How to Find Motivation in Dark Times?

As social, emotional and intellectual beings, we humans often go through times where we feel down with the blues. These feelings happen when things don’t go the way we wish it to, especially after giving it all our best or when many things happen that we don’t understand. We also feel dissatisfied with our lives when we are in conflict with our surroundings and are not able to freely be who we are and express ourselves and be accepted and loved for that.

The situations are plenty but one thing that such scenarios bring about when they constantly happen is a sense of defeat. And that is the lowest point we can be at. Usually people, after going through many lows and struggles, start feeling defeated by life and then they give up. However, there is another way to look at and deal with our problems and failures, and that is through the lens of understanding and detachment.

Most people make their problems their defining property. It’s all they think about, talk about and feel. They bring it up in conversations all the time and try their best to convince other people to believe and accept that they are going through a great tragedy which has rendered them helpless. Countless people let their external situations get the better of them and become slaves to their negative thinking and depressive thoughts, and the more they validate those thoughts, the stronger they become. Soon enough, a year or two passes and the same people who were happy, healthy and productive, become depressed, tired and hopeless.

Instead of seeing the things in the world around us that can be opportunities and tools which can help us in getting to a better place, we stay stuck and focused on the things which aren’t pleasing and gratifying to us.

While going through failures and traumatic events in life is hard, it’s important that we try to learn about our own selves through our darkest times and find hope in our abilities to come out of it stronger. It’s important to remember these points to get through and find motivation in the darkest of the days.

  1. It’s as bad as we want it to be. Even though bad times suck, it’s actually up to us how badly we take it. Given that there are some things like the death of a close family member that can be tough shockers to absorb, most events that we regularly get pulled down by are not as bad as we sketch them out to be. Regardless, all realities of our life are shaped intensely by the perception that we have of it, and by sometimes detaching ourselves from our situations we can see things with more clarity. Remember, the characteristic of a smart human being is not only to adapt but also to question the pre-conditioned ideas that we have been given of a perfect life.
  2. It will not last forever. Knowing that everything is temporary is one thing, but understanding it is another. To understand this means to free ourselves from the shackles of fear, inadequacies, and sadness. We all need and deserve some time to mourn our losses and during that, we can let the reins loose, but along with that we also need to remember to pull back the reins and take control of our lives again instead of letting our daily occurrences take control of us.
  3. Inner strength is already at work. While you may be down under the black clouds, it’s good to know that the tough times that you are going through are actually good for you in the long run because they are making you stronger and better at handling problems. Studies have also proven this concept, as trauma builds resilience and resilience helps in handling other everyday hurdles more efficiently than everyone else because our coping mechanisms are developed better than others.
  4. Happiness is waiting. When we are caught in a rut of hard times and start to believe that we are never going to find happiness again, many of us become depressed, refuse help from friends and family and lock ourselves in because all that we see is our suffering. But the fact is that we are surrounded by things which can motivate us all the time. There are many people around us who live such inspiring lives regardless of their problems like disability, childhood trauma or sexual abuse. The world itself is so beautiful that its beauty inspires art, music, film, poetry and many other creations. Happiness is a commitment you make to yourself to live a good life, rather than something that just happens to you.

When we understand these four simple factors that play out in our emotional states, a ray of light automatically emerges that guides our thoughts and sanity towards a better more productive path. By understanding the very nature of good and bad times, we can realize that the only thing we can do as humans is accept what is out of our control and spend the rest of our energies in changing what we can.

One Response

  1. Sean

    Ok, so…
    There is a lot of valuable info in this article, but it seems like the one thing not mentioned is just how difficult it is to regain mental poise.

    I’ve been there: like Maverick in ‘Top Gun’ when he loses control of the plane. It feels like all that you can do is eject, and hopefully (Spoiler Alert) not kill Goose.

    There are several techniques that I have developed that make it possible, like Maverick from later in the film, to recover without losing control.
    1. Laughter – Cat videos can save lives. Who’d a thunk? All you need to do is find something to laugh at for a long enough period of time, and it will disrupt the negative mental processes
    2. Baby Steps – Ever see ‘What About Bob?’ When we find ourselves paralyzed in fear, all we need to do is to reign in our focus. Instead of looking at how mega-grim the world at large is, we need to set small goals that help us to re-establish a sense of control within our minds.
    Ex: It’s easy to regain clarity and focus when we restrict our focus to one action. “I’m going to get one person to laugh right now.” When accomplished, this spirals into more and more positive results and success.


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