There are many things that motivate us to do the jobs we do. Almost always sitting at the top of the list is earning a living, also known as getting that paycheck. But to be better at our game, whether it’s writing, engineering or scoring a deal for a client, having a personal internal motivator is even more powerful.
Many, many years ago, I met someone who made a lifelong difference in my life. She showed up on scene long before I met my husband, had my daughter. She was there through the many iterations of me. (Who among us doesn’t change between high school and middle age? Not many.) We had the sort of friendship that was once in a lifetime. Through it all, she gave me unending support as well as hard words of truth we all need to hear from time to time.
A few years ago, we truly celebrated her 50th birthday. A few months later, she moved on to the next realm. Some wounds never heal, only slowly fading. I’ve found during this time that I continue to draw on that support. As I write, I find myself asking if Sally would like what I am writing. Would she say it has too much ranting and not enough substance? Is it too…weird? Or does it hit the mark? She’d be honest with me, as a true friend only can be.
As I work on the next pile of book ideas lined up beside me, I continue to return to memories of her and long for her approval, in a sense. She, in short, makes me a better writer, more motivated to continue during the difficult moments, and, honestly, a better person.
The pain still flows and the tears still well whenever I stop long enough to bring memories of her to life, though they are slowly being replaced by peace and quiet smiles. She is, in effect, part of what drives me to continue to do what I do. Tomorrow is her day. And I’m celebrating her.
Take a moment to consider someone who is helping you continue to move forward. And if you are fortunate enough to continue to share breath with them, let them know they are making you a better person. And return the favor.