by Vladimir Bulgaru



Such a big word. Today it’s becoming a fancy term, something to throw into a conversation easily and without any second thought. It has become a shadow of every action and every decision. It is one of the biggest excuses and replacements of the things you need, but you don’t know about it.


I started to think about it for the first time when I first heard this word. I went across the ocean for 4 months away from my family and lived in conditions I wouldn’t define as pleasant. I started an organization from a scratch, an idea. But never have I thought about motivation. My motivation. It always came as something natural – sometimes life throws you challenges and you are the one to decide – cap ou pas cap.


It is so easy to use it as general term, as a part of a sentence, as an atom of one’s idea. But things are different when you start talking about someone’s motivation and even harder when talking about your own motivation. So what is it?

Well, for this you don’t have to open a dictionary or search Wikipedia. Yes, there are some verbalized ideas that tend to reflect the meaning, but the whole concept of being impersonal when defining motivation contradicts motivation. It is always personal.


Think about yourself. Yourself at this very moment. You, in front of the computer. You, inside a room. Let’s try to answer two simple question: Who are you? And What do you want?

So, who are you? Probably first thing you will do is state your name. “My name is… This is who I am!” Well, yes! But… the name is not something that determines you much. I would say that if you are the one who travels around the world, the colour of your passport is way more important than your name. So maybe nationality? 🙂 Well, we all know that there are millions just like you, so basically it’s like saying “hey, I’m just one out of the million, whatever…” So it’s not this one. Well, you’re wearing clothes, right? These are not just ANY clothes, but your ones. They were chosen by you, for you, out of a huge pool of other stuff. They reflect your personality. Your taste. No, it’s not you! Hell no! OK… let’s continue. You’re in front of a computer. I assume it’s yours, am I right? Is this computer somehow telling who you are? You can maybe talk hours about software and hardware it has, but still. Maybe it’s the house you’re living in? Is it you? What difference does it make if it’s a huge castle, or one room in a student dorm? So many things still left 😛 Is it your education? Big part of your life was spent studying. Maybe the best years. And most likely you were always given an evaluation, be it a mark for an exam, praise from the professor, recognition from your mates. It was something you invested lots of effort in. Yet, it’s something that can be put in a CV, but won’t be something that person will notice in you. Obviously it will be visible that you can read and write, but who will ask you over a beer what is the integral of sqr(x) to see if you’re good at calculus. It’s not it. So maybe you are your friends? You always spend time with them. You talk a lot with them. They are the ones giving you advices and you are the one helping them out. But again it’s not it. They are the ones surrounding you and influencing you, but not you! So is it your family that makes “Y”, “O” and “U” come together in one piece? No…

To ease the task – imagine that you are alone. Imagine you are a Robinson on a lonely lost island. None of the above-mentioned is with you. Are you still you then? Well, I’d say yes.


Guess you’re still wondering if these lines of text still lead somewhere, or is it a hectic flow of ideas. Some patience 🙂 We were trying to see who are you, who are we, each and every of us. If you strip yourself out of clothes, of your name, your ID, your status – be it social or something else, of all your achievements and accolades; if you strip yourself of all the things you own and things that own you, of all the people that you can hide behind or lay on? What will be left? We are so used to dressing. Humans started to wear clothes because they feared coldness as I may guess. As we got more intelligent, our fears got more sophisticated, so did our “clothes”. Today we were clothes and masks that we don’t see, but it’s something you cannot avoid.

So if you leave all these aside and try to answer in the end “Who are you?”, what would be the answer? Think about the part lying deepest in you. When you start the search, you will encounter your personality – you as you are when you are. It’s like a business card of yours, only way more advanced. You are special – this is undeniable. Then you go a bit deeper – and here comes your individuality. Something that makes you different from all others, something that makes you a spark among millions in the shade, something that points to you. Your behavior, your temperament, your preferences – all these are hidden inside you.


Feeling naked? Well we’re not done stripping 🙂 Let’s call it a very good warm up. I want you to think now. Think quietly and calmly. Don’t rush. Take your time. And do things step by step. As I say. In this way it may reach you easier. You need to strip yourself ultimately. Think that all you’re left with are 10 values. Think about 10 values that you have. 10 things that you care most in your life for. 10 most sacred shrines of your soul. 10 brightest stars in the sky of your inner universe. Be patient. It’s not easy, I know. It’s not like ordering a Big Mac with medium fries and a Diet Coke in McD 😛

If you’re done, think that 10 is too much. Just reading these takes time. It’s not something you can always carry in your mind. Cut 5 of them. Leave only 5 most important values that you have. Leave other 5 aside. Just cut them from the list or scratch them. They are history. Think about number 5 – it’s all that matters now! Only 5 should stay. Again, no rush. Think you’re done? Well, think again! Are you sure that those 5 left are most important to you? Are you really sure? If yes, let’s go on.

You have 5 now. 5 values. 5 things that stay at the very basics of you. We have 5 fingers on our hands and feet. 5 is an interesting number. It has a symbolical meaning in many things we may encounter. But 5 is not as symbolical as 3. So, now you have to look again at the list that’s left and cut another 2 least important values. Yes, interesting, huh? 🙂 I understand you, believe me. I won’t bug you more. You know what to do. Do it and see when you are ready. Only 3 should stay.


When asking this innocent question “Who are you?” you may have thought that it’s obvious, so obvious that you don’t even need to think of an answer. Truth is that often in life we are so lost in the things that we’re involved in that these things start to be more “us” than we ourselves. And now you have a very short list of words in front of you. Unexpected outcome after seeking answer to the question. So why did we go all the way till here. Motivation may be a fancy word. It may be a nice term. It can be found in infinitely many books. But when it comes to YOUR motivation, this is something that comes from deep inside you. When you will be facing a major decision in your life, a great challenge, a huge step to be made, you will be stripped of everything. Everything. All that was clothing or mask will turn ashes and you may end up likely with a list with 3 things. These 3 things will survive any fire, won’t drown in any water, won’t break under the highest pressures. These are the things that will be holding you together. They will not let you fall apart. They will keep you cool under the hottest sun and will keep you warm in the coldest frost.

These things will be the ones that will help you run an extra kilometer, jump few centimeters higher, walk an extra step up, go across an extra barrier and reach you dream or your goal.


There is a second question to answer. Not more and not less important than the previous one. So… what do you want? Do you want a cookie? 😛 Or maybe a chocolate? Maybe you want to listen some music? Or do you want to have sex? Do you want to read a book? Do you want to fly to Fiji? Do you want to feed the hungry kids in Africa? Do you? Really?


When I was a kid I didn’t know the word motivation. Actually the period I have in mind – I barely knew to speak. Well, I knew to say sentences, but I guess it wasn’t the time when I was making complex judgments. Well, here I was – a kid, 4 year old (or should I say young). I wanted a F1 car toy! Yep 🙂 I got it 😀 But now seriously, I wanted to be a cosmonaut! Really! This is something I know for sure. Hell, I didn’t want to be a millionaire, or a movie star, or a playboy. No way. Cosmonaut and that’s it! I know some of my friends were dreaming to be firefighters. Some were dreaming to become teachers. And this was our sincere wish. This is what we wanted. I don’t want to say that apart from this we wanted ice cream all the time 🙂

So what happened after. Obviously I was growing up. So were all my friends and people around me. And you know what? Somehow the idea of being a cosmonaut didn’t seem that appealing any more; moreover, it was getting less and less interesting. And here I am now. I can honestly say that I do not want to be a cosmonaut! 😛 But this was a 4 year old child’s dream. I can say that I lived with it most of my life so far. It was a major part of me. And now it’s not here anymore. So what do I want? Or, more important, what do you want?

All of you had a dream while being children. Am I right? I guess things changed since then. Can you now answer what do you want? You know, there is one guy, Maslow, who created a so-called pyramid of needs, things that we usually want. It has several levels, starting from the very basic needs of ours in order to keep us alive and breathing and ending up with our superior needs – to improve ourselves, to learn, to evolve. Well, forget about the pyramid, forget about your needs. It’s not important! Think about your “dream of being a cosmonaut”. Do you have one now? A sincere dream, one that is not related to words like “cool!”, “would be nice to!”, “it rocks!”.


We start our life in our small world, our imagination. As kids we have no knowledge about how the world is in depth. We are masters of our dreams, gods in our worlds, judges for things to decide whether they are black or white. Things are simple. As we grow up, we are taught “how the world is” and we start accepting certain statements. First it is the information. Then it goes into knowledge. Knowledge becomes so-called “common-sense”. At some point we stop questioning certain things and they become preconceptions, stereotypes and dogmas. It refers to our dreams as well. When I was a kid dreaming to be a cosmonaut, it wasn’t because I wanted to be famous, but because I wanted to fly into space. The guy who wanted to be a president didn’t want power; he wanted to help his country become better. But as we grow up, our ideas are starting to become biased by general opinion, our behavior is dictated by what is “accepted”, our dreams are becoming what is desired by most… This is why a guy once dreaming to become a firefighter dreams to become a millionaire. This is why most of us shift their perspectives and have different dreams and wishes. But coming again – What do you want? Is it something that you want or is it something that you want because people around think it’s awesome? Think – if there is something you strive for you never chose on your own, how can you pursue it?


It’s never easy to know for sure what do you want. It’s a very complex question. Take your time, think about it. Maybe you won’t find it now. You will need to talk with your mind and with your heart to find out the answer. And if the two voices will speak the same – you are on the good track.

If you know what you want, there is nothing you should fear. A dream has no weight to carry, nor price to pay for. On the contrary, if you have it inside you, in your soul, it gives you strength to carry more and rewards you for all the effort you make. With a dream – no darkness is scary, no path is too long, no mountain is too high. By knowing what you want you can go to places you never imagined before and get it. By pursuing what you want you will not stop when things will get rough and times will get tough.


Still wondering about it? No, it’s not a smart term to scare off people and to cut conversations and judgments short. This is something you can discover inside you. Something that is already there even if you didn’t know about it, even if you didn’t expect it to be there. It’s something that’s always with you. But sometimes we gather lots of “dirty clothes” as we go from a day to another. And we get a pile of things. Sometimes these things cover our motivation under them. And we cannot see it anymore. We may stop feeling it and, eventually, start believing it’s not there. This is not true 🙂 Sometimes all we need is to just take a closer look!

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