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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Finding the right mindset to stay motivated

Illustration by Darian Maroney

Everyone has their own specialties and skills: those certain areas of life that come easier to them.

It’s when something doesn’t come as naturally that people struggle to find motivation to do it. The task seems too daunting to achieve. The goal seems just always out of reach.

What separates those that achieve their goals and aspirations, and those that don’t?


Most people aren’t born a genius. Most develop a certain interest or passion or skill with continuous hard work. And even people born with a talent still have to practice it.

Anyone without enough drive and motivation to work hard for what they want will accomplish what they set out to achieve.

Well, that … and patience. Nothing happens overnight.

Each and every day, people have to wake up and get themselves motivated again. Remind themselves why they are doing what they’re doing. Why they came there. What they hope to do. What they hope to accomplish or become.

Obviously, being motivated is easier for some than others. I keep myself motivated in multiple ways.

Setting goals

Thinking “I’m going to sit down and write a 10-page paper” is pretty much daunting for everyone. Starting early and working one small step at a time will not only be less stressful, but it will most likely make the end result better as well. This applies for school situations, like tests or papers, but in life as well. Space out the work, and take it one step at a time.

Create the right environment

Think about things like noise level, distractions, temperature and location. For instance, one person might want to have music to keep their energy going and keep them focused. Others might find that it’s better to have a quiet place to work. Knowing what environment will be best and most motivational for oneself cannot be stressed enough.

Get the right mindset

This is probably one of the most important aspects that keeps me motivated when I’m feeling apathetic. What works for me is the reminder that even if I hadn’t wanted to do something, even if I hate it, once I’ve agreed to do it, I’m going to give 100 percent. I’m going to give everything I have for that situation.

One hundred percent can vary from situation to situation. Often times people are balancing multiple things at once and 100 percent can look more like 75 or 66 percent. And that’s OK too. It may not be perfect, but at least I’ll know I did everything I could. If I’m going to knowingly give less, why do it? I’m definitely going to get less out of it.

I also try to remind myself that no one is perfect. I’m not a machine. And neither is anyone else. Being perfect isn’t possible.

All it takes for someone to become the sort of person they want to become is a bit of motivation and some good, old-fashioned hard work.

Allison Galbreath can be reached at [email protected] or @agalbreath19 on twitter.

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