Sometimes it seems like it is all about the motivation – the motivation to get up in the morning, the motivation to do good in school or university, the motivation to go to work and the motivation to make it in life (whatever that is supposed to mean), even the motivation to write a blog article about motivation. How ironic. It might not always be obvious, but we are confronted with motivation every single day.
People ask us for our motivation, to keep the motivation up, to find our motivation, to be or stay motivated. However, sometimes it just is not as easy to motivate oneself. Especially, as I experienced or know some other people are experiencing during this pandemic. Our possibilities are limited now after a lifelong assurance that there are no limits to what we can do if we set our minds to it. That can be scary or overwhelming at times.
The dictionary defines motivation as follows:
- the act or an instance of motivating, or providing with a reason to act in a certain way
- the state or condition of being motivated or having a strong reason to act or accomplish something 
But: What actually is motivation? How can this reason look like?
Unfortunately, there is no one recipe to motivation. Every one of us is motivated differently. We each find motivation in something else or, perhaps, some of us are still looking for their personal motivation. It comes from within us.
Motivation is the why to what we want to achieve in our lives.
I asked some of my classmates what their motivation is and I asked myself what it is that motivates me every day and I recognized some similarities. Similar to the Karls’ motto, many of us want to make a difference in the world. Making a difference, leaving a trace, encouraging others. Depending on what situation one is in life, the motivation can differ.
Usually we do not have to think about it very often. However, I think it is very important to keep in mind what we are doing this for because when we struggle or doubt, we can reverse back to this and remind ourselves why this is all worth it.
Especially when things seem to go nowhere and we feel stuck, we need to look inside of us and remind ourselves of why we do what we do. It may not always be in our hands to change our situation, but it is in our hands how we handle the situations we are confronted with. The current pandemic makes that clearer than ever. Nonetheless, we should never forget what gives us the energy to keep going even in times like this.
Sometimes I feel like everyone around me handles life and the pressure so much better than me and they have got it all figured out, then when I speak to the people around me, my friends and colleagues, it turns out that we all feel stuck at times, we all struggle. And that is okay. We are not supposed to have it all figured out yet and sometimes we have to work out a different way to get where we want to be even if that means making a detour. That can turn out to be the best thing happening to us. Motivation is not this mystical thing that will magically get us to where we want to go, rather I view it as the urge to fulfill my dreams and take the chances presented to me.
It’s this little word but with such a heavy weight on it.
What do I do if I don’t have it and can’t seem to find it?
Motivation alone does not work; it also needs effort and courage. However, motivation is what lets us take the first step and keeps us running the marathon that is our life.
Article by Maya Köll *MK – International Relations (B.A.), 2nd Semester
 Dictionary.com, LLC 2021 https://www.internationalwomensday.com/
*Karlshochschule is an educational institution and a non-profit organization as well. We want to encourage individuals and young people to take responsibility, find their own voice and initiate change in a sustainable and tolerant way. Listening to different opinions not only promotes different perspectives, but also discourse. The content of this blog is characterized by the diverse experience and opinions of the authors, which may not be the majority opinion of the university, but provokes reflection and discussion.