Finding God on Gannon’s campus: Staying motivated for God


One of the biggest spiritual mentors in my life is my youth minister from middle/high school. She taught me endless lessons and broadened my understanding of spirituality from a fairly young age. I’ve been thinking a lot lately, with all of the online work I need to get done, of one particular idea she told me about when I was talking to her about motivation for getting things done.

I’m a chronic procrastinator and always have been. I remember how in as early as fourth grade I received a gift from a family member that noticed this. The gift was a book about how to stop procrastinating, and I wish I still had it, but I’m sure I put off reading it and lost it.

My mentor was well aware of this challenge and shared with me some advice she had received while in college. She told me that someone once told her that they use their faith as a motivator to get work done in different areas of their life and that she had adopted this concept to get through homework.

Basically, when lacking motivation to get something done, she told me to tell myself that I was going to do it for God.

I still remember this advice and have adapted it to a deeper extent to this very day. I still procrastinate and have issues with motivation from external factors, such as my mental health at times, but finding this deeper meaning in the things I do has helped both with getting things done and also in making me more aware of the things I’m choosing to give myself to do.

On a  surface level, it seems like a good simple concept to use. When you’re doing something for the creator of the universe, it adds a bit of weight and meaning to what you’re trying to get done.

However, sometimes this still isn’t a motivating enough thought for me. (Sorry God!) When I really can’t find meaning in what I’m doing, I take this thought process to a deeper level.

I go from just telling myself to do something for God to thinking about why I’m doing it and how doing it connects to my serving him.

For example, and this may or may not be a real situation I was in, I might not want to write a literature paper because I’m literally sick and very drained.

First, I let my negative thoughts about the class and the assignment take over. Eventually, though, I know I need to get the paper done, and I start thinking about why I need to do this. It may not seem directly related to God at first, but then I think about why I’m in school.

I remember that I prayed for years to find my calling in life and that I was overjoyed when I discovered occupational therapy as a career.

I then think about how I need to practice self-discipline and have a good work ethic because even though this isn’t a course within my major, practicing these skills will transfer over to my professional life once I graduate and become a therapist.

Lastly, this is something I need to get done for God because he has called me to serve others in the form of helping others live as independently and empowered as possible through experiencing therapy with me.

I can get frustrated when I really don’t want to do anything and find myself at this stage of seeking energy, but I’ve also found that these are the times when I really stop and think about if what I’m involved in is fulfilling my higher purpose and calling in life. Not all of my motivations are career-related, but I can almost always link what I’m doing to having a higher meaning when I step back and look at the big picture.

I know my whole thought process may seem like a lot, but I think it’s helpful in general to stay connected to your values regardless of whether faith is one of them. Centering your life on things you actually care about makes everything a whole lot more enjoyable.

When motivation is low or the work seems to be too much, stopping to think about why you’re doing what you’re doing can push you forward into success.

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