Where does my motivation come from?



After the success of Palm Roots in 2019, I recall being asked who I’d like to thank for being the most positive and supportive person throughout my journey. And lo and behold, the answer I gave surprised many - I said “myself.” (How conceited of you, Jananie?!)


So if you were to ask me where I get my motivation from, my answer would be the same - myself.


There are times I can come off as being a very positive person to an extent where it annoys people to see how I can continue to see the positive in any given situation even if it seems extremely negative. So I apologize if my enthusiasm bothers you but life has taught me, in many ways, to always seek lessons within failure and turn them into stepping stones for the future. If you choose to focus on the negatives, you will have many people who nod their heads in agreement and comfort you temporarily. Because that’s always the easiest thing to do. You can call these people your best friends because they just get you and are always so comforting when you’re going through a tough time. But does this help you move forward or find a solution to your problem? Nope! So yay to your best friends for supporting you temporarily but the people you don't want to hear from are those who probably give you the reality check you need.


It's always easy to play a victim and say life sucks, things aren't working out for me, I guess I just don’t have the luck for it etc because it's easy to blame something else other than yourself for your failure. But the real issue behind it is not being able to change your perspective on why something isn’t working out. Whether it is a chain of job interviews you keep attending or a pattern of behavior in relationships you get yourself into, if you aren’t ready to discover the pattern and realize that the approach you’re taking is not meant for you, those lessons will keep repeating itself in the form of failures. And trust me, I speak from experience. I’ve applied for a series of jobs where I felt like my skills matched what they were looking for until I recently had a moment when I realized that maybe, a 9 to 5, corporate job wasn’t for me. No I haven’t made a dramatic exit out of my current job yet (lol!) but it completely shifted my approach on my next steps. And I couldn’t have come to this conclusion if I complained about my luck with not finding the right job, blamed the job market or covid for the lack of success or continued my search for jobs when, deep within, I knew it didn’t seem right. I knew there was a lesson to be learnt from it.


So if you require the motivation to create change in your life, the first step is to create a relationship with yourself. Think of yourself as a friend and ask yourself what it is you’re looking for and what factors are causing you to feel less motivated.


If it's related to school or your career, it can be tough when you have deadlines to meet. But what you can do is focus on your “why?” Find out the purpose behind your task. If your “why” is “because I need to get this done, because i’ll get fired,” you probably need to look at the bigger picture. Are you in a career that makes you happy? Are you in a field of education that you truly want to pursue? If your answer was yes, then all you need is a little boost! Firstly, pat yourself on the back for making the right decision and maybe take some time off to do something else and come back to the task in hand. It could be watching a movie, listening to a song, something more physical like working out, dancing (if you dare to? ;)), or just a few stretches. Maybe it's just an overall mood you’re in that day. So you probably need a day to rest. Maybe you’ve been too consumed with your daily routine that you haven’t taken time to pamper yourself or do something fun! As I’ve mentioned in my article about “childhood passions” we have the younger versions of ourselves still living within us. So on days that you feel a little sluggish, pick up a hobby or a fun activity that you loved doing as a child and allocate some time to do it. You will notice a difference in your mood by the end of the day (trust me, I’ve felt it!)


Now, let’s say the motivation you need is to continue pursuing a dream that you can’t envision happening yet. And the only person that seems to be positive about it is yourself - firstly, you are not alone! I’ve been there and I know it can be tough.


But like the famous quote goes, “be brave to stand for what you believe in, even if it means standing alone.”


Because that’s just the way life works. Sometimes, you have no one but yourself who believes in your dreams or goals. This is usually how the journey of many successful artists or entrepreneurs are. They only had their positive attitude to accompany them. I remember when I started Palm Roots, I probably had more people who were ready to list every reason I shouldn’t execute an event like this in comparison to those who supported me. Everyone who once supported me somehow found a reason to believe that what I was doing wasn’t going to take me far or was distracting me off my path to “success.” But why let someone else define what success or happiness means to you? The fulfilment I receive from being able to help someone discover their potential or be a stepping stone in someone’s life is much more valuable to me rather than any paycheque I can receive. Because the circle of life will always have your back. Someone who you’ve helped or inspired can come to your assistance when you need it the most. And that’s what keeps me going. I know that no matter what, if I put my heart into something, it will reap its reward in some form.


Hope this write-up will give you the motivation you needed for any aspect of your life that needed it. But to summarize this for you lazy readers who just scrolled through the entire post (yes, I know you exist! lol) here’s a few tips that I usually follow:

  1. Believing that what you want to achieve is possible to achieve! Training your mind to believe in yourself, even if no one else does, is the most important one.

  2. Giving yourself the pep talk you need - I wrote an article about this before!

  3. Meditation - taking time to figure out what factors are stopping you from moving forward. Listening to your intuition more about the approach you can take to achieve something.

  4. Getting inspired by podcasts, YouTube videos or someone you look upto, who did something you’re trying to do.

  5. Surround yourself with people who are positive and help shift your perspective. And most importantly, limit your time with people who are negative or don’t support your goals.


Remind yourself everyday that this is your life and you’ve only got one chance at it. Life is too short to spend it living in a pattern that doesn’t serve you well. You are the author of your life story so why would you not want to give it your best?