Always have something that drives, motivates, or excites you – Motivation by Mark Schwab

Always have something that drives, motivates, or excites you. Until the end of time, have a reason to get up in the morning other than dragging your feet and dreading your existence – this type of mindset is an option we don’t have to choose. This message is for all of us. There are an unlimited amount of interests and influences for us to involve and immerse ourselves in. Figure out what your passions are and get involved and engaged in them. I have observed far too many people who are depressed, unenthused, and uninterested in anything that life has to offer. There is an endless buffet of opportunities for us and when we find our passion, it makes sense to give ourselves every opportunity to succeed in our enthusiasms.

About Mark SchwabI understand that sometimes we cannot control everything and everyone around us. We may have situations, people, or responsibilities that make “things” difficult for us, but it’s never impossible. If we dream about something enough, we find a way. And ways, people, and forces find us. If we dream with enough conviction and clarity, we will prevail.

I understand that some days we may not feel as passionate and we have down times – this is human. That’s why if we can find our purpose – an ongoing reason for being excited – we’re very lucky. But we don’t have to rely on luck if we just give our passions focused thought and over time write down what you reveal. After a period of time, review your notes and distinguish what themes continue to show up. This is our life we’re talking about.

Most people spend ten times more time preparing their wedding or what they’re going to wear than they do their lives. We can and should do better than this. As we exist day-to-day, most of us really don’t live like we understand we have a limited number of days. We don’t know what the number is. We gamble and often are not vigilant moving forward. Although in hindsight, we can see clearly how we waste uncounted days being lethargic and uninspired. What are we doing? Many of us take better care of our lawn and button-up shirts than we do our lives and existence. Our days, weeks, months, and years come and go very subtly and sneakily. We often don’t come to the realization until something major happens in our lives or we have some awakening or moment of clarity. How about we figure out what it is that excites, motivates or drives us, and take advantage of our days and seasons as they unravel. Don’t wager your precious and limited days. There is no need to miss opportunities, waste years, and live recklessly and thoughtlessly – although, sometimes we may need to go through carelessness as part of our awakening.

Have you knowingly or unknowingly abandoned or given up on your passions and dreams? You don’t have to. I know people have heavily weighted lives that leave little or no time to fit in dreams and enthusiasms. However, I feel if we periodically sit down with pen and paper and honestly and thoroughly examine our lives, we will find that we can still pursue our dreams. We may just have to do it at a slower pace, but don’t give it up! Keep it alive or at least uncover what it is! The turtle can and often will catch the rabbit. Never underestimate how much ground you can cover a little at a time.

My thought is “If we’re going to be here anyway” let’s get involved in life, our passions, excitements, and drives. Always remember your dreams only have to make sense to you. You don’t have to have the approval of others or society – even Mother Teresa took heat and ridicule. Your dreams, goals, and ideally your purpose, are your imaginations and destinations – not others. I see too many people, and have myself, strived to accomplish something I didn’t really want but wanted the approval of others. If anyone knows the language I’m speaking, you understand how difficult this can be. Please respect others, but short of failing your responsibilities, be true to yourself.

Our days and lives come, pass, and go so fast. What is it that we envision or have buried? What do we fool ourselves about that we will one day get to it when the time is right or we feel overwhelmed with power to take action? With absolute clarity, what do you really want? Regardless of your age, continue to dream. I often hear people talk about their age as if it’s something to be ashamed of. People say “I’m too old for that.” There are some “things” we may be too old for, like running a four-minute mile but dreaming, passions, goals, and striving to achieve has no age limit. We have no expiration date on us. Feeling excited, rewarded, and fulfilled never have to terminate. Our goals and passions may change as we age and mature, but we never have to give this gold-mine up. And these young punks that think we’re old, they better pray they live to be “old.”

In closing, investigate what it is that drives motivates or excites you and regardless what little you can do at the present time, do something. Don’t give up on or discover the fire that burns within – although it may be nearly extinguished or burning low – its there. We don’t have to live in the dark and by bringing our goals, dreams, and purpose to the surface, we illuminate our entire existence and very likely those around us. The most effective way we can live is by example. Our example is convincing, our words are not. Five years are going to pass regardless of what you do. It makes sense to do something, something worthy, exciting, challenging and pleasing.


Mark Schwab was an All-American wrestler for the University of Northern Iowa during the late 1980s. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 1990 from the University of Northern Iowa and his master’s degree from the University of Minnesota in 2003. Schwab returned to the University of Minnesota to get a second emphasis in sport psychology on his existing master’s and completed that in 2010. Email Mark at mark.schwab@uni.edu.