Motivation: More Than Just a Cliché

Kristina Biglete is a new author for The F-Word. She is a dancer, 5″2′, and Filipino. She becomes obsessed with TV shows easily and high key loves the fact that she’s Filipino. Did we mention that she’s Filipino?

Motivation. We’re all very well acquainted with this one word.

“It’s the driving force for success.” “Staying motivated will get you far in life.” “The key to determination is motivation.” Blah blah blah.

Until recently, I had grown tired of this concept. I had heard about it all the time and never really thought much of it, but now I’ve learned the true importance of motivation. All those cliché sayings are actually true.

Over the holidays, I had the privilege of visiting my math teacher from last year and was able to talk to him for a little while. At the end of last school year, he suffered from a stroke, leaving him incapable of moving the entire right side of his body or speaking (many students became concerned that he would lose his renowned British accent). After about 7 months, he’s made gradual improvements but he’s still not the same person that I remember. He cannot enunciate his words, his sentences are very difficult to understand, and he has to use a cane to walk around.

This was heartbreaking to see. How could someone so wonderfully intelligent not be able to communicate his thoughts clearly all of the sudden after being able to for his whole life? I could see the frustration in his eyes. He wanted to ask me questions. He wanted to tell me how he’s been doing. He wanted to respond to everything I told him about my life. But the only word he could clearly say was “yes.”

However, throughout all of these struggles that he has had to endure this past year and continues to endure, he has never once given up. When his sentences were not understood by me and did not come out right, he found another way to say them. He didn’t give up on attempting to communicate with me, even though there were many obstacles he had to overcome to do so. Beyond communicating, he continues to challenge himself, mentally and physically. His wife informed me that he wakes up every morning and does a variety of stretches and speech exercises, all because he misses teaching so much and wants to return to the classroom by next year. His willpower completely inspired me.

If any of you know me well, you know that I am an avid procrastinator. Sure, I get my stuff done in the end but it takes a while for me to get there. I’ve always put off any sort of college preparation despite me being aware of its vitality towards my future. I had gone from planning on taking the SAT in October to just now registering for the January one. 

Until now, I was afraid of embracing my future and pushing myself to be the best version of myself that I could be. Although I wouldn’t admit it easily, I didn’t like change. Change scared me, especially when it came to college. I’ve never been fond of the idea of growing up, hence the reason why I still haven’t gotten my license at the age of seventeen.

That day when I saw my teacher was when it hit me. Motivation is really important and I, being a healthy 17 year old, should never take it for granted. I have the ability to keep pushing myself with little to no obstacles to hinder that. I shouldn’t be afraid of change. If anything, I should embrace it.

Everyone, no matter what age, has something in life to look forward to – no matter how small that something is. Staying motivated is SUCH an important factor of life because it encourages progression and improvement. Motivation is what keeps people going throughout the day and it shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Always push yourself to your full capabilities. At least I intend to do so.

Editor’s note: This piece was written on January 11, 2017 and since then Kristina has taken the SAT, registered for more standardized tests, and gotten her driver’s license.



One thought on “Motivation: More Than Just a Cliché

  1. Hi,
    first of all: Congratulations on doing your SAT test and getting your drivers license. That surely was quite a bit of work,
    but it paid off.

    You’re right motivation is more than just a cliché, and it is important. Luckily it is also to surprisingly large degree a
    learnable skill. It’s a set of tools that you can use to get yourself to do things more often, even (or especially) when you
    don’t feel like it.

    You already have your first tool: the role model of your teacher.

    But there are many more.

    If you want to learn about them, for starters I can recommend the following books:
    (I currently don’t have the time for a primer on the subject, so mentioning the sources will have to do. Sorry.)
    – “Smarter, Faster, Better” by Charles Duhigg, mainly the chapters 1, 3, 4 and 8 and the Appendix
    – “Supporting Self-Management” by the Behavioral Insights Team (BIT), not just the tools but also the 4 Principles
    (Easy, Attractice, Social, Timely)
    – “The Productivity Project” by Chris Bailey, especially the Chapters on “Laying the Groundwork” and Biological
    Primetime (the rest of the book is great, too)

    If you have any short questions, you can find me on twitter @denkgelage

    Good Luck.


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