How can I stay motivated without concrete, guaranteed benifits?
August 17, 2013 1:33 PM Subscribe
I used to think that I was lazy, but now I find that I can be motivated, dedicated and extremely efficient...but only when there are concrete and guaranteed benifits to my actions. Right now, I want to expand my portfolio and gain some new skills for the sake of increasing my employability and maybe getting a different job. But since this goal is far-off and not guaranteed, I'm having trouble sticking to it and I've been getting nowhere. Is there a way to operate that allows my actions to have short term and guaranteed benefits?
posted by jumelle to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
I have skills in illustration and print design (although I hate it) and am interested in creating more illustration portfolio pieces and expanding my knowlege of front-end web design.
In regards to the issue with motivation, I'm not sure where to begin. To be honest, the only thing that honestly and easily motivates me is the promise of money. I've tried doing things for the sake of my own intellectual interests as well as for charity, but I can't help but feel as though I'm wasting my time or short-changing myself if I'm not doing something that benefits me in a concrete, tangible way. Future promises and fuzzy warm feelings get me nowhere. It's not desirable, but it's the way things have been going.
I feel like there are two ways to deal with this: find a way to work (concrete benefit/money) and learn at the same time, or find a way to want to do things even when I know I won't be rewarded for them.
Ideally, I'd like to be in a situation where I could work and learn at the same time. I've done some freelance jobs and they were fun and extremely enjoyable but difficult to find. I'm going to keep looking, but this way is not always sustainable. Additionally, since I'm working for another person, I can't always control what I'll be doing, which hinders directed learning. I was entertaining the thought of starting my own business, but then I run into the problem of uncertainty again. I have no guarantee of finding customers or of making a decent amount of money. But if I could be successful, this would be the thing that I'd want most.
Since I do a lot of "art," I feel like people will want to say that I should be doing what I do out of love, and that if I really care about money, I should get into a different field. The thing is that I don't really enjoy just making money or JUST making art. I enjoy doing artistic things for money.
Just having one by itself is a drain. I feel greedy. Right now I don't have my own business and the job I have right now is not enough to push me forward. I should be happy to study in my spare time, however, I can't stay motivated, focused or optimistic since I don't feel I'll ever get anything out of it.