Sustaining motivation in the face of setbacks

LinkedIn post 13 April Are you a change-maker? Do you get disheartened when progress is slow, when you see hard-won gains reversed, when the path ahead is blocked?
Setbacks can be tough to bear, especially tackling urgent challenges like climate change, racial equity and women’s rights. But progress does not follow a straight line, it takes many paths, some circuitous.
I’ve been reflecting on change-making, and acknowledging the wisdom of the past and future, since reading Ijeoma Oluo’s excellent book So you want to talk about race.
Oluo describes how it’s both inspiring and disconcerting when young people call for things that older generations of change-makers were brainwashed into believing were ‘too much to ask’.
‘No matter what our intentions, everything we say and do in the pursuit of justice will one day be outdated, ineffective, and yes, probably wrong,’ she writes. ‘That is the way progress works. What we do now is important and helpful so long as what we do now is what is needed now.’
That’s an important reminder. And if you are feeling disheartened, you’ll most likely rediscover your drive, even if it takes time and requires help to get unstuck. Remember you’re not alone.
How do you sustain your motivation for positive change in the face of setbacks?

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