Thursday, January 8, 2009

Motivation (Article)

Have you ever stopped to think about your daily routine? Have you ever actually sat back and attempted to analyze the reasons you react to certain situations or apportion energy to a particular obsession? The majority of it has to do with motivation. We as humans dread the realization of consciously doing something in vain, so therefore we seek something to motivate us, or perhaps that thing seeks us. How it happens, isn’t in actuality what’s vital. What is imperative is the source of origination. Did it come from an inside source, or from an outside source. One of the focal mistakes most people make is partaking in an act based on motivation from an outside source. Seeking motivation from an outside source is the fastest way to come in last. “Your drive will eventually drive you crazy.” (Nick Arter) And when it does, I hope your car insurance is up to par, especially if you’re observed to be with somebody else’s “drive” at the crash site.

I’ll give you an example from my personal experience. When I was in 11th grade I was cut from the high school basketball team in the second round of cuts. At the time, I became very emotionally distraught and displayed wounds inside that were just as visible as my multiple brush burns to the physical. After I had a chance to sit down and actually rationalize what in fact happened, I began to become content with the fact that I hadn’t made the team. I discovered I was being driven by motivation from external sources. I was doing it for the people who wanted to see me succeed, I was doing it for the jersey, I was doing it for the popularity, and the list can seek no closure. Sure, I was motivated to make the team, and yes I wanted to, but did I want to because I wanted to? Make sense? In other words, basketball is still one of my favorite hobbies, but did I really want to make the team commitments, or was I just looking for the team title? Was I ready for practices every day of the week, which would have almost certainly forced me to quit my only source of income which I’m still grasping on to today? Luckily fate steered me in the right direction in this case. I was motivated, but I wasn’t self motivated. Motivation can get your through a year or two, but self-motivation will get you through life.

So essentially, all you have to do is motivate your self and you’ll be fine right? But it’s not that easy. You can motivate yourself based on emotions, or you can motivate yourself based on thoughts. When you begin to motivate yourself based on emotions, it’s only a matter of time before your motivation runs out. Emotions are temporary, so motivation based on emotion is therefore temporary as well. Saying that, let me just clear this up before I go any further if this question is lurking in your mind. People say love is what motivates them to marry, and there are a lot of marriages out there that last a lifetime. The only problem with that logic in relation to the topic is that love is not an emotion. Love is a state of mind, but that’s a whole new topic for a whole new day. Let’s say your boyfriend/girlfriend breaks up with you, and you decide to let your anger motivate you to begin to learn boxing. Well guess what? After you get over your emotions and you now see your emotions you once had as petty, then your motivation runs out. On the contrary, let’s say you reside in a rough neighborhood, and you decide to take up boxing as a self defense mechanism. In other words, you used your thoughts to motivate you. You rationally thought out in your head how you could benefit from a boxing program, therefore you are motivated to continue attending because you are motivated by your own benefits.

This is one of the reasons why I think a lot of college freshmen flunk out of school their first year. Maybe they are perhaps motivated by outside sources, such as parents, teachers, or even the urge to get out and party all day. I’m not saying you shouldn’t listen to your parents and teachers, but I’m saying that when you reach that age, you have the ability to decide on some things for yourself. At this point, you can’t listen to them just because they’re your parents, listen to them because you understand their intent and reasoning. The problem is we live in such an idealistic society. We expect everybody to follow the same path, and fortunately or unfortunately, college is on that path. Some people go because they feel like they have to or because “it’s the right thing to do.” If you don’t have any career goals in mind when you enter college then you are wasting your time, you mite as well go work at UPS. Now on the contrary, those who truly understand why they are at college are usually the ones that succeed because they are self motivated. They aren’t motivated by getting a good report card so their parents let them attend that party on Saturday, because most of the time your parents wont be there in college. They are motivated by realizations that they have concluded in their own mind about their future, and that’s where success begins.

Like I afore mentioned, motivating yourself isn’t very easy. It’s like the difference between knowledge and wisdom. Your knowledge will get you motivated, but your wisdom will keep you motivated. It’s not as easy as solely sitting in a dark room by yourself and thinking about your actions before you partake in them, sometimes you need that good old fashioned trial and error. So you joined the high school chorus, and realized that it wasn’t for you. Because you now know for a fact that that certain road is not where you seek to travel, that will help motivate you to try something else. If you ever watched Who Wants to Be A Millionare?, one of the lifelines was a 50/50 option. That is essentially what you are doing. You are minimizing your options to give yourself the maximum chance to succeed. But what exactly is success? Sounds like a topic for my next article ;) All I’m asking you to do is to try to become more self-motivated when it comes to task completions and when it comes to life decisions. It’ll benefit you in the long run.

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