Untitled Motivation

Austin - Monrovia, California
Entered on May 9, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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“Untitled,” I read aloud to what seemed like an empty house, for that was all I had on this paper, besides my name and eighth grade English section. “Is it possible for a fourteen-year-old to have writer’s block?” I asked my mother. She lowered the New York Times and replied, “Well, of course.” Instead of pursuing a conversation of “Don’t worries” and “It’ll be fines” and “Just keep to its,” I decided to make the trek back to my room to continue my binge writing. I believe in motivation.

Through comparison, criticism, and even demoralization, we can be motivated to achieve greatness. By watching a performance or reading a good book, we can be motivated to put on a smile, have a cheery disposition, and benefit those around us. I also believe in attitude, sometimes.

An old English teacher of mine, Mr. Russo, used to love the topic of what a perfect society would be: Would we all be equal? Would there be any comparison? Would there be anything to compare? I now think of these as questions of motivation. In a utopian society there would be no motivation and, therefore, it would cease to be an ideal society. It made me think, “What drives us in life?” Surely comparison and criticism do, but is it really the right reason to do something? Why do we want to achieve more when we can’t have it? Shouldn’t we have more of a reason for doing something than being better than someone else?

As I sat in my room staring at the same blank sheet of paper, I thought to myself, “I’m motivated by comparing myself to other people. Does that mean that I’m uncaring or just human?” It made me think about what really separates humans from other animals.

Motivation can be found in anything and can come from anyone. I can definitely admit that many times I am motivated by the wrong thing, but I feel that the only motivation that sticks with me and betters me is motivation I have created myself. I believe that lifelong motivation can be just as useful as a list of names on a Dean’s List or a cast roster.