Talent means nothing if you aren't capable of creating value with it.
Okay, now that I got you in with that subtitle, let me explain how I've stayed motivated during this pandemic. Maybe it will help you.
And frankly, these past months have been my most productive months in a long time - building the SWILA community, making content for multiple platforms, and getting some real writing done.
It all started when the pandemic first hit and everything started shutting down. I realized, very quickly, that there were two options.
1. Do what everyone else will do and use the pandemic as an excuse to not push really hard to pursue my dreams and passion.
2. Use the pandemic as fuel to push me to do more because I will get ahead of the people who choose to settle.
And let me preface this post by saying that I understand how hard this is for some people who are dealing with serious issues caused by COVID - business shutting down, family getting sick, etc. I'm not disregarding those things, I'm just trying to reach those of you, and you know who you are, who know you could be doing more right now.
Alright. So, when things first started and everything started shutting down, I immediately started going hard with making content, writing, and even going hard at my day job (where I run a production kitchen), but I lost motivation after a few weeks when I started overthinking everything.
But the overthinking led me to start listening to more content about "self development." I was searching for the one thing that all the "self development" content had in common.
Not only that, but I started obsessively watching interviews of my favorite writers, directors, and filmmakers, trying to find something—anything that sparked that fire for me to really continue to push.
But nothing was working.
I would get motivated for a little while here and there, but I kept falling into the same rut where I'd find excuses to not be productive.
And in the depths of that dreadful cycle is when the realization occurred... What all that "self development" content and all the successful filmmakers had in common.
You have to let go.
As simplistic of an answer as that is, it's the truth. It's what changed my entire life.
I know how hard it is to "just let go," but the more you focus on the outcome, the more you focus on the negative, the more you focus on what you wish you had, the more difficult it will be for you to focus on the small things you must do to start the momentum.
And that's what it takes. You have to be able to focus on the small, mundane things that need to happen on a daily basis.
For example, waking up early to give yourself more time to focus on your craft, disciplining yourself to have patience so you can do the work even when there are no results, creating habits that will force you to put work in even when you don't want to.
These are the things that create success. It's not talent and it's not intelligence... As much as we wish it were.
Talent means nothing if you aren't capable of working your ass off to create value with it.
Intelligence means nothing if you aren't capable of controlling it to serve you rather than bring you down.
So, the hard truth that I remind myself of every single day to keep me "motivated" is this:
Life will go by substantially quickly, and the possibility that you will get old with regret consuming you is statistically what WILL happen... If you don't do the work right at this exact moment.
If that doesn't motivate you to get off your ass and start writing, or doing whatever it is you're passionate about, I don't know what will.
1. Start Small
2. Write Down Goals (I put pen to paper to make it more real)
3. Reward Yourself After A Productive Day (I watch a good movie while eating junk food)
4. Make Your Goals Public (Friends or on Social Media)
5. Document Your Progress (I'm using TikTok to do this: @kolelyndonlee)
6. Find A Progress Partner (And hold each other accountable)
I truly hope this helps you. Make sure to check out the forum to connect with other people who have the same spark in them as you. Find someone you can work with to stay productive.
And most importantly, remember this:
Don't beat yourself up. That will only hold you back even more.
If you want to be a part of a growing, passionate community, check out our club.
What is The SWILA Club exactly?
To keep it brief...
It's a place where you can connect and engage with like-minded people who care about good storytelling.
We promise you'll love it.
Now, get to work and start telling your story!
Always be writing.
Tell better stories.
Never give up.
Let us know what you think about this blog post with a comment below!