However, as I’ve learnt in the past 6 months, motivation is a fickle asshole and it will disappear quickly. A lot of self help books will say you need “determination,” however I’ve realised that I don’t like this word as it implies a hardheaded, stubborn approach. Instead, what I have been cultivating more and more these days is integrity.
- the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.
“The quality of being honest…”
This resonates with me so deeply. Now, when I say I am going to do something, I follow through simply because I said I would.
I was never like this. I would have big bursts of “I’m gonna exercise and get fit and never eat sugar again!” Then after the excitement wore off, I was back to old habits quickly. Drastic life changes like this barely work, and since I valued staying true to my word, I started setting smaller goals that I knew I could achieve. I did this in order to continuously prove to myself that I always do what I say I will.
Instead of saying “I’m going to play piano for 2 hours everyday,” I would say to myself “10 minutes of piano for the next 7 days.” 10 minutes is not a long time, and I’d often find myself staying for longer since I was already at the piano.
Now, I can say with certainty that if I said I’d do it, it will get done. The most important places I’ve seen the benefits of this aren’t really in the day to day tasks that I achieve, but more in how I feel. Living with integrity allows you to experience greater self love and confidence because you feel goddamn proud of yourself... Imagine waking up, looking at yourself in the mirror and just fucking smiling so big because you know you’re living how you want to. This is my life right now, and I’m so intensely grateful I can’t even comprehend.
The next quality I have been cultivating in droves over the last 6 months is patience.
- the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.
The part of utmost importance here is the “without becoming annoyed or anxious.”
When you have big dreams, it is sometimes easy to think… “why isn’t everything I want here right now?!”
I used to hate that my singing voice wasn’t where I wanted it to be, or that 3 days of exercise in a row didn’t make me fit, or that staying in time with a beat is a difficult thing at first.
These days, I know that I have everything I need in this moment, and I am so happy and content with it. I’ve relinquished my need to control my world through manifestation (which is a big trap of spirituality), and I just work on feeling good about what’s in my current environment.
There are still some things that I want in the future that aren’t in my experience right now, but I am 100% okay with that. Can you imagine having every meal you’re ever going to eat for the rest of your life in front of you in this moment? It would be good for 2 seconds then you’d be overwhelmed and stressed about what you’re gonna eat for the rest of your life…
This is why combining integrity with patience has been alchemy for my wellbeing. I set small tasks for myself that I know will improve my life skills gradually, and trust that there will be some point in the future where the reward will be huge. Everything isn’t going to fall into place, nor is it falling into place, but every time you ask for something, is instantly placed somewhere downstream, and you just gotta follow your good feelings (aka just stay in the water and don’t hold onto anything) towards it.