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Hope on the Horizon: Finding Your True Motivation

When you feel lost in the sea of life, having a vision of your ultimate goal can help propel you forward

Yellow Kayak

Imagine you’re lost at sea in a rowboat. You see nothing in every direction and are rowing endlessly, hoping to find something. Eventually you give up and drift endlessly.

But then way off in the distance, you see an island. Now you feel a sense of drive and purpose, begin to row again, and finally reach dry ground.

As you work toward your degree, are you rowing with purpose or drifting aimlessly? Do you have an island in sight?

Finding your island

The best island of motivation is a clear vision of the gospel of Jesus Christ

Motivation is the energy, determination, or feeling of drive you experience when doing something. On some days you may feel motivated; on other days, you may feel exhausted or even burned-out. This is completely normal!

When students lose the motivation to continue in school, it's usually because they’ve lost sight of their island. Thankfully, unlike a person lost at sea, keeping sight of your “island” or staying motivated is something you can control.

Here are two tips that you can use to find your island and stay motivated.

1. The stuff your island is made of

Socrates, the ancient philosopher, said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Understanding the reasons or “why” for your actions is the first step to strengthening your motivation. In the analogy of the boat, your “why” is the reason you started rowing in the first place. Being aware of your “why” is so important. It’s taught within the first few weeks of your PC 101 course, where you learn why education is important.

So, why is education important for you?

Your reason should be unique to you and your circumstances. Is it because you have a deep love for learning? Because you need to provide for a family? or because you were inspired by Church leaders to pursue an education? Motivation begins as you have solid, empowering reasons behind your actions!

2. The gospel of Jesus Christ: a bigger, better “why”

Imagine for a moment a student whose motivating “why” is to please their friends and family or to become financially successful. These reasons are a good start, but often won’t carry someone through the difficult parts of education when the calm waters of life turn into rough waves. When this happens, something more powerful is needed.

Jesus Christ Calming the Storm
Jesus Christ can calm our troubled minds and bring us peace.

Understanding your “why” is the first step to increased motivation, but when you start to add multiple reasons together, they build into something much larger and more powerful. The scriptures call this your vision. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the best vision that we can base our “why” on. This vision is the island we should row toward.

That’s why BYU-Pathway is gospel based and is designed to help you increase your faith, and become leaders in every aspect.

Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” 1 So when the peaceful waters of life turn into raging seas — when you feel inadequate, tired, or experience a new hardship — having a vision can be what saves you while continuing through school.You can model your vision off of the gospel of Jesus Christ as you learn more about the teachings in the scriptures. For example, you may study a BYU-Pathway devotional or read the scriptures and discover new reasons that build into your island. Maybe it is that the Lord has commanded us to get an education, 2 or that we should spend our days in the service of our fellow men, 3 but you can only discover these new reasons as you spend time learning the Savior’s gospel.

Motivation in the big picture

BYU-Pathway combines the best of a professional education with the teachings of the gospel. The gospel lessons spread throughout your courses can help you build an even greater island of motivation. Better yet, after you’re done with school, you’ll be left with an island of motivation that will allow you to row with confidence no matter the condition of the seas or direction you go.