Self-motivation needs to take priority in life

I am a dreamer. I have always dreamed about what I wanted my life to look like, who I wanted to surround myself with and what kind of future I wanted to have. It wasn’t until college I realized that I can dream all I want, but if I don’t put any action into my desires, I will get nowhere near where I want to be.

With the start of a new school year, it is easy to say that we as students are going to have the best year we possibly can. We can talk about all the success we just know we are going to have whether it be academically, personally, spiritually, athletically, etc. But, actually doing what we need to do to be successful can be the hardest part of the journey.

We have all heard the phrases “talk is cheap” and “actions speak louder than words.” They are especially true when we start telling ourselves those phrases.

Although there are still a few months until the fall semester comes to a close, it can be easy to lose sight of our goals. We can easily get distracted from our dreams whether it be from procrastination, not setting our priorities straight or simply not putting in the effort.

While there can be many reasons why we start to lack the motivation to carry out what we want to accomplish, it is imperative to keep our eyes on our dreams, goals and aspirations.

In Colossians 3:23, Christ has called us “to work at anything we do wholeheartedly as though we were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people.” This Bible verse is more than just a good verse to memorize, it is an amazing verse to live by because it can push us to work hard and accomplish our goals for God’s glory; and when we start to lose the motivation we need, he is there to help us find it again.

This summer, I dove into reading a leadership book by Dr. Jeffrey Barnes, dean of academic services, titled “The Wisdom of Walt.” Barnes not only gave helpful information about Disneyland that I will definitely put to use before my season pass expires, but he put words on  paper that truly motivated me to never lose sight of what I feel is important in my life.

“Imagine surveying the streets at the end of your dream, your goal, your accomplishment and welcoming all the happiness that will accompany its arrival,” Barnes said in his book. It can be motivational—think about the pure joy that will come after a goal is met. That’s part of why we dream anyway, right? We want to picture what our life will be like and be as happy as we can possibly be.

While this is supposed to be a fun time in our lives as we experience all that college has to offer, staying on track with our goals and our motivations now can make all the difference in our lives later.

When I was a freshman, I believed I had all the time in the world and didn’t need to worry about what life would be like after graduation. My daydreams were enough for me. Honestly, it wasn’t the biggest worry I had as a junior, either, but it should have been.

Now, as a senior, I am excited to graduate and put my degree to use, and hopefully make some kind of impact in this world. So, while I am still dreaming, I am doing my best to put my actions into step.

Being proactive with the goals we set can benefit us by taking us to the next step of where we need to be. For freshman, it may seem like eternity until their feet walk across the stage at graduation. But that day will come as it has for many graduates before them. Staying motivated and goal-oriented helps push us forward.

While putting feet to our words can be easier said than done, it will be rewarding to sit back and see all that we have accomplished. The hard work we put in during college will be well worth it once we have our degrees and continue to pursue our dreams.

About Ashley Dinkel

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