Considering the many reasons you have that control your healing from your stroke, you know they can build up or overcome your recovery. The causes mean it can affect your daily recovery. Some days you are motivated to do your physical exercises and do exercises. Some days, you have lost your motivation and desire to do items contributing to your recovery. You do not do the actions and your recovery stall.

One of the factors that cause the degree and extent of your recovery is motivation. Where do you get inspiration? Do you have little or much reason? What is your quality of motivation? How much motivation is in the lake, how much you can tap into it, and “be motivated.” These are great questions to ask yourself!

I am going to introduce the concept of a lake of motivation. The lake is small and confined. External and internal factors determine your lake level. A stream and the rain feed it. There may be an underground spring that adds to the lake’s level. The soil affects it too. Another stream empties it, and the evaporation by the sun loses some water. (Depending on the soil, it affects your lake’s filling and emptying.) Again, the ground is holding it in the lake.

This set of external and internal factors determines your lake level.

You watch a YouTube video that inspires you and fills some into your lake of motivation. You read an excellent biography of a famous person. Your lake of motivation gets some more water in it. How about the stream coming into a lake and rain falling on and around your lake? These are external factors.

You practice a little mindfulness. You journal. You rehearse gratitude. These are examples of the soil that holds water in the lake. These reasons are an internal element.

Together all these factors fill your level of motivation.

You have a tough day with other people demanding of you, like evaporation, which you feel you cannot give. You need to concentrate while you are trying to balance your checking account. Like the stream is emptying your lake, these are external features.

Do you beat up on yourself up? Your self-talk continues throughout the day while you are awake (and dreaming). If you are harsh to yourself, you deplete your motivation. It is like porous earth draining the lake and drying up.

These causes determine your lake of motivation and your amount or level of motivation. Do you know your motivation is essential to get you through your day? It ebbs and flows through your day, week, month, year, and lifetime. By managing all these parts, you can maintain or raise your motivation.

Let’s do an exercise that has two parts. The first part is to take time to visualize or imagine your lake of motivation. The second part is to journal the lessons or what happened to you in the first part. I must stress the importance of writing something down on paper or your computer, tablet, or phone. Making it concrete makes it permanent and so you can read it back. You will learn more about yourself by journaling!

Step 1 – Make yourself comfortable. Sit in a chair or lie down on your bed or a sofa. Close your eyes. Imagine or visualize your motivation lake. Dream or invent or see the lake. You can visualize a small lake nearby. Then know that is your motivation in the water.

Make it fill up in your mind by raining on it, or maybe the rain has passed, and the sun is breaking through the clouds. Notice that the stream coming in is clean and running constantly. The soil is like clay, like a big glass from which you drink. Observe that it is evaporating, but the incoming stream more than makes it up. Imagine a stream draining the lake, but it is a slow and feeble stream.

Is your lake staying the same level, or is it getting a little deeper? Spend some time enjoying your lake of motivation. Set your intention that you need the depth of motivation and freely use it because the lake is replenishing itself. Slowly open your eyes.

Step 2 – Capture the experience in a journal, loose paper, or spiral notebook. You can start a journal if you have never used one or don’t have one. Now, I will give you your journal (figurately). It is your journal. Journal your way.

Take about 5-10 minutes and journal what you felt and thought about it. Write or draw a mind map or some pictures or shapes you imagined or visualized during the first step of this exercise.

You know you and your mind have the power to give you more motivation. Once you have adequate or boundless energy, you can channel it through your motivation to do what you want or need to do today. It is up to you.

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