Thus how do we get ourselves motivated? How do we get ourselves to perform on a daily basis?
The answer is Living a Legacy.
Nearly every spiritual teaching, be it the Bible, the Tao, the Sutras, the Quran... they all remind us that service to others is where the real joy, satisfaction, and even motivation is found.
What does this mean in practical terms for a mother with one or more kids, who's not really in the position to forsake all and simply run off to another country or to the dark parts of the inner city? What about us regular Janes and Joes living day-to-day and with many obligations and few inspirations?
Well, this is an answer for us, as well. When we go into the kitchen and see how dirty it is, and try to motivate ourselves to clean it, what are the most common methods?
- Yell at ourselves
- Remind ourselves how important it is because dirty is ugly
- Guilt trip ourselves
- Tell ourselves how stupid and lazy we are
- Complain that it's too hard
- Imagine what it will look like when it's done
- Push ourselves to do it even if it feels horrible (and we don't feel well, either)
But let's face it, shaming and forcing just aren't motivating. They really aren't.
What is there to do, then? We could decide that it's important to do it because we would feel so much better if we did. A clean kitchen feels better than a dirty one, that's for sure.
But that's long-term, and most people recognize the fact that the long term, future possible reward is a cheap trade for the immediate gratification of "screw it, I'm gonna watch some TV first."
Most of us really do wish for a clean and tidy and organized home, though. How then, do we get there from here? What might really, truly motivate us?
I think it might really help people to recognize that at every moment of every day, we're creating a Legacy for our children. We either leave them the Legacy of a clean house, a healthy body, and a positive social life... or we leave them a Legacy of obesity, lack of motivation, and a general sense of prevailing malaise.
There's no possible way to leave no Legacy.
So if you want to motivate yourself, choose today what Legacy you want to leave. Do you want to leave a Legacy of a healthy body, a healthy eating lifestyle, a healthy home, a healthy social life?
Then sit down, and write down what you want your Legacy to be. Sit down and write down what your life would look like if it were leaving the Legacy you wish you could for your children.
When you sit there and you think that you don't want to clean the kitchen, ask yourself this question, "What Legacy am I leaving if I walk out of this kitchen without at least cleaning a dish, maybe two?"
Then ask yourself this, "Is this what I want to leave as my child's Legacy for his/her future? Is this what I want my grandchildren to live like?"
And when you answer those questions, you'll understand at last what is meant by happiness being found in service to others. Because when you take that extra step each day to clean a couple or five extra dishes, and you one day wake up to a clean kitchen...
You'll be happy.
Not only because you'll be happier with a clean kitchen, but because you'll realize something profound on that day.
"THIS is my Legacy!"
It seems like such a small thing. So simple. It's JUST a clean kitchen.
But think about how depressing and oppressive a dirty kitchen is. Think how great you feel when your kitchen is clean. When you feel healthy and whole and you have good habits.
THAT is your Legacy! The clean kitchen? That's just the surface vision of what lies beneath.
Live a Legacy. You are doing so, whether you want to or not. So go ahead, use the comments section here to write down the Legacy you want to leave.
And when you're done, you will have created a Long Term Goal for yourself for your Simpleology practice.
Well done, my friend, well done!
~ Livin' the Rhythm with Kimberly Weston