Bisola Olowe made a great work by submitting this nice, well-structured essay an exhaustive video. We simply couldn’t leave this nice essay unnoticed in our last scholarship contest. So with a great pleasure we reward Bisola with the $50 prize. Check her uplifting ideas on how to boost your motivation.
You open the door to your favorite Mexican restaurant, tummy rumbling. Today was the last day of exams, and it’s finally summer break. The smell of sizzling chorizo on the grill fills the atmosphere, and you can almost taste the salsa verde, queso, lettuce, and tomatoes smothered together between a warm corn tortilla.
The waitress, Gloria, takes your order while you crunch on chips and salsa. Fifteen minutes pass by, and you see her in the distance carrying five one dollar tacos. You grin widely, mouth watering. She sets the plate in front of you saying “Cuidado chica.
El Plato es muy Caliente!” Not hearing anything but your taste buds screaming, you grab the first deliciously sizzling taco and open your mouth for the most fulfilling bite you’ve had in weeks. But then you hear your alarm clock. “BEEP! BEEP! TIME TO WAKE UP!”
The disappointment you feel is indescribable. You could almost shed a tear. Hoping for a little good news (that it’s Friday), you look at your phone but are quickly disappointed to read six am Monday morning. On a scale of one to ten, your motivation to get out of bed is negative fifty.
The temptation to press snooze and finish eating your tacos is great, but the idea of your mom barging in ten minutes later screaming at the top of her lungs if you aren’t awake is greater. You grudgingly get up and turn on the lights muttering to yourself, “let’s get this over with…”
Yes, technically, you were motivated to get out of bed, but not with anything that would last. Your mom won’t always be there to make sure you take the bus in the morning, nor will the classes that give you points just for showing up. Eventually, you’ll be out in the real world and what will make you skip the snooze button then?
You must accept the path to finding your motivation won’t happen with the press of the easy button. It’s a process. First, make a list of your passions and dream big. What do you think the world needs more (or less) of? Think of things that make your emotions, whether happy or sad, buzz more than usual. Things that make you laugh so hard you could cry, or make your whole day better, or even things that make you so sad you could ball up in a corner for days.
Do you think of the news specials that give families in need houses or furniture? What about abandoned children finding homes? Homeless people on that same street corner day after day? Destruction of the environment and deforestation? Poverty? Public health issues? They don’t have to be quite that huge either.
Your passions could be something more personal. You could have a passion for softer mattresses because growing up your bed was as hard as a rock. Or fashionable, yet affordable clothes that don’t look like they came from your great grandma’s closet because that was your one wish as a preteen.
It could be anything. Making this list could take some time and effort as well. Don’t give up if your brain isn’t running wild after thinking about it for five minutes, or even an hour. Another tip if you’re having a hard time coming up with ideas is asking someone you trust what they think.
Usually, your passions are normal to you, and it’s hard to realize objectively what makes your emotions run with the wind. Think of a singer. If you’re naturally good at singing, you don’t try to sing. You just do, and it sounds great.
Your passions are a part of you. Sometimes you just have to search a little to put a name on exactly what they are.
Next, you’ll need to draw it out. Yes, not everyone is “artistic”, but adding color to anything makes it both more fun and stick in your head longer. Get a piece of printer paper (colored construction paper is a bonus) and draw out what you would want in the future. Your anticipated accomplishments, goals, and aspirations.
Whether that means traveling all of Europe in thirty days, having a family, owning your own company, or curing cancer, write it down. Ignore any barriers you think may get in your way like money or transportation, or where you might live. Just pretend like that’s all taken care of and let your imagination run free. Keep going until your heart starts to beat faster and faster in excitement. Allow yourself to put your passions on paper and make it all real because if you believe they can be, they will.
Thirdly, make a map to get there whether that means getting a college degree, sending out lots and lots of emails, or making connections with the right people. You will have to start small, and that is ok. It is actually preferable, so you can continue to refine your passions (especially if you have more than one) and find your true motivation.
The grit and grind of every little step boost your confidence more and more. Although this sounds like hard, unfulfilling work now and you may feel like you aren’t making any impact at the beginning, you’ll be thanking yourself later when your alarm goes off on Monday morning and you’re ok with not finishing that taco dream.
Lastly, and most importantly, think of the end result and get excited about it; you’ll get there one step at a time. Say your passion is children, specifically those in the foster care system because you were too and without friendly community members and awesome foster parents, you may not have made it.
Although you wish you could start a nonprofit and give hundreds of thousands of dollars to kids in need, you don’t have the time or money to drop everything and start a business from scratch right now. You’re not even sure what kind of nonprofit you want to run.
You don’t get too bogged down and remember, think small first, remembering your favorite Rocky quote, “One step at a time. One punch at a time. One round at a time.” You know your passion is children in the foster care system and you also happen to like to talk, so you sign up to tutor and mentor a foster child at a group home five minutes away while you figure out your true passion.
It’s an eight-year-old boy who gets in trouble at school a lot and doesn’t seem to care about life in general. Every Wednesday you show up.
Sometimes you would talk. Sometimes you would do homework. Sometimes it was like pulling teeth trying to get a word out of him, but you still kept coming. You didn’t know this, but you were the only constant thing in his life. A year or two in, you start getting somewhere. You actually become friends and every Wednesday your heart gets fuller and fuller.
It’s twenty years later and while you own your own group home for kids in the foster care system, that eight your old boy is now twenty-eight and just opened a community center to mentor kids using a grant he received from a billionaire because of a striking essay he wrote about your relationship.
That one decision you made on your way to fulfilling your dream, doing the best you could at the time and never giving up, turned into hundreds and hundreds of lives impacted and a better world because of it. All because you found your passion, made a plan, and did what you could with what you had.
Finding true, fulfilling, and lasting motivation isn’t easy. It involves dreaming big and making a list that may include some serious digging. It involves physically drawing it out (with color), making a path to get there and thinking of the end result because that bubbly feeling inside your heart from finding your true motivation keeps reminding you it will all be worth it in the end.
Every time you’re abruptly awoken from your recurring taco Tuesday dream, think of that one eight-year-old, that turned into hundreds of eight-year-olds, that finally turned into a 6’4 man with blindingly white teeth in front of a fancy camera holding a $1,000,000 check and that check going towards precious lives, filling your empty heart and surely supercharging your motivation.
Ideas to Supercharge Your Motivation by Bisola Olowe
Name: Bisola Olowe
Institution: College of William and Mary in Williamsburg
Major: Kinesiology and Health Sciences with a minor in Spanish
Graduation Year: 2022