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Motivation is a fleeting force that drives us towards a task that we wish to complete. This force is the source of many discussions. How do we keep motivation alive? How do you find motivation? What can we do to find the ability to push forward with the lack of motivation?

I recently found myself in the middle of an arena crying. Why? It was lightly raining on me, I was trying to fight off pneumonia, the IRS was looming around my mind like a ghost, and my health insurance said they would not cover my last hospital visit. So, I stood in the middle of an arena crying while ground working all of the horses. Where did the motivation come from? If I was so upset…sick…miserable, why did I not just call it a day? Why keep pushing?

Did the motivation come from a need or desire to make money? The short answer is no. The reason money driven goals do not hold steady is because they do not serve a greater purpose. Let’s be real for a second…we need money. Money is the road to our needs and desires. Money can be used for self, for others, and for our animals. Why is it that money is not a sustainable driving force? The answer is, because money in a means and not a destination. Money is in constant flow, it is a means of which to accomplish. The goal may be to own a yacht. To own a yacht, that person will have to make…. say 1.2 million a year. The money is the means to own a yacht where that person can relax, where his family can relax and make memories, and where he can entertain friends. He works hard for the yacht and the memories made there…not the money. For me, money pays for feed, a truck, a trailer, well-fitting tack, footing, show fees, fuel, and everything else needed to make me and those around more successful in work and training. Money is a tool to get where we need, but not a reason for working hard. Money is a byproduct of hard work.

Did the motivation come from obligation to my clients? Yes, in a way it did. Was this the full motivation, no. Obligation to others is a big part of motivation. A community is a great place to push one another. Of course, I did not want to let my clients down. I wanted them to know that they could count on me, but that does not explain why I worked my own horses that day. Why not push the horses that belong to me aside? What other force beside community had to be at work here?

Did I have something to prove? Yes, to myself and my students and clients. I had to prove that I could perform. I had to prove to myself that when my main goal of competing for the USA rolled around that I could do it no matter the circumstances. I had to prove to my body that while I will take care of it, that there were things to be done and I had to be able to heal while getting SOMETHING done (note: I was not on a horse, but ground working instead, this is compromise…we all know I didn’t need another hospital bill). I had to prove to myself that I could work under physical and mental distress. That I am stronger than distress.

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