“What’s my motivation?” Actors often ask this in cliché TV shows when they want to know what emotion to portray- what makes their character act the way they act. While this example is quite silly, I know you’ve seen it at least once (or 80 times) on a sitcom or movie, the question is quite interesting.
Motivation. What IS my motivation? What makes me, me? Why am I the way I am? I’m sure you’ve asked yourself these questions from time to time, I ask them of myself daily. I’m nearing the end of my Psychology summer course and we recently discussed cognition, behavior, personality and- you guessed it- motivation. This got me really thinking about what motivates me.
Before I go any further, let’s define “motivation.”
According to dictionary.com, motivation is: the act or an instance of motivating, or providing with a reason to act in a certain way.
Okay, so how does this apply to me?
As an incoming college freshman, what motivated me to go to college? To try out for the dance team? To major in nursing? To go to the school I have chosen?
I pondered over these questions for a while, trying to figure out a clear answer to these somewhat ambiguous questions. My motivation could be that my parents wanted me to go to college, or that college is just the expected next-step upon graduation from high school. I could have tried out for the dance team solely because I’ve danced much of my life and it’s just what I do, or maybe it’s because I love it so much that I can’t live without it. Maybe I chose to be a nursing major because nurses make good money, or because my mom always thought I could be a good nurse, or because I really have the desire to help people feel better. I could have chosen my college based on its merit, or on how great the program of study in my chosen field is. There is an infinite amount of solutions for what my motivation could be. So what?
I know what you’re thinking, “Cassie, you’re just going on and on about a bunch of stuff that is irrelevant to me and I stopped really paying attention 2 paragraphs ago.” Bear with me, please, I promise I’m going somewhere with this.
As I dug deeper into the depths of my cognitive ability, it hit me. I have small surface motivations, such as future salary, hobbies I grew comfortable with, and societal expectations, but those aren’t really what pushed me to pursue my quickly arriving endeavors. It’s so much bigger than that! Or better yet, HE’s so much bigger than that! I could easily ignore the expectations of those around me and go on about my day, or save a whole lot of money by going to a community college instead of a university, but I’m led to do otherwise because HE has a plan for me.
God is my ultimate motivation, and knowing that he has a plan for me is my source of comfort. Truth be told, I’m terrified to move away for college- just as much as I am excited. I do not know what obstacles and twists & turns the next 4 years hold, but I know they will happen and God will guide me through it all. Just the other day, I was filling out my loans and scholarship forms thinking, “why did I choose a private school, how will I ever pay these off?” And I remembered that I didn’t choose my school, God did. He led me here and I must go, it will all work out if I put my trust in him, no matter how scary it can seem. I couldn’t grasp a definitive answer on any of my questions because I didn’t have them, but God did. He put these choices in my heart because they were in his plan & I felt that they were instinctive and right, but I couldn’t deem myself as the force driving them. So yeah, I’m scared, but He is so much greater than any of our problems or fears.
I don’t really know why I’m sharing this with all of you, because you likely don’t care too much about what’s going on in my teenage mind, but I just had to let my thoughts spew out of this brain of mine. I guess the whole purpose of this post is that, no matter what stage of life you are in, whether you’re entering high school, college, or just a new chapter, God will be there to help you through it. Through all of the struggles and “I don’t know what I’m doings,” he has a plan for you and you need to remember that and trust it.
If you need a little reassurance, reminders of God’s amazing love, and motivation when you feel stuck, here are a few Bible verses I am quite fond of:
“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him & he will direct thy paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, ‘With men, this is impossible. With God, all things are possible.'” – Matthew 19:26
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the glory of Jesus Christ,” – Philippians 4:19
Praying for love and blessings to you all,