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Productivity & Work

How to keep the good, going

A gif of dog moving head in circles
gif by @sherchle

What goes up must come down. Complacency eventually turns into panic. Once the stream of contentedness kicks in, progress stymies. The will to compete and improve wanes. Expectations which set the tone of achievement, fall at the wayside.

Motivation is a wonder drug. As Brian Eno said, “Everything good comes from enthusiasm.” The urge to improve and inject meaning onto the world protects against a mediocre existence. Once we feel inspired, the tendency is to do as much as we can for as long as we can.

To keep it going, we have to protect against two things: burnout and lost excitement. Overburdening the nervous system with the next-task is a precondition for indifference. If we want the care to go on, we require sanity checks like rest, disconnection, and breaking patterns.

Once the spirit dips and the automaton sets in, a recharge is mandatory. To prevent spinning out of control, we seek to re-energize by inciting alertness. Once we notice that was there was there all along, salient for human eyes, we realize we’re on the road to recovery.

“Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.”

Henry David Thoreau

The dip is a sign to move on, to start again before we’re ready. The thrill of beginning again and riding the wave of opportunity keeps the good going. Long-term accomplishment is never luck but the result of the flame of hard work.

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of Discvr.blog and four books.