Motivation By Kate Baker
I think it’s important that everyone finds purpose and motivation in their lives. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, meet a goal at work or just live life in general, purpose is key. This is especially important when you’re going through something difficult. It’s important to have a reason to keep going and keep fighting, even when it feels like your world is falling apart around you.
Many times, feeling purposeful and giving meaning to what you’re doing can also give you a sense of community and belonging. Feeling like you’re part of something bigger and supported by others can be incredibly important if you’re facing dark times.
Finding Purpose When It’s Hard To
In 2013, I went through a very dark and difficult time in my life. I was battling post-traumatic stress symptoms, and that January the symptoms started to spiral. I was facing battles bigger than I had ever fought before, and they were all happening within me.
There were several things that helped me survive this terrible season in my life, but I think one of the biggest things was having a purpose. I was interning with our local county medical examiner’s office. You’d think this type of internship would have exacerbated my symptoms, but instead, it gave me a very important purpose and structure in my life when I desperately needed it.
As I was told on my first day of training, we were there to help find out what happened to the people who came through our office so we could tell their stories – because they couldn’t speak for themselves anymore. That was such a powerful reason to keep going – and I held onto it with everything I had.
Until that point, I had been working my entire adult life to be part of the criminal justice and law enforcement fields. This internship was the closest I had gotten to real police work and putting my hard-earned skills to use. Working at my internship helped me get out of my head and focus on something bigger than myself until it became easier to do that on my own. Eventually, I was able to move forward and come out of that dark season of my life. I was able to focus on the blessings in my life again and be happy.
Finding Balance In the Little Things
We all have things in our lives that are tough or things we need to balance. Right now in my life, I’m facing many unknowns. I’m stalled in kick-starting my legal career. I’ve dedicated years of hard work, education, training and student loans to this career, and my timeline is dependent on passing an expensive and intensely difficult exam that’s only offered twice a year. So until I overcome that hurdle, I’ve decided to launch my own business, which hasn’t been as fruitful as I would have hoped. In addition to all of that, I have a sick parent and other personal responsibilities that I’m trying to balance.
In this season, I’m not sure where the road is taking me. I can only go along and do my best, trusting that everything will work out as it should. But not knowing what’s happening next and not having the ability to steer my life in the direction I want it to go has left me feeling a bit lost and deflated. That’s why I try to find purpose in the little things: washing and folding my mom’s laundry, making dinner for loved ones, helping my friends, writing blog entries (like this guest post) and using my wisdom to hopefully help others.
Not Sympathy For Me, Hope For You
I don’t share any of this to garner sympathy. My hope is that if someone reading this is struggling with something similar to what I’ve described, they can know that not only are they not alone, but that there’s hope.
Things do get better.
Find that reason to keep pushing forward – to not give up. Find a reason to keep fighting. I recently read an article on the Shape magazine website that discussed finding motivation. The author suggested “getting to the bottom of your why.” If you want to do something – whether it’s as simple as losing weight or it’s more complex like finding your purpose in life – figure out the real reason behind what you’re doing. That’s going to fuel your passion and keep you motivated when you don’t feel like pressing on.
You see, life ebbs and flows. The good and bad times come and go. Sometimes you have to hold on tight with white knuckles until you get to a more peaceful season in your life. Despite the fact things aren’t going the way I’d like them to right now, I know that eventually I will get through this and be in a brighter season of my life. You will too.
Guest Blogger: Kate Baker