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motivation

Health

6 too-real comics show what happens when work gets too heavy

Finding a good balance between working and relaxing can be difficult, but it doesn't have to be.

Image courtesy of College Humor

A reason to be late... tasty treats.


Everyone gets antsy about their jobs sometimes.

Maybe you notice you're less motivated than usual. Maybe you acknowledge that you're no longer going the extra mile, and you're not quite sure why. Maybe professionalism is a term you've long since forgotten.

For many of us, the struggle can be so, so real. That's why Willie Muse wrote these all-too-relatable comics for College Humor, illustrated by Karina Farek.


These six funny comics perfectly illustrate what a typical first day at your job looks like versus the 101st day:

1. Who doesn't look at at least one viral video a day?

music, work, employee rights, jobs

To tune or not to tune.

Image courtesy of College Humor

2. You suddenly find the time to fit in a breakfast sandwich.

breakfast, fast food, time

How do you miss out on a breakfast quickly served?

Image courtesy of College Humor

3. You go from wanting your boss's approval to hating his or her guts.

boss, employee, friendship, community

Getting to know your coworkers...

Image courtesy of College Humor

4. All the details that were once so important become nuisances.

job requirements, nuisances, work vacation

An evolution in responsibility and ethics?

Image courtesy of College Humor

5. Your (lack of) motivation can take you from hero to zero — quick!

motivation, work-life-balance, career

When an opportunity evolves into a responsibility.

Image courtesy of College Humor

6. And you most certainly DO NOT want to end up like this.

advice, labor, qualifications

Getting on the right side of fear.

Image courtesy of College Humor

Let's be real: These comics are funny, but they also aren't ideal.

In a perfect world, we'd all have jobs that still look and feel like Day 1 on Day 101. And one of the only ways to get there is to intentionally strive for a life that's full of work-life balance. We really do have the power to not let things play out like this.

What can we do?

At a most basic level, we can make sure we're getting enough sleep, eating well, and doing at least a little exercise. We also shouldn't underestimate the benefits of detaching from computer screens and smartphones every once in a while. Plus, we can also minimize our stress levels by not multitasking and instead concentrating on one task at time.

The most overlooked advice for maintaining a healthy work-life balance is to actually take time off.

Disconnect from your daily work routine. Make a conscious effort to recharge.

Perhaps if we dedicate more time to enjoying life outside of work, there's more of a chance that we'll be on Day 1 for months, feeling grateful for our jobs rather than impatiently waiting for the clock to strike 5. Let's get to it!


This article originally appeared on 10.25.16

The thought of a 7-year-old being picked on is heartbreaking, but the way this incoming second-grader chose to respond to being bullied is filling hearts with joy.

Rowyn Montgomery of Tiverton, Rhode Island, has been making motivational videos for his classmates and even grownups are finding them inspiring.

The wisdom and positive attitude this kiddo exudes is just awesome. Watch the message he has for his class as they get ready to tackle the second grade:


Tiverton 7-Year-Old Has a Motivational Message for his Classmateswww.youtube.com

"God knows how many grades there's gonna be!" Holy hilarious, Batman. But Rowyn is right: "Believing in yourself is always the right thing to do."

Rowyn's mom, Michelle Montgomery told FUN 107 that the 7-year-old regularly has conversations beyond his years. "He's so funny," she said. "He's an old soul. You can talk to him about such deep things."

Check out Rowyn's advice for kids who are being picked on.

"I have a unibrow and I used to be picked on because of it. But, I don't care because I'm myself!" he says. "With bullies, it doesn't matter what they think about you, it matters what you think about yourself and it's good to embrace yourself and tell other people who you are."

Right on, little man.

Embrace YOUrself!!www.youtube.com

"When I make videos, it makes me feel happy that other people can watch them and feel happy," Rowyn said, according to ABC 6. "If they're getting picked on or if they're shy or something, they can watch the videos."

Dealing with bullying is hard for people at any age. To see such a young person not only internalize a message of self-worth and confidence, but also be able to so eloquently share it with others, is truly inspiring.

Rowyn's mom works in the behavioral health field and Rowyn himself hopes to be a counselor one day so he can keep helping and motivating others. Judging by his videos, he's got a bright future ahead of him.

Rowyn's videos can be seen on his YouTube channel, Rollin' with Rowyn.

Photo by niklas_hamann on Unsplash

A "motivational" message has been circulating during the coronavirus lockdown, which is allegedly supposed to kick our butts into gear since most of us now have more time on our hands.

Here's one version:


On its face, it may sound logical. We often don't do things because we lack time—or think we do—so now that we supposedly have more time, we should be doing those things now, right?

Just one thing though—there's a deadly global pandemic and massive economic crisis happening, which might be just the tiniest bit distracting right now, Jeremy.

A trauma psychologist from Beirut weighed in on this idea that we should be extra productive right now, and she didn't mince words. Alaa Hijazi's Facebook post has been shared 19,000 times, so people are clearly appreciating her wisdom. She wrote:

I thought I was spared the horrid 'motivational' phrase going around now—'If you don't come out of this with a new skill, you never lacked time, you lacked discipline'—until I saw it on my local yoga studio page.

As a trauma psychologist, I am utterly utterly horrified, enraged, and bewildered about how people can believe and spread this phrase in good conscience.

We are going through a collective trauma, that is bringing up profound grief, loss, panic over livelihoods, panic over loss of lives of loved ones. People's nervous systems are barely coping with the sense of threat and vigilance for safety, or alternating with feeling numb and frozen and shutting down in response to it all.

People are trying to survive poverty, fear, retriggering of trauma, retriggering of other mental health difficulties. Yet, someone has the nerve to accuse someone of lack of discipline for not learning a new skill, and by a yoga teacher!

This cultural obsession with [capitalistic] 'productivity' and always spending time in a 'productive,' 'fruitful' way is absolutely maddening.

What we need is more self-compassion, more gentle acceptance of all the difficult emotions coming up for us now, more focus on gentle ways to soothe ourselves and our pain and the pain of loved ones around us, not a whipping by some random fucker making us feel worse about ourselves in the name of 'motivation.'"

Indeed. Even those of us who are still employed full-time are finding it difficult to focus some days like we used to. The enormity of this pandemic and the global shutdown over it weighs heavy on all of us. Our sense of normality has been turned upside down and the uncertainty over what even the near future holds makes sustained attention a challenge.

Add in the fact that many people now have children at home who used to be at school or childcare, many are struggling to figure out how they're going to pay rent or buy groceries, many are watching businesses or careers they've spent years building crumble before their eyes, many have health conditions that make them anxious about catching the virus, and it's not hard to see how neither "time" nor "discipline" are our big problems right now.

If you want to go read books on hustling and build up some skill set, Jeremy, go for it. But let's not lay a guilt trip on people who are going through a traumatic experience that none of us have experienced before and none of us were prepared for.

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You don’t need more motivation.

You don’t need to be inspired to action. You don’t need to read any more lists or posts about how you’re not doing enough.

We act as though we can read enough articles and Pinterest quotes and suddenly the little switch in our brain will push us into action. But here’s the thing that nobody really talks about when it comes to success and motivation and willpower and goals and productivity and all those little buzzwords: You are as you are until you’re not.


You change when you want to change. You put your ideas into action in the timing that is best. That’s just how it happens.

And if you ask me, all we really need is this: permission to be wherever the fuck we are when we’re there.

You’re not a robot. You can’t just conjure up motivation when you don’t have it.

Sometimes you’re going through something. Sometimes life has happened.

Life! Remember life? Yeah, it teaches you things and sometimes makes you go the long way around for your biggest lessons. You don’t get to control everything.

You can wake up at 5 a.m. every day until you’re tired and broken, but if the words or the painting or the ideas don’t want to come to fruition, they won’t. You can show up every day with all your best intentions, but if it’s not the time, it’s just not the time. You need to give yourself permission to be a human being.

Sometimes the novel isn't ready to be written because you haven’t met the inspiration for your main character yet. Sometimes you need two more years of life experience before you can make your masterpiece into something that will feel real and true and raw to other people.

Sometimes you’re not falling in love because whatever it is you need to know about yourself is only knowable through solitude. Sometimes you haven’t met your next collaborator. Sometimes your sadness encircles you because, one day, it will be the opus upon which you build your life.

Logically, we all know we can't always bend life to our will. And yet we continue to try.

We try so hard to manipulate and control our lives, make creativity into a game to win, take shortcuts to success because others say they have, process emotions and uncertainty as if these are linear journeys.

You don’t get to game the system of your life. You just don’t. You don’t get to control every outcome in an attempt to resist the uncertainty of something beyond what you understand. It’s the very basis of being present: showing up as you are in this moment and letting that be enough.

But we don’t do that. We fill every minute with productivity tools and read endless lists on how to better conquer our natural, human impulses. We forget that key concept: that we are as we are until we’re not. We are the same until we’ve changed.

We can improve things a bit — for instance, by practicing healthy habits and living our lives in a way that fosters growth — but we can’t game timing. Timing is the one thing that we often forget to surrender to.

Most of our unhappiness stems from the belief that our lives should be different than they are.

We believe we have control  —  and our self-loathing and self-hatred comes from this idea that we should be able to change our circumstances, that we should be richer or hotter or better or happier.

While holding ourselves accountable is empowering, it can often lead to a resentment and bitterness toward ourselves that none of us need. We have to put in our best effort and then allow whatever happens to happen — and try not to feel so directly and vulnerably tied to outcomes. Opportunities often don’t show up in the way we think they will.

What you need is not the motivation or inspiration to create the life you want. You need less shame surrounding the idea that things are not necessarily perfect. You need to stop listening to people who are in vastly different places in their lives tell you that you’re just not doing or being enough.

You need to let timing do its thing. You need to see lessons where you see barriers. You need to understand that what’s happening right now becomes inspiration later. You need to see that wherever you are now guides and shapes your identity later.

There’s a magic beyond us that works in ways we can’t understand. We can’t game it. We can’t 10-point list it. We can’t control it. We have to just let it be, to take a step back for a moment, stop beating ourselves up into oblivion, and let the cogs turn as they will.

One day, this moment will make sense. Trust that.

Give yourself permission to trust that.

This piece originally appeared on Medium and is reprinted here with permission.