Shake off negativity to stay motivated
"Blessed is the man who remains steadfast."
-- James 1:12 (NIV)
The sunshine filtering through my bedroom blinds motivated me to get up and face the day. I wanted to get started on my to-do list right away.
There's nothing like the feeling of motivation. It is critical to our well-being. Like many of you, I'd like to feel motivated every day, but the desire comes and goes.
I believe motivation is a God-created emotion, but staying at it takes some work.
Motivational drive was needed by men and women of ancient times. The prophet Elijah used all his energy reserves to defeat his opponent in a showdown. After days of passionately calling God to bring down some fire from heaven to burn up the wooden idol, God's lightening rod struck and his opponent went up in flames.
But it wasn't long before another battle was on the horizon. This time, when Elijah was being chased, he felt fearful and exhausted and went into hiding. He had no motivation left to fight.
After napping under a shady tree and eating, his motivation returned. When we're undernourished or dehydrated, it's amazing what some cold water and a snack can do.
There are many factors that affect our motivation. Rest and nourishment are two important ones. God created our minds and bodies for rest. Medical experts advise us to get around eight hours of sleep so we can perform our best. When we're tired and emotionally drained, we can't think as clearly. In our tired state, we can feel negative, insecure and lack those positive vibes that get us moving.
Most of us are motivated because of our practical needs, such as the paying the rent. A little love and romance can, oftentimes, move us as we fill our heads with thoughts of that exceptional someone.
Special causes or occasions can arouse one's enthusiasm. Working toward an important goal can keep us moving as well. And turning on an upbeat tune can give us an emotional boost.
On the flip side, loss of motivation can be natural from time to time -- we'd burn out if we constantly functioned at a high energy level.
It's important to note that sometimes it's hard to get going when we're dealing with a depressive illness, grief or other factors. And someone's negative words can make us give up.
When we're fearful, emotionally drained, bitter or angry, it's important to remember God wants us to use our motivation for good purposes, not destructive ones.
On any given day, to remain motivated, we should remember to take a break, get some nourishment, shake off negativity and say a little prayer to keep us going.
• Annettee Budzban is a Christian author, speaker, life coach and nurse. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or (847) 543-8413.