Most of February’s material focused on understanding the Goals, Motivations, and Conflicts of the characters we pen for our stories. We’ll continue to explore the nuances of healthy and effective character journeys this month as well, but first I want to take what we’ve learned and apply it to our own lives. Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees. We get too caught up in the small day-to-day minutiae of living life that we lose sight of the bigger picture. We forget why we’re doing something. And sometimes we focus on the reasons why we can’t move forward rather than thinking about what alternate paths we could take.
We often forget our why.
If you’re feeling listless, the first question to ask yourself is whether you have a goal? Is it concise and actionable? Is it achievable within a defined time frame? Have you outlined your success criteria? Without a clear goal in at least one aspect of your life, you can’t even begin to move forward. Even if your goal is to sit quietly for a while and decompress, acknowledge that you need this down time and immerse into it.
Without a clear, concise, actionable goal, we cannot grow.
If you’re already working toward a strong goal, but you’re feeling unmotivated to keep pushing forward, ask yourself why this goal is important to you. Your why is your motivation, and looking more closely at our motivations can help us more concisely define our goals.
Your why is your motivation, and it will help you set your goals.
Finally, if there’s a conflict in your life that you cannot see past and have no way to work around, and it is completely derailing you—emotionally, mentally, spiritually, professionally—consider whether that mountain is worth the sacrifice to climb… or whether it’s a sign that you might need to consider other directions. Our paths in life are determined by the battles we choose, so be sure you’re spending your energy in ways that shape you into the person you want to become.
Who we are is determined by the battles we choose to fight, the mountains we choose to climb.
Just like the characters in our stories, sometimes what we want is not necessarily what we need, and our Goals and Motivations can change as we react to Conflicts and grow as human beings. There can be no highs without lows, so embrace the whole journey and respect where you are right now. But always be thinking, what is my journey?
Our personal GMCs can change, and sometimes that is healthy.
If you missed the GMC lessons in February, check out my self-study resource recommendation and the clutch technique that demystifies GMCs. A Two-Minute Tips video with extra insight into nailing down GMCs is coming soon!