A Lack of Motivation

I’ve been struggling to get my design work done, both at work and at home. It’s too early to say I’m burnt out; I’ve only been doing this as a full-time job since November. I think my biggest concern is a lack of confidence. I used to pride myself on the fact that all my design skills (photoshop, illustrator, HTML and CSS etc) were self-taught. I used to think how clever I must be considering I hadn’t taken a single design course. Yet now these very traits are haunting me. I’m uncertain all the time. I second-guess absolutely everything I do to the point that nothing gets done. It’s crippling me.

I know that this probably isn’t the best practice, blogging about these negative feelings. No one wants to read emotional drivel. But I am not perfect, far from it. And, if anything, don’t people want to know that I am simply human and I go through crap just like everybody else? Or maybe people only want to see that of wonderful famous people, not ordinary people like me.

Well, to keep this brief and close it out, here’s a quote from the Neil deGrasse Tyson AskMeAnything post I’m reading right now:

“The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things in life like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people in life recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation.

For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.”

– Neil deGrasse Tyson, on this AMA post on Reddit


3 thoughts on “A Lack of Motivation

  1. Ash,
    I don’t know you well, we met at a game jam where you made some great art and since then we’ve been Facebook friends, but let me tell you: I find your drive and enthusiasm a source of inspiration for me, personally. You never know what you look like from the outside, but to me you shine with life. You are constantly working. You put your work out there for all to see and welcome constructive criticisms, taking them for what they are worth and you don’t get defensive. You are a model artist.
    As an artist myself, I know exactly what you are talking about. As a contractor new to the computer arts, and to development, with everything on the line, sometimes I sit and practically shake with stress. There’s just too much to do! Too little time! And I’m not good enough!
    My friends tell me, too, that I’m being too hard on myself. It’s hard to start a new career, and it takes time. There’s always people with more experience willing to do the work cheaper. But those people are not our competition. They cannot compete. What you offer which they lack is heart. That is something money can’t buy.
    As you live into your potential you will see your work accumulate, your experience and contacts grow, and your successes will line up, one after the other, as they already are. Who else does what you do? Do you know anyone with your range of skills from the digital arts to costume? No, there’s nobody. You are unique.


    • Hey Dmitri!

      I’m sorry it took me so long to reply. I was so stunned and flattered by your comment that I really didn’t know what to say.

      It’s difficult adjusting from school-life to work-life where there are no grades and you don’t have a straightforward way of knowing where you stand. It’s comments like yours that reassure me that I’m on the right track and I should keep at it.

      We’re both really hard on ourselves but I think that’s a double-edged sword. It can be bad because self-criticism can get so harsh that it’s crippling, but it’s good because if we were always content with our work, we wouldn’t strive to improve.

      Thank you so much for your comment. I read it throughout the day sometimes to get me back on track when I’m feeling down.

      – Ash

  2. Motivation is most important thing in each work, either that work is related to designing or any other because we get encouragement from it which helps to get success but lack of motivation will take you in the another direction so always having faith in ourselves is most important thing to succeed in the life.

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