An Artist’s Fire

As an artist, I often find myself looking for inspiration. While I end up finding my muse with a little difficulty, I often lack the motivation required to get the job done.  My fire lights up from different sources on different days. All you need to do is to what lights your fire.

ShelleyWhat lights a fire?

Of course a spark! The spark lights a fire and the fire makes us move. When Shelley wrote the following lines he wanted to motivate and inspire people to reform and revolt. He knew they would not stir out of inactivity unless they were motivated. From the days of sailors with beat-up compasses to the present day of taking trips out to the wilderness in search of inspiration through quietly sitting and viewing wildlife, either by the naked eye or sitting in viewing huts with binoculars, artists have always found motivation in various ways.

Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth
Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
Be through my lips to unawakened Earth….”

You would remember the saying “Money makes the mare go”. The message is quite clear. We are not ready to take any pains if we don’t foresee gain in better proportion to pain. The gain, which propels us into action, could be tangible or intangible. It could be a house for a housewife, promotion for an officer, grades for a student, recognition, appreciation or award for a performer.

Ambition cannot be forced. It cannot be an external factor. Since the desire to achieve your goal comes from within, the motivation should also be internal, for any external influence would be more of an inspiration and less of motivation. What my goals are and how I am going to achieve them all depends on what my motive is. A motive rises in our mind – our most precious asset. So we have to continuously hammer our minds to look forward to attaining the desired goal. Any action towards the fulfillment of that goal, the attainment of which is also the driving force, comes from self-belief.

To keep our self-belief soaring we have to exalt our self-esteem. We need to watch out for the following symptoms proclaiming our low self-esteem and in turn suffused motivation. Greed, selfishness, fierce competitive drive, jealousy symbolize insecurity, to be given to excessive eating, drinking, smoking, anger; procrastination, fear, haughtiness, lack of friends whom you can trust are all the signs of low self-worth.

Our self worth or self-image is the result of certain traits that had influenced us in our childhood. They are our family lineage, family background, status in society; our education, degree; grades in school and in post-school education; habits, behavior; looks, appearance; achievements; financial status; values and beliefs; membership of local or international prestigious organizations, and other’s opinions about us. We need to go into deep analyses of the above factors in connection with our childhood and try to repair any damage that has occurred to our self-esteem. As a next step, we will need to repair the damage that has been caused to the deepest spiritual layer to our unconscious. This motivation to raise our self-image is the first step towards motivating ourselves to a larger goal.

It would call for separate detailed analyses to repair our self-worth. Yet here are a few suggestions to start with:

  • Create a self-awareness.
  • Join some course for further development.
  • Learn to respect yourself. Reckon your strengths but forget your weaknesses. Everyone has weaknesses. So don’t feel guilty if you are found one at some point in your life.
  • Associate with positive people only. Make friends with people who would point out your mistakes without making you feel inferior. Have a confidante.
  • Be a good listener. Take other’s suggestions in good stride but only after analyzing them in your own context.
  • Make your work interesting.
  • Entertain and relax periodically to rejuvenate yourself.
  • Fix your priorities.
  • Don’t fear changes.

The above-cited steps are very easy to follow and do not require any formal training.

We must remember that new methods of motivation will not work until the demotivating factors are removed. Motivation comes from excitement and excitement comes from full commitment. So commit yourself to a goal. Remove the stumbling blocks. Widen the bottleneck and find a new motivated you.