What motivates you?


Do you long to see your name in lights?


By Caitlin Kelly

I spend wayyyyyyyy too much time on Twitter.

Partly because it’s social for me.

Partly because I need to remain visible in my industry as someone sparky and worth working with.

A common hashtag there is #MondayMotivation, which assumes (sadly) we all need a good poke in the ass to feel motivated on the first day of the work or study week.

But we’re not all motivated by the same issues.


It’s assumed, in American capitalism, everyone wants to be rich and famous.

More money!

More fame!

More power!

In other nations, with much more generous family policies — like paid maternity leave —  some people just want to be home with their children or to care for ailing relatives or friends.

So do many Americans, even if current public policy and stagnant wages keep them yoked to the wheel.



Caitlin Kelly Health Care Story

I chose journalism for a variety of reasons:

— I love meeting new people and hearing their stories. I’m given immediate access to smart, accomplished people, from Olympic athletes to C-suite executives. I also meet and speak with people of very different backgrounds.

— I love telling stories.

— I learn something new with every interview and every story.

— It’s really satisfying to know that some of what I write helps my readers to be better informed.

— I love the enormous audience that some media outlets allow us still in which to tell a story and possibly share helpful information.

In my non-work life, I’m motivated by a few impulses:

— I like connecting people, for work, for friendship, for romance!

— Endlessly curious, I live to travel.

— I like to feel useful and helpful in whatever way I can.

— I like to learn.

— I’m nurtured deeply by beauty, whether in art, nature, great design, music.

What motivates you?


23 thoughts on “What motivates you?

  1. I am motivated and inspired by almost all of the same things you mention for your life. Although I
    am not a journalist, it is an awesome profession, I do love photography and to blog. I also get great satisfaction from helping others that need to feel that someone cares!

  2. I really enjoy travelling too! There’s something about discovering new places and mingling with people of different cultures, trying out different cuisines, hearing various other unique languages that fascinates me!
    Bullet journalling is something that motivates me to stay on track and accomplish daily tasks to finally see the bigger picture!

  3. Money is a motivator for sure, and I have seen both sides of the coin, so to speak. 😉 But it’s not everything. I like to travel as well, but I’m an introvert (better than I used to be when younger) and that’s my set point. I don’t like crowds and socializing with 4 or 5 people is about my max. I wouldn’t make a good journalist. 🙂 I’m looking at another 2.5 years before retirement when we hope to travel lots more. 🙂

    1. I’m not fan of crowds, for sure. The irony is that many journalists are fairly introverted and shy…we make others the center of attention, so if it’s ever on us, it’s tricky. For me, interviews are really — at best — great conversations.

      Ditto! I want to travel slooooooowly — like 6 months across Asia or Africa or Latin America.

  4. I like knowing someone read my work and that it engrossed them. Maybe even chilled them. A lot of what I do is motivated by that, including going into the office everyday and doing a good job. And although lately it’s been so crazy that I haven’t done a lot of writing, that hasn’t dulled my motivation one little bit.

  5. Truth be told, I enjoy much of what you have posted here. What really motivates me though, is to be a service to others. With helping others I feel as if I am helping myself.

    Have a great weekend!

  6. I feel like it’s purpose driving me, rather than motivation. I came into this world curious and wanting to spread good–good ideas, good emotion, good whatever. And I somehow have connected that with my best talent–writing. At least I hope so. Love to see why you became a journalist . . .

  7. For a long time I was pretty much a people pleaser. The approval of others was the only thing that kept me from hating myself. I had set my neck under the heel of a tyrant and the tyrant was me. I didn’t overthrow the tyrant, rather I gentled his condition. I learned to put myself before those who would use my fragile ego (Yes, I said that, or should I say “Kenny said what?”) as a proxy to bend me to their will. I feel much better now, thank you.
    This is not to say that I have no care for the opinions of others, you for example. I would not expect a critique of my writing from you, which I earnestly believe would be frank and honest, and therefore very useful and instructive, without paying you for it This is part of your profession and I respect that. For all that, at the end of the day, my own personal satisfaction is what matters most. Here’s a new saw, one of my own making, that I hope will live a long life and help a lot of people: “You can walk past an awful lot of good on the way to perfect and never ever get there.” Good is good, just like this post. You’re a peach, thanks.

    ADDENDUM: When I said I had gentled the tyrant’s condition, I didn’t mean to say I had bound his hands or covered his mouth. My fragile ego and prosecutorial superego are part of me and they will have their dignity. Read this, it’s short and illustrates my point pretty well. https://kennysaidwhat.wordpress.com/2019/10/30/funeral-for-a-friend/

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