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. 601
    Kim Smith says:

    I am motivated most effectively to change behavior when I see the negative impact on my husband and kids. That is the tool that the Holy Spirit uses most effectively in me. While I don’t always see the harm something may bring to me, when I realize what it is doing to others around me, I will fight tooth and nail to get yielded to Jesus so He can lead and I can follow out of the bondage or brokenness or sin!

  2. 602
    Candice says:

    I am a textbook introvert (yet not socially awkward) so alone time and rest really motivate me to get back to work with full force.

  3. 603
    Victoria says:

    This is a tough question and I hate to admit it but I like to be #1 in the worst way, to be outstanding, so approval/recognition motivates me. A big pat on the back, a “You’re the greatest!” (even though I don’t truly deserve/need it).

  4. 604
    Tammy says:

    For me it is being held accountable. Knowing that I have to be able to show it someone makes me get it done. I don’t like letting others down or myself for not doing it. Being held accountable makes put it to the front so to speak. I know others will know if I followed through or not.

  5. 605
    Kimberly says:

    Hey Beth,
    That’s an easy question to answer. I’m most motivated by not wanted to disappointing others. I’ll move heaven and earth to accomplish something I know will please someone. This quality is great most of the time, but I have to be careful that it doesn’t become a problem.

    Have a great day,

  6. 606
    Marci says:

    You! I find that when I hear someone who is committed to Christ and they share their struggles and the victory they have by trusting the Lord, it really motivates me to get in the Word and be the best I can be too.

  7. 607
    Lori C. says:

    The Extremes motivate me.

    The Ultimate Highs! Whew~ that fire sends me tearing through the world with a passion to gitter done!.
    The desperate lows send me to my closet on my knees, broken begging for my Father’s hand to rescue me with his presence.
    The impending deadlines put me to work with super energized & creative juices.
    The surprise emergencies put me at a pace, even my mother couldn’t handle.
    In the everyday… I lack motivation… that’s where my God comes in and visits the “everyday” to make it extreme-ly His. hmmmmmmmm yeah!

  8. 608
    bigsis says:

    Unfortunately, it’s back-against-the-wall, dead-line looming, you have-to-do-it-now motivation that has always been most effective for me … sad, but true. Perfectionism can be such a paralyzing characteristic!

  9. 609
    Katie says:

    Am I weird for seeing two questions here? WHen it comes to things that motivate me to do things, encouragement works well. Let me know I am doing a good job pat me on the back for the work I do and I will work harder.

    But I am not sure that is what you are asking. (And perhaps I am just being nit-picky.) The second question I see is what pushes me to change, to be transformed. If that is the case I would say catastrophe. I am being a little extreme in the use of that word but that I think best represents it. When I look back on my life at the places that I can say “Look there, that is the day that caused all of those stones in my wall to fall.” all of those days are epic. They are things that broke my heart, stood me on my head or stared me in the face and said, in a voice I can only imagine is deep and full of gravel, “Today you will choose what you will be.” Things like graduating from college (which is a positive but I had a choice to make), when my first love shattered my heart. I tend to believe people change only in the face of consequences.

  10. 610
    April says:

    That is easy! It’s you Beth. You are a very important mentor and motivator. You came into my life about a year ago and my life has become amazing. I have been a Christian for all of my life, but loosing my way off and on for many years before. Your inspirations are such a wonderful gift to me. It has brought me so much closer to the Lord. I want to learn more. Thank you for that! And of course my husband and daughter. I love them so.

  11. 611
    Jill says:

    Competitiveness. Which is just Pride rolled up in another word.

  12. 612
    Darcy says:

    What motivates me is my children. They are always watching me and learning from me. My bad habbits or my good habits. I think it is really important for us to model Christ. It makes me want to be more Christ like so that my children will pick up on that and it might make an impact on them God willing! I am not saying that is easy to do and it is a daily struggle for me. Praise God that he is faithfu and comes along side us when we do need that motivation. 🙂

  13. 613
    Melissa says:

    Being the procrastinator that I am, my true motivator is a deadline. Nothing gets me going like waiting until the last minute..
    My hubby would change this habit if he at all possibly could.

  14. 614
    Jennifer says:

    Time motivates me. Or rather, the passing of it! I’m a shameful procrastinator. But I’ve noticed that I’ve done some of my best work under pressure. I’ve also seen God’s grace cover me in an amazing way when having to make critical decisions under pressure. God always protects me and it never fails to amaze me!

  15. 615
    Kris says:

    Deadlines! I tend to procrastinate A LOT! 🙁 Nothing gets me moving like an upcoming deadline….

  16. 616
    beth says:

    I’d have to say pain, or the possibility of pain, motivates me at times.(I am motivated to exercise and try to be healthy as I watch my Mom suffer from arthritis.)When I am not close to God, I seem to suffer more stress and just general yuckiness in my life.
    But I am also motivated by the possibility of pleasure or good things as well. (When I exercise and try to be healthy, I feel better physically and am therefore motivated to continue.)God’s promises provide much pleasure and blessing when tested and proven true. This motivates me to be true as well. My life is much less stressful and more joy-filled when I make an intentional effort to spend time with Him.

  17. 617
    Deborah says:

    A strange combination of approval and dissatisfaction most often motivates me. I long ago learned that the approval I seek is God’s…I want to be pleasing to Him! As I walk closer with Him, He illuminates things that I often had not even noticed so that I become dissatisfied with that “lesser thing”! ( I am so grateful that I can use His strength to change things – SO much more successful)!

  18. 618
    Missy says:

    My kids are my biggest motivator for everything from watching what I say to completing tasks I commit to. They are my mirror. My quickest form of accountability. My biggest fan club. My most honest critics. When I feel like quitting I think of them and how I don’t want them to be quitters. I am challanged, convicted, encouraged and, quite simply, motivated by my three children.

  19. 619
    Judy McMillin says:

    I am most motivated by a deadline. I see the date looming on my calendar and it makes me move…needless to say, if it’s not on the calendar…it doesn’t happen.

  20. 620
    Susan B. says:

    The feeling of accomplishment – a job well done vs. guilt. They are both motivators for me.

  21. 621
    Stacy says:

    Mine is pain. I have learned that I will just paint my chains a pretty color, use them as a pillow, whatever. My nature doesn’t mind being tied down as long as it’s familiar. Only when God allows the chains to cut into my skin will I seek deliverance.

  22. 622
    Sharon says:

    Guilt…I tend to be on the lazy side and knowing I need to do something, but not wanting to, is hard. Sometimes I guilt myself into doing things, but sometimes my husband has to guilt me into it.

  23. 623
    Paige says:


  24. 624
    Lisa says:

    Pursuit of Truth. I’m like a hound dog sniffing it out. I won’t stop until I get to the truth of what God says about me or others or a particular situation. I get very down when I can’t seem to find the truth. When I read books, I read for Truths I can apply to my life and to others. It grieves me to see most people living by the lies of the enemy. It grieves me when I do it myself. It’s a spiritual high when I see others liberated by the application of Truth to their life. (Lots of spiritual high-fives then!) Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by Me.” Finding Truth and dispelling lies is how we pursue God Himself. The Truth that God loves me for His glory pulls me from all my slumps.

  25. 625

    Dear Precious Beth!

    Your book, Praying God’s Word has literally kept me from going mad these past 6 weeks. My beautiful daughter has believed a terrible lie and thinks she wants to leave a marriage of 29 years and 3 children and l grandchild. She has lost her church, job, witness, home and who knows what else. She and her husband married when they were kids and have underlying problems all along but God has blessed both of them with beautiful voices. Now her husband (who is like a son to us) has come to many truths and closer to God than ever and we refuse to give up on this family. We love all your studies and she knows truth! Somehow, she feels like she has missed something by marrying when she was a kid. I am so blessed to have a son-in-law who is loyal and is trusting God to bring her to repentance. It is such a blessing to me when he clings to God with me and daily we read the scripture and God is telling us both to wait and leave it up to God!
    GOD BLESS YOU! We love you!

  26. 626
    LRC says:

    I’m not proud of this one and am using my siesta scripture memory verses to help me change! I am most motivated around my house by thinking, if someone stopped by right now how would I want my house/my kids/myself to look? Not proud of it. Just being honest.

  27. 627
    Mary in Idaho says:

    Wow, in reading the other comments I so identify with many of them. Thanks for your honesty girls! The greatest one for me is APPROVAL. When honestly evaluating the basis for my motivation, my thoughts go back to my early childhood. I was always trying to “earn” the approval of my parents. So I’m thinking this is a lifetime pattern that is established in our younger years. Great heads up for young mothers.

  28. 628
    Debbie says:

    I’d like to say approval or fear of failure, but I really think it might be pride. I don’t want people to see the weak and pitiful me, so I cover it up with accomplishment. Whew, took a lot to say that!

  29. 629
    Sandi says:

    My goals motivate me. I have set goals for my life that I periodically review. I follow Valerie Burton’s newsletter each month to journal and focus on my journey. These two things keep me moving ahead.

  30. 630
    Colleen says:

    Approval…In fact, I just double-checked to make sure that I spelled it correctly. I wouldn’t want to disappoint all of the teachers out there!

  31. 631
    Angela H says:

    confession, whether to myself or someone else, followed by that wonderful fresh start. Monday morning, first day of school, a clean slate!!!

  32. 632
    Bridget (Strong Butterfly) says:

    Encouragement! I am more motivated to work or commit when someone recognizes the effort I put in, gives correction or guidance, and I will continue to strive to please that person. This is true spiritually, and with earthly tasks. Acknowledgment and encouragement will cause me to pour my heart in over and over again! This is so much more effective than fear-based motivation, since it brings out the best in me, and helps me rise to the need or occasion, rather than just doing the minimum to complete a task.

  33. 633
    Kristi says:

    I am motivated mostly by feeling appreciated.

  34. 634

    My first thought was appreciation… knowing that someone appreciates what I’m doing… but after further thought, I think it goes much deeper than that. I need to know that what I’m doing matters… that it has value… it’s for a purpose. And if that ‘something valuable’ has a deadline attached to it, then I’m extra motivated!

  35. 635
    Hilary says:

    Trials motivate me to change – for instance, lasat summer it was car trials that motivated me to change the way we managed our money… because we no longer had any! End result: debt paid off by the end of last year, house miraculously refinanced and a huge tax refund. God is gracious!

  36. 636
    Tanya says:

    Someone telling me I can NOT do a certain thing (as in I am not capable, not as in I don’t have permission) makes me dig in my heels (well my tennis shoes-don’t do the heel thing) and I am more than motivated to prove them wrong! This motivation has caused me to fall on my face more times than I’d like to admit but has also given me the opportunity to learn about myself and experience the Lord in ways I might not have otherwise! Interesting question, thanks for asking.

  37. 637
    Brenda Brown says:

    I am motivated by whatever I do is making the moment, day or life of someone else better. I have more passion, fire and energy when it is helping someone else.

  38. 638
    Nancy says:

    Fear! I said it, I hate to admit it; but it’s plain old fear. It will get me going every time.

  39. 639
    Jennifer Dowis says:

    Affirmation & accountability.

  40. 640
    Cindy says:

    Desparation. When I get sick and tired of an issue in my life that I know I can change. I fall on my knees in desparation, and He helps me make the lasting changes that I need. From small things like learning to be a better housekeeper to major things like my daily prayer life.

  41. 641
    Rachelle Moon says:

    My most effective motivation is clear and attainable goals!

  42. 642
    Rhonda says:

    My biggest motivation in life is my love for God. When times get rough and change comes (let me state that my personality is one that hates change)the only thing that keeps me going is my love for my God, the desire to pour my worship out on Him.

  43. 643
    Courtney says:

    My greatest motivation is when someone tells me “you can’t really do that”. Even If I can’t i will try and try again before saying I can’t.

  44. 644
    blessedbygrace says:

    Greatest life change where GOD motivated me was through fear, bringing me to a point of desperation for Him. My personal motivation from that saving grace season has been to desperately please Him. This saving grace motivates me to passion, to share with others who are desperate for “something.”
    I am desperate for more of Him!!! I love Him so!
    Hmmm, maybe LOVE is the greatest motivator? He was desperate for me cuz He loves me, and I am desperate for Him…cuz I love Him….hmmmm.
    I fear loosing that desperation and that motivates me to face plant on His feet and hang on to His robe. (I’m like the kid holding onto the parent’s leg in the kitchen!!) haha
    What a great question!!!!! YOU, Ms. Beth sure have motivated ME!!!! HUGS Diva Mama!!!!

  45. 645
    Melissa Wang says:

    Most of the time the Holy Spirit used extreme measures to turn my head. Like being fired from a job so that I would stop and pursue having a child. Then he used my son and his battle with disease. I had the most battle and most growth in this time and just when I thought we were done with the never ending thorn then we are now homeschooling. Dying to myself each and everyday and leaning on Him and His power. God used extreme measures so that I would surrender to Him fully and when I was being stubborn he took it to a whole new level and made it painful and unbearable so I had nothing left but to fall and sob and beg and give it all to Him. He had to rock me to my core and then literally pick me up to seek him, to love him, and to learn to lean only on Him.

  46. 646
    Kim E says:

    Pain and suffering motivate me most. It doesn’t have to be my own, it can be that of others. I want to fix it, relieve it, change it, stop it. An old saying: when it hurts more to be there than it does to go, it’s time to go. (About making self change) It doesn’t have to be life threatening, it can be less obvious than that, much less than that. But it gets me moving into some sort of action preceded by prayer.

  47. 647
    Pam says:

    My oldest sister has been persistent in praying for me and communicating with me in love. The Holy Spirit has used my persister to motivate me.

  48. 648
    Danielle says:

    My family. But not always in a good way. I love my family, dearly. But they are not always good people and most have very limited sympathy and/or empathy for others. I strive to care more about them, about myself, and about strangers on the street. It’s not always easy, but I only have to ask myself ‘what if that was you’ and I can back up and respond in a positive manner.

  49. 649
    Sarah says:

    My Daughter.

  50. 650
    Denise says:

    I’m in a difficult season; and, after thinking about this question, I believe that I’m motivated by expectations of my family — what they expect me to do to please them. And that motivation is waning.

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