I got a really neat email this morning from a girl developing an app to help people with weight loss. I won't go too much into it, since it's her idea and I'm sure she doesn't want any of you filthy pirates robbing it, but in essence, it makes weight loss a fun game. The idea is that some people are more motivated by a high score than they are by their current health and longevity. I think the idea is great. The concept of discovering what motivates people, and then channeling that to help them reach their goals.
So it got me to thinking about motivation in general, and what motivates people to do what they do. Everyone knows you're supposed to eat plenty of raw fruits and vegetables, and that Pepsi melts nails (construction, not finger), that aspartame gives monkeys brain damage, etc. etc. but lots of people still eat crap, and don't make any effort to improve. On the other hand, some people are right on the ball with their health. I have a friend who actually only eats raw food. EVER. She is very motivated to take care of herself. What about smokers? That smoking causes cancer and other horrible diseases (like the dreaded "yellow finger") is common knowledge at this point. So, are smokers motivated to smoke, or are they just not motivated to quit?
There seems to be an ebb and flow to motivation as well. Personally, I find it really hard to get my motivation up and keep it there (it's called MD, "motivational dysfunction" hehe). I guess that's why I have about 7 unfinished crochet projects scattered around the house, and I have a place mat scotch taped behind my sink for the DIY back splash I was planning on making, and why lettuce always goes bad in my fridge (no motivation to make a salad).
There are many different reasons to do things. Money, appearance, fear, to gain something, to prevent something. It seems to me, however, that the most effective motivator is passion (pronounced "PASHon", Antonio Banderas style). If what I'm trying to do is a random passing idea, and isn't a manifestation of everything that I love in life, a way to realize all my hopes and dreams, chances are it isn't going to get done. So, since a kitchen back splash doesn't give me goose bumps, keep me up at night, make me emotional because I feel so happy when I think about it, it looks like I'll be re-sticking the tape on that place mat for months, maybe even years to come.
Luckily for me, I've actually found something that does make me feel like that, and it's probably not what you think it's gonna be. You all think that I'm really into art, and I am, but not the way that I'm into...science. I have enrolled in a program about full body alignment, and it's the most sciency thing I've ever done. I'm learning about blood physics, skeletal mechanics, thoracic this and cervical that. I'm learning why wearing high heel shoes makes you lose bladder function. I'm learning why poor posture leads to cardiovascular disease. And yes, I do get emotional from time to time during lectures explaining all this jibber jabber. After all my going on and on about what path to I'm on, what direction I'm supposed to take in life, it seems that I have found it. I've never been so happy, or loved what I'm learning and doing so much. And I believe that is the motivation I need to keep me going for a long, long time. :)