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. 101
    Jane says:

    Pure and simple, it is approval. A good grade (yep, I’m 59, still going to school, & it still matters), a word of approval from anyone, even the self-satisfaction of a job well done. Sure, it stems from a lifetime of insecurity…I’m still trying to say goodbye to that bad friend. He tends to show up in disguises but these days, I’m more on to him. Of course, I must admit that one of my biggest motivators is somebody telling me I can’t, I should not, whatever, and me being sure it is the right thing to do! Katie bar the door…

  2. 102

    I’m not sure, but I think it might be having goals.

  3. 103
    Casey says:

    Feeling of accomplishment. After many years of garbage and pits I look for the feeling of done-ness.

  4. 104
    Joni says:

    Desperation motivates me. It’s the only thing that defeats my procrastination and also my tendancy to be easily distracted. Somehow, when I’m desperate, I’m able to lock in on what’s most important and get things done.

  5. 105
    Ashley says:

    A goal with a nice reward/recognition at the end

  6. 106
    Jenn says:

    Appreciation…..but not for what I’ve done. I recently went through an experience where I realized what a treasured gift my marriage is. The appreciation I gained for what I have, motivated me to make some personal changes that weren’t “necessary” but done as a show of respect and honor of my husband, who he is, and what he means to me.

  7. 107
    Cathy says:

    Putting it on my to-do list. If it makes the list, then it will get done!

  8. 108
  9. 109
    Sarah says:

    I think I am motivated by several different things, but one of my main motivators is pleasing the people around me. I hate it when people are disappointed in me. So I try my hardest never to let that happen!

  10. 110
    Kathy says:

    ACCOUNTABILITY. If someone is counting on me, I will work harder to accomplish the task. I even feel accountable to myself about my daily devotions and my time with the Lord.

    • 110.1
      Michelle says:

      Me too! An accountability partner, a to-do list, a visitor (keeps the house clean), a vacation (keeps me in a better place with food!), a Bible study (keeps me studying!), scripture memory team…on and on — if I know someone will notice, I am more likely to get ‘er done.

  11. 111
    Jennifer says:

    Kindness. Kind words, kind actions. They make me want to rise to the occasion and do the same.

  12. 112
    Christa says:

    I put the most effort into something when someone else is depending on me, and it will benefit that person if I finish and harm them if I don’t. I don’t want to disappoint.

  13. 113
    Kelly says:

    A “very” dry and desolate land for the last 7 years, with trails such as, being sued by a Christian friend, losing a business with a Christian friend, empty nest syndrome, husband having a breakdown and stopping dead in his tracks from living life, going back to work after 22 years of raising and homeschooling my children.

    Trying to make since out of any of it and fighting to walk close to the Lord at the same time, burn out came. It seemed like all my fight to hold everything together was over, I couldn’t do it anymore, including burnt brain cells, etc… It was actually a great place to be; I surrendered and now find myself in a pasture, eating of all the goodness of God. I know I can’t control anything, I pray I can always release control. (NOT) I know it’s a daily walk with God moment by moment. I felt like I wrestled with the Lord for many years and jokingly I say that He dislocated my hip, because I now walk with a limp from bursitis. (I’m not kidding) Oh well, if that’s what it takes!

    • 113.1
      Loretta says:

      Good for you Kelly! I was in much the same dark deepness as you – different reasons – same results. I chose to LIVE! Living with Christ is my greatest joy! I too struggle to stay close – daily – but HE never gives up on me and is always calling my name. You have encouraged me today! Thanks!

    • 113.2
      Linda says:

      I am walking your path as well and it has it’s bleak moments. One day at a time I wait for his directions. His greatest moments have come when I surrendered.

  14. 114
    Melanie says:


    When something bad happens, or when I am at my lowest.

    The biggest changes in my life have all happened, after a death or when I finally got to the lowest point of my life (at that time). When things are going good, I don’t seem to be as motivated…but when I finally reach the end…I finally move to make the changes that God has been convicting me of the whole time.

  15. 115
    Carolyn says:


  16. 116
    paula says:

    I know you said to limit this to one – and I hate being a rule breaker – but I have to say two things.

    At this point in my life my number 1 motivator is passion. I am totally, 100%, sold out for the cause of Christ and I believe in it with such enthusiasm and force, that all of my other stuff just crumbles by comparison.

    However, it would be totally wrong for me to not at least mention my other motivator, the one that sneaks up and takes over whenever I am not focused on Jesus… fear – most specifically fear of my earthly fathers disapproval. There is nothing quite like the intense sensation I feel if I believe I’ve let him down. Seriously, the only thing stronger is Jesus. If it wasn’t for him, I would be my Dad’s slave (whether he’d want me to be or not).

    Forgive the rule breaking.

    Much love,

  17. 117
    Mandy says:

    I am best motivative by having I person I deeply respect hold me accountable. I hate to disappoint those people I care about the most.

  18. 118
    Gayle says:

    Motivation? What the heck fire is that? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  19. 119
    Andrea says:

    Hmmm… that’s a toughie! If I use my most recent situation of finally doing what I need to do to be free of my stronghold of food, it really came down to desperation. I studied and studied and prayed and prayed and searched and searched for ways to be free and in the end when I found a way that really and truly clicked for me it just worked. I honestly believe that if I hadn’t gotten to the point where I constantly was crying out to God to deliver me and give me the tools to heal that I would still be in that pit. I definitely could not do it on my own, even though I knew everything I had to do. I had to be in the right place and right frame of mind. And since it relates to food, seriously for me to get through the entire Easter weekend without once even WANTING to eat all the ears off of every single chocolate bunny is a very good indication that God is providing me every ounce of strength and motivation to get through! ๐Ÿ˜›

    Oooh, I just thought of something I once read – we can be motivated until the cows come home, but unless we are COMMITTED, not much will happen.

    • 119.1
      Sarah Sykes says:

      Wow! That saying is perfect for what I’ve been experiencing the last year. Thank you for putting words to it, motivated to change versus committed to change. Thank God for finally getting us to committed!

  20. 120
    Courtney says:

    Sometimes it’s just the lovely two letter word word “no” that is my motivator! ‘Bout the time you tell me I can’t do something is ’bout the time I say “Watch me!” and off I go. Tell me I can’t achieve something? Watch me. Tell me I’ll never be good at this or that? Watch me. Tell me I can’t hop on a plane and go to Africa by myself? Watch me. Clearly there is both good and bad to motivator! ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. 121
    jenny says:


  22. 122
    Melanie says:

    I would have to say embarrassment. (Not a healthy motivator, Beth, but I’m being honest)

    • 122.1
      Beverly Stratton says:

      My grandson is a great motivator for me. I am 69 and he lives me with me. I consider him a gift from God. He keeps me young and I am never bored.

  23. 123
    Annie L. says:

    I think my kids motivate me more then anything! It’s mostly because I want to be the best that I can be for them. I want them to know and love the Lord and for that to happen…. I have to be a great example. I’m not talking perfection but a loving and grace giving example!!

  24. 124
    Rebecca says:

    I think my motivator is affirmation, competitiveness, and just needing to change a negative trait in myself.

    I’ve always struggled with weight, and over the last several months I’ve gained about 10 pounds. Not much, til I put my clothes on and I get so upset. It’s an unhealthy way to think of myself. So, my new prayer is to be healthy, not skinny. As long as I’m exercising and eating well, that’s a good thing.

    Also, I LOVE SMT! My friends at prayer night last week were really struggling. So, the next day I sent several of my verses out in texts to them. God’s power in His Word is AMAZING!

  25. 125
    Siesta OC says:



  26. 126
    Linda says:

    What motivates me is just getting tired of having something hanging over my head that needs to be done. I don’t know if it’s the guilt or what that finally moves me. Case in point – My husband has asked me to have new wood floors put down in our living room because carpet is just not working with our new dog we rescued from the pound. It’s been months maybe even a year but I still have not done it. I have wood floors in the connecting dining room so don’t know how to match that, don’t know if I should go with a good laminate or hardwood, etc. You would think when your husband suggests new flooring you would be all over it but still here I sit.

    • 126.1
      Karen says:

      Maybe you are stalled because wood isn’t the best solution. Have you thought of installing stone? What about travertine tiles in a 16-18″ square, placed on the diagonal with a grout in similar color (Custom Building Products Linen usually looks good with most travertines? If you want a darker tone there are darker stones and slate. Using stone or a porcelain tile will eliminate the problem of matching woods. Not a good idea to combine wood with laminate flooring in spaces close to one another.

  27. 127

    I’d say two things: 1) the pursuit of love and 2) the avoidance of fear

  28. 128

    My biggest motivator is the amount of satisfaction I get out of the task. If I am doing a project for someone else that I admire, then I find great satisfaction in doing the task and I am more motivated. I am an Event Coordinator for a music festival. When the concerts are happening and people are having a good time, I find great satisfaction in the idea that I did that. I had a part in making it all happen. That motivates me to continue each year.

  29. 129
    Rebecca says:

    Guilt and it usually is false guilt!!!!! Because I am not good enough!

  30. 130
    Debbie Cooley says:

    FEAR of failure.

  31. 131
    stephanie solomon says:

    Jesus Christ motivates me. The fear of disobedience moves me to study the Word of God so that I love Him first and know the plans He has for me. I want to live the life He created me for and I want to do it well. I want to bring Him glory and honor in all that I do. Beth, you make studying the Word of God fun and exciting; yet challenging. I’m laughing and crying in the same moment. Thank you for being a true servant of the Prince of Peace.

  32. 132
    Heisfaithful says:

    There’s a handful of things that motivate me. Fear, significance, recognition. In the last year, what I’ve found as I’m growing in Christ is, I’m most motivated to stay connected to Him. When I do/say things that disconnect me from His manifest presence, I immediately regret what I just did and want to make sure I never feel that separation again. My greatest motivator now is feeling God’s presence. It wasn’t always that way and it’s not always the case. But I would say this is my greatest motivator…now. And I pray that it always stays like that.

  33. 133
    Lisa H says:

    What motivates me now is a very trusted friend who believes in me and encourages me to at least try even when fear has taken over my world. And then she stands beside me and prays with me as I get through whatever it is. Without her motivating me and of course teaching me that ultimately it is the Holy Spirit inside of me doing this I would not be where I am today. I think the word that is used alot today to describe this is “community”


    • 133.1
      Stacey C. says:

      Lisa you are right. That is so important when you have that trusted person right next to you, cheering you on!

  34. 134
    bethany says:

    Motivator…hmmmm. That is something that I’ve struggled with since childhood. I have trouble getting motivated with anything. One thing that does seem to get me moving though is crisis or threat. Or if all the stops are pulled out and I’m up against a wall, I seem to get moving. I’m so weird!

    • 134.1
      Siesta OC says:

      I lOVED how you said this! I really see that I am NOT motivated. I fear I am that reed Jesus spoke of, its like ‘oo look something shiny,’ and I’m off looking. But when it comes down to it, I hesitate to put in time for something when I don’t have the garauntee I’m going to get anything back. As bad as it sounds, I want to have a reason for doing something. I.e, if I lose weight, will I get the guy. If not, I don’t know if I want to put in the time. How sad. Thankfully I have Jesus so I know its unearthing itself. Roots and all! I’d rather learn who I am thru HIM than chase everything else and never know.

  35. 135
    Melinda says:

    Honestly, I would say guilt motivates me the most.

  36. 136
    elaine says:

    A prize. Any prize will do. Very goal oriented. Silly I know but it works.

    • 136.1
      Beth says:

      On some semesters of Houston Bible study, we’ve given the ladies stickers or a stamp for showing us their completed homework. Girl, they’ll line up a country mile to get one. Guess how I knew it would work?? ๐Ÿ™‚

      • elaine says:

        I suspected that was the case. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m right there with you, working hard for my sticker. Ha!

      • Volleyball Ginger says:

        I’ve been doing the sticker thing in our ladies Bible study and these women LOVE those stickers! Age range from 20-70 and one time when I forgot to bring them…..they were quite upset with me! Told me I “owed” them double the next week! Oh how I love this group.

        Wetumpka, AL

      • Linda says:

        Must be the Teacher or Grammy in you.

  37. 137
    Stacey C. says:

    Sometimes I think what motivates me is when I get so disgusted with myself for putting it off & not doing something right at the beginning. Also insecurity….being insecure about what people will think if I don’t accomplish the task…afraid of letting people down & them seeing that I really do not have it in control, which really bothers me.

  38. 138
    Meredith Barr says:

    A deadline! I waited until the last possible moment in college to start papers and would do my best work in the pressure and finished just in the nick of time. Siestas scripture memory deadlines help me so much too! I know so many wonderful verses I wouldn’t b/c of the deadline you give me every two weeks! That has changed my life! Thanks for that from the bottom of my heart!

  39. 139
    Ellen says:

    I get motivated the most by getting totally sick of myself. I get so sick of myself when I am controlling (aka, manipulative), self-focused, driven by ungodly desires. After a short season of that, I can’t stand myself anymore. That is when God shows me how patiently He is waiting for me to come to the end of myself, and then His love overwhelms me. His love then becomes my best motivator……until I (way too often) let my flesh rule again. It’s a cycle, but it is shorter and shorter the more I grow in Him, praise Jesus!

    • 139.1
      Victoria says:

      Oh Ellen, did I help you write your response. I thought I was reading my own thoughts. Yes, the cycle does get short and the praise and glory go to our Lord!

  40. 140
    Ruth Olsen says:

    Hmmm..the proverbial question, the carrot or the stick?? I tend to be most motivated by my obligations to others. I may get to a place in a project that nothing in me wants to proceed with and, with prayer always necessary, the thing that propels me forward is that I gave my word to my client. (or a friend or family member)

  41. 141
    Susan says:

    when I know I am loved – gives me courage like nothing else

  42. 142
    Amy says:

    At first I was going to say acknowledgement. However, I realized that doesn’t necessarily motivate me, it just encourages me. Meaning it’s not the reason I do something, but it means alot to me when someone appreciates or acknowledges what I’ve done.

    So, my motivator is helping other people in this life. Whether it is getting something done at work for my boss, sending an encouraging email to a friend, or getting something done that has been on my list for awhile (that one might be just for me and my sanity!). Tell me someone needs help and I will do whatever I can to help!

  43. 143
    Kathleen Peppin says:

    What motivates me the most? Deadlines!

  44. 144
    Beth says:

    You guys inspire me so. You always get me thinking. I so appreciate this sisterhood. I no longer know what it would be like to prepare for a conference or a taping without my thoughts – for one reason or another – turning toward you. What a gift.

    • 144.1
      staciehope365 says:

      Quality time spent with a friend. I am motivated and refueled.

    • 144.2
      Heather Smith says:

      And thank YOU for the humility you demonstrate in asking us and actually caring what we say! ๐Ÿ™‚ You are a gift to us. I pray that in some small way we help take the edge off of the loneliness that can often accompany leadership… You lead us well and are a gift to us. Know how often you are prayed for!

    • 144.3
      Chelsie says:

      Knowing that 8 gorgeous eyes of my 4 beautiful daughters are watching every move I make!

    • 144.4
      Yanna Westmoreland says:

      Dearest Mama Beth we “inspire” you!?? I so appreciate this sisterhood and especially you, you have turned my thoughts to Him – What a gift.

  45. 145
    Angie says:

    The end result. Almost everything I do, especially what I don’t like, the end result of doing it is always my motivation. I hate cleaning but the result makes me happy. I don’t really like exercising, but the result of being healthy and having more energy, etc., makes me happy. Sometimes I am so exhausted I want to just fall in bed and sleep but I go to each of my boys’ rooms most every night, kneel down, and pray for them and then talk with them (separately) because I know my labor is not in vain in the Lord. Oh yes, I hate, hate to cook but like the end result…yum. Love you Mrs. Beth.

  46. 146
    Erika says:

    My big motivation right now is my family…my husband Nic and kids Luke and Lily (4 and almost 2). And also my large extended family. I’m almost 30 and am battling stage 2 non-hodgkin’s lymphoma. I’m so motivated to beat this and be there for my family for a long, long time. And I praise our mighty God for being there so completely for me through this. We have a truly Amazing God!

  47. 147
    Steph Doss says:

    The fear of failure. The sting from failures in the past motivates me to never feel it again.

  48. 148
    Jeanie says:

    My children. I am so convicted to be an example to them. I want to truly represent to them the type of Mom/Believer/Wife that I want them to grow up to be. I am so very blessed because even in spite of all my faults (and there are MANY), my children both love the Lord and are growing up to be great examples of His wonderous works in their lives. God is so good to me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  49. 149
    Annabelle says:

    Fear. Fear of God brought me to Jesus. Fear of failure pushed me to excel. Fear of my mother led me to be successful (not in a great way).

    Now, fear of God keeps me holy. Fear of disappointing Him keeps me from much sin. A desire to please Him (ALONE!) is such a freeing and clean motivation – but it does still flow from the fear of displeasing Him, of not being righteous and holy at the moment He returns. I want so much to be what He longs for me to be.

  50. 150
    LindsayN84 says:

    Perfectionism. Sometimes because I want to strive for excellence for God. Other times, sadly, for the sake of perfectionism alone.

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