What Motivates You?: An In-depth Look on Motivation

By Joma Ablay

Michael Jordan

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”– Michael Jordan

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” – Michael Jordan

“Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.” – Micheal Jordan

These are just three of the many strong words the greatest competitor and champion of all-time, perhaps of any sport, Michael Jordan.


What motivates you? What drives you to become the best in what you do?

Fear. Anger. Intimidation. Regret. Questions. Uncertainty. Hate.

These are just some of the reasons why each one of us gets pushed to the limit. But remember not only negative things can hype us up, we can be also motivated by positive factors in our lives like our families, the blessings we get in our daily lives and love. As much as we want to scratch it off, love is a simple factor that would drive us to so many things. We can also say that, each and every one of us can be and is motivated to be our very best, no matter what job you have and what position you are at. Everyone needs motivation in their hearts to be successful.

So let’s go back to the question..

What motivates you?


Tim Tebow after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers on the AFC Wild Card Playoffs

 “Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof.” – Kahlil Gibran

For some, just like Tim Tebow, the 2nd-year QB of the Denver Broncos, faith is what keeping his team alive.

Not known by many, Tebow was a miracle baby, his parents were Pastors preaching in the Philippines when Tim Tebow was about to be born in the city of Makati. His life is about miracles and his strong sense of faith. He was about to be aborted because of a medical condition, his mom, fortunately, decided to push through with his birth.

Now, with a strong faith in God, Tebow preaches with his family and is giving back to the country that gave him the life he has now.

This season in the NFL, in his sophomore year, Tebow became a star. He is leading the Denver Broncos in the playoffs, after an unbelievable season. After 6 incredible regular season comeback wins and a crucial win in his last game, Tim Tebow is still rewriting the history books with a little bit of help from the ink of miracles.

Faith is when everyone tells you that you can’t do it but you still have the courage to push through even if no one believes in you just because you know for a fact that in the end, you can withstand anything that will block your way to your goal.

A good friend once told me..

“Faith… You can’t see it, but you know it’s there.”

Somehow, she is right.

Faith is not necessarily the one who will give you all your answers, but it will just give you the strength to move forward. You don’t need any assurance from whoever or whatever but you still go through with it because you know, you believe, that it is the right decision and you know you will succeed.

Chances and Opportunities

A scene from the movie Rocky

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison

Some time in our lives we will have our chance, our opportunities, to be someone we are supposed to be.

Along the way we will find the reasons why we are the persons who we are.

Just like Rocky Balboa in the well-known movie series, “Rocky”. Balboa is a has-been, a nobody, but still when he was given that break, that chance to show what he’s got, he took that chance and made the most out of it and eventually.. we all know what happened. When Rocky got his shot in fighting the champion, Apollo Creed, he worked hard, he worked his butt off for that fight. He knows what at stake, he knows that, that is the only shot he will ever have to jump start his career and get back on track, he knows that it is the fight of his life.

There is a song by the Five For Fighting called “Chances”. It really moved me in a way that it motivated me on how to live everyday of my life. In reality, everyone of us will find these opportunities but will ignore them and some wouldn’t even notice these chances that are laid in front of them. We are not talking about the “what ifs” here, but instead, this is all about the possibilities we will have when we take these risks that are laid in our path.

As I said, we don’t need assurance and clarity, but we will need a strong faith and a single chance to reach our destination.


Kobe Bryant holding his injured right wrist (torn ligament)

“Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise.” – Kobe Bryant


Just by reading that word is painful. That is the feeling that you don’t want to feel.  Pain is bad in every sense of the word.

A lot of people go through pain, go to tons and tons of pain every single day. Physical, emotional, and mental pain every single day. Now that is hard to deal with no matter how strong you are, that is hard, but to fight through it is still very possible.

Just like Kobe Bryant. One of the most hatest people in the NBA today, only behind Lebron James and Kris Humphries. Kobe thrives on the hate of the people that are around him. Kobe and Lebron are the two main stars of the NBA right now, and ironically, they are the two of the most hatest in the league right now. Maybe that’s why they tend to do a lot better than the other guys. They are making the negative things around them to their advantage. We all know how painful it is to be hated by someone, but in their case, a lot of people hate them, and that’s even more painful. But still they kept on improving their game, they used those hate to fuel the fire inside their hearts to become the best and prove all those haters wrong.

Now, add the pain that are brought by the injuries, it will take a toll on you, physically and mentally. Kobe, even those who hate him, commend him for the fact that he plays through his injuries. For example, his right index finger that would be like a finger of an 83-year old man according to Yahoo and the most recent, the right wrist with the torn ligament that could sideline him for 2-3 months and would require surgery. These are career ending injuries but amazingly, he manages to fight through them.

Pain and hate are just two of those many obstacles that will block our way. With these unwanted stuff, we still have to overcome them for us to achieve our goal. When pain comes to stop us, we will have to eventually muster every ounce of strength within us just to breakthrough these walls and be one step closer to our goal.


Manny Pacquiao on the cover of Time magazine

“Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.” – John Wooden

Dreams are big motivational factors.

Everyone one of us has a dream. A dream who, what, where we want ourselves to be in the future.

Motivation is all about these inspirations that would propel us to greatness. Inspirations are everything that motivates us, it is all about our dreams that we want to turn into realities. I believe that we will waste our life whenever we fail, not only to achieve our dreams, but to inspire others to strive for theirs as well. Everyone of us has a dream, everyone wants to become someone someday. Even as a child, we have a dream to be an astronaut, pilot or even a superhero someday when we grow up. Even though we won’t fulfill our childhood dreams, we are still given a chance to be even greater, to be what we are fitted or destined to be.

Some people, like Manny Pacquiao have dreams to rise up from poverty and just simply carry their family to a better situation. He knows what he had to do, he has is eyes on the prize, he is focused to achieve his goals. Pac-Man doesn’t care about fame or fortune, he just wants to be successful and to give the best to his family and at the same time build others’ dreams as well. His dreams played a big role in his life, he didn’t lose sight of his dreams, Manny was there from the beginning, and now at the top of the world, he still has his dreams on his sight. He never wants to lose it. He worked hard for everything he have, he earned every penny, respect and recognition he gathered all around the world. With Manny, he did it and more. He carried his family not only from the ashes and poverty, but he carried them all the way to greatness.

Big dreams deserve big sacrifices that would lead to big prizes.


Spain’s national football team celebrating after winning the 2010 FIFA World Cup

“Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” – John Wooden

After everything, we will end up to one thing.


This is what everything is all about. Success, in this text, can mean anything. It’s just that it really depends on the perspective of each of us. We see things very differently. Some of us see success in simple things, some of us see success in big things. But its all the same. It doesn’t matter if we win or lose, but its just how we really see ourselves in certain situations that we can really be the winners or losers. For me, life isn’t about the stats or individual awards, or in other words the money and fame, but it is about how you develop yourselves to be the person who you want to be. It is about how you react and learn from the experiences along the way. It is all about how your success enlightens others to do the same. It is all about the sacrifices you did, the pain you endured just to reach what you have been longing for.

Chances are just waiting to be taken, you just have to have the courage to face all the trials and fight through all the pain and just have the faith in God and just believe in yourself that you can do it, then you know you’ll be ready for success.

For me, success isn’t about the riches in the world. No, its not that. It’s about how you make it possible for others to do the same. Just like in sports, all the great players make the other players look great and at the same time help them improve and be better. For some people, they thought they are successful because they are rich, but really, are you successful enough? Have you ever helped another person to have the guts to do the same thing?

I remember a quote by Maryanne Williamson that Nelson Mandela used in his speech in 1994, and the film Coach Carter used..

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

This quote was stuck in my mind. This quote had a big impact on me.

“And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

That line really grew inside me. It means that as we keep on working hard towards are goal, we instantly motivate others to do the same. Motivation is a very big part of our lives, not just the lives of athletes, but every person in this world.

Ask yourself.. Are you really motivated for success? Or you just wanna have all the glamour?

Then think again.

Because this is not just about success anymore, this is about something else, something bigger, better. Beyond success lies your legacy. The legacy that you will leave the world. That mark you will give the world to live by.

What do you want to be remembered for?

There are a lot of questions, but someday you will eventually find the answer. Still, we have to start somewhere before we reach the finish line.

That’s why we have to start again at the top..

What motivates you?


Possibilities we dream of. Opportunities we have. Miracles we believe in. Chances we take. Success we work for.

To the most genuine person I know. I admire your passion and dedication for your craft. You’re doing a great job, keep it up.

From J to W.


2 comments on “What Motivates You?: An In-depth Look on Motivation

  1. Pingback: What Motivates You?: An In-depth Look on Motivation | J&J SPORTS TALK

  2. Pingback: 14 Things Sports Haters/Lovers should do in 2014 | Bernard's Block

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