Motivation...some thoughts

Motivation: noun. The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving a certain way. The general desire of willingness of someone to do something. Sounds kinda dull in the dictionary terms, huh? Yet motivation is something that we hear about every day. People get paid huge sums of money to be "motivational speakers." Companies pay large price tags to figure out ways to motivate their employees, to cause them to desire to produce more, produce better. But deep down, what is motivation? What does it mean to you? You will hear buzzwords today about a person's "why," another term for motivation. Why has motivation become such a big deal? Why do we need it so much? Where does it really come from? Well, glad you asked...I will spend the next few lines on my thoughts to these questions. What is motivation? Motivation is a desire or a prompting to act. For some, it may be a spark that fuels a new workout routine to live a healthier lifestyle. It might be a "trigger" that spurs a person to work like crazy for that next raise at work, or to take a leap of faith and start a new business. What does it mean to me? I could probably drone on endlessly about what motivation is to me, because it has evolved throughout my life. When I was younger, I dealt with the pains of my parents' divorce, and so my motivation was to be liked and accepted by both sides. When that desire went to the crapper, my motivation turned to one of anger, because I felt like my father loved his stepkids more than me, his oldest. I felt abandoned and alone, and turned that anger toward being the best I could be in school, to earn approval. So, my motivation was again to be accepted. I graduated high school as valedictorian, played football, won awards out the butt...but I never felt like I was accepted. Not for me. So then I turned to my faith. I became very involved in church, and pursued what I felt was a call to ministry. I went to college, then seminary. I graduated with honors from both. I pursued my ministerial license and got that. I thought that would find me acceptance. But it never really did. I took an associate pastor position only to feel abandoned by the senior pastor. I took another one, to be used and manipulated by another senior pastor. Disillusioned and even more angry, I left formal ministry and went back to food service. Still determined to find acceptance, I busted my butt to become a restaurant manager. I was promoted to bar manager in one year, and then to kitchen manager in another year--faster than most. Then my family all told me I should go back to ministry...so again, acceptance was never gained. I got married while still in management. And while that helped, it was only a band-aid. I was still motivated to be accepted. I ceased contact with most of my family as I felt they became toxic. I stewed in anger from motivations never fulfilled. You see, I thought motivation came from the outside. I had sermons in church, videos on YouTube, movies...they all moved me at one time or another, and yet I still felt empty. That was until my wife and I separated. My world came crashing down. The anger that fueled fake motivation finally began to push everyone away. I had a wake-up call...one that rocked my world. And that was when the real idea of motivation started to come to me. I had been trying to live my life on external motivation. It is not possible. Does external motivation help once in a while? Heck yes it does! I just watched a YouTube video by Dwayne Johnson that really fired me up to take my morning routine up a notch, and I am about to put that new plan into action. But you see, that video wouldn't not have worked for me a year ago, because I was out of whack, out of touch. I would look in the mirror and I didn't like what I saw...in fact, I didn't even know who I was looking at. I was empty, of life and love...and motivation. I started to journal again and to meditate, along with working out, hoping the disciplines would jump start me...and it did. In the silence of my meditations, I began to realize, I didn't need acceptance from anyone. I HAD TO ACCEPT MYSELF. You see, true motivation comes from the inside. When you know yourself, and love yourself, you start to vibrate on higher frequencies, and you begin to get what I would call a heavenly download...you find your purpose in life. It is that purpose, that arises from knowing and loving and accepting yourself, that provides real motivation. The external motivations are like sparks...but they will flame out if there is no internal fire. That was what I was missing. I had spent the first 46 years of my life trying to fuel my life on external sparks, jumping from one to the next as each one fizzled out. I never could figure out why I was not "on fire." Long story short...my motivation is alive. I am at peace with myself. I love me, regardless of what others think. As a result, things are coming back into order. Love for people has re-kindled, and I am no longer an angry shell of a person. I feel driven, and that drive is to help people. There will be more down the road of how my drive to help others will all manifest, as there are many irons in the fire right now, but you just wait...sooooo much more to come! Where does motivation come from? I think I answered this successfully above. haha Both external and internal motivations are real. External motivation is a spark, a "foot in the ass" if you will, that shakes the cobwebs loose so that we take action. You see this everywhere. It might be your trainer at the gym, or a very empathetic HR person in your office, or just a tried and true best friend. External motivation is necessary, as it sometimes gives us the extra push we need if we are tired or disoriented or confused. And when those external sparks are combined with your internal flame, they can be quite powerful. Internal motivation, however, is your why, your purpose. At is most basic, you should have a motivation to be better than you were yesterday. That might mean an extra 5 pounds on that bench press, or an extra 1/4 mile on your jog. It might mean the extra 5 minutes at work that causes a chain of events that leads to a promotion. It might mean staying up past your bedtime to push out content that could change someone's life. There are other internal motivations as well. My love for my wife and son create a drive in me, to be a better dad and better husband, to provide for them, to be the man they need me to be. That list could go on and on, depending on the person. What is your internal motivation? Why do we need motivation so much and why is it such a big deal today? I sincerely believe many of us in my generation, if honest, deal with the similar situations to me. Maybe not...but I think if we were all honest, yeah, there are more than not. Why do I say that? How many people reference a "mid-life crisis"? This is part of that, I believe. I also think that with the onslaught of fake news and social media blitzes, it has become harder to sift through the bullshit of life. In a world of more ways to connect, people feel more disconnected than ever before. We want connection...real human connection. We seek that spark, that fire that helps us connect with purpose. Many have taken jobs they hate, because "Dad was a doctor, and so was Grandpa." Or whatever job title you want to insert in that. People kill themselves trying to live up to others' expectations--at work, at home, everywhere. We are finding ourselves dying for the REAL. The real me, the real you...real people who offer real connection. Humans are not just mindless beasts. We are hearts and souls and divine energy. If we spend too much time trying to be something we are not, we cover up the divine energy in our lives...until it smolders. Then we are wandering, empty, alone, angry...and the list of tragedy goes on and on.... This is why we need motivation today. We need the REAL. We need to look in the mirror, tell every other expectation to take a hike, and find what MAKES ME TICK. WHAT IS MY WHY? WHAT DRIVES ME? When you can quiet the outside world, and find that, my friends, you have found motivation. But you have to dig for it, you have to push past the lies and the fake. You have to be REAL. Anything less will fizzle out, just like the external sparks of motivation with no internal fire to connect with. This is why I started #WideOpen Clothing. It is a small piece of a much bigger puzzle. I want to offer small sparks of motivation to help you light your fire. Because fitness is a huge part of my life, yes, many of the shirts will deal with the gym. It is a solace for me, a haven to clear my head and strip away the BS so that I can stay focused on my motivation. I hope you found something useful in this post, something to take away. Feel free to browse the shop. I truly appreciate any feedback you wish to offer, and definitely appreciate your visiting the site. Have a blessed day, my dear friends. More to come soon. #WideOpen

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