Find Your Motivation to "Tear it Up!"
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Find Your Motivation to "Tear it Up!"

Recognizing what your gifts are is just a small part of accomplishing something. Motivating yourself to use those gifts is the bigger challenge

By André van Heerden, Communications Director

I’ve been a fan of the band Collective Soul since their first hit “Shine“ back in 1993. Incredibly, 30 years later, they’re still producing new albums and performing at concerts.

While listening to a new favourite song of theirs (“Are You the Answer“) on YouTube, a few of the viewer comments stood out to me. Many said things like, “Best live show around, I mean they can tear it up.” And “Saw you guys perform in Calgary recently—amazing as always. Such consistently good music, and the energy after decades of playing is unbelievable! CS were rocking it like an encore the second song in the set!”

I had to wonder, what is motivating them to perform with such passion and energy and produce new songs after so many years and so much success?

Legendary baseball player Joe DiMaggio was once asked, “Why do you play so hard in a game that means nothing for your team?” This was at a time in the season when the Yankees were already in the playoffs and just finishing out the rest of the season.

He replied, “Because there’s at least one person in the stands that has never seen Joe DiMaggio play before and may never again. I don’t want to give them the wrong impression.”

So, for some, their motivation to do their best may be for others, or for their reputation, or for money or power. For some, it may just be a love of what they do.

Famous tennis player Venus Williams is still playing on the WTA tour after 30 years. She’s now in her 40s and has dropped steadily down in the rankings and often loses in the first or second round of tournaments. Her championship titles and big earnings are behind her and her famous younger sister, Serena, has retired, and yet she continues to compete when most others would have stopped years ago.

I think it’s important for us to recognize what motivates us. In Cinderella Man, one of my favourite movies, real life boxer Jim Braddock is asked why he’s now winning fights after he’d been written off as someone who would never fight again. He replies, “This time around I know what I’m fighting for. . . . Milk.” Struggling to feed his family during the depression, Braddock used that to motivate himself to succeed.

Whatever that motivation is, we have to not only recognize it, but use it. If we really love to do something, it should show with our actions. If we’re working to help others, we should be doing that. If we’re working to get ahead or to make a difference, that should be evident to others.

Benjamin Franklin said that “well done is better than well said.” And inspirational author and professor Leo Buscaglia wrote, “Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.”

Recognizing what your gifts are is just a small part of accomplishing something. Motivating yourself to use those gifts is the bigger challenge.

I think we all get inspired by people who continue to “tear it up” year after year after year. In some way, we can all be doing the same.

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