Just Curious

Hey, Siestas! I have a question rolling around in my mind and I’d love to throw it to my favorite community. Here goes:

What motivates you most effectively?

That’s it. Pure and simple.

Ground rules:
*You can only name one kind of motivation. Think of the one that tends to work on you more often than the others.

*You are asked to name your real, live most effective motivator and not the one you wish you had. (You may honestly respond best to a healthy motivator and, if so, say so! But, if the truth is, you are more often effectively motivated by something negative, please also say so.)

This hint might be of help to some of you as you roll the question around in your sweet head: Think back on times of substantial and lasting change in your life. What motivated the real change? (Of course, we all know that, ultimately, the Holy Spirit brings about transformation, but what did He use???)

You bless me to no end. Watching for your responses!


1,127 Responses to “Just Curious”

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  1. 451
    Dawn says:

    What motivates me to really change? When things not changing becomes more uncomfortable than changing.

    What motivates me to get stuff done? Usually deadlines. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. 452
    Yanna Westmoreland says:

    My mind. If I can’t get it out of my head and I feel like I am going to go crazy if I don’t do something. All I want is peace of mind.

  3. 453
    Andrea says:

    Grandchildren. My life changed once they were born. They are definitely my motivator

  4. 454
    patty says:

    Truly, As a mother, wife, nurse practitioner (working 3 jobs) and student it is lack of time that really is my motivator. The more pressed for time, the more efficient and productive I am.

  5. 455
    Suzan says:

    Fear. The roots of my fears can motivate me to work harder to not fail, to get approval from others, to not disappoint someone, to do my best, to accomplish much, etc. Fear keeps me from falling back into distructive or harmful paths I have taken in the past. A reverant fear of our Lord motivates me to continually work at getting to know Him better, to worship Him and to free myself to obey Him so I have no fears.

  6. 456
    Kimberly Orr says:

    I am motivated by a truly transformed mind along with a good accountability partner…

  7. 457
    Julie says:

    My entire life fear has been my biggest motivator.I used to think that was okay but in the last few years have come to realize that sometimes it’s possible to miss out on some of the blessings God may have when fear controls me.

  8. 458
    VillageSister says:


  9. 459
    Jenifer J. says:

    To be honest, it’s hard to pick because I handle myself differently when I’m at work versus at home or at church, etc. Mostly, it’s not wanting to let people down. I dread the idea of being a disappointment. I long to be used by God as an encouragement to others. If I know someone I care about is hurting or in need, I push myself even further in an effort to help them.

  10. 460
    Kim says:

    Any special treat associated with a meaningful goal motivates me. I love working for books, DVDs, and…strawberry cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory or spinach and artichoke souffle from Panera Bread. Ha!


  11. 461
    nlynch says:

    My children.

  12. 462
    ~Beth says:

    I think recognition plays a big part for me – but it stems from insecurity – yes, even at my age, I still struggle with that. And the need or desire to be liked or to fit in. That has haunted me from childhood. You would think as an adult you’d overcome something like that, but it is ever present. Definitely these are not “healthy” motivators!!

  13. 463
    Lynne says:


  14. 464
    Valerie says:

    Before coming to Christ, approval from others, specifically friends and family. Since accepting Christ 2 1/2 years ago, pleasing my Lord and making Him smile. Nothing motivates me more than glorifying Him!

  15. 465
    Michelle says:

    Wanting to be an example for my children motivates me. In my prayer life I would always pray for my daughters to be faith filled and love the Lord more than anything. He told me very plainly I had to claim and believe those things for myself first. My baby girl wanted to run cross country when she started high school last year but was afraid she couldn’t run three miles. I found the couch to 5K program and presented to her and told her she could do anything she set her mind to with the Lord’s help. Her response was, “so can you Momma!” I wanted her to know you are never too old to move out of your comfort zone, so………. We ran our first 5k in the summer and she was one of the top state runners at her high schools a ninth grader!

  16. 466
    Beverly says:

    My deep overwhelming desire to be pleasing to God has brought about the biggest change in my life. Through difficult circumstances 20 years ago, I “woke up” one day and found myself in an adulterous affair. I heard God calling to me to come back his way instead and I did. He put my feet on a path that day that has lead me to where I am today. My husband never knew about the affair. He was not a believer but God worked mightily to hold my marriage together. 5 years ago, after having been through and lost an 18 month battle of cancer with my dad, my heart was very broken but soft. God called me to do the thing I said I would never do and that was to tell me husband about my past sin. I fought with God for weeks but finally gave in. Why I ever though I could win that battle I don’t know. All I knew was God was calling me to obey him and I had to do it. I have been so unpleasing before God in so many ways in my life. I want more than anything to hear Jesus say one day “well done good and faithful servant.” My husband reacted just like I thought he would but God reacted even bigger. My husband came to faith through the biggest crisis of my life. If I had not been overwhelmed by my desire to be pleasing before my Lord and Savior, look at what I would have missed out on. My marriage and my life has been abundantly greater than I could have ever thought or imagined, just like God’s word promises!

  17. 467
    Rebekah says:

    Accountability. This year I’ve started putting weekly goals (which could range from drinking more water to cleaning a room to something character related) on my blog each Sunday and then I report the progress the following Sunday. No idea if anyone reads the goals but in case they do, I don’t want to have to report failure! So I get it DONE!

  18. 468
    Esperanza says:

    My bigger motivation have been my children. Thanks for asking. God bless you.

  19. 469
    Lindsey C. says:


  20. 470
    Angie says:

    I am embarrassed to admit it but I have been most motivated to substantial and lasting change in my life only when my back was against the wall and there was nowhere else to turn.

  21. 471
    Traci says:


  22. 472
    Patty says:

    Interesting question at this point in my life. I have always been motivated by being THE Mom…and being the best I could be. As a stay-at-home mom, I have been motivated to be a “plugged in” mom, an engaging mom, you get the idea. Everyday there was motivation for me to do something worthwhile for my family and children lives that fed my identity, too. Then, (drum roll, please) EMPTY NEST! Kids are off to college, and some out of college and married. NOW, what motivates me? Sound familiar, anyone?
    I’ll let you know when I figure it out. I’m such a people person, with a servant’s heart, AND I am stressed by commitments! hmmmmm? Where to from here??

  23. 473
    Ann says:


  24. 474
    Ellen says:

    Very simply….the DEADLINE is my motivation.

  25. 475
    Juanita says:

    I am an achiever and have always been motivated by mastery of any given subject or task. As I’ve grown in Christ, I have learned not to find my self-worth in what I “do”. Now it seems I am motivated by the fear of not fulfilling my potential in life. I feel like the sky is the limit and live under a constant self-imposed pressure that life is too short.

  26. 476
    Laura K in SD says:

    Approval – especially from those in authority. Nothing motivates me more, nothing causes me more anxiety when it is withheld, and nothing crushes/paralyzes me more than when anger or rejection is expressed from someone in authority.

    I’m finally coming to a point of awareness to the causes (rooted in how I was raised, of course), and am learning to recover sooner by using the Truth of God’s Word, but this one is still able to unexpectedly pull the rug out from me.

  27. 477
    Susan says:

    knowing I might receive an “Atta Girl” so I guess I’m moitivated by affirmation.

  28. 478
    Whitney says:

    For me, I am most motivated by love. You know the verse that talks about how the person who has been forgiven much is more thankful? That’s how I feel. He convicts me of sin with his love and shows me how much better he is for me than my sin. I turn from things because I miss my fellowship with him. Not sure if any of that makes sense, but I am most definitely MOST motivated by my Father’s love for me.

  29. 479
    Carol from Coopersburg says:

    What motivates me, as Holy Spirit moves, is people in need.

  30. 480
    Valerie says:

    My motivation used to be a fear of what others would say, how they would perceive me, how they would look at me. Then I went on to wanting everything to be perfect so no one could say anything. But that never happens because I was the critic then. I had a period of shutting down because I couldn’t be perfect. Now I just try to do the best I can do.

  31. 481
    Sue says:

    Approval from others. I thought it was pride, but no-approval. I do take pride in getting approval, but the approval is mainly what I want. That’s why serving God is difficult…He sees the reasons, the why, I am doing what He wants. I want so much for others and God to approve of me…But guess what? He does anyway. And He sees behind the curtain. Thank God! He loves me in spite of me! ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. 482
    Yolanda says:

    In the past my motivation came from someone telling me that I’m not good enough or I simply can’t because of who I am. In all honesty that can still get me fired up, but I rarely hear that any more. THANK YOU GOD!

    Today my motivator is simply….love. I do so much of my life today out of love.

  33. 483
    tolkienfan says:

    A checklist. Not particularly noble, but I get a huge sense of accomplishment out of checking off a little box!

  34. 484
    Polly says:

    Pleasing someone else. It’s in a healthier balance these days, but it still rocks my world to make someone happy by what I accomplish. (Mow the yard to give my husband that awesome feeling he doesn’t have to do it when he gets home, hit a deadline for my editor so she can hit her deadlines, etc.)

  35. 485
    Laura, Beaumont TX says:

    Time/A deadline…. it pushes me through procrastination

  36. 486
    Karen says:

    Motivation is maxed when I believe in the cause, action or change.

  37. 487
    Nancy says:

    A big mug of steaming strong coffee is my motivator to get out of bed each morning…and then when I am awake and thinking, it is fear of not being good enough and not doing what I said I would do that motivates me.

  38. 488
    Laura S says:

    I never want to think I am wasting my time, this motivates me to action. Years ago I realized living my life without the Lord was a waste of time, so I dove head over heels in love with Him. Drinking wasted my time ~ I got sober… and the list goes on and on

  39. 489
    Jean says:

    An ultimatium

  40. 490
    Andrea S. says:

    My greatest motivator in this life is the approval of others…my bosses….my coworkers…my husband…my children. And if I am not careful this ends up being my greatest bondage and holds me back from doing the things I really NEED to be doing! I have been this way since I was a small child with what felt like unpleasable parents…the good grade was never enough…the independence never enough…and I still feel that today. My mom gets frustrated with me because I don’t need her like some of my siblings do….so plain and simple…APPROVAL of ANYONE in my life!

  41. 491
    J. says:

    I was thinking, “Failure? Fear? Pressure? Deadlines?” But it’s all summed up in what a couple of others called DESPERATION. Drives me to my knees, which leads me to change!

  42. 492
    Ashley says:

    The kindness of the Lord is a huge motivator for me (His kindness truly leads to repentance)…whether it be through other people or through His blessing and provision. When I’m in a low place spiritually and look around to see how much God has blessed me regardless of me choosing other things over spending time with Him and being obedient, it motivates me for lasting change!

  43. 493
    Michelle says:


  44. 494
    Kim says:

    My family

  45. 495
    Elaine says:

    A deadline!

  46. 496
    Berni says:

    No doubt about this honest answer;
    it’s fear of disappointing.
    fear of disappointing the Lord, my family, my friends, and myself.

  47. 497
    Suey says:

    Suey, Houston Eph 3:20 motivates me
    as a gal i c that written goals with my own effort motivates me and
    God is able to do immeasurably more than little me can
    ask or think according to HIS power that works in me.

    when i asked our 24 year old son(male thinker) Jordan Robert what motivates him..it is knowing that he accomplished something for the day. it is
    the wild ride. Job hunting that Jordan got two job contacts in a day that is accomplishment. thanks

  48. 498
    Ashley says:

    My children.

  49. 499
    Toni says:

    Fear and pride when I’m walking in the flesh, love and gratitude when I’m walking in step with the Spirit.

  50. 500
    Carmen O. says:

    Deadlines motivate me most. That’s why I invite people over for dinner so my house will get cleaned! ๐Ÿ™‚ I tend to hook up projects’ deadlines to transitions (such as, the deck has to be built before we leave for vacation, because when we get back it will be rainy season) so I can be sure that “natural” deadlines will work to get the thing done. I prefer not to think of it as procrastination, but rather as knowing myself and how much time it actually takes for me to get something done, and using the rest of my time for something else that is equally interesting or necessary.

    Thanks for asking!

    • 500.1
      Carmen O says:

      The more I think about his, the more I feel it necessary to modify my comment with the reminder that there are only two base emotions: love and fear. We’re motivated by one of them. Even a motivation of a deadline is, in reality, a motivation from fear of not meeting the expectation of….(whatever). How I wish I would/could be motivated by love. Is it because I don’t love enough, or am not convinced enough of God’s love for me that I’m not motivated to all good works through him instead of from fear of not meeting expectation? I don’t know, but it’s food for thought.

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