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The concept of motivation is understood by all of us. It is pretty simple; it denotes the factors that compel a person to take a course of action.

Every one of us has had some kind of motivation that made us reach where we are in our life. Even a heinous crime like murder has a motivating factor that pushes the murderer to take a life.

Many people have a preconceived notion about this concept.

They say scrolling through Instagram and watching an IGTV video about motivation will make a difference.

They say finding yourself listening to people talking about motivation will make a difference.

And they say liking both the IGTV and the motivational speaker will make a difference.

However, the important thing is:

Do we learn something from other people’s stories?

Do examples teach us something about motivation?

Or are we just wasting our time by looking at the numerous audios, videos and blogs?

If you ask me, I do not have an answer to any of these questions. And I also do not think that a clear and objective answer can be achieved on this front.

Some people might be able to get encouragement by looking at others. The feeling of “if he can do it, so can I” is usually a positive one. Despite this, there are occasions when people abhor the encouraging stories they listen to.

Since every person on the planet is different, the art through which they will get motivated is likely to be different as well. My grandmother used to say if all five fingers of our hands are not equal, how you can expect people to behave in the same way and adapt the same circumstances to become successful.

What she said she struck a chord in me. I felt that and I believe most of you will as well.

I have two stories that might let you understand what I am talking about.

The North Korean Immigrant

North Korea is a South Asian country touching the boundaries of China and South Korea. It is a nation that has a tyrant leader who will do as he pleases. There is not a hint of democracy in the way the North Korean leader rules.

The people in that country live a terrifying life. They are scared to do the simplest of tasks.

  • Making and receiving an international call may result in the caller’s execution.
  • Wearing blue jeans is considered to be an American symbol and hence prohibited.
  • Telling the truth and saying that what the leader is doing is unethical is another execution.
  • Did you know that North Korea has zero coronavirus cases because anyone who dared to catch it would be executed?

It is the sad life of North Koreans. So, they try to run away to China. The Chinese are also not very favourable to them.

A North Korean Asylum Seeker once told that her Chinese agent who promised to take her family out of the country did do after raping her.

So, living their whole lives in China is also not an option for them. They travel all across the Gobi Desert with the most minimal supplies only with the hope that they might be able to get to a country where they can be free. Some succeed yet more fail.

The Prodigal Child

This story is not as heart-wrenching, but it will make you clench your jaw in anger.

Prodigal means someone who is very extravagant and wasteful. For this person, life is a game. He was born to play loanpalace.

He is from an affluent family so. He loves to spend as much as he possibly can. He has no regard for his parents, he has no concern for his friends, and he considers his servants to be beneath him.

People like him do live the good life until reality makes them face all that they have done wrong.

  • For some, the reality is the loss of a loved one. It makes them realise their real importance in life.

  • For others, it is when their entire fortune is lost because of their extravagant spending habits, and then they find themselves seeking very bad credit loans with no guarantor from a direct lender. The irony is not lost on me.       

The prodigal child is often said to come back after realising his mistake. But what if the error was too big and coming back is not an option.

For many, that is the case. Then these people start from scratch. The motivation for them is to get back what their foolish ways made them lose.

Some can make a comeback, and some get lost in the sea of despair because they cannot accept what they have lost.

The Bottom Line

Both these stories are genuinely motivational. One makes you thank god not to let you be born in a tyrant nation, while the other makes you want to kick some sense into the idiot.

In the end, both suffered, and both came out more reliable than ever. The motivation for both was different. One wanted to get out of a miserable situation forced by fate, and the other had to find a way out of the hole of misery he had dug for himself.

The encouragement is there in these two. The way they use it and the way they let it overpower them is vastly contrasting.

So, you tell me, can you learn the art of motivation from examples? I would have to say no. The stories of others are truly inspiring, and they might even move you. However, every person has a different situation.

We, the British, do not have a tyrant over us. Yes, we feel bad for them and will even try to help them, but taking insights from their story and implementing the same in our life is not possible as a motivation. It could be for some, but not all.