It’s not always the heavy workload that gets to you. It’s not always the questioning of whether or not you are “smart” enough to memorize what your professors are lecturing about. It’s not always the fear of failing in whatever you decided to do or study. You are sure that you are perfectly competent enough to make it through. You’re not truly afraid of whether or not you’ll actually get a degree. And you might even be sure that what you’re studying is “it” for you. You found your niche, the thing that you enjoy learning about and practicing.
But then, that’s exactly what makes your case even more difficult. It isn’t a matter of wondering whether you are able to finish that assignment, that project or that degree. It isn’t even a matter of if you like or don’t like what you’re studying. After all, there might be nothing else you’d rather be learning about.
Yet, for some unknown reason, we sometimes find ourselves in a drought with no motivation or inspiration in our forecast. Despite all of our best reasoning, we can’t bring ourselves to actually feel inspired enough to get to work. It can feel impossible to rekindle that fire, to re-find that inspiration that charged you enough to choose your course of study in the first place.
Remember, just because you feel unmotivated in the moment doesn’t necessarily mean that you aren’t where you are meant to be. I know that for where I am in life right now, my major provides the closest path to where I want to be after graduation. Does that mean I always feel super passionate about what I am learning? Absolutely not.
Not all hope is lost if you feel like you lost your spark somewhere along the way. After all, we are in school to learn. We are beginners of whatever it is we are aiming to do, and beginners are definitely not going to be the best at what they are learning. In the same way, we are literal students learning the skills and information that all slowly build upon each other to contribute to the overarching goal of becoming well-versed in our trade. And guess what! At the end of this academic journey, we will once again be beginners in the workplace.
But what is it that we can actually do in our day-to-day that will allow us to find a semblance of inspiration or motivation? Here are some tips:
- Take action with no expectations. This might sound counterintuitive, but hear me out. When I don’t want to start an assignment, I force myself to write down any idea, sentence, or thought that is even slightly relevant to the subject at hand. That initial action, with the expectation of poor results, frees me of any pressure to have a perfectly formed product right away. In no time at all after that first step, an idea will spark in my brain that inspires me to write more. Suddenly, I feel motivated to finish the assignment just from taking that starting move!
- Remind yourself that you are a student. The learning process is never linear. Some concepts may stick right away, while others take more time and effort to understand. In the same way, some things you learn are going to remind you of your passion, while others will make you question it. Trust the process.
- Know that your value isn’t attached to what you’re studying. Before you are a biology, journalism, fine arts, business or any other type of student, you are a human being doing your best to understand this life we live in. We are so much more than what we are learning about. We are more than our lack of motivation or inspiration. We are our individual, unique selves who are loved by an unwavering, all encompassing and loving Creator.