Motivated Only To Being Motivated

There’s a phrase I heard growing up and maybe you heard it too. That the only thing that is constant in our lives is change. Clever and just a bit on the cliche side, the message only reaffirms itself as the years go by. Change is more than a slogan that put the first African American president in the White House, and certainly much more than putting in a politically inexperienced president in the same House 8 years later. At its very core, “change” is to become different. You see, change is unbiased towards progression or recession. It’s ignorant of more or less. Of better or worse.

But change must always have a standard. How do we know a thing has changed? We look at what it used to be and we measure it’s current state. We might compare it to another of it’s kind. But in order to assess “change” we must conclude simply that it is not as it was.

We have a lot of young people who read books and listens to speakers and have conversations among friends leading to promise and resolve to do better- all to be more motivated to change. The problem is, is that we’re all attempting to be motivated, but to do what?

And we are all too familiar with the standard answers as they generally consist of motives to be a better person, or a higher level of dedication, or better performances in whatever areas we fall short in. And don’t get me wrong, these are inherently good desires. The problem is not the change, it’s the lack of motivation to get there.

We sit and we wait to be motivated to do those things that we’ve resolved beforehand, and in doing so we completely disregard how motivation works.

Motivation doesn’t come to the those who wait.

So why is waiting the only thing we’re content with? You have a generation that thinks they can change the world but, for the majority of this population, are waiting until they’re being forced to. So we read our books, and we listen to our preachers and our podcasts, and we really get inspired to make a difference-

But then nothing happens…

For whatever reason, nothing happens and we lose our inspiration. So we put it on the back burner and we wait and we wait until we’re inspired again and it’s just an endless cycle. This process is precisely the reason why our generation (for the most part) isn’t doing anything worth noting. We continue to delay doing what we know needs to be done, waiting for the right time or delaying until we have more interest. The problem is, if that time ever comes, it will leave a lot faster than it arrived, and we’re right back at square one.

I don’t really know why to be honest. I don’t know how we got here or why we choose to stay here. I know older generations blame us for not wanting to change, and I know we blame older generations for not teaching us how to change effectively. But it is sad. It’s sad to see young people fire up so quickly and just like throwing a small amount of gasoline on a campfire, burn out just as fast.

What I do see is a desire. A desire to make a difference and a desire to change lives. Even if just a fraction, we’re definitely motivated. Which is why we read the bestsellers, why we make the resolutions, why we have our to do lists, and why we keep looking for reasons to be motivated. The problem is, is that we’re not desiring change. We’re only motivated to being motivated. We’re content in the pursuit of success and accomplishment, not actually attaining them. We are a changeless generation that wants to change the world but couldn’t care any less to pick up their coffee cup in an auditorium.

And to be honest, I don’t really have an answer. I don’t know why we have this problem and I don’t know how to fix it, I just wanted to start the discussion. To get people asking the questions and assessing the problem.

Because if we aren’t asking questions, then we’re not getting answers and without answers we have no direction. If we have no clear path to the destination, it’s easy to give up and wait to find a path but what if the only way is to the destination is to create a path ourselves?