Motivation. Where do we find it? Some people say it has to come from within. I’d like to hit those people with a brick pillow. Of course, that’s just the jealousy talking, but I stand by that statement. Somewhat like hearing how my brothers et al are enduring “horrible” weather in Southern California when it drops to 50 degrees, I tend to discount motivational philosophy that comes from the fabulously successful; although this seems counter intuitive, when you see people who are already wealthy talk about how motivated they are to earn more wealth, this just comes across as hoarding behavior to me.
I think we find motivation in the most unlikely of places.
- Observe the fellow on the highway off-ramp who glares at you with the intensity of a thousand white hot suns while holding out a can and demanding you help him. This guy has a 999% failure rate, rejected by the masses and dismissed by most as a lazy bum, but really, he is the penultimate salesman. If he can convince you to give him money and said money really is helping towards filling a mysteriously absent gas tank, he could easily sell ketchup popsicles to women in white gloves.
- The meteorologists here in the Midwest take a near-Biblical level beating every time they predict the next maelstrom of death and destruction. But yet, there they are, weather system after weather system, driven by unseen forces to work you into a lather over the coming apocalypse. They’re playing the odds, and they always get screwed by the house, and still, they keep plugging away with little more than a shrug of the shoulders each time the storm misses by just that much.
- I have a neighbor who is literally living in his shop with approximately 1.4 million 45 records. That’s not an exaggeration I’m employing here, that’s the real number by his own exhaustive count. I’ve seen it. Coupled with 13 jukeboxes (six of which are functional), Wild Bill spends his “free time” (of which there is no limit) sorting and organizing his albums and is the closest thing I know to a uber-rural millionaire. Yes, he eats expired food from vending machines and wears softball cleats as casual footwear, but he is motivated by the belief that there is intrinsic value in 45’s. He is also motivated to bang metal off of wood while sporting a butchers’ hard hat; as well he collects old election posters and empty pop cans , but that is beside the point.
- Year after year Eddie Murphy takes part in some sort of cinematic train wreck that we’re supposed to buy into due to it’s rating as “family friendly”. Gone are the days of “Raw” and “Trading Places” and instead we’re treated to “The Nutty Professor 7: Revenge Of The Flubber”. I think it all began with “Coming To America” or his foray into pop radio with “(My Girl Wants To) Party All The Time”, but nonetheless he has gone from being the funniest son of a gun in comedy to a guy who’s next step will be doing local ads for ambulance-chasing lawyers. And he’s still out there, churning out one flaming turd of a movie after another. One word: motivated.
- And for the last word in motivation? One need look no further than the zealots of this world. No matter their cause, be it proving that the President is a Kansas-born terrorist without a birth certificate or that dinosaurs are the creation of the liberal-media sponsored devil himself, few are as passionate and driven to launch out of bed each day as those residents of the lunatic fringe. We could all learn a lesson from the maniacal despots and nut-job conspiracy theorists of the world. And that lesson would be to never, ever give up, even in the face of logic and fact.
Something to think about the next time you’re not so inclined to do what needs to be done. Now go carpe the crap outta that diem.