You donâ€™t need more motivation. You donâ€™t need to be inspired to action. You donâ€™t need to read any more lists and posts about how youâ€™re not doing enough.
We act as if we can read enough articles and enough little Pinterest quotes and suddenly the little switch in our brain will put us into action. But, honestly, hereâ€™s the thing that nobody really talks about when it comes to success and motivation and willpower and goals and productivity and all those little buzzwords that have come into popularity: you are as you are until youâ€™re not. You change when you want to change. You put your ideas into action in the timing that is best. Thatâ€™s just how it happens.
And what I think we all need more than anything is this: permission to be wherever the fuck we are when weâ€™re there.
Youâ€™re not a robot. You canâ€™t just conjure up motivation when you donâ€™t have it. Sometimes youâ€™re going through something. Sometimes life has happened. Life! Remember life? Yeah, it teaches you things and sometimes makes you go the long way around for your biggest lessons.
You donâ€™t get to control everything. You can wake up at 5 a.m. every day until youâ€™re tired and broken, but if the words or the painting or the ideas donâ€™t want to come to fruition, they wonâ€™t. You can show up every day to your best intentions, but if itâ€™s not the time, itâ€™s just not the fucking time. You need to give yourself permission to be a human being.
â€œIf itâ€™s not the time, itâ€™s just not the fucking time. You need to give yourself permission to be a human being.â€
Sometimes the novel is not ready to be written because you havenâ€™t met the inspiration for your main character yet. Sometimes you need two more years of life experience before you can make your masterpiece into something that will feel real and true and raw to other people. Sometimes youâ€™re not falling in love because whatever you need to know about yourself is only knowable through solitude. Sometimes you havenâ€™t met your next collaborator. Sometimes your sadness encircles you because, one day, it will be the opus upon which you build your life.
We all know this: Our experience cannot always be manipulated. Yet, we donâ€™t act as though we know this truth. We try so hard to manipulate and control our lives, to make creativity into a game to win, to shortcut success because others say they have, to process emotions and uncertainty as if these are linear journeys.
You donâ€™t get to game the system of your life. You just donâ€™t. You donâ€™t get to control every outcome and aspect as a way to never give in to the uncertainty and unpredictability of something thatâ€™s beyond what you understand. Itâ€™s the basis of presence: to show up as you are in this moment and let that be enough.
Yet, we donâ€™t act in a way that supports this lifestyle. We fill every minute with productivity tools and read 30-point lists on how to better drive out natural, human impulse. We often forget that we are as we are until weâ€™re not. We are the same until weâ€™re changed. We can move that a bit further by putting into place healthy habits and to show up to our lives in a way that fosters growth, but we canâ€™t game timing.
Timing is the one thing that we often forget to surrender to.
Things are dark until theyâ€™re not. Most of our unhappiness stems from the belief that our lives should be different than they are. We believe we have controlâ€Šâ€”â€Šand our self-loathing and self-hatred comes from this idea that we should be able to change our circumstances, that we should be richer or hotter or better or happier. While self-responsibility is empowering, it can often lead to this resentment and bitterness that none of us need to be holding within us. We have to put in our best efforts and then give ourselves permission to let whatever happens to happenâ€”and to not feel so directly and vulnerably tied to outcomes. Opportunities often donâ€™t show up in the way we think they will.
You donâ€™t need more motivation or inspiration to create the life you want. You need less shame around the idea that youâ€™re not doing your best. You need to stop listening to people who are in vastly different life circumstances and life stages than you tell you that youâ€™re just not doing or being enough. You need to let timing do what it needs to do. You need to see lessons where you see barriers. You need to understand that whatâ€™s right now becomes inspiration later. You need to see that wherever you are now is what becomes your identity later.
â€œThereâ€™s a magic beyond us that works in ways we canâ€™t understand. We canâ€™t game it. We canâ€™t 10-point list it. We canâ€™t control it.â€
Sometimes weâ€™re not yet the people we need to be in order to contain the desires we have. Sometimes we have to let ourselves evolve into the place where we can allow what we want to transpire.
Letâ€™s just say that whatever you want, you want it enough. So much so that youâ€™re making yourself miserable in order to achieve it. What about chilling out? Maybe your motivation isnâ€™t the problem, but that you keep pushing a boulder up a mountain that only grows in size the more you push.
Thereâ€™s a magic beyond us that works in ways we canâ€™t understand. We canâ€™t game it. We canâ€™t 10-point list it. We canâ€™t control it. We have to just let it be, to take a fucking step back for a moment, stop beating ourselves up into oblivion, and to let the cogs turn as they will. One day, this moment will make sense. Trust that.
Give yourself permission to trust that.
This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post here.