Sunday, May 15, 2016

Motivation {Share Your Story}

{On Sundays guest writers share a piece of their story.  My hope is that through this we can consider someone else's perspective and understand each other better.  This is today's piece: Motivation.  I think a lot of us can relate to this struggle!}

To me motivation is the drive to experience more, learn more, and achieve more. Based on that description, I have always been a highly motivated person. I graduated a year early from high school, completed two undergraduate degrees, and completed my Masters while raising two young sons. I worked hard, spent weekends taking my kids to new places, and always wanted to learn new things. So, motivation hasn’t really been a problem for me. I am sure that my sources of motivation were partly external (parental push, that “gold star”, winning) but also internally driven. I remember really wanting to be able to do a left-handed lay-up when I was in about the ninth grade. So, I practiced… over, and over, and over again until I could do it.

But, lately, I have been feeling unmotivated. Until recently, I was not able to attach that word to the way I was feeling. I might have said that I was feeling, “blah” or “not quite like myself”, but I had not yet realized that what I was really feeling was a lack of motivation. There are lots of tasks that I have wanted to complete, but for some reason they have all felt too big or too heavy to even begin. For example, even the simple task of cleaning out a closet just felt like too much work. I wanted to go for a run, I wanted to eat healthy, I wanted to read an interesting non-fiction book, but I couldn’t do any of it. Worst of all, I couldn’t really explain why, especially since it was not a feeling that I was used to having. I also could not explain where the feeling had come from. Was I worn out from years of doing too much? Is it because my job is kind of heavy and I am experiencing emotional fatigue from it? Or perhaps I am not feeding my body enough nutritionally sound food and it is getting angry at me. Whatever the reason, I could not find a way to explain it or make a significant change.

Last week, at the end of a long day, I remember thinking that all I wanted to do was go home and eat a bunch of junk food and watch television. What?! I was consciously deciding to make unhealthy choices? That is not to say that I don’t sometimes choose to eat or act in unhealthy ways, but the decisions are usually based on having fun, being social, or just wanting to have something that tastes good. This was different. This was a serious lack of motivation.

I did spend that night eating popcorn and watching television. But, the next night I went out with a friend to an interesting event. I learned more. On Sunday, I made plans for our family to go hiking in a spot we had never been before. It was so rejuvenating for my spirit to be in nature and feel my body working the way that it is meant to. I experienced more. And I decided that I needed more. Perhaps it is like the saying “sleep begets sleep” in that learning, experiencing, achieving more lead to more desire to do those things. Hmm, doing begets motivation perhaps. So, I have decided that every Sunday morning our family is going to do something adventurous. We might hike, or bike, or kayak, or berry pick. The thought of this excited me (and the kids) and when I got home, I felt motivated. Motivated to go play tennis with my youngest. Motivated to clean the bathroom. Motivated to put on a nice dress for the evening. The best part is, none of it felt like work.  And this morning when I woke up, my littlest had written me a note: “I loved hiking with you yesterday. I appreciate you playing tennis with me.” Now, that, is motivation.

{Please remember to encourage these guest writers with a like or comment–it's not always easy putting your thoughts and life out there!}

Terri is a mom of two boys and wife of Steve.  She loves sports, books, and talking one on one. She's a teacher and counselor and has a one of the sweetest hearts around.  Thanks for sharing, Terri!


  1. Oh man, Terri, I too suffer from a big lack of motivation! I hear you on the cleaning the closet being too much work! I have a junk drawer in the kitchen that has been taunting me for months. I am glad you found a way to help you get through it:)

    1. My junk drawer has been taunting me for years :) I feel you, Mandeep!