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. 401
    Lisa says:

    I am going to have to agree with the others that it is definitely desperation.

    My mother wrote a letter to my pastor after my baptism. Her words were “my daughter is 37 and I thought she would never live to be 38” (how is that for a gut wrencher). I was divorced in September of 09 and from then until March 14th, 2010, I drank no less than a fifth of alcohol per day (more on weekends).

    In March, I had an accident (not alcohol related) and over the next couple of weeks, I developed a MRSA infection in my leg. My calf swelled one night to about 24 inches in circumference. Blisters were forming on my leg from the poison trying to get out of my body. I was teeter-tottering with God and recently started going to a church.

    On March 14th, when the swelling was at the worst, I cried out to God that if he was trying to get my attention, He had it. I just asked him to show me it was him. Within a half hour my leg was pouring out poison.

    Beth, I did your breaking free study with my small group last fall. In one segment, you said “There is no addiction that God can’t cure you of”. I am “Living Proof” that you are 100% correct. March 14th was the last time I had any alcohol. No withdrawals, no rehab, no medication, no meetings.

    I simply asked God to take over and being the loving and faithful God he is, it is exactly what he did. You know, it isn’t even an issue any longer. I can be around it, see it, smell it, etc and the want or desire is absolutely zero. But it took absolute desperation on my part to be the motivating factor to move back to him.

    God is good ALL THE TIME and all the time GOD IS GOOD!!

  2. 402
    sandee says:

    I was going to peek, to see what other’s wrote, to see if I understood the question right, but then I decided, I would write what came to my mind first…and then peek.

    Acceptance blending into Valued….

    I think so much is wrapped up in that for me. When I accept myself just as I am, when I can grasp for a moment, that God accepts me, even values me…when I have a friend or family member that accepts me….

    I am SO performance driven, conditional love perception…. when I can get a whisper of acceptance….that even might be stronger, as I realize it might be valued… it just turns everything upside down (in a good way) for me.

    It motivates me, to love my life, to love my kids, to accept our life as good …. and to be at peace…trust.

    You really can trust when someone accepts you as you are…and values you.

    Not sure if that was what you were meaning…so now I will go peek!

  3. 403
    Pam Lewko says:

    Commitment motivates me. When I have given my word and know that someone is counting on my integrity to come through. What ever it is will be a “HIGH” priority item to complete, other things can take the back burner.

  4. 404
    Carol says:

    I have to “crash & burn”; reach the very bottom of my current pit. It gets so miserable down there that it motivates me to reach out and up to Him. I think that sometimes the Holy Spirit actually has to drag ya down, before He can lift you up.

  5. 405
    Sharon says:

    Mymost effective motivator has become freedom. I used to want approval, good grades, to avoid conflict of disappointment…and many of the motivators already listed.

    Now I want to “get it done” so I can be free to do what I feel is contributing to a better life.

  6. 406
    Judy says:

    Judy says…

    Peace— When peace is missing I will strive to find why it is missing and proceed to correct the problem if possible. Sometimes it is impossible and I place it in God’s hands. I would like to tell you that this is easy but sometimes it takes longer than other times and sometimes after many tears. I must have peace, yes, the lack of it is my greatest motivator.

  7. 407
    Rosalie says:

    Achieving something measurable that completes a task once and for all—not like housework—you have to keep doing that.

  8. 408
    Jennifer says:

    When I am asked to do something that Iwould rather not my motivator is that I don’t want to let that person down. I think it also goes along with being accepted because if I tell the person no they may not accept me after that.

  9. 409
    Rhonda says:

    The honesty presented here is precious!

    I’ve ruminated on your question for a few hours and the 2 words that come to mind are Love and Desperation.

    Love expressed through encouraging words….my husbands…..my children……friends……a total stranger πŸ™‚ They motivate! God’s word is full of encouraging words that motivate me to change/grow.
    And when I’m “all done”……..desperate for God and the changes necessary to move on and bloom for His glory ALONE!

  10. 410
    Karen says:

    A challenge…. Bring it!!! πŸ™‚

  11. 411
    Aunt Rhody says:

    Accountability groups–the meeting itself with a time, place, assignment is usually the motivation rather than the goal involved.

  12. 412
    Denise says:

    not sure what motivates me….I know loyalty to a person or a cause is a source of motivation. The gospel being a cause I’m committed to. I know that knowing God knows me motivates me to let Him handle the future and the past.

  13. 413
    Lauren Webb says:

    Love! Love! Love!!! I am motivated by love more than any other thing!!! His love for me; my love for Him; my love for someone; their love for me… My heart moves and my body follows. In the words of the song, “All you need is love” πŸ™‚ At the end of the day, isn’t it love we are seeking? Doesn’t it all boil down to Love? We can dress love up in costume and say it’s acceptance or kindness or attention we need…but all of those things are really just effects of love. So I’m going to the root and saying I need love because I want it ALL! Kindness, acceptance, friendship, laughter… We are motivated by our needs. Love is our most basic emotional need. Wouldn’t we all walk through fire for someone we love? Wouldn’t we all give up all of our riches for just another moment with a loved one that has passed on? Wouldn’t we?? I would…

  14. 414
    Mona says:

    Deadlines seem to motivate me to action most. I do not like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by as they tend to blow me down! Since I am a procrastinator (frustrated perfectionist), deadlines are sometimes scary things. But, keeping it positive, let’s just call them goals with exclamation marks!

  15. 415
    Zenobia Wise says:

    PAIN – it has been a tremendous motivator, broadening my perspective; causing me to press in and really seek & rely upon the LORD; to reach out to others who are experiencing what I’ve experienced; to share my experiences to try and help a few …

  16. 416
    Beth says:

    What motivates me is the fear that I’m going to miss out or I’m going to regret something. I don’t want to limit myself because I feel like I’m not enough, not prepared, or whatever other super awesome excuse I can come up with. I am enough and as long as I’ve given whatever it is, life in general, my best effort then I’m pleased. I just don’t want to live life halfway and I don’t want my fear to stop me or affect my decisions. God’s got big plans.. I don’t want to miss them because I’m hiding under a rock or because I don’t get out of the boat.

  17. 417
    Sarah says:

    Fear of disappointing God. Not a healthy motivation unless it is balanced by an understanding of His love and grace. There is a ditch on either side of the road!

  18. 418
    Jeanette Dahm says:

    I would say someone’s expectations of me. Whether they are positive or negative. When I am encouraged to do something I try to do my best not to dissapoint them. When I am told they don’t think I can do something I am motivated to prove them wrong. Either one causes me to stick with the situation.

  19. 419
    Melissa says:

    Wow. Funny you mentioned the negative, as mine is unfortunately. When I get really mad (usually in a pride-hurt moment)I suddenly get a huge burst of adrenaline. This energy burst often results in a clean house, movement of a large object previously meant for a studly husband, or an increase in stamina on a hike!
    I long for positive motivations!

  20. 420

    I am motivated by song lyrics, Particularly
    “Testify To Love” By Avalon /
    which is based from Acts 20:24.
    It speaks my heart-
    ” For as long as I shall live I will testify to love
    I’ll be the witness in the silences when the words are
    not enough, with every breath I take I will
    give thanks to God above,
    For as long as I shall live I will testify to love”

    I actually am motivated by it so much
    I’m considering on getting tattoo that says
    “Testify to Love” – πŸ˜‰

    ” However I consider my life worth nothing
    to me if only I may run the race and complete
    the task He’s given me. The task of testifying
    to the gospel of God’s grace.”


  21. 421
    Leah says:

    Getting sick of the mess or sick of myself. Not just intellectually aware that I should be sick of it, but genuinely sick of it, often accompanied by queasy stomach.

  22. 422
    Sarah Sykes says:

    Last year we started Financial Peace University to get our financial lives in order once and for all. The same basic principals (with baby steps you can accomplish anything) carried over into other aspects of our lives. We were never very good housekeepers, in fact we were downright terrible! And, our house was so full of clutter–stuff–JUNK!–that we tried to find reasons not to be there. I think the real motivation finally boiled down to, “Surely life has to be better than this, and if there is something we can do about it, then we ARE going to do it!”. We have been living on a budget since Mar 2010 and can see that Debt-Free is within our grasp (in a few more years, but we know it is possible!). We de-cluttered last May, but we didn’t get serious about cleaning on a regular basis until this past Feb. We have now gone two months ona regular cleaning schedule and are much happier for it. Anytime we are tempted to spend without thinking (probably to get unnecessary stuff) or to skip cleaning, we buckle down more because we’ve existed through that life, now we are LIVING, and we do NOT want to go back.

  23. 423
    Tami says:

    I get motivated when I know what I’m doing is important to someone (even if that someone is me)! If it’s important it will also be appreciated. And I like being appreciated.

    The flip side is that nothing demotivates me more than feeling unappreciated.

  24. 424
    Sandi says:

    Completing a challenging task, meeting deadlines, doing my best are all things that accelerate my intrinsic motivation. Leading our Women’s ministry and empowering others to share their time and talents. This position has motivated me to get to know more of the women in our church and that’s been awesome.

  25. 425
    Deanna says:

    Desperation-back against the wall, no other way out kind of desperation.

  26. 426
    Stephanie says:

    Encouragement! Whether from the Lord, from friends, from example of someone before me. It is the number one motivator for me.

  27. 427
    Sunshine says:

    Love, along with the desire to feel connected to other people. Love for the Lord and awe of his faithfulness to me, even when I don’t derserve it. I love the scripture Eph. 5:1 right now. Love for my husband, my grown children, grandchild, and the desire to help. Sometimes I think I’m a little bit too much of a helper. I’m glad the Lord loves me.

  28. 428
    Kristen says:

    End result. I’m a looking-toward-the-completion kind of person & it motivates me to get going & to keep going.

  29. 429
    mbpastorwife says:


  30. 430

    My biggest motivation is my family, husband, children. When my Mom was dying of cancer. I quit smoking because I felt like I was dishonoring her by her knowing that I continued to smoke while she was dying. It motivated me to do something I couldn’t even image that I could do.

  31. 431
    Karene says:

    The first thing that popped in my head was a deadline. Now that I’m back in school, I really see that. I’m not sure how that translates spiritually, but maybe I will see the connection after I think about it longer.

  32. 432

    My motivation comes from a vision God planted in my spirit as a pre-teen for me to become a triathlete. While grieving my miscarriage four years ago, I begged God for His vision for me. He led me to memorize this verse: β€œI run on the paths of His commands, for He has set my heart free.”(Ps 119:32) and reminded me of His vision for me 28 years earlier. I completed my first triathlon September 2010. I weighed 280lbs. In the 18mos I have been working hard and training, my external body has barely changed. My countenance, heart and mind have. My motivation to get back to the gym – after I have spent weeks away because my 3 sons (3,5, and 6) have been sick or life happens – continues to be His vision for me and this scripture: Habakkuk 3:17-19. It reminds me to praise Him even though the physical results I’ve hoped for haven’t materialized. I worship during every swim, bike or run. I recently entered a 5mi run I participated in last year. I finished 21min faster than the year before. I will take part in 3 triathlons this summer. It is all for His glory!

  33. 433
    Cherie says:

    My biggest motivator is the knowledge that someone is depending on me. It’s like a solemn promise that they won’t have to worry about that issue anymore.

  34. 434
    Jana says:

    PAIN…”Change will never come until the pain of staying the same, exceeds the pain of making a change”. Bishop Joseph Garrington

  35. 435
    theking'slittlegirl says:

    Positive motivation: Setting a goal, usually with a reward tied to it.
    Negative motivation: Guilt.

    (Cause I really do think it’s a two part question…*blush*)

  36. 436
    Elizabeth Blakeley says:

    I think I’d have to say my biggest motivator is knowing that whatever it is I’m being motivate to do is what God wants. If I know it’s God’s will, then it is difficult for me not to do it or to give up. It’s the thing that’s brought about the most change in my life.

    God bless,

  37. 437
    Christina says:

    Lately, I’ve been motivated by the desire to do the right thing, and doing my best to change accordingly(with much prayer). I use to be more of a people pleaser, and still am in many ways. I’ve just reached a bit of a breaking point where I’m tired of being overly concerned about what ‘others’ think when I should be ‘worried’ about what pleases Him. For example, I’ve struggled with being over weight since the birth of my first son (3+) years now. I also have a 7 month old, and my tummy has not quite returned to back to the shape it was previously. I get so tired of people coming up to me and asking me how many months I am. You’d think that alone would be motivation to get in shape. Sure I want to be healthier, and look better, BUT I’ve found a better motivater in remembering that overeating is a sin. That my body is a temple for the Holy Spirit, and He wants me to have self control. So everytime I’m tempted to take that extra bite, or eat more than I know I should I think about it as sinning, and I stop. And when I do cave in to the temptation, I’m learning to ask Him for forgiveness. Just like I would if I told a lie, or let my pride get in the way. Now, I wish I could say I always live this way. I’m definitely a work in progress. But it’s helping, cause my clothes are a little looser! I also gave away my scale. Because it’s not about how much I weigh, but it’s about my behavior and making better choices so to please Him rather than my flesh or other people. Sorry for the long explanation. πŸ™‚

  38. 438
    marita says:

    Deadlines motivate me. I love the challenge of beating a deadline. The less time I have the more of a rush it is.

  39. 439
    Joybird says:

    Encouragement. When people believe in me it fills me with hope and I believe I can do it. Threats, fear and pressure shuts me down.

  40. 440
    June Brown, West Yorkshire, UK. says:

    Usually it’s disgust at my appalling procrastination. I sometimes wonder what on earth I manage to fill all that ‘other’time with that so much does not get done. ‘To do’ lists help me focus, but I can be easily distracted by so much else of so little value and importance that I end the day guilt-ridden at my waste of time and lack of achievement. So the next day I’ll go all out and exhaust myself trying to catch up.Such a stronghold here, but now I’ve written it down, maybe I can lay this at His feet for healing!

  41. 441
    Crystal says:

    Mine by far is Accountability! If someone is counting on me, you better believe I will not let you down.

  42. 442
    Holly says:

    I am most motivated by the desire to have things finished and check them off my list, perhaps because it leads to a feeling of accomplishment or perhaps because I have trouble relaxing if there is anything left to be done.

  43. 443
    Deborah says:

    My biggest motivator is LOVE! I’ve been through some very difficult times. The love of my family, friends, & my amazing Heavenly Father inspired me!

  44. 444
    Texas in the Mountains says:

    One clue to this little sanguine heart. FRIENDS! More specifically hanging with my peeps. I will do ANYTHING if I can do it with people who love me. And if they speak words of affirmation (which they do if they love me~it’s like my drug)then I will do anything, and did I say ANYTHING for them; with them!!

  45. 445
    Joyce says:

    Trials…God always uses them as teaching tools to build my faith and draw me to Himself….showing me again, that He (not I), am ALWAYS in control .He knows what is best for me and what needs to be done in my life to refine me , making me more like Him:)….He TRULY DOES make ALL things work together for my good. Love Him SO MUCH and THANK HIM for each trial.Through those trying times, my faith and my love in and for Him blossom.

  46. 446
    Warm in Alaska says:

    Best motivator: Walking and working shoulder to shoulder with other brothers and sisters in a close community that is healthy, happy, safe, and hungry for Jesus.

    (What a fun question! It really made me stop and think….)

  47. 447
    Warm in Alaska says:

    Heeeellloooo – I’m going to be slightly neurotic and post again – I think what I was trying to say – three minutes ago – is that I’m motivated best when I know others are counting on me. I don’t want to let them down. I don’t mind so much letting myself down; but I’m anathema to letting others down. This can be an okay motivator if it’s based on healthy relationships with others; but if others are expecting too much – then it can become unhealthy (I’ve lived both the healthy and unhealthy versions of this). Okay. Now I’m off to bed. Ciao, all ~

  48. 448
    Caitlin says:


  49. 449
    Dawn says:

    What motivates me? Knowing that someone believes in me and what I am trying to do.

    Beth, you are a blessing, thank you.

  50. 450
    Toni Lizana says:

    Someone else needing me.

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