Fuel your desire to create by returning to whatever fills the well of inspiration. To whatever feels like play. To the work you’d do all day for free.
“Discipline is much easier when it’s fueled by desire.” ~ Austin Kleon
A new client texted me the other day and asked for an emergency coaching session. She indicated she was having a breakdown or a breakthrough, or maybe both.
When she answered the phone, I could hear in her voice that she had been crying.
“I’ve been working so hard for so long, trying and trying. Everything in my business and my life feels broken. Out of control. I’m frustrated, sad, and tired! Something has to change now!”
I told her that I understood the fatigue, worry, and anxiety she was going through and knew how much pain she was in.
“Let’s start with what you do want,” I said.
“That’s one of the problems! I don’t know what I want! It’s like I cannot even remember who I am.” She began to cry.
We talked for a little over an hour. I walked her back in time to reveal that she did, in fact, know what she wanted. What brought her immense joy. She could remember after all. It was a good start to her reclaiming what she craved in her life and bringing it closer.
My client is not unique. Many of my entrepreneur clients are experiencing this amnesia when we first begin working together.
What is Not Desired
Why is this so common?
We are trained from an early age to focus intensely on what is not desired: Hot stove! Corner of coffee table! Don’t eat that! As we become teenagers, the yellow caution flags thrown onto the field in front us change shape: You can’t skip going to college! You can’t make a living doing xyz! Later, as young adults on our own, the vigilant cries morph yet again: Startup businesses consistently fail! You can’t love/marry so and so! You can’t divorce so and so!
Of course, these kinds of warnings from parents/teachers/peers/culture tend to come from well-meaning hearts—hearts, though, that perhaps have grown dim and fearful from hearing the same piercing tweets from Watch Out Whistles throughout their own lives.
As a result, if we are not awake and filled with an unrelenting and courageous desire to forge ahead toward our own heart’s desires, we can become numb, confused over what it is we do want—wrapped in a cloak of powerlessness over our own destiny.
We can become supremely talented at studying the eyes of others for clues indicating our choices are within bounds, smart. Safe. Each decision is weighed with a calculus bearing no witness to what our souls are screaming for from the basement of ourselves that we keep dark and walled off—door shut and bolted from the top of the stairs.
It begins slowly, but soon accumulates a hideous momentum and mass that propels it forward, needing little push now from the outside. It gathers up trash comprised of rationalizations left on the sides of the trails from previous travelers who discarded bits of themselves on their own way to the summit.
Eventually the trail leading us to living in accord with our true selves grows over with resentment weeds and grickle grass, leaving only a faint line to follow that disappears in shadows and reappears, teasing us, on days when the sun is especially bright.
Fuel Your Desire to Create
When we’ve reached this level of distance from our true selves, we can require Herculean efforts to do the smallest tasks. We may describe it as having lost our mojo, our magic. Or, we might lean into procrastination, avoiding the work to build our business, or we may stop creating altogether and choose to hide.
At this point, we may hear from well-intending others, who may suggest that perhaps we just lack discipline.
What we lack is desire.
Our desires are our innate discipline. We routinely turn off the oxygen supply to our desires, and then we try to whip ourselves to be motivated to produce more, as well as better work and results. And then we worry and wonder why we failed.
So, how do we find our way back to the desire to create anything we want?
We return to whatever fills the well of inspiration for us. To whatever feels like play. To the work we’d do all day for free because it connects us powerfully to joy and brings us alive.
We take ourselves on an Artist Date. We move our bodies in fresh air, and we gift ourselves restorative, unplugged time. We allow ourselves quiet to reflect, remember what has been calling to our hearts. Something that may seem frivolous, perhaps too wild. An adventure.
What will you choose as your gifts to yourself? How will you decide to close the gap between where you are now and the future you hunger for? How will you amp up desire?
Take a moment right now and remember what it is you do want. Your mojo is closer than you think.