Motivation

As I sit here in my room on a Saturday morning, I think about all the things I can do to get my life in order. I need to wash my car, I need to get it fixed. I need to clean the room. I need to do laundry. I need to do some homework, and some work I brought home from work. I need to go to the gym, and I need to get some running in. But all I really want to do is sit here. I can’t help but wonder why.

Why is it that we often know what we need to do, and we can even think of how simple it is to do them, but still we can’t bring ourselves to get started? I have no problem doing things that I can do in my room, the small, dank, and sometimes crowded place that it is. I can make my rack, file papers, pay bills… But I have such a hard time getting motivated to go out and do things. It’s not a matter of not having time to do them; it feels more like I don’t have the desire. But I do have the desire. I want a tan, I want big muscles. But I have a hard time getting out there to do it.

Perhaps it’s motivation. Doing it for myself doesn’t seem to be enough. I want to do it for someone else. For other people. And I guess I want other people to help me do it. I suppose that’s where the issue lies: no one else is going to do it for me, and no one else is going to get me to do it. So I need to somehow find the motivation to do it myself.

I think the reason I don’t have the motivation is because I’m already good enough. I’m a good enough musician to get my job done. I’m already smart enough to pass my tests. I’m already fit enough to pass my physical fitness tests. My room is clean enough to pass inspection. I mean, it’s one thing when you have to get better at something to pass a test, or do something you can’t already do. It’s been a constant struggle throughout my life to get better than I have to be.

I didn’t always work as hard in school as I should have, because I was already doing well enough to pass the class. I didn’t always practice as hard as I should have in college, because I already played well enough to get my degree.

Some people say they prefer a challenge, or like a challenge. Me? I need a challenge. When you’re already good enough, it’s incredibly difficult to find the drive to get better. For me, that drive has always come from someone else — the desire to improve myself for someone. Someone I loved enough to want to better myself. Someone who brought out the very best in me. I don’t have that anymore, and as I become adjusted to my new life and the challenge of the transition wanes, I realize that I miss it. In fact I might even need it. Could it really be that we need love? Or is it just me?

Author: Matthew

I'm a Marine officer studying Material Logistics Support Management at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. I like to talk and write about all kinds of things: politics, religion, atheism, cars, motorcycles, sailing, books, movies, and anything else that strikes my fancy. The views expressed here are my own, and are in no way intended to represent the United States Marine Corps, Department of Defense or any of its components.

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