In just a split second, I had escaped what would have turned out to be my worst nightmare! A speeding car had just missed me by a few inches. Despite the near miss, I was wobbly and full of fear – the one they call `adrenaline fear`. It is analogous to the one you get when you wake up from a nightmare. The difference is that, this was actually not a nightmare; as it possessed physical evidence that was believable. My mom had always warned me about walking on the sidewalks and not being careful of the passing vehicles. In school we had always been taught to keep left while walking; I had figured out in my mind that this wasn’t logical. Why would I walk facing the opposite direction from which imminent danger would come? It never made sense to me at all. I felt that if am to walk on any side of the road, it should be one where am facing oncoming traffic; that way I could easily see whether an oncoming vehicle was swaying off its lane and headed towards my ‘speed-less’ body. I didn’t have eyes on my back and that`s purely understandable, who wants to keep looking at their past? We all just enjoy turning our necks to show `inquirers` what kind of road stumps they should look out for, and how to cross which bridge, when and where. We are the kind that has learned from our past and wouldn’t want to see any one making the same mistakes we made back then. All this had run through my mind after this incident of nearly being knocked dead by a speeding car. It had all happened so fast and I now lay on my bottoms at the sidewalk still feeling the effects of adrenaline rush in my body. My hands felt sweaty and I could feel how fast my heart was pumping. I remembered in my biology classes how all this happens, difference was, I had never gotten to experience it in the exact proportion as was now. My teacher had always referred to how efficient our bodies were, and how quickly they mobilized to get us out of danger. She had said that, once our body senses danger, it either prepares for a fight or flight. Both preparations require the body to perform differently from the usual, call it `performing at full capacity`. Students in my class used to joke about it, and I was specifically inclined towards the lion scenario. I always pictured that, if a lion ever appeared in front of a group of people, including those that had run a marathon the previous day and are still suffering from muscle aches, or those who have slight running or walking impediments; all of us would mobilize enough `skills` (call it ability) to enable us escape from this imminent danger. I liked this incident most; it was always a reminder for me to take charge, or just a motivation factor. I had always extended it beyond actual events or even to what could possibly happen. For me it was about living like the lion was always chasing you. I had gone ahead to extend it to our daily lives, as students (note that we are all students of life). The school principal always emphasized how hard, life after school becomes and how we had to work so hard while at school in order to be successful in life – in my mind this meant `not being eaten by the lion`. I started imagining what I would actually do if life after school was the lion coming towards me in a few years, and I knew I only had `now` to prepare to run and get away from this carnivore. The immediate problem was: my eyes were seeing no lion at all! How could I convince my brain that even this imagined lion can do great damage to me? So, soon I was already falling back into my comfortable times; the times when I assumed that the lion wasn`t there at all. I could once in a while think about the lion, but the thoughts would quickly get dissolved into other more realistic thoughts. It is easy to picture yourself being chased by a lion, but the effect is not as strong as when the actual lion is indeed at your heels. Therefore the effects of this imaginary lion are no different from those of our daily lives. I realized the brain can`t be deceived to, not this easily; it requires something tangible to work with. It requires those `near-miss speeding cars` to create a tangible situation, just enough to catalyze immediate action. In the absence of these situations, it is indeed difficult to get the brain into action. This was my biggest challenge thus far.
This is the exact reason why motivation is necessary. Motivation creates a spike in interest to do better, and as much as it too is liable to the `balloon effect` syndrome, it can be replenished once we realize it is depleted! This is the most interesting advantage of motivation. We all tend to suffer from declining motivation, it is a natural law; but like hunger, once you have eaten, your energies peak again. This is the closest we come to imagining the lion. I would like to emphasize that you shouldn’t go to the jungle to engage in a sprint with a lion, since you may not even get to pump up any adrenaline! The funny thing with adrenaline is that it mainly works for the unexpected situations! If it doesn`t scare you, it won’t raise any adrenaline levels. With motivation however, you just need to feed on information that empowers you, and makes you believe that YOU CAN! The actions that follow after this are what matters most, because they are full of faith in yourself and are normally directed towards something you really enjoy, or what contributes to the goals you are pursuing. Dedicate these actions to something that either makes you a better person (personal development) or makes the world a better place to live in (creating a future we all envisage). Soon enough you learn the trick to personal motivation; and then it just kicks in whenever you press the right button by yourself. But oftentimes, nature is very funny; it can put you back to level zero within a very short time, and make you wonder where all your previously attained spirits have disappeared to. Resilient individuals always do whatever they can to get back to the top; this is what their lives are all about. They also know that it is useless to do it alone, so they tell their friends about what works best for them!
And now that you know, what are you going to do about it?