A Different Look at Motivation

by: Larry Davies | Jul 29, 2011

I am a nut about buying motivational posters and products. But sometimes too much of a good thing is well… too much. Maybe that’s why I like this calendar from
Despair, Inc. On the cover is a picture of the infamous Leaning Tower of Pisa. The caption reads: Mediocrity – It takes a lot less time and most people won’t notice the difference until it’s too late.

Can you believe that?

Another example: A snow skier in mid-flight heading for a big fall. Underneath are the words: Ineptitude – If you can’t learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.

E.L. Kersten, creator of “A Calendar of Monthly Inspirations for Underachievers, Pessimists and the Chronically Unsuccessful” writes: For over a decade, motivational products have promoted “Success,” “Quality” and the importance of “Determination.” As wonderful as these notions sound, the sad fact is that not everyone wins, cares or even tries. That’s why our Demotivators champion the often-overlooked merits of “Mediocrity,” “Pessimism” and even outright “Failure.”

How about this one: A photo of a teenage baseball player sitting alone on the team bench. The shadows of the sinking sun highlight his lowered head and slumping body. Obviously, the game is over for him. The caption underneath: Losing – If at first you don’t succeed, failure may be your style.

Ouch! Do you ever get tired of hearing, “No Pain – No Gain?” Here is an answer: A boxer being hit so hard that his face is contorted in – Agony – Not all pain is gain.

Let’s face some hard facts. Life can be incredibly difficult and downright unfair at times. Hard work does not always lead to success. Some people are more gifted in certain areas than others. Lightning strikes good people as well as bad. For every winner there are often dozens of losers. The list goes on and on…

Becoming more motivated can help, but will not guarantee happiness.

The question is, “If life is so unfair with no promises of success, where do we go for help?”

Maybe this is why we need God so much. The author of Ecclesiastes wrote in despair that life is… meaningless. But he ultimately found hope and meaning in our struggle to be obedient to God. “People who do this rarely look with sorrow on the past, for God has given them reasons for joy.” (Ecclesiastes 5:20) Maybe you can too. Here are some of God’s promises:

  •  It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night,
    anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.
    (Psalm 127:2)
  • I look up to the mountains— does my help come from there? My help comes from the LORD, who made the heavens and the earth! He will not let you stumble and fall; the one who watches over you will not sleep… The LORD himself watches over you! … The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever. (Psalm 121)
  • So I tell you, don’t worry about everyday life – whether you have enough food, drink and clothes… Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not. (Mat. 6:25,27)
  • Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience
    God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
    (Philippians 4: 6-7)

 

Put these four scriptures together and what do you get?

 

  1. Hard work and motivation alone will never ultimately satisfy. Trust in God to give you rest.
  2. Look to the mountains… your help comes from a God who will watch over and protect you.
  3. Worries about everyday necessities interfere with your faith and add nothing to your life.
  4. Replace worry with prayer and you will begin to experience God’s peace to guard your heart.

 

Maybe this is the type of motivation we really need. “People who do this rarely look with sorrow on the past, for God has given them reasons for joy.” I feel better already. Do you?

            For a catalog of Demotivators products, visit their website at www.despair.com.


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