We all have come across this word a lot in our lives. Some of us have heard our parents say to us, others have heard from their coaches, some others came across this word while surfing through books or even the internet. No matter what the source, a lot of us to this date have a difficulty in understanding what motivation is and how it works. A year ago, I probably would’ve felt the same.
The actual understanding of the term hit me a year back when I had suddenly decided to quit my job to pursue my passion in dance. The first and the biggest task was to motivate me to study for IELTS. It was hard, I had left college a year and a half back and hadn’t really studied much thereafter. The first few days were the most difficult. But I was thinking of putting my papers down and I had to get through this exam to be able to apply. The one and a half year that I spent in my job, the one thing that kept me from writing the exam or even thinking about going for higher studies was the fear of not being able to do it. The fear of failure, the fear of not being able to clear the IELTS or not getting admission into any college. But I realised that I wouldn’t know unless I gave it a shot. So, I decided to give it a try.
My first small victory came in the form of my first unprepared IELTS mock exam. I had decided to apply for it without telling my parents, as I was afraid to get their hopes up. I had scored really well. I realised that with a little bit more effort, I could easily do better. My next milestone then was to prepare and do better for the second mock exam! I started talking to my friends, trying to get them to help me out, told my parents that I had applied and watched youtube videos on how to crack the IELTS exam. I kept giving myself such small victories to keep me motivated throughout. My next biggest motivation after the exam came in the form of my resignation.
After giving my IELTS and resigning from my job, I went home. I attended lectures at my university to get back to reading, writing and critical thinking, met with my mentor, Aadya Kaktikar. The resignation helped me a lot with my SOP. I also gave myself smaller tasks on a daily basis to feel accomplished. It gave me a sense of satisfaction for that very day and helped me get to the ultimate goal of writing the SOP. I sent it to as many people as possible so that they could read and give me their inputs. I wrote near to ten drafts before getting to the Final SOP. Although I had scored well in my IELTS and had a decent SOP, I was still scared. So, one day, on a whim, without telling anyone, I filled the form for a university. I hadn’t told my family that I had already applied to one university, I pretended to work on my application for the other. As I had applied on a whim, I hadn’t really expected a response to my mail but I got it!
It has already been 6 months since I moved to the UK for my Masters. I still have days when I feel less motivated, I have the feeling of letting go. So, I give myself daily tasks that I know I would be able to achieve. Every task has the same priority and has the same importance in my daily life. I used to think that cooking was the least important tasks at hand and hence I would get frustrated while doing it. Cleaning my room had the least importance, going to the beach for a walk. Basically, everything other than studying or reading a book that would help me write my papers was less important. But that is not the case.
Every task that we perform on a daily basis, be it for our friends or our family, is as important as our effort towards achieving our goals. We may not achieve our goals in a day or even a month, but such daily tasks will keep us motivated. If given the same importance, they can give us the feeling of satisfaction that we require to feel motivated and help us get through on days when we feel less motivated. I have learnt and I am still learning that life is a journey, every path we walk has a lesson awaiting us. The key is to keep ourselves focused on the journey. The destination will arrive when it has to.