Are You Doing It For The Right Reasons?

Do you ever find yourself questioning your motivation?


Hunched over a book in the library or writing a paper in your bed at 2 a.m., you begin to fantasize about logging onto MyGate and clicking the "Withdraw From All Classes" button. I'm guilty of it too.

Or maybe you're working yet another eight-hour shift at the job you could not possibly hate more, where they could not possibly be paying you any less, and that's not even mentioning the creepy guy who comes in all the time (that management has yet to ban from the store.)

You're out with that boy/girl again that you've been dating for x amount of time, and oh they are so nice, and you wouldn't want to hurt them, even though you haven't felt a spark between the two of you for months.

Or maybe you find yourself in your place of worship, singing the same songs and feeling unfulfilled in a place that is supposed to renew your soul and give your life some meaning.

Many of us have lost our ability to listen to our gut instinct. Every time something goes wrong, many of us feel a pang in our chest that says "I knew what to do all along, but you did your own thing, and now here we are." We regret not listening to it. Hindsight is always 20/20. How many times have you said to yourself, "I wish I had just listened to my heart," long after the shitty situation you were in has blown over?

So you're familiar with this feeling. How do you combat it? 

For me, I took a long, hard look at myself. 2018 put me through a lot, (those Mercury and Venus retrogrades in October-November-December did not help,) and I was in a lot of situations that I had never been in before. I fell in (and out) of love, I barely scraped by in school, and I felt caught up in the mainstream of life, like a salmon that had forgotten how to swim against the current. I knew I had to make a change. Time to put on the big-boy pants, so to speak.

In 2016, I was working in a grocery store. It was my first job, and it wasn't great. I felt powerless when I was there, like another cog in a machine. I was tired of feeling this way. One of the worst parts of working retail is hearing the same things all the time. As an aside: please don't make jokes about my name. I have heard every Simon Says joke in the book.

My 2017 New Year's resolution was to stop laughing at jokes I didn't think were funny. I didn't have to pretend to like weird old men's racist jokes. And it was liberating. In 2018, I took it a step further. I quit that job and I found a better one.

This year, I looked at myself in the mirror and I told myself I was done compromising my agency. My Mars is in Virgo, I deserve better than this!

If you ever find yourself questioning your motivations and feeling at a loss for where to go next, ask yourself these questions:

1. Is this something you want to do, or is it something you've been told to want?

2. Is there something you owe to the person or situation that keeps you there? What is it? Are you willing to give that up, if it means you'll move on to bigger and better?

3. Why do you keep holding onto what you are obviously meant to move on from? How does it benefit you to keep the wound open? (Spoiler alert: it almost never does.)

Finally, and this isn't a question, so much as a piece of wisdom I have learned: don't do yourself a disservice by thinking that the only way to heal, learn, or grow is through pain. Allow joy to be your mentor.

Oh. And get a planner. It'll change your life.

(Photo by Kristina V on Unsplash)