I accepted the challenge of writing about motivation thinking it was an easy task, after so many motivational speeches read, listened to, or given.
However, the approach itself became a (motivational) lesson because I quickly realised that writing about motivation also requires… motivation. I was overwhelmed for a moment by the desire to give my best; I felt pressured by the “weight” of the subject and found that the blank page syndrome is not a myth. That’s why I abandoned the blank page of the screen and offered myself a break for introspection.
Beyond the philosophical thoughts and clichés of corporate team-building exercises, I chose not to analyse the role of motivation, but what causes the lack thereof. I tried to avoid the magnetism of Winston Churchill’s words that “success is all about going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” I remembered that Indira Gandhi warned of motivation for evil, and George Eliot concluded that life is sad without motivation.
It may be surprising to some that, after I inventoried the good moments in my life, I realised that most of them include my family and that oftentimes, my family is my source of motivation. Indeed, I cannot separate motivation from role models or success stories, and particularly from the joy in the eyes of my loved ones and their admiration for success. I discovered that for me, family has been, and still is, the reason I have accepted or rejected a challenge, without even realising it.
Not all my decisions and choices were correct, although they were made in good faith. Still, if I could go back in time, I would certainly not let myself be subdued by comfort and convenience anymore, and I would resist the temptation to procrastinate. Excessive procrastination, comfort, and convenience stifle motivation and turn us into prodigal sons who waste time, energy, and expectations.
I think that in the eyes of others, I have many accomplishments, yet the strongest feeling I have is of underachievement. I am still trying to escape from an existential stage dominated by many questions with few answers and I regret that, because of comfort and a schedule suffocated by many non-essential activities, I am not able to search effectively for answers. Nevertheless, I am happy with the unexpectedly high number of conclusions I reach theoretically, although it scares me how few I manage to put into practice.
I understand that there will always be a gap between theoretical conclusions and practical applications, but the size of the gap between them bothers me. I still have a feeling of underachievement, especially because I know the role models I had and still have. I know the context, the chances and the opportunities received. I have had and still have parents, in-laws, teachers, and mentors who are very close to me.
I feel that the excellence of these role models should be rewarded with several successful projects in my life. I’m glad that some of them have seen and can see how they have influenced me, and I regret that because of delays, some of them won’t be there to celebrate my accomplishments. Their joy would have meant more to me than the success of the project itself.
This essay is not meant to be an exercise in public vulnerability. It is—or at least I want it to be—a plea to do everything on time. A plea to choose authentic role models. A plea to tell our role models that we look up to them while they can still appreciate and celebrate this.
In fact, I want to propose a conclusion that I have verified in my own life: motivation is generated primarily by family: those around us, those who matter to us. Because Divinity can be our highest source of motivation, I cannot ignore the biblical idea of family as God‘s gift to us. In this context we should be, or strive to become, a gift to our families.
In conclusion, I want to challenge the reader to consider looking to their family as their source of motivation, their role models, and the inspiration for their life plans. As Mother Teresa says: “If you want to change the world go home and love your family.”
Bogdan Ciuca (53 years old), PhD, is married and has two children. He is a professor at the Lower Danube University in Galaţi, vice president of the Romanian Academy of Legal Studies, and a member of the New York Academy of Sciences. He is a notary, the president of the Scientific Council within the Romanian Notarial Institute, and director at “Dreptul” (The Law) Magazine.