Hadrian built a wall. It was AD 122, done in six years, stretching horizontally coast to coast 80 miles. This was one persistent project. For almost 2000 years old, it is like walking among the living ghosts, just as naturally as strolling the country side. Now, looking back on this picture, I think of the man motivated to create such a thing. A Roman. Used to sun ripened olives and bright colors, sending troops and enslaving locals in the cold, wet, grey Northern England Climate. I think how alarming building that wall, in such a rushed pace, must have actually FELT. My friend said he built it to keep the natives from invading the Rome’s claimed territory. Gosh, those natives must have been some scary people to motivate its construction.
There has always been this huge pit of hunger and desire propelling me forward. I do not like to sit still, unless I am reading or being held in an embrace. I prefer exploration, learning new insights, challenging my perspective. Always striving. I believe that this makes me 80% optimistic. Although there are casualities as well…constant hunger often means constant movement, a sense of perpetual “What’s next?” that others, and myself, can sometimes find draining.
Motivation comes from the most elemental emotions inside of us: fear, anger, sadness, happiness. Many days, I know that I run out of the former three…finding a release from these uncomfortable sensations, which therefore provides happiness. Many days, I know that I travel and write out of these feelings as well….which fan the flames of my curiosity (which is NOT really a feeling, but more a disposition or way of perspective taking).
Please, hear this: this is not to say that being motivated by fear (should I sleep with him? should I eat more protein) is BAD…it really is neutral. But if you find that you are constantly only being motivated by fear (to stay in a job you despise) you may find yourself also feeling worried and victimized too frequently. Never mind the cup being half-empty, you may not even notice that you are holding a cup!
How often do I act on an urge to do something creative or fun? This picture reminds me to SURRENDER to moments of uninhibited joy. Without evaluation. And yes, that is scary motivating me to do so. Because I don’t want to look back on be in the fence, to be building up a wall to keep things out.
I want to let life in.
How does fear motivate you?