Today we honor Christopher Columbus, whose self motivation never waned. For 15 years, he begged royalty to fund his journey to find new lands, new opportunities, and new wealth.
Life in 1492 was demanding. A single slip was a problem. And with little in the way of a social safety net, small problems turned into a disaster. Death, drought, betrayal, or disease could remorselessly crush a family at any time. Thus, discipline, character, self-restraint, temperance, and reticence were paramount requirements rather than a choice.
Today we have it easy. Discipline, character, self-restraint, and temperance have given way to motivation, incentive, enticement, or encouragement. It won’t kill us if we self-indulge or go into debt. We don’t have to avoid sloth.
This is what makes motivation so uncommon. What’s in it for me? What’s my incentive? I don’t need to change. I’m doing OK.
There are two well-documented ways that we get the spark to change.
- The pain is so great that we must change.
- The payoff and reward are so great as to outweigh the effort to change.
Most people today want to avoid effort, pain and discomfort. And it takes so long to see results.
The reward for motivating yourself is more of a long-term investment than a short, quick-fix, instant gratification win, and that isn’t fun and exciting. It’s rather dull and “grandfatherish.”
It seems people don’t want to have time for motivation. They’re too busy looking down at their phones.
We don’t talk about discipline, character, self-restraint, and temperance. We hide and covering up what is essential.
But I believe there are pockets of considerable interest in motivating oneself toward what matters most; character, humility, honesty, courage, and kindness. Maybe it’s not at the forefront right now, but everything is changing. Perhaps it’s undetectable to the human eye but count on it. Things are changing. Life is dynamic.
There is still a strong motivation to do what is right, to make goodness attractive, not for any incentive, but because it’s what matters most. It mattered in 1492, and it matters most now.
Self motivation is not easy, but it’s worth it!
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