Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What Motivates Us?

It is strange, but it seems people with handicaps or medical disorders are in many ways more motivated than healthy people. To some extent this makes sense, especially people who have life threatening diseases such as cancer. People with these conditions are not only motivated to fight for their life, but they become more motivated to complete goals and tasks before they die. Hence, in many respects having a disability helps motivate people to be more productive. And the greater the disability or handicap the person has the more motivated individuals become. In other words, we are motivated by the urgency of our disability and condition.

I have always been a motivated person, but my benign fasciculation syndrome (BFS) has made me more eager to accomplish my goals of climbing all of Colorado’s fourteen thousand foot peaks. Unfortunately, the condition has made it nearly impossible for me to endure long grueling days of physical activity before my muscles fatigue and massive cramping and muscle pain set in. I have not given up, but it is becoming time for me to redefine my goals. Redefining my goals is a good way to keep me from becoming depressed. Right now I have been focusing on rock climbing smaller, but more technical mountains and routes.

Another great motivating tactic is to have a partner (in my case a climbing partner) that is equally motivated and understands what their partner is going through. This is exactly why internet forums on diseases are popular because individuals get to talk with others who are going through the same ordeal. My climbing partner (Andy) is 7 years older and is battling Parkinson’s disease. Thus, he is extremely motivated because people with Parkinson’s always end up completely under the control of the disease. People with BFS have some similar twitching symptoms, but the disorder is not nearly as debilitating. Since we are going through similar conditions (he is in the early stages of his disease), we both understand what the other is going through. This puts less pressure on us to perform when we know one of us is having a bad day.

It is a mystery to me as to why people wait until they are forced to fight for their lives before they are motivated, but it seems to be the case a great portion of the time. Life is short and the time to set goals and to be productive is now. It pains me to see otherwise healthy individuals waste away playing video games, being a workaholic, and watching TV. It should be every individual’s goal to make a positive impact on society and not to become a useless dependent on government welfare.

It is strange how people with disabilities work hard to be normal human beings, but normal human beings work hard to create a disability such as heart disease, diabetes, or cancer by being unmotivated oxygen thieves. It is time everyone begin to live their lives to fullest and appreciate what they have. My disorder may be preventing me from doing some of what I would like to accomplish, but it no time to feel sorry for yourself. No matter what, there is always someone who is much worse off than BFS suffers. In that view – I am lucky to have BFS. If I can bike and hike thousands of miles of each year then there is really no excuse why normally healthy human beings cannot do the same.

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