Manali Desai That keeps us going January 16, 2018

As the alarm rings, the everyday struggle of convincing myself to get out of bed begins. My body says I need more sleep but my mind like a superfast app has a list of reasons ready, from I need to get to work to why I need to get to work!

This struggle is kind of a part of lifestyle but lifestyle per se. That daily motivation to keep our minds and bodies going is what keeps us alive really. Think, if we weren’t motivated to earn money, why would we all be earning money at all? We’d all be in poverty and die of starvation. However, these might vary as per the situation and from person to person.

For a person trying to lose weight, it may be the goal to reach that defined mark on the weighing machine. For a teacher, it might be to complete the syllabus on time, to some, it might be before time. For a parent, it might be to give the best to the child. And the definition of best varies, what completes your desires is not necessarily even a motivational factor for me.

There is another side to it too. The idea of being settled in a routine, in our comfort zones, is also a motivation. When was the last time you took a different path from your every day one? Right from the clothes we wear to the food we eat, we have a certain pattern that we follow every day.

For an instance, what’s your favourite drink? And, would you make a switch to another one, even if it is healthy or low priced? Probably not, because over a period of time your favourite drink has become more of an acceptance rather than a liking.

An article on The New York Times notes that ‘when the same choice is made over and over again, the downside of trying something different is limited and fixed.’

So, it could be very well possible that the predictability towards patterns is what keeps us going too. In other words, that drives motivation as well.

I observed this in a simple routine followed in my own household. Over the years, we have had our milk delivered at home early morning from the same milkman. He delivers fresh cow milk. I asked my mother why we hadn’t moved on to packaged milk yet and she said,

“When you and your brother were younger, the milk was needed before 7 am, you know, before the school bus came to pick you, two, up. At that time, this milkman was the only person who delivered the milk early in the morning. It served our purpose very well then and I don’t see the need to change him now either.”

I pointed out the fact that we didn’t need the milk so early now that both my brother and I had moved out and also because the packaged milk would be cheaper. Not to mention that my parents are both retired now and nobody really needed to, rather, wanted to wake up so early in the morning only to take the milk. In fact, the ringing of the bell at 5:30 am in the morning was quite annoying!

However, my mother was adamant. Despite it being a costly affair and a nuisance to the household, she refused to move to packaged milk. I even offered to bring the packets home every evening or get them delivered home at a more convenient time, but she did not budge. Does motivation die with age too, I wondered then.

I realised that day that goals, short term and long term, are what give us the motivation we need on a daily basis. The goals can be personal as well as professional. The goals can be any but have to be ‘the’ goals.

However, it is the everyday routine that we have fallen into over a certain period of time and the nature of normalcy around us that keeps us going every single day. That feeling of not having to struggle through the day is what makes us ready to be up and about!

Why else do we keep saying, “Life goes on…”

A preserver of my thoughts and a nurturer of self-happiness, I am Manali, a believer in all's well that ends well. I cherish the act of writing and the process of thinking. Loner to some and warm to others, I swing between moods based on my hunger pangs. Traveler, reader,music lover and foodie are some adjectives which can be used to describe me.

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