Motivation And A Little Girl’s Shoes

By Chris Palmer, M.A.


I was watching my 5-year-old daughter trying to learn to tie her shoes today.

So focused.

So serious.

So intense.

Right now it’s the most important thing in her life.

And it struck me, watching her spend so much time on making those two little “bunny ears” and wrapping and looping through failure after failure: I was really watching all of us.

Every one of us has our thing.

Our important thing.

The thing we care about so intensely at the time that almost everything else fades to the background.

And sometimes that “thing” is important to us for a only short while; or maybe that “thing” drives a lifetime of existence or anywhere in between.

Life is like that.

Each of us is uniquely drawn to things, ideas, activities, behaviors, careers, and people.

Some of us are drawn to art or science or juggling, while others love football or astronomy or raising animals.

Countless things.

Amazing things.

But what strikes me the most is that there is this burning inside all of us, this unique direction — motivation — that drives us and calls us all the time toward such amazingly different things.

We don’t have to answer the call.

And many of us don’t.

But it seems that when we go toward the things we are most uniquely motivated to do, there is magic.

There is this source of energy and drive that allows us to do almost anything.

As if it’s one of the purposes of our lives.

And it’s one of the reasons big things happen.

Like scientific discoveries.

Or world records.

Or a little girl’s first tied shoe.

I just can’t erase how happy she was when she first did it. That smile. That radiating joy.

To her, it was the proudest moment of her life. I still can’t help but smile.

But her lesson explains so much.

We are ALL special.

We ALL have unique things that drive us — motivate us — to explore and create and live.

And love.

It’s a magic trick that lives inside all of us.

So for me, I want to see you find your magic trick.

I want to see you find the things that mean the most to you, that burn inside you so strongly that it not only changes YOUR life, but it changes the world.

It happens every day.

And the world is waiting for you to share your piece of it.

Your love.

Your passion.

Your unique way of living and thinking and doing.

Who knows how your deepest motivations will change the world.

I just know they can.

I know YOU can.

And in a moment I am struck by the sweet, serious, excited, and proud voice of my 5-year-old, one more time:

“Daddy, watch me…”

And I do.

And it’s magic.

All I can do is smile…

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And if you ever feel lost or “stuck” or need help finding your way, please contact me anytime:

I help people get “unstuck” and go after the lives they want.