There is a running joke in my family regarding this old and common event: Someone loses something (like their keys.) They spend some time looking and other family members notice. Finally, they find their keys (as the example) and someone will ask, “So did you find what you were looking for?” All too often the answer is, “Yep. It was in the last place I looked.” “It always is,” comes the reply. It’s funny when you think about it, but why?
Because everything is always in the last place you look. Why? Because you stop looking for it once you’ve found it. Therefore, by default, you found it in the last place you looked. Right? It’s one of those, “Well, duh!” kind of statements.
Have you ever considered that the same can be said of your motivation and drive? Many of us spend days, weeks, months and even years searching for that something that will drive us to accomplish an assortment of tasks that lead us to successfully completing our goals. Just like we always find that thing we lost in the last place we look and the key that opens the door is always the last one on the ring that we try, our drive… our motivation… is always in the last place we look for it. Right? Once we’ve found it, we stop looking!
But where do we look? Your motivation may be buried deep inside you somewhere. It may be in a supportive word from your significant other or a caring relative. It may be in a phrase you’ve yet to hear or mixed in the lyrics of your favorite song. It may be in the carefully scripted actions of your favorite movie star in one of your most watched movies. It may be in the mix of all of the above, OR… it may be at the bottom of the worst experience you’ll ever have. It may be the determination you feel well up inside of you as you realize you’re at rock bottom and there’s no place to go but up.
None of that is the point of this piece. The point of this piece is: NEVER stop looking until you’ve found it. Whether you find it at fifteen years of age or 105… don’t stop looking. If you find it and then lose it and then have to find it over and over again… so be it. NEVER stop looking.
Realize that finding it may not be the big epiphany that you think it will be. It may not be that “light bulb” moment that feels like you’ve been poleaxed. It may simply be that thing that makes you go, “Huh… I’d have never seen that coming. Check that out.” And then you file it away… you mentally catalog it and let it drive you forward. You let it be the silent fuel that feeds your motivation and keeps you making attempt after attempt to succeed in reaching whatever goal(s) you’ve set.
It isn’t complicated although it can be emotionally painful. Before you find it… before you find that “last place you look…” You may go through a lot of failures. You may suffer through a lot of criticism. You’ll no doubt have a bunch of haters telling you everything you’re doing wrong and what’s wrong with you because you continue to do so. None of them will see your vision. None of them will understand your goal. None of them will understand your drive or full understand your motivation.
The coolest part is this: None of them need to. Only YOU do. So keep on looking. Keep on searching. Don’t stop until you’ve found what you’re looking for in that last place you look.