Day 30: Exclamation Points, Not Ellipses

Thank you March Madness for helping me remember two things: IMG_1655_1024

1). Analysts are human and thus there’s bound to be error
2) Being an underdog is undoubtedly the best place to be.

Year after year those teams that they say should make it, fall in the early rounds, and those teams that “have no business being there, sometimes go all the way. So here’s to being an underdog!

Pause. Notice the exclamation point.

I once heard a friend say something profound (a likely amalgamation of other individuals’words not originally attributed to said friend), “The punctuation in my life is static and needs change. No more question marks or ellipses. I want periods, better yet exclamations!”

For the last few weeks, I’ve been at this point that is best described as “…” Those ellipses represent the lack of motivation and direction that I’ve been battling against recently. The dreaded “Is this worth it, anymore to start over?” was creeping back into my mentality.

Somewhere during my time at Nerds-R-Us University, I vaguely remember learning that motivation is the bridge between what we want and deciding to pursue an action to make that want a reality. Well on the Bridge of Motivation, where one starting point is Desire and the other is Volition, I was still stuck in traffic on the road leading to the bridge—Desire was 5 miles ahead.

Yeah, it was that bad. Thankfully, I got past the is-it-worth-it-anymore stage. I made it to where I wanted to reclaim my dream and get back on track, thinking that all I needed was this overwhelming yearning. Survey says…EHHH!

Want (or desire) and motivation are not one and the same. They seem similar; we use them interchangeably in our daily lexicon and a thesaurus or two might tell you they’re synonymous, but you’ve been misinformed. They’re not.

Finding motivation requires you to ask yourself why. For example, you get out of bed every morning to go to your 9-to-5 whether or not you actually want to. Why? Gotta make that money, honey! On the flip side, sometimes you’re motivated to eat when you’re not hungry. Why? Well, I’ll let someone who’s certified speak on that.

Point being, I hadn’t stopped to ask myself why, even back when things were going smoothly. I was plopped into the hands of fortunate opportunity by the Rugby Gods. My life for a long time has been,“I’m a rugby player… I can make it as world-class athlete… I should pursue the opportunity to play internationally…” Because things were going well, I never stopped to finish those sentences or ask myself why.

IMG_1672_1024Many of the greatest athletes in the world have answered this question. Often its for the love of the sport—sit down 5 seconds with me and you’ll know I love rugby—but I will go out on a limb and say there’s usually more to it.

For Michael, it was proving his worth to those that said he was too short. Babe started arguably for discipline, but he continued—in my opinion—for the pride he inspired in his father-figure, guardian and closest role model. Jerry Rice, had to decide between football or getting punished for skipping school.

My point is to find your motivation, you need to know why you’re doing what you want to do. Once I figured that out, waking up at 5am to start running again stopped being a struggle. Running those extra hills sprints or that extra mile all made sense.

It’s not easy finding your true motivation, but being stuck in “…” is not a place any professional ever wants to be.


Author: Bisi Ibrahim

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