Has it ever happened to you before, that the things you used to do, the things you felt proud of, the things that were consistent in your life are now left unattended to? Do you worry that you are not as good as you used to be? Are you struggling to keep up with good habits you used to have? Is it as though your life is slowly heading downhill? Or are you one who has enjoyed a lot of bad habits but now want to do things right and it’s been an insurmountable struggle? Are you paddling hard without motion? Are you kicking your feet and splashing water yet no movement? Are you crying for help, yet no one can see your tears? Or your case might be much milder, no one knows that anything has changed about you yet, you are still relying on the old glory and shining brightly. Are you aware of something that most of the people that see you daily know nothing of? Are you losing connection with your root and afraid that in a while you leaves will soon lose colour? Has your iron be unplugged with the world unaware? Do you know that the heat is being lost, and all else think all is well?
Today, one of my sisters (not blood, but close) came to pour her heart to me, in a bid to be helped. The things she used to do, that made her stand out, that made her desirable, that made her a blessing, she was doing them no more. She confided in me, that if she didn’t tell me, I wouldn’t know, but this is not the way she wants it to go. She felt so bad, she wanted to cry – “The good things I used to do, I don’t do them anymore”. She wants to, she knows she ought to, she can’t say it’s because she has no time, she knows that’s an excuse. All she does is work work work, and she was afraid that the source of her warmth was long gone.
I shared with her something I had learnt not too long ago. Something that is helping to jolt me back into writing daily. Something that has helped me year after year to remain focused and continue to develop myself at the same level with my thirst. I can summarize it first in one story and then in one sentence.
The story is often told by me, of a young man whose desire to know the secret of success decides to embark on a long journey. From village to village he went, inquiring if there was a man wise enough in the village to provide for him the sure secret of success. Every village referred him forward and onward to another village, until alas, he came to a village where people agreed to know such a wise man. On sighting this wise man, he approached him, exhausted from his journey, yet excited that the end had come, for the secret of success. To this, the old man took him to a nearby river and dragged him along the water until the young man was gradually submerged in water. After a while the old man drew the young man out, and walked him back to the mountain top. Out of frustration at the silence that ensued, the young man burst into an outrage. “What’s the meaning of all these?” The young man quipped. The old man gently asked him how he felt when he was completely submerged in water. “If you had waited one second more, I would have thrown you away and gotten out of the water” the young man responded. The old man then went on to tell him, that the secret of success in any endeavor is to desire to do anything as badly as he wanted to breathe under water. In one sentence – you will do anything if you are able to reduce it to how critical it is to needs and really desire it. There are 8 known levels of human needs according to Maslow’s renewed hierarchy of needs. Except what you want can be represented on any of these levels of need, you are not likely to do it.
For the sake of getting practical let’s take a few examples. If I don’t connect my writing regularly with a need to add value to lives and be a blessing in one way or the other, I will gradually slip into a time when I will not write again. If I cannot connect my reading to develop myself to being informed enough to help some people gain better enlightenment, I would stop reading. The things we don’t do, we don’t do because we are not sufficiently motivated by enough desire to make them happen. People stop praying and reading their bibles because they are no longer functioning in any consistent capacity where old glory won’t suffice. People stop writing, because no one is reading. People stop dancing because it’s not awarded. People start failing because there success is not rewarded. People stop swimming because they can’t connect it to meaningful purpose, people stop exercising because they now look fit and it doesn’t matter. To continue to do the things that gave us the opportunity to be who we are today, we need to see sufficient reason, have sufficient motivation to remain consistent.
One thing I’ll like to spell clearly though is motivation is different for different people. What is sufficient reason for me to do something might not be sufficient for you. It is essential however that we find that desire we truly want to meet and connect it with the activity for which we are losing steam. The way human beings are wired however, your greatest motivation will be connected to doing something for someone else – being of help, rendering service, being a blessing, e.t.c. Another thing worthy of observation is that people are at different motivation levels at different times depending on a lot of factors. Individuals actually have what you could call a range of motivation levels. These levels are affected by a variety of things – environment, love life, news, aspirations, availability of cash, friends, e.t.c. It is worthwhile to discover the reasons for which you would willingly go an extra mile, and connect them to your extra miles.
Those things you used to do… you did because you were sufficiently motivated to. You had people you felt responsible for, you had people you were accountable to. You were in an environment and had relationships that put you on just the necessary motivation level, and you could connect the activity with sufficient motivation. To stay fervent, you need to get the same equation right!