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Staying Motivated

boys playing basketballHave you ever heard the word “yougottawanna”? No, it isn’t from an ancient language long forgotten. Rather, it is an expression often used to articulate the desire to keep going, to staying motivated, to enduring until the desired result is achieved. I clearly see this desire in play as children grow. My sons provide countless examples! I watched them learn to play ball, ride bikes, roller skate, swim, fish and hunt with their peers. Despite the obstacles, hardships, challenges, physical effort and mental anguish, they persevered to a level of competence that was at times unbelievable. And they did it happily, with enthusiasm and excitement! They were motivated! The prizes they sought varied as their skills improved but initially, all of them wanted to be able to do whatever it was. They cheered each other forward as did their peers, parents and teachers. They did not see quitting as an option. When the going got tough, they would utter, “Yougottawanna!”

Achieving any goal can be daunting, and motivation may wan when challenges and obstacles surface. It is at these times when we need to dig within for endurance and reach out for help and support. The journey is a learning process and we do not have to go it alone. We just need to keep in mind the steps needed, find ways around the barriers and remember the prize that lays ahead. If it seems too hard, too long or too difficult, what can you do to not stop dead in your tracks and give up? Is there a different way available? Is there someone who has “been there” and “done that” who can mentor you? What is in this process for you that makes it worthwhile to continue? Spend some time discussing with each other the options, choices and adjustments you could make to keep you going with each other. “Yougottawanna” enough to keep striving.

I ask you to take out your notebook as you reflect on the following poem I first heard in grade school. Jot down the reasons you want to keep trying.


When Things Go Wrong

by Anonymous


When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,

When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,

When the funds are low and the debts are high,

And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit –

Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.


Life is queer with its twists and turns,

As every one of us sometimes learns,

And many a fellow turns about

When he might have won had he stuck it out.

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –

You may succeed with another blow.


Often the goal is nearer than

It seems to a faint and faltering man;

Often the struggler has given up

When he might have captured the victor’s cup;

And he learned too late when the night came down,

How close he was to the golden crown.


Success is failure turned inside out –

The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,

And you never can tell how close you are,

It might be near when it seems afar;

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –

It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.


I Care, Barb

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