Enjoying the blog? Like the page on Facebook – or else.
If you’ve ever listened to Eric Thomas you would be well aware that ‘pain is temporary’. That does however seem a tad dismissive of people with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) who suffer from constant debilitating pain. What he meant though was that going through some temporary pain could yield great rewards, and he is right. For those that don’t know, he is an old school motivational speaker; American, tough childhood, shouts at people until motivation occurs.
Motivation is a mythical beast, certain people just seem to be able to bake it up and hand it out like warm cookies. To others they may as well just commit to a lifetime of eating wind and bench pressing the metaphysical concept of shame. Motivation seems so sporadic and random that I one day suspect the actual method of motivational distribution will be revealed to be that every time you press the ‘cancel’ button on your toaster, someone gets 17 minutes of motivation.
Until this is proven however we have to conjure motivation up anyway we can, whether it’s from deep within, or from a YouTube video, a song, or even an event. Being someone who has had to deal with mental illness though I am all too aware that mental health suffers are already at a disadvantage. With that miser of a brain in charge, stood there like Scrooge with all the necessary chemicals but holding back serotonin and norepinephrine – just because. Motivation becomes even more difficult.
I’ve used many methods myself, Eric Thomas has certainly featured many times. I respond well to other peoples enthusiasm. Sometimes I just wait around for it to strike, but it is so rare that I have to go out and find it. I often put myself in situations where motivation is required, signing up for marathons, triathlons and climbing competitions. Something clicks in my brain when I have a strict target to aim for. When undertaking the Zurich Ironman, people* always asked how I motivated myself to do it, but in reality it was so time consuming and life absorbing that I never had time to motivate myself. I just did it, and there was no thinking involved.
No thinking is good thinking. Especially when you have a bunch of negative voices in your head.
In my life I have found that I was always the one trying to find motivation, to get myself motivated to do something. That changed today when a teenager I teach expressed how disillusioned he was with school. Feeling that another hour of grammar drills was not going to lift his mood*, I went full Eric Thomas. Or I gave it my best effort at least. Not wanting to
reveal how awful the talk was divulge sensitive information, I shall keep the contents confidential.
*Call it intuition.