Morning classes are not my favorite. I wouldn’t say that I’m not a morning person, but let’s just say that if I had a choice between waking up an hour ahead of time or thirty seconds before I absolutely needed to be up for something, I would choose the latter. Recently, I have been doing something rather odd to ensure I get up in the morning. First, I set two alarms – one for the “early bird” time I would have to get up and another for the “last minute sprint” time I would have to get up. Then, when the first alarm goes off, I obviously don’t get up, but instead turn it off and throw my phone all the way across the room. Lastly, when my second alarm goes off, I have to physically get myself out of bed, frantically search my room for my phone, then turn it off. Every morning, this two minute debacle forces me to get up, on my feet, and get ready to take on day. It’s odd, but it motivates me.
In addition to my morning routine tactics, I’ve recently been finding myself getting motivated in the oddest of ways. Like many other people, I’m sure, I constantly bargain with myself to get tasks done. I’ll treat myself to a cappuccino instead of a regular coffee if I get my Stute column done today. I’ll go out all day Saturday if I stay in on Friday and do all my work. Most of the time there is some sort of (mild) suffering that reaps a reward, but nonetheless, it gets me to do a task. What is odd about this self bargaining is what the reward is: material things. I get more satisfied with a drink in my hand on Saturday night than the pencil in my hand on a Friday slaving away at my homework. The reward I reap is going out and not completing a task. This oddity boils down to perspective. It is truly fascinating to think about how each individual perceives motivation. I know some folks get motivated by starting their day off going to the gym. Me? I’ll stick to getting a slight workout finding my phone tucked away in a corner of my room. Motivation is very subjective and people do the weirdest of things to hit the ground running. Whether it’s throwing your phone across the room to get your ass out of bed in the morning or not, everyone has to do something a little bit different.
Motivation can also be found in light of odd events, such as the Jets actually winning a game this season, health scares, or Donald Trump being elected as President. Odd stuff happens when you least expect it, that’s why it’s odd. Regardless of the instance, events such as these cause moments of confusion, and then action. It might take others a longer time to act, but the motivation to progress forward is there nonetheless. You hardly hear fans giving up on their passion for a sports team simply because they lost that one time. You hardly ever hear someone who was diagnosed with a terminal illness just throw in the towel immediately. You hardly hear nations remain silent in the wake of devastating and/or confusing times. When life gives you lemons, you got to make lemonade, but you might’ve never thought to make lemonade without the lemons popping up in your life in the first place. Odd events are truly a blessing and do a significant amount of motivation than anything else.
So I might continue to struggle in the mornings when my alarms go off, in recognizing the completion of tasks should trump material things, or in fathoming curve balls thrown my way in my life. I will continue, however, to find motivation in all those things. Motivation comes in the oddest of ways, but it is our responsibility to capture that motivation. Making a difference really is just moving forward – one miscellaneous step at a time.