are we in that practice or ritual?
Even the most beautiful and joyful practice in life can become mechanical if we don’t pay attention.
So, sometimes it helps to take some time off and take ourselves out of the spinning wheel, to observe and sense.
A pause, to remind ourselves what is important.
Why that thing is important in our life.
Taking a pause is particularly important with the things we love to do, our passions. Because those are the things that can become our invisible prisons if we don’t pay attention.

One Apple A Day #744 – you in the practice

It’s not the practice; it’s the “I” within that practice that matters.

It’s a profound insight I received from a coach yesterday evening, during a webinar. 

Do you ever get caught in the process, so focused on doing it right, that you forget to listen to yourself?

I do. 

Because I love the practice, because I invested so much in creating the process, or because I fully trust the person who taught me the exercise. Whatever the reason, sometimes I am so focused on finding the right practice and executing it in the right way, that I forget what really matters.

Me.

As I wrote yesterday, I am the one who gives meaning to everything I do and experience. What’s the point in doing perfectly something meaningless? 

The practices you do are essential, and you should choose them wisely. But the most important thing is to keep listening for yourself within whatever practice you do. 

Does it make you grow? Does it help you achieve what you want or become who you want? 

Does it make sense?

Right now, here.

One Apple A Day #735 – where are you?

I don’t know where I am.
I really want to be here and now.
I did my exercises. I tried with my meditation.
Nothing.
This morning, my mind is all over the place.
Everywhere but here and now.
I can’t hold a thought for more than a few seconds.
Does it ever happen to you?
What do you do when your mind escapes in all directions?

Out of habits, I open my laptop and create a new document.
And this white page before me softly pulls me in.
Like a moth towards a summer light.
One word. Two words. One sentence.
Little by little, my mind goes quiet.
Now, I’m here.