“When you feel like quitting, think about why you started.” I’ve been thinking a lot about why I started lately, especially when it comes to dancing. I’ve been feeling like there are things I should be able to do within dancing that I can’t do, both in terms of specific moves and techniques and in terms of time and money investments. When people talk about competitions and international events, I don’t get excited. I just start thinking about how tired I will be, and whether I will have to take time off work.
But this weekend I had some really good social dances. After a particularly crazy sequence of spins and dips and ducks, in the midst of an adrenaline rush, I thought: I started dancing so I could feel like this on a regular basis. All the technical training, the private lessons, the sleep deprivation and the tired feet are just means to this end.
I started dancing to have fun on the social dance floor. I dance to be able to follow anyone, and have fun with any leader. I dance so that when advanced leaders ask me for a dance, they can have fun too.
I didn’t start dancing to compete. I didn’t start dancing to gain any sort of fame or any recognition other than smiles from my leaders. I didn’t even start dancing to teach – although I like to think I am improving my social dance experiences by developing good habits with my students.
This way of thinking works for other parts of my life too:
I started working in PR to make communication my job. I started because it would mean being paid to write. I work in PR because I believe most problems can be alleviated – if not solved – through communication.
I didn’t go into PR for money, fame or a glamorous lifestyle. I didn’t start my job because I thought it would be easy. I started because I thought I would be good at it.
I started blogging to write. I blog because my blog is a place to store my thoughts, so they are not bouncing around in my head and getting mixed up. I blog to get things out of my system. I blog to organize my thoughts – whether they are about content filtering algorithms or pop songs accused of “rapeyness”. I started blogging to practice writing something that might be read by someone other than myself or my school teachers.
I didn’t start blogging to gain lots of readers or to fit into a certain niche or to prove anything to anyone. I started blogging to practice writing with readers, but I don’t write for my readers – (sorry, everyone) – I write for me.
And I dance for me – and for my current dance partner. Even though it isn’t New Year’s I will consider this post an official resolution.
If you liked this random piece of motivational life advice, you might like this post too: Six months left