There are times when you stumble across someone else’s writing and it just hits upon everything you’re thinking about in the moment. I’m hopeful you enjoy this insightful post from Taylor Oxley. As you can imagine, Taylor has a lot of plates spinning in her life. She splits her time as a working student with 4* eventer Colleen Rutlege while also studying equine science at William Woods University. Taylor began her eventing career at age 11 and achieved her HB rating at 15. She’s currently participating at the 1* level with her OTTB mare (with goals to compete at the 2* level). Taylor was born in Swisher, Iowa and is a former Pony Club member.
Here are Taylor's thoughts on motivation:
I think we’re approaching motivation all wrong. We believe it’s this grandiose feeling of empowerment, and once we find it, it will never leave us. We follow inspirational accounts on Instagram and marvel at those that never seem to lose their forward motion. Our psyches put them on a pedestal as the example of what we should aspire to be, yet no matter how hard we try, we simply cannot maintain this ideal.
However, the problem isn’t our motivation; it is the way we’ve been taught to approach it.
Motivation isn’t this huge epiphany on how to live life to the fullest, it has nothing to do with running ourselves into the ground with smiles plastered onto our faces, and it certainly is not reserved for a select group of people who are masters at feng shui or begin yoga at 4:30am eight days a week or bleed quinoa or whatever nonsense your social media feeds shove down your throats. Motivation is whatever you need it to be in any given moment. Sure, sometimes it might be the drive to clean your entire house, write six blog posts, go to the dry-cleaners, and meal prep for the next two weeks before noon on a Wednesday. The next day it might simply involve convincing yourself to crawl out of bed and brush your teeth in the morning.
We are human beings, not machines, and we live in a state of flow that we can’t consciously control. Our bodies generate a specific amount of energy each day, and the ability to run on empty makes us no better than anyone else. Achieving “burnout” is not a badge to be worn regardless of what society pushes us to believe, and attempting to override our biology to fit the notion that we must constantly be on the move to feel worthy does nothing but strip us of all ability to live life as it was intended.
So, take a deep breath. Your mind and your body know what you’re capable of far more than your Instagram feed does. Regardless of direction, regardless of speed, regardless the stats held proudly by the person next to you, you are doing your personal best in this moment, and that is the only thing that truly matters.