I remember the school days when I loved being the teacher’s favorite. Getting praised by them would make me so happy and would make me strive harder. Though I was never the kind who could sit in one place and study continuously even during exams, I managed to study and top the class many a times. The competition amongst classmates made me crazy. I have a habit of saying a small prayer with a few shlokas before going to bed every night. The prayer has modified over the years. I remember that when going school I used to pray every night, saying that I have to score more than Mohan, Asiya, Mamatha, Asif etc. so on… I used to take everyone’s name who I thought was a competition to me! That motivated me like crazy.

Would there be extra curricular competition, I would be keen on participating and winning. I wanted to do it all. Be the best. Had that driving spirit in me. Since me and my sister studied in the same school, the teachers who taught her, taught me too. They would recognize me saying “You are A’s sister right?“. She was a consistent topper throughout the school and college career. That set expectations from me and that motivated me to strive hard. To try and be as good as her.

As I grew and my scores declined in college. Though I wanted to do well the bar of the achievable target was lowered. There were disappointing times which pulled me down lower. This in no way helped me and gone were the days when I rocked. I got used to being mediocre.

Right now I’m here. Been working for two to three odd years but don’t feel too great about myself. I am doing nothing to upgrade my skills or be the best. All around I see people learning new stuff, getting better jobs, reaching better positions and making more money. Many of the guys I knew in school/college who used to never study or qualify in the exams are doing great in big companies today. In much better positions than me today. I feel that’s one of the best qualities amongst most guys, they study not to pass exams. They study and understand to gain knowledge. Most girls on the other hand are book-worms and study to get marks.

I have great guy friends at office, very knowledgeable. I totally admire them for their intellect and IQ. I like hanging out with them more than most girls at office because they discuss a lot of knowledgeable stuff compared to the gals who are busy gossiping. But one thing that’s eating me up is that nothing is motivating me. I am not striving to do anything different or learn things I ought to. I know I have to but I am just not able to. I start, I give up. Nothing drives me.

Heard from a friend that most of us in this age group would be going through this sort of a situation. It’s called the quarter-life crisis. The symptoms are you start feeling “you are not good enough, you aren’t doing anything great, you just don’t know where you’re headed to, everyone’s doing better than me”. Questions that bother you would me “What am I doing? Where am I going? What’s my future gonna be like? Am I in the right job?”. What we both couldn’t figure out is how do we get out of it!!??

Tell me if you’ve been through such times and what did you do that made a difference? One question that I am going around asking is “What motivates you?“. Same question thrown at you.

P.S: I just noticed that I wrote an entire post without smileys! I must be growing up! πŸ™‚

P.P.S: Just ruined it! πŸ˜›



Filed under dilemma, justMe, progress, random, School

11 responses to “Motivation

  1. Mishra Ji

    Ahhha… Let me begin by telling you how honest you have been all through the post and THAT is not something ordinary.
    I can relate with what you have been through because,well, I have seen this all unfold in front of my eyes. Either to me or my fellow students.

    Ok. What you had all through school was extrinsic motivation. The one which needs external appreciation and does not last long. We stop doing that when no one is looking. Howeverm the other form, which is called intrinsic motivation, is something which makes us do ONLY because we want to do it and no one else.

    I have read many autobiographies and have seen many interviews and trust me- each single person who has done something of worth, had the latter form of motivation. Lance Armstrong, Steve Jobs, Sachin, Dravid so on and so forth. However, its difficult to do something without bothering for returns/appreciation because most of the times, that is what drives us. But then, there are plenty who do that. AR Rehman too πŸ™‚

    So… the big question is this: is there one thing which you can do when no one is looking ? and you do not have to answer me because that will bring into play something called social acceptance πŸ™‚

    I hope I did not bore you with the theory.. 😦 But its just that I went through this in first year of college ( after an outstanding acad in school and entrance examination ) and thought maybe I can share the experience πŸ™‚

    • Wow Mishra Ji! Thanks πŸ™‚
      You theory didn’t bore me, in fact it made whole lot of sense. I agree with you and feel maybe it’s the “feel good” factor which we get used to in extrinsic kind of motivation. The whole point, like you said is about feeling good from within, for ourselves and not for others.
      Thanks for the amazing comment. πŸ™‚

      • Mishra Ji

        Exactly. This is the reason why those great people keep telling us to do what we love,because love is an internally driven emotion and if we are doing what we love that means we are doing it entirely for ourselves. Glad it made some sense to you πŸ™‚

      • Mishra Ji

        And, since “Most men (*and women*) lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”, said Henry David Thoreau, you must see to that πŸ™‚ Good luck young lady !

        PS- the original quote was for Men but you know English literature has been plagued by male chauvinism, so I took the liberty of tweaking it πŸ˜›

  2. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ thanks…

  3. Mi

    Wow.. Great topic! And trust me I am heading nowhere too. Quarter life crisis, it is, it seems! Mishraji here has provided a lot of direction to directionless souls like us! πŸ˜€
    I look for a lot of extrinsic motivation, because I think, inside me everything is rotten πŸ˜›
    I think I ouught to explore myself more! πŸ˜€
    Good one, Achu!

  4. That is quite a candid post Achu πŸ™‚
    Sri Tatsat “Mishra” πŸ™‚

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