Written by Dave Gannaway
A good example of students motivation expressed itself to me a while ago, when a young student knocked my door to ask if there was any yard work he could do to earn extra money. He was a likable young man who had a chirpiness about him that appealed to me. He began by washing my windows and as I quietly watched he had a spring in his step. He had a fresh vitality about him that seemed to set him aside from a many of others kids. I was interested in this student’s motivation.
Sweating from his efforts I served him lemonade and we began to talk. I ask him what is objectives were? “To tell the truth they are not clear just yet. . . ” He began to deliberate but before I could interject with the importance of clearly defined goals, he stopped me dead in my tracks. “All the student motivation we are taught on campus points to getting on the ladder in the corporate world.” He looked indecisive, “. . . but I don’t know whether I could hack the regimented grind of someone breathing down my neck eight hour day, for fifty plus years!”
I remained silent. I liked what I was hearing from such a young man. He continued, “No employer is ever going to give me a paycheck for what I’m worth.” He said with total conviction.
“What can you do?” I asked.
“Anything I put my mind to.” He snapped back.
“So what you want to be, a ‘janitor’?” I was being flippant.
“Heck no, I want to specialize,” he began.
“In what? Be more precise,” I insisted.
“I am searching for a product or service where I can create a big demand. I want something unique.”
“Don’t you think everything is pretty well covered already?” I taunted him.
“There has gotta’ be more opportunities out there today than ever. Just look at the rate technology is advancing”
I began to wonder who was teaching who here! He was obviously either well-read on students motivation, or have a very enlightened teacher. “How d’you think you will know if the right idea were to come up?”
“No problem at all . . . gut-feeling. . . . Never fails, it’s amazing, d’you know about that stuff?” he spoke with the authority of greater years.
“Yea, I have encountered it once or twice! …” I replied. He was gaining the upper hand through his confidence and rapport.
“But do you know how to use it?” He was beginning to take command of the conversation.
I didn’t elaborate any further so I changed the subject. “Will you be back to wash the windows again?”
“Yes sir, in about six weeks?” He replied uncertainly.
I paid him and as he left I handed him a copy of my book Which Way Now?
“Here I found this a helpful read.”
“Thanks, he replied as he left.
I never saw him again but six weeks later my windows were washed again as promised. Not by the same guy but by another student he employed to cover the area he already established!
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