Ways to Stay Motivated when the Work Seems Overwhelming – Part 1

I’m sorry it’s been so long since I last posted. We’ve spent the last couple weeks tearing our house apart and getting ready to have a yard sale if it ever warms up. We’re doing this while working full-time and Carolyn is also working on a Master’s degree. We’ve cleaned out bookshelves, cleaned out the attic, made trips to Goodwill and to the dump. I’ve posted items online to sell through eBay and Facebook marketplace, which means photographing, measuring and describing everything, then answering questions and making trips out to meet buyers. We have been spending a lot of time skulking around in fast food parking lots unloading our possessions for cash, a very shifty endeavor if I do say so myself. A major life change is not a simple project. So what do we do when the amount of work ahead of us feels greater than the amount behind us and that work means letting go of things you’ve collected, in some cases, since childhood? How do we not get discouraged when winter seems unwilling to give way to spring? The fact is, we have to look outside ourselves for inspiration and motivation. I am NOT a fan of self help books but we can’t do this without help. And that is what I want to tell you about. These are some of the things we’ve found that help us when we feel discouraged. I thought, some of them might help you, too.

I’ve learned that anything you want to do, simply search YouTube and you can find a video about it. A search lead me to videos by a community of people who’ve done exactly what we are doing now. They’ve sold everything, moved into an RV and adopted a nomadic lifestyle. We have a number of favorite creators and we look forward to new episodes each week. Some of the community of folks we discovered on YouTube also have blogs where they can provide more information than a short video allows. Exploring blogs has lead to tips, product recommendations, recipes and to many other folks who are doing the same thing and writing about their experiences as well. In fact, they were the inspiration for beginning this blog.

Podcasts recently came back into my life. I’ve listened to the occasional podcast on and off through the years. Mostly, I would drift in and out of subscriptions. But, recently, I’ve drifted back in and I’ve become a fan of several inspiring podcasts. Keep Your Daydream is one I listen to regularly. The host is so enthusiastic and the guests are always engaging. They are a family who moved into a travel trailer and have been on the road to almost two years now. Their podcasts though, are about other people who have followed their dreams, whatever they may be. For the 100th episode she was joined by her husband and they shared the story of how they got on the road. Their YouTube channel is also one of our favorites.

Instagram is always a quick dose of inspiration. I follow a number of travelers and travel photographers who share photos from their adventures around the U.S. and around the world. When I need to be transported but I can’t devote time to a video, Instagram provides what I need.

The funny thing is, I was never a big reader. My wife made me a reader in college by introducing me to her favorite authors which lead me to a totally unexpected love for books. Through YouTube, I discovered a book called Take Risks by Joe Russo that has provided a lot of inspiration by telling the story of how he and his wife decided to give up their stationary life and hit the road. The book details the entire process and ends with their first day on the road. The author and his wife also have a YouTube channel and blog called We’re the Russos where they share videos about their life on the road. Another recent discovery came from an very unexpected source. I read a photographer’s website which led to a video of a Ted Talk by the author of a book I had no desire to read at all. Eat, Pray, Love was also made into a movie which just looked irritating. But, I watched the author’s Ted Talk because I didn’t recognize her name and by the time she mentioned the book I was hooked so I continued to listen and fall head over heels in love with her talk. It was about how to lead a creative life without going mad. Listening to her lead me to buy her most recent book “Big Magic” which expands on the topic of leading a creative life. It deals a lot with fear and how to manage, but not necessarily conquer, it. Because that may not be possible or even advisable. Her words and her voice have been incredibly encouraging as things have gotten harder.

Finally, a another recent discovery is a Facebook group started by another couple who gave up their stationary life and now they want to guide and inspire others by building a community. It’s amazing how many people are aiming to do the same thing! We’ve learned a lot. Mostly by lurking and reading everyone’s posts. The moderators and other more experienced members are incredibly encouraging and they provide a lot of advice to newbies!

So, these are some of the ways we’ve found inspiration to keep moving forward when the work seems overwhelming. But, I also want to leave you with a piece of advice that we’ve learned along the way. When you are planning a major change in your life; and especially if that change is outside the typical pattern of getting a job, buying a house and filling it with stuff; be careful who you share your plans with. Many well intentioned people will try to talk you out of taking the unconventional path and at times when the work is hard their words carry additional weight. Derailing plans is FAR easier than following through with them, that’s why there is never a shortage of critics. Instead, seek out those who are farther along the path you wish to travel and learn from them. Look for ways to keep your own fire burning and keep yourself on the path you have chosen. Whatever your path may be.

If you have other ways of keeping yourself inspired, share them in the comments below.

Author: lee@runawayrowes.com

Born the same day Gemini 7 launched. I love to travel and photograph new places.

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