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What is Motivation? Why do I need it?

Updated on October 4, 2016

What is motivation?

The dictionary defines motivation as:

the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.

Here I am going to be talking about motivation in the positive sense. Drawing from my own experiences, to share with you what is possible with the right motivation.

To get some background on what I have been through in the past, which will be referenced here frequently, take a look at my hub page 'moving on up'

Motivation is something that strikes a chord with you

Motivation lies within you!
Motivation lies within you! | Source

Are you a positivley motivated person?

How important is motivation to you?

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Get it done with the right motivation

I have always been a very motivated person, at the age of 13 I got my first job doing an early morning paper route. I was firstly motivated to make money, but this motivation was also through enjoyment. Despite getting up at 6am to deliver papers before school feeling like a chore some days, I did enjoy it. Getting up and having a 30-40 minute walk or cycle each morning helped waken me up and clear my head for the day ahead.

After 2-3 years of the enjoyment bled out of it. But at this point I now had other earnings through buying and selling online on sites like ebay and amazon. So I felt that it was time to move on, my motivation had gone. All that was left was a painstaking routine.

In my working life this pattern continued until I suffered a brain injury in 2009.

After emerging from a coma I slowly became more and more conscious. As I gradually regained consciousness I started to remember where my life was before the incident that left me laid up in hospital. I was successfully pursuing a career that I dreamed of, working in the film industry. I wanted to get back to work, to me i could't work in hospital. So I asked a doctor (on a daily basis) How can I get out of hospital. The Doctor told me 'you can't walk, when you can walk you can go home'. So I did everything in my power to learn to walk again, to get my life back. Physiotherapists came to me each day to work with me, however this was never for a long time. I used to ask nurses to walk with me around the hospital but the usually didn't have the time. So i quickly worked out that when i needed the toilet they would walk me to the bathroom. So I constantly asked for more water so that my need would be more frequent. With a catheter however I was constantly reminded that I could pee in bed. But that didn't stop me asking and just frequently repeating that unnecessary walk over and over again. First in a walker on wheels then crutches, when i was eventually allowed to walk alone without aid. At the point the catheter was removed I think my water intake increased even more.

What got me through this was motivation! My parents had been told early on that I would be in hospital for 8 months at the least, but I got out in just 2! I was motivated on what I wanted, to get out of hospital. I was focused and I worked hard so I achieved it, not only that but faster than the professionals expected. I put much of this down to motivation. At such an early stage of my recovery, This motivation, I feel has helped bring me where I am today. As in a controlled environment, at such an acute stage post injury, my brain was in a much better place to relearn or even just learn things.

So here are just two examples of how I feel that motivation has benefited me .

Please share your stories of how motivation has benefited you, in any situation throughout your life. In the comments below ;)

So in the video above Mark talks about how he believes that Motivation is the art of generating an interest.

I think he is touching on something great here, 'what do you need the motivation for?' he says. For me that is a great question that should stay with you, through anything your doing. When you feel lethargic, its time to give up... ask yourself one question 'what do I need motivation for?'

This then leads on to the thought process of your goal, like in my example earlier. I was 13 years old, my goal was to make some money, I got a job delivering early morning papers. My motivation to get up at 6am every morning was to achieve my goal of making money. Which I did achieve as I was paid £12.50 each week for delivering papers Monday to Saturday.

In my other example, my goal was to get out of hospital so my motivation was to do whatever i needed to to get out. Which quickly became apparent was to learn how to walk again. So I did what I had to do to get that done because I had my focus on what I wanted and I was motivated to do what was needed to reach my goal, to get out of hospital.

When I finally got out of hospital i was initially pleased that I had achieved what I wanted. However I just moved from spending 23 hours a day in a hospital bed to spending 23 hours per day in my own bed. This was where my problems with mental health started to appear, which is covered in another hub.

But here when I got out of hospital my goals dried up because they all felt so far away and I lost my motivation.

So in essense what I'm saying is with out goals we are without motivation and without motivation we are left depressed, anxious possibly as bad as suicidal in some went that way for me anyway.


A slight tangent

Get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable...

I first heard this phrase when reading through the posts of a successful personal trainer who I was at school with. Obviously this was relating to working in the gym an example being lifting weights.

But this phrase really struck a chord with me but not just in a gym setting.

I can look back to when I was a mere 19 years old and fresh out of collage. Spending my most of my time working for free I had impressed people with my work ethics and I had managed to get myself offered a feature film editing job. If i'm honest I was stuck somewhere between sheer excitement and utter fear. Having been offered this job, which was a mammoth task. I was feeling uncomfortable to say the least, but i just took it in my stride and did what I had learned to do. Low and behold that lead on to much more work, new opportunities etc.

Why be uncomfortable?

For me taking yourself out of your 'comfort zone' is a thing you can do to quickly and effectively move yourself forward in wherever this applies in your life.

I have already used the example of my working life from before my injury. Also since then the most noteworthy experience where I took myself out my comfort zone would be when I came to Brazil to meet a girl that I met online. Yes, I was very excited to come out here to finally meet this beautiful girl in person. However on the other hand I was very nervous as I was travelling to a country I didn't know, a completely different culture. A language I didn't speak! Also we had been conversing mainly through skype, would things be different in person? I was booked to come for a long time, what if I couldn't cope? Where was my safety net?
So many thoughts battled against the excitement and adrenaline coursing through my veins. But I did it, i went for it. I put myself through the discomfort and what can I say now? The rest is history?

Here I am blogging from my laptop as I sit in the hot Brazilian sun on the balcony of my apartment in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. With a wedding ring on my finger, feeling happier than I thought was possible given what I have been through.

Don't lose your motivation if you want to achieve great things


To summarise

Motivation is an integral part towards moving forward in life from anything as little as getting a sandwich to bigger things like making money, finding love, having a safe place to live etc.

Always remember that without goals we can't have motivation which can lead to mental instability etc.

If a goal ever feels too big for whatever reason break it down and make smaller goals, writing these things down can help you to focus and get motivated to push you towards achieving you goals

Always remember to stay positive to achieve your goals, always be the best you can be!


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    • profile image

      Paul McConnochie 

      2 years ago

      I am enjoying your blog very much, Stuart. You have been through so much, and come so far. Your recovery, and the life you have made for yourself, through sheer force of Will, against the odds, is both remarkable and inspiring.

      I will be reading, and bearing in mind what you have to say, in facing adversities in my own life.


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