Editorial 3.1.13: Student’s lacking motivation, call the “wambulance”

With spring break merely two weeks away, and the hopefully-soon onset of warmer weather, some students feel that motivation to work is running low. The quad will soon be full of summertime distractions, making that motivation almost impossible to conjure when it’s needed.

For students who are struggling in the last stretch to spring break, Jeff Hoffman, co-founder and CEO of the Priceline.com family of companies and travelling motivational speaker, who visited campus Monday, might say, “I can call you a Wambulance if you’d like.”

This was Hoffman’s response to a specific question about financial troubles during speech about the keys to entrepreneurial success on Monday night. Hoffman, who’s successfully worked in at least a dozen different industries over the last few decades, said motivation is a personal choice.

“The winners are the people who find a way,” he said to a room of more than 300 students and faculty. “It’s going to be hard for everyone.”

It’s true that motivation can be such a fickle feeling; when it’s present, it can be fleeting and forgettable, but its absence is undeniable. No motivation to work or change can make a person a slave to his or her laziest lifestyle and leave that person unable to contribute anything worthwhile to the world.

That motivation is lacking at the most critical times, especially during the culmination of the semester at finals, seems almost unfair. The work piles up, the days get longer, yet nothing seems to get done.

But life isn’t a spectator sport.

Lacking motivation isn’t an illness. It’s not an excuse or an emergency. A teacher won’t ignore the lateness of paper because “I wasn’t motivated” was scrawled across the top.

Choosing to be motivated into action is a birthright. Complaining, slacking off or skipping class isn’t a biological imperative; it’s a choice that’s made every day.

As stated in the article “Third annual Triathlon brings repeat champion,” Junior mathematics and LAS-economics major Sean Orlando, won the race for a second time. He said he was optimistic about competition.

“Don’t ever get the thought ‘I’ll start tomorrow’ into your head; it dooms you from the start,” Orlando said.  “Start today, right now.”

Whether the goal is to run a marathon or become a famous author, it won’t happen while you relax. Nothing will be achieved by simply thinking it should be done, or by waiting for an outward source of motivation. It has to come from inside, and it has to trump every doubt, worry or laziness that’s being employed.

In his speech, Hoffman told a story about his friend Evander Holyfield, heavyweight boxing champion, 1990-1992. He was spotting Holyfield at the gym and counting his repetitions when he lost track of the count. When Holyfield asked him whether he had finished his 300 rep set or had only done 299, Hoffman said he was close enough.

Holyfield stared at Hoffman and did a final repetition. When he got up, he said, “The difference between 299 and 300 is the difference between the heavyweight champion of the world and every other boxer.”

So the question is this: are you a heavyweight boxing champion of the world, or just another boxer?