Blog Column: 

I’ve discovered that, to get just about anything done, I need some sort of motivation. That doesn’t necessarily mean the whole carrot or the stick model either. Yeah, reward and punishment are good to get people moving on a conscious level, but, for me at least, I’ve found that I need some emotional investment too.

If I have a particularly tedious task like math homework looming over me, the promise of freedom afterward isn't enough to get me started. More often than not, I have to get excited over something first.

That’s right. I forced myself to get pumped for math. How perverse is that?!

It works though! I listen and dance to whatever music I’m wild about at the time or I read an action-packed book or have at the punching bag for a while. More often than not, I’ll afterward blow through the first thirty minutes of work and that’s often enough to get the ball rolling.

Thing is, I find it’s sometimes difficult to even get going on projects I love. I was telling my father about how I often struggle to sit down and write stories. I love the writing itself and once I get going I never want to stop, but the starting is the hard part.

“Ah,” my father nodded, donning his sagacious tone and putting a hand on my shoulder. “You, my son, are experiencing the phenomena of inertia. Comes with being a human.”

“Yeah, but I love writing! I shouldn’t feel this way over something I’m passionate about!”

He shook his head. “Doesn’t matter. Hits us all, no matter what we’re trying to do.”

So, in short, two things help: discipline and adrenaline.

The same thing doesn’t work every time though. Sometimes a song or exercise just won’t get you motivated. That’s when you have to slog through it, whether you feel like working or not, hence the discipline.

In those rare moments when you discover something invigorating, however, cherish it. I attended the Tao performance of Japanese taiko drumming in the Fine Arts Center on Wednesday night and found myself literally at the edge of my seat for almost the show’s entirety. The heavy, fast rhythms, the storytelling, the raw masculinity, and the portrayals of battle got my blood pumping the same way that a fight or a concert would. The difference, however, was that the performance was inspiring! The moment I left the theatre, I felt compelled to run back to my dorm and practice karate or write a story or both! I NEEDED to get going, to DO something! I was ready to burst and I knew that if I neglected the urge, it would never resurge and that I would miss my chance to pour my whole being into something.

If something like that ever happens, if the spirit ever takes you, do NOT let it go to waste, whatever you do! Drop whatever you are doing and utilize that energy! That rush will happen so infrequently and is so useful as to be invaluable.

If you’ve got a regular motivator, good. If you’ve got a regimen, even better. If you take a straight shot of adrenaline to the brain, seize the day, for God’s sake!

Song of the Week: I’ve got a penchant for movie music and the like if I’m inclined to get pumped. Gym time? Soundtracks. Writing a story? Soundtracks. Taking a shower? Opera so that I can annoy everyone on my floor. Mwahahaha.

Anyhow, this is one of my favorites for the gym. Enjoy “False King” by Two Steps From Hell!

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