One of the group of people I detested coming in contact with as an undergraduate in the university were motivational speakers. I actually came up with a quote that some of my old friends from university still remind me of, "Motivational speakers are folks who speak words that can charge three laptops, five phones and two power banks then the whole power fizzles away in a minute."
My mindset had been wired that my inspiration should come from these motivational speakers. In my first and second year, I would attend any event I got an invite just to get inspired. However, when I got to my third year, I knew I was basically wasting my time. So I resorted to resentment for motivational speakers.
With time, I found a way of tapping my inspiration from the sports world. So, I would watch tennis, football, boxing, wrestling and basketball. At the time, it was the 'real deal' for me.
The truth I found later was that these guys were just like the gods in Ola Rotimi's The gods are not to blame. In my connection with them, they were sinless and I was the sinner. Inspiration and constant motivation come from within.
Last year, I got invited to speak to some students at the University of Ibadan. The first thought that cropped up in my mind was "Jennie, you are not going to subject these young people to what you experienced. Will you?" I knew that would hunt my conscience. I had to tell them what I was not made to understand.
I set to work to prepare my slide and presentation. On the podium, I ensured to remind the students that after all they had heard, continuing with it would be their lifelong assignment. I couldn't scream and prance on a stage without telling them to look within themselves. The truth is motivational speakers are no miracle workers.
On my way home, I had a smile spread across my 'not-so-chubby' cheeks and a reassurance that someone in that crowd will not take on the mistake the younger 'me' made.
Sometimes we are lucky to get inspired and motivated by other people but this is usually fleeting. The root of inspiration and motivation comes from you. What you may have been waiting for to push you, lies within you.
You are the source, you came prepared. You are one amazing auto-installed biocomputer.