Motivation- Belief is the Foundation

Motivation-belief as the foundation Part 1

Do you ever struggle with motivation? Have you ever tried to get your kids motivated about something and they just don't get it? The first key to motivation is belief. People don't get motivated to do something unless they believe it is attainable and there is sufficient benefit for them to give the effort.

I am on the board of an inner city Christian school that runs from K4- 8th grade. The majority of students fall below the poverty line. Our academics are very rigorous and the students achieve SAT scores equivalent to some of the top schools in the state. The majority of the 8th graders go onto 9th grade in a magnet school or some high level private school on scholarship. Last year, 12 out of 16 made it to a top level high school. I asked myself "Why the other 4 did not achieve that success?" Every opportunity was given them to achieve. I know family situations and other problems greatly affect the students, but almost all these kids have the same life problems. I believe the fundamental problem of low achievement was that these 4 kids weren't personally motivated to achieve.

Addressing motivation means that: 1) they did not believe that they could achieve the higher level or 2) they did not see the personal benefit. Knowing these kids, I think the first issue was the problem. To help people believe they can achieve a goal, the goals first must be personal, owned by the person who needs to achieve.("What will achieving this goal do for me?") Without personal buy-in, they won't be motivated to achieve. Then the goal must be broken down into believable and tangible steps. These steps also must be attainable. So, as a board member, I am now working on a program to help the kids set goals in small tangible steps. I am working on them "owning" their success, not just their parents "making" them achieve. To help with this, I am bringing in successful African-American men and women to talk with the kids about achieving success. This will hopefully demonstrate to the kids that others succeeded and so can they.

Are you having trouble being motivated to do something? If so, look at your belief. Do you see the benefit? Do you believe you can achieve it? If not, address both issues into tangible goals and benefits. Look for examples of others and how they succeeded. Investigate how others have overcome obstacles, stayed motivated in hard times, etc. Teach these principals to your kids. As a family, set some goals and work together to achieve them.


Belief determines our success. In the book of Joshua, God made a huge promise to the Israelites that He would give them all the land of Canaan that He had promised. This land was already occupied by a fierce people. God encouraged Joshua to "Be strong and courageous." God made promises but Joshua had to believe those promises to motivate himself to act. God encouraged Joshua to believe that Israel would take the land. That belief would require him to be strong and courageous. Joshua did believe he could achieve what God had promised and he clearly saw the benefit. Joshua led the people for 7 years conquering the land. He was successful.

Joshua 1: 1-7

After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses' aide: "Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them-to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates-all the Hittite country-to the Great Sea on the west. No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous."

If you lack motivation, ask God to help believe by seeing the benefit and breaking the challenge into tangible and obtainable steps.

Add comment

Security code