When using the word motivation, it is helpful to see some of its synonyms, such as motive, inspiration, inducement, and cause, to help us better understand the word. What I really want to talk about is the intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual impetus that drives us forward toward our goals in life. In Spanish, one of the words for motivation is ganas. I like this word because it seems to place emphasis on desire. We need motivation and desire in life to succeed, and yet there are many ways to lose our motivation.
Consider some of the ways people lose their ganas. Discouragement comes when our expectations are not met. Our desire can be deflated when we are unable to resolve a problem or a conflict. Disappointment can come in many shapes and sizes and can even sneak up on us, ravaging our motivation. Some are disappointed in their accomplishments and especially failures, and others are disappointed in someone who let them down; still others are disappointed in themselves.
Regardless of the source, disappointment will diminish desire and leave you without motivation to keep on. Here are a few suggestions to help improve your ganas. First, start with an examination of your expectations and make sure they are reasonable. Secondly, make sure you have long-term goals because a sustained perspective is essential to maintain motivation. We are made in such a way that we have to have a purpose—something to live for. Define what it is that you want to be a part of and begin working toward it. Thirdly, apply discipline to your life. If you think, will, and act, then feelings will catch-up. The opposite is not true, however. Fourthly, ask God to give you the desire you need to pursue your goals. Paul wrote these words to the Philippians: “…for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Paul affirms for the believer that God is at work in our lives giving us the desire to live purposeful lives. It makes sense that the omnipotent God of creation, who fashioned the universe to run in intricate order and design, would want that for our lives.
Lastly, one of the greatest motivating forces on this earth is encouragement. One little word of encouragement can do wonders for a waning desire. I want you to know that God is on your side. Paul said so, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Roman 8:31). One of the most visible ways that God is for us is the way he constantly works out our mistakes and incorporates them into his plans. I love this verse: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). This truth, when understood, will do more for your motivation than anything else in life. It means you can honestly trust God to take everything you do—your successes and your failures and use them in the construction of a life that honors him.