The Truth About Motivation I Wish I Knew 10 Years Ago


“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” –Wayne Gretzky



This is going to be a non-traditional post for me, but one that spoke to me in the moment and felt that it’s something important to get out there.

It’s about motivation and what it means to our lives and futures. It affects everything we think and do, and it’s important to be aware of and cultivate within ourselves.


The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way (via Google definition search)

I thought growing up that I knew what motivation meant. I thought it was the spur of the moment, supposedly-natural-initiative you were supposed to feel to clean your room. I thought it was supposed to be the long term good grades you’d get at the end of studying hard all semester…

Those were younger, school-based viewpoints of course

(Though the grades concept could apply to college, but then it’s a self-motivated thing instead of your parents telling you so)

Starting out as a young adult, I thought of motivation as essentially similar thing. Reasons to do whatever is it you *should* be doing – according to other’s standards.

And as a young adult who could finally make her own decisions, what I should have been doing of course fell by the wayside for whatever I felt like doing!

Don’t get me wrong,  I wasn’t irresponsible. I was actually completely responsible and maintained and supported my family and  my household very well. Out of responsibility though, not motivation.

As I am getting older, I am discovering that motivation means something completely different

I am finally beginning to understand that motivations are the real reason for living. For giving my all. For being who I am.

For doing what I do.

Motivation is the key to the real reasons for living. Motivation gives us our reasons for growing beyond what we are responsible for. Beyond what’s required. Beyond the status quo of society.

Motivation is what gives us enough ooomph to accomplish our every hearts desires. Accomplish our hopes and dreams and every grand thing we can imagine!

Do This:

Picture in your mind your dream life. Your dream environment, your dream location, doing whatever makes your heart skip a beat.

That is what you should be working towards every day!

Keep that picture in your head, figure out what you need to do to do it.

Break that down into small steps – steps you can work on every day.

Wake up in the morning with that picture in your mind.

Dream about it at night. Drift off during the day with those thoughts in your head.

That is what your motivation is. Working towards accomplishing your every dream and heart’s desire in life. It can be done!!

But only if you let it. Only if you work towards it.

Discard the status quo. Discard society’s expectations of you following the traditional path. Dream you best dreams and go for those. And work towards them every day!

They’re worth it.


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  1. I love this! You bring up an important point about how motivation is different than responsibility. In fact, they are very different. And depending on which one I am more focused, my perspective on life will be very different. While responsibility is important, it’s motivation that pushes me to do the things that scare me a little bit. Motivation is the thing that drives me to get up early and work on my business so that I can get my desired results. Motivation is the instigator that moves my creative ideas into form. Without motivation, I think it’s easy to get lost in responsibility.

  2. You say, “Motivation gives us our reasons for growing beyond what we are responsible for.” I see your point, but I find that I sometimes need a motivation for accepting my responsibilities. I didn’t pick all the responsibilities that come my way. I made some other choices, and the responsibilities simply dragged along with the choices.
    I agree with your analysis as it relates to dreams. I guess I part company overall, however, since I see motivation as a power beyond either responsibilities or dreams.
    Motivation empowers people to charge forward and take responsibility that is not theirs and that may even belong to other people. By itself, that outcome is neither good nor bad; it depends on the situation.
    Motivation can lead people to ride roughshod over others, because they believe that the end justifies the means, as long as the cause is just. They are highly motivated to achieve the end, and they take no responsibility for the collateral damage. That is a bad outcome.
    A dream can be positively motivating, and it can power good accomplishments. I agree with your analysis with the understanding that it is tempered by well-chosen values and restrained in its focus on self.

    • Hi Katherine! I see your point hut I guess I think of some of that as morals. And morals are separate from motivation, responsilibilty, and dreams. People with more motivation than we can dreams of will do things like what you’re saying about steamrolling others and whatnot. And there’s been many historical figures that believed it was their “responsibility” to kill entire races of people.

      So that’s not what I was getting into with this article – or at least I’m only speaking to the good-natured parts of hopes and dreams and motivation and responsibility. Not anything that hurts others 🙂

  3. I absolutely love the dream life picture that you say to do – it’s certainly a very uplifting exercise and thank you for the reminder. I love that you encourage us to keep that picture in our mind (and work towards it) every single day – it’s a powerful motivator for focusing on what life is really about (rather than what we ‘should’ do), but like most things only effective with consistent daily action.

  4. Visualizing is so key and important to achieving success! I’m glad this was the first step you suggested in order to maintain motivation. I have a printed sheet of paper taped on the wall against my desk. This sheet of paper lists the goals I want to achieve this year, and it is my constant reminder of what I want to achieve this year. I always ask myself, “Are the tasks I’m doing aligned to what I want to achieve?”

    Thanks for sharing this post, Wendy!

    PS. Love the quote!

  5. This is a great reminder for me to focus on my big dreams every day, and not let the important tasks get lost in my responsibilities. I’m at an age at which things will soon be changing dramatically for myself and my husband, as our children start to finish up their college degrees and move forward with their lives. I dislike the idea of the “empty nest” and need to remind myself that I can choose to focus, instead, on the possibilities that will open up for me the huge responsibility of raising children falls away.

    Right now my dream is to start an alternative, interfaith church for people with chronic illnesses and their friends and families. This is an entirely new kind of organization, and I have no models to follow. Every day I need to focus on a task related to that, as I remind myself of how important this is to me, and why it is possible.

    At the same time, I’m joining the leadership in my denomination involved in developing ministries for people with disabilities and chronic illnesses, including neurological disorders, mental illness, addiction, and a lot of other conditions that affect a person’s willingness or ability to fit into a church. Being an authority in the field could open up some other possibilities, such as speaking engagements or publishing a book.

    And it all comes down to focusing on the dream, and the important, small things that I need to do now to take it one step farther.

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