It is easy to get overcome with stress as an activist. Often things do not make sense to a person who is fighting for cannabis freedom. We ask ourselves, “Why do people not get it? How can anyone think weed being illegal and people going to jail is a good idea?” It is nonsensical to a rational minded human. It is frustrating.
So how can one stay motivated, even in the face of ignorance an oppression?
Good question. The answer is self-discipline and hope.
We, as humans, are capable of overcoming many things when we focus on where we want to be, and do not dwell on where we are, or where we have been.
When we can envision a world where weed is legal and people are no longer going to prison for a plant, then we can share that vision with our fellow man more clearly. If we allow ourselves to be mired down by what has not happened, or the fact that things often do not happen fast enough in this world, we lose that focus of a better world.
I am not saying to ignore completely the present, and the past, and focus solely on the future. But learn from the past, be aware of the present, but keep what motivates you focused on the future.
It is great that we are seeing massive progress in the area of cannabis reform after two huge victories in Colorado and Washington; but for me, that can sometimes complex my anxieties. When we get a little taste of the final victory, it is hard to walk back. It can be difficult to continue to wait for the laws to catch up with public sentiment. It is difficult for me to not see our movement making a harder full-court press in the wake of these victories. Why are we not organizing more and making more noise to demand these laws be done away with completely? Why are we still trying to convince everyone that we are all sick still?
I could go on; but the reality is that many things are simply out of our control. What we must do as activists is to keep staying active. Do the work, and do not get let down by things you have no control of. Find areas where you can make a difference, and do that. Do it well, and do not look back.
Staying motivated takes a lot of self-discipline. The human psyche seems to always want to keep score, and even amongst definitive victories it is easy to be let down by the ongoing real-time losses, like our friends being in prison, doors still being kicked in for plants, and cannabis businesses being treated like lesser organizations in our society.
While these are the things we must put an end to, chances are it will not happen tomorrow. While that enrages me to my core, I will not let it slow down my motivation. I will continue to press, and work hard towards ending prohibition. I will work hard to keep my mind focused on what is right, and let what is wrong fall where it may. I will meditate, breathe, and find things I can do to make a difference.
Staying motivated is not easy, but the alternative is far worse. Take time to take care of yourself, and find your motivation within you.