What, who motivates you?


Morris Mpala, MoB Capital Ltd
WHEN I say Bulawayo is like New York to me with its tall buildings, wide roads, bright lights and numerous businesses, many people laugh and suspect that perhaps I take drugs.

You see, I grew up in Hwange, Catholic-raised and we didn’t have much in terms of motivation in malaria infested, “coal” infested and “mango” infested town.

The trees I used to see were not for decorations but mostly God-given. The cars I saw were from Wankie (Hwange) Colliery Company.

Everything was for free. We didn’t have university graduates or a two-storey building. There were no robots, I was used to viewing wild animals.

My ambition in life was to serve as an altar boy at our local parish, just attend school, play soccer for Wankie FC and then get a drop dead gorgeous girlfriend like the other soccer players. Holiday involved going to rural areas. We didn’t even visit the mighty Victoria Falls and we knew each other by name in our vicinity.

My ultimate goal was to get that one girl. After all has been said and done my success was to be measured by the girl around my arm. It worked, I tried hard in school, trained hard on the soccer pitch, served with distinction at church and finally I was noticed and that was “cool”.

That was my motivation then. It was simple and probably misdirected but it worked for me until I arrived in Bulawayo (my New York) and everything was 100 times better than my humble home area. More churches flaunting and preaching about prosperity. More beautiful people, fancier cars, much intelligent and unapologetic breed I saw there. There were more sporting disciplines than soccer, artificial and very scenic trees all over. My source of motivation and those that motivated me had changed a lot.

My goal in life back then wasn’t that complex but still I was motivated enough. What is really motivating people to do what they are really doing.Who or what really motivates us?

Where is the motivation coming from that drives the inner self to perform and excel in their adventures?

Is it the desire to better myself or to be better than someone? Is it fear? Is it pride? What is it that makes you do or act in a manner that motivates or moved you to do what you have to do. Is your neighbour your motivation? I want to be better than my neighbours in all aspects of their lives therefore I push as much. When I reach my neighbour’s status will I be sorted, then what will motivate me thereafter?

Is it because I am greedy therefore I just want all that is there. Am I excelling because I just I want be all that I can be but glutton is the underlining factor.

Is this sustainable in my pursuit of excellence and financial freedom?

This envious motivated desire to perform is not a good way of achieving your goals. It is disastrous in that your source of motivation is not in the right place. It’s not the best way to derive your fuel to drive your ambitions from. This dark kind of motivation is a source of unsustainable motivation and in the long term consumes your energies due to its misplaced nature. My desire to accumulate, be it money or possessions, just drives me to be the best that I can be at what I am doing. I just want everything on offer without getting worried who has what, where and how much?

My ego is just to be above everybody and that drives me to excellence beyond my current levels. Once I am there I would have self-actualised and I am more than happy, am in a good space therefore nothing matters.

The motivation is just derived from my desire to perform. It’s just pure motivation in the right space. It is general. This kind of motivation independent of stimuli is sustainable in that it’s based on an inner force to perform in accordance with set targets. The reward is just by getting the set targets met.

We have some motivation coming from joyous happenings or sad or unfortunate incidents. It has created beautiful art. We have heard of sad love songs. The best love music was derived from sadness.

Then there are other motivations or inspirations that are beyond human comprehension like these authors of the Bible. These are Holy Ghost-inspired acts. The same applies to pastors saving lives through preaching in churches.

Scientific invention is motivated by venturing into the unknown. It’s called just for the kicks or just for fun. It’s the same reason we can’t explain the hacker’s mind. The idea of being a first in something pushes people to be inventive. It’s just an inner drive that is beyond explanation.

I find my own people that I can relate to really motivate me. I find my friends that do well motivational enough as the circumstances are the same.

To me yes, to some extent Barack Obama, Bill Gates and all those big sounding names/businesses motivate me but not as much as local people that I know.

For some these celebrities really move them in terms of motivation. They really look up to them and besides infatuation some do get motivated and moved accordingly.

My source of inspiration is that man round my corner on my road who has his things in order.

It’s how MaKhumalo manages her finances and her life that makes me want to be like her, emulate and surpass her.

It makes me want to ask them how they do it.

We’re naturally doubting Thomases so when that which is among us is shining enough it really moves me because we can relate the circumstances. It’s really competing at the same level and gives you that I can also do it urge if he/she did it.

It is that person I can associate with on my day to day struggles that can really move, give me that zeal. If that person has achieved much it urges me to do the same.

The idea is not to wish to be these individuals, businesses but to emulate the good traits and replicate them in your own way and achieve that success. We know the feeling of accomplishment is so unparalleled. It is that feeling that ignites the passion to excel.

Which is what we are saying look for that source of great inspiration, that source of motivation and we get motivated we believe it will motivate others around you.

We all want the finer things in life, we all want success or hear about success stories because it’s uplifting and we get there through motivation but how we get motivated is very subjective. As to who motivates us to get us where we aspire to be is also subjective but the results are the same.

Without motivation we might give up, lose direction, have stunted growth and lead a directionless personal or business life.

We just need to keep our eyes on the ball, on the trophy. Let’s keep the fire burning and when we get there let’s maintain the same zeal that got us there in the first place.

If you live in Bulawayo please conserve water. If you live in Zimbabwe please use electricity sparingly: SOS (switch off switches) If you live on planet earth please preserve the environment

Morris Mpala is managing director MoB Capital (Pvt) Limited, a microfinance institution offering loans, micro-insurance and advisory services to small to medium enterprises as well as individuals.

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