Will you wait for motivation or chase after it?

An acquaintance once said to me, “I’m not motivated enough. I just need motivation. Maybe if I found out the answer to what I’ve been wondering,  then I can move on. Then I’ll be motivated.”

I had to wonder what motivation really meant and whether it even mattered at all. Truth is, 99% of the time you have to strive, and push through the lack of motivation to see any results or a glimpse of something that might motivate at you at all. This came to me as I compared the characteristics of  people close to me, and this acquaintance.

Generally I’m drawn to hard working, motivated individuals, who are driven, constantly moving, producing results, and speak very little. I feel connected to people whose work ethics I admire. I could count on and on when I look at my inner circle of five,my close circle of ten, or my outer circle of friends, the things about the characters that are attractive and admirable to me. The first on the list would be educated, a close second is hard working, and third, does not gossip or speak ill of others.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, I’m completely turned off by gossip, sitting around and talking or even conversations about people who are not present. If they have a lot of time in there hands to do nothing, or are always available, I repel their energy. Bottom line, If you tell me something negative about someone, I’m unlikely to hang around with you, and even less likely to entertain conversation  with you.

So in comparison to the acquaintance, I watched the work ethics of an individual who I admired. He was disciplined. This was the most important part of his success. He hates school, and he hates the 9-5 jobs, but thought it took slightly longer than average, he graduated with a degree, and is now working fulltime in a great company many a very generous salary. All the while, he had also been very actively working on  a side project, which recently, after years of planning, building and tweaking, took an impressive turn. The most attractive things about this individual, aside from the discipline to push through despite how he feels, is is lack of words. He worked in silence,  and in all the years I’ve known him he had never uttered negative comments about others, not even those who have done him wrong. That’s confidence, and that’s allowing his intelligence to overpower his emotions always.

Vice versa, the unmotivated acquaintance developed habits that sooner than I imagined had me running as far away as possible from him. He has done nothing with her life in years. He’s had dropped out of school, says he had no interest in it, and chooses everyday, to allow one incident which is natural in any human beings life cycle, to dictate that he isn’t motivated enough to go forward or step into something. He talked quite a bit about his dreams and visions, portrayed everyone he knew in negative light, especially those around his age group, and esteemed himself above these men in a self-righteous attitude while having no job, achievements, or accomplishments to back up his words. Of course, over the years insecurities or jealousies must have taken over causing a bitter view of the world and everything in it. But at the end of the day, he sat and waited for motivation. Motivation never came. This person could be a wonderful individual, and probably has a good heart but his problem was his own thinking, lack of discipline, comparing himself to others, and FEAR OF FAILURE.

So what about motivation? Nothing. Motivation is nothing, discipline and work ethics are everything. The problem is that if you wait for motivation, it will never show up. Most of us wake up to bewildering alarm clocks, much earlier than we want to just to go ahead and make an honest day’s wages. If we want to pay our bills, keep a roof over our heads, food on our plates and stay out of debt, we need to do this. Yet there are those who are jobless by choice and sinking in debt. Is that lack of motivation or plain laziness? Going to the gym is another example. We can be too tired after working all day to step into a gym and physically push our bodies out of the last bit energy. Doing so is beneficial to our health and physique but it’s almost never evident in one day at the gym.

So what do you do to find that motivation? Work, push, suffer, cry, crawl, and even drag yourself there if you have to, but get there, do the task. I kid you not, just over a year ago, I had to go to work everyday while struggling with post traumatic stress disorder, and cry way through each day. I had to fight against opposing management who could not understand the situation, I even had to get there under medication for migraines and work with no energy. But I did it. It wasn’t motivating then, but it definitely paid my bills and I’ve never taken loans for school because of it.

Similarly in high school,  I remember I had trouble keeping up with track and field practices in Gr. 9. I had never had to work hard before Gr.9, whether in sports or school, I basically cruised through easily, so when I joined the track team in high school, the intensity of the training scared me. It was so hard that I began to skip practices for a month until my coach called home and I got in trouble. I forced to go back to practice again and I’m ever so thankful to my parents for doing that, because for 6, 7, 8 and 9 months later I saw the results all that hard work produced. It was the first time I had worked hard to achieve something, and my team and I head home from OFSAA with medals, not only was I proud to be a part of something so great, I found motivation to do it again and make it a lifestyle. The results that were produced from the endless, exhausting, hard work were what became the motivation.

Motivation is not what will take there, nor is talent, or having a dream enough. It’s the work ethics. It’s choosing to show up when you don’t feel like. It’s pushing yourself to finish what you started no matter how boring or unmotivating it feels. You must put in an effort, and take a step before ever seeing any results. You must keep working, try and try again, and then again to eventually produce and see visible results. When you see the results  they will become the motivation to turn your discipline and work ethics into a lifestyle. Until then, you either have the choice to painstakingly push your way to motivation, or find every excuse under heaven not to and sit at home and mope while building up bitterness towards everyone else and become more and more dismayed with each wasted day. Once you’ve read this, think of what you will do with the next 24 hours of your life? Will you wait for motivation or chase after it?


  1. There is a quote from Mark Zusak that goes: I would rather chase the sun than wait for it.

    I love that quote, and what I want I am chasing it down until it tires and surrenders to me, just offering my 2 pennies is all.

  2. It really is all about choices and hard work. We must set goals and work diligently towards them and only then will we discover motivation. Well-said!

  3. Thanks for liking my post on Brilliancewithin.com. It takes courage to follow your dreams and action to help you arrive at your dream destination. Thanks for inspiring me to continue taking action.. A great thought provoking post!

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