I found that each morning dragged a bit longer than the last. The workday that lied ahead seemed like a race I was being forced to watch in slow motion, anticipating its end yet being forced to watch every stride and hurdle in painful detail.
If it only stopped at mornings, each day was a miniature version of the weeks race to the weekend.
I was dragging along, getting into the office a few minutes later than normal, watching the clock more intently during the day, feeling as if I was going with the motions but sort of unsure of what the motions actually were. I was on autopilot, stuck in what I was doing but unsure as to why I was doing it anymore, it was like some evil trans, a spell I wanted to be broken but, I felt trapped.
When did this start happening to me? I have always been highly self motivated, never needing mom and dad to push me in school, no, they were usually telling me to slow down, never needing my professors to incentivize me with extra credit to start caring about the assignments, or my boss to micromanage my every move to feel the importance of the job I was doing.
WHO WAS I? I didn't recognize myself, and I was worried. Had I suddenly just become lazy? Did I lose interest to such a massive degree that I could not bring myself to feel motivated no matter what I did? Why was it so difficult to get up in the morning? Why did it seem like I needed greater than usual divine forces just to get through my days? For my own sake and sanity I needed to believe there was more to my crisis than laziness.
Why was I so unmotivated? I liked my job a lot, it was challenging and exciting, I liked being in graduate school and was enjoying getting my MBA, I had great friends a loving family, a bright future. What else was I missing? Why had I relinquished to going with the motions and stopped caring to be present in the moments that would characterize my life.
Well, after much soul searching, which consisted of binging on Jane the Virgin Netflix episodes, Google searching "are millennial the cursed generation", and eating brownies, I came to a realization, I was in a "motivational rut". There was nothing I could attribute my internal lack of passion to other than the fact that I had stopped being present. I was so caught up in my routine, in my deliverables, in my assignments that I had taken my eyes off of the present and placed myself on a proverbial hamster wheel, always looking to something ahead trying to rush the present as if I was in a rush to get through life. Then I had this chilling thought, I was not going to be 23 forever, this year would fly by and I would not even notice it... unless I broke my trans.
So how does one break the motivational rut?
I found there was no quick fix remedy, that like most other things in life motivation would ebb and flow, it was not a constant state of being but something that I would have to learn how to exploit at its highs and push through at its lows.
The trick became being intentional about reminding myself of the WHY. Simple, yet essential in making it through those instances in which I simply did not want to get up in the morning, or write that 15 page final paper for my graduate class. Here is my why: I want to help people, I want to work hard to make sure that the sacrifices my parents made as immigrants will pay off, I want to change lives.
Take a moment and think of your why, write it down, tape it to your bathroom mirror, on the fridge, heck tape it on your forehead if you need to, but do what you need to do to shock yourself out facade that your life is meant to be a purposeless monotony.
Now, go forth and conqueror.