As we all know, I am a busy bee. I am always tacking on some new project, trying to excel in my career/education, chasing a bag through a variety of side hustles, and still spending quality time with those I hold near to my heart. Such an attitude has allowed me to reap the benefits of my hard work. The latest success is that this Fall I will begin pursuing my MBA at Georgia Tech.
Wait. Let’s pause for a second to take that in. Me. Getting my master’s degree. At one of the top institutions in the county. In a program designed for those with about 5+ years of experience in business. At 23. Speechless.
Trust me, I am thoroughly and utterly terrified. But I am also so incredibly excited to begin this journey. I feel like this moment and this feeling of gratitude is what I’ve been waiting for. The feeling of I am exactly where I’m supposed to be in this moment.
Getting here was no smooth journey. There were many tears, obstacles, moments of self-doubt, insecurity, and more. I even foresee all my journeys to continue having these aspects. However, the one thing that has rarely faltered is motivation and how I personally stay energized to follow the next steps of my journey, even when I really don’t want to.
When it came to my goals and dreams, I have always found comfort in the quote “if not me, then who? If not now, then when?”. Though I know this quote is usually drawn upon when discussing enacting some worldly change or activism. However, I find motivation by understanding that if I don’t take the steps to personally advance myself in this moment, then who will and when? No one is responsible for my own success, but myself. No one can hinder the time it takes, but myself. I have so much power in my own hands to grow, discover, and evolve into the best version of myself and I should never waste such a privilege.
My motivation and self-discipline is not always perfect and sometimes these words aren’t enough to make me procrastinate less or pick me up at my lowest. But I personally use the tips below to keep me going:
- Be honest. We always want to talk about the people/circumstances holding us back; But ask yourself if you’re serious about were you want to be and whether you’re taking the steps to get there. Call yourself out on your own bullshit. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes there are circumstances you can’t avoid and it’s a privilege to be able to do whatever you want without certain systemic/environmental/financial/etc. aspects standing in your way. However, be able to tell the difference between self-inflicted obstacles and circumstances beyond your control. Work within your means.
- Hold on to something tight. Whatever it might be, let it keep you grounded and serve as your inspiration. It can be a quote, a person, a feeling, an experience, a higher power. Whatever it is, let it ground you and stay at the forefront of your mind, especially during those moments where you want to throw the towel in.
- Make a plan. I’m a planner by nature so I need to write everything out. However, if you aren’t a planner or prefer to go with the flow, at least take the time to briefly plan out some of your goals. Clearly state what you want and the steps you need to take to get there. Research deadlines if it’s something time sensitive. You want to be ahead of the game. Not the last one playing catch up.
- Have an accountability partner. You don’t have to run and tell your plans to everyone. But find a friend or family member to hold you to your word. Sometimes you need that person asking, “didn’t you say last week….” to keep you on track.
- Take moment for yourself. Read a book for pleasure. Watch a few episodes of your favorite show. Go to brunch. Indulge in the things that bring you joy, but for a moment. Be weary of saying “treat yo self” all the time and distancing yourself from what you planned out. One afternoon of relaxation can easily turn into a week of procrastination.
What keeps you motivated during a difficult journey?