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The Motivation Portfolio

Borrow What you Need As Long as You Need It

Sometimes it is tough to feel motivated. We all have moments of low energy and are not sure what to focus on next. The good news is motivation and inspiration can be borrowed as long as needed. Sometimes one source of motivation is not enough, or does not feel like the right kind of motivation for a particular moment. Borrowing motivation from a number of resources by creating a motivation portfolio that serves us when we need it most is invaluable. 

How and What to Assemble

Google slides/docs, a website, a Pinterest Board, a Padlet, Evernote, or even a collection of magazine/digital clippings on paper can work. Creating a collection of ways to find the motivation needed to spark what has always been within us. At this time, I personally have settled on using Pinterest to create a motivational portfolio. However, I have also created a Google Slide Dec as another format to be used and one that students can quickly create.

Template for a Sample Google Slides Portfolio for Teachers or Students

Sample Motivation Portfolio

 A motivation portfolio can include the following:

*Words that speak to us

*Powerful quotes

*Ideas from Podcasts

*Perspective and ideas from colleagues

*Highlights from movies

*Insights from books

*Examples from History

*Energy from the Olympics

*Ideas from Music or Musicians

*Borrow a mindset or tagline from a company

Borrow a Word 

In Jennifer Hogan’s most recent blog post, My One Word for 2022, Hogan reflects on past words she has focused on over the years and announces the word she has selected for the 2022 year. While I have already chosen a word for the current year, there was something about the energy in Jennifer’s word, “Conquer” that captured my attention.  I decided to add “Conquer” to my list of words that inspire me. 

Borrow Quotes

Collecting quotes is one of my favorite things to do. Sometimes I underline quotes in books, sometimes I take screenshots to come back to it later, and sometimes I paste them into word documents. It is helpful to collect some of the best lines and store them so that they can be easily retrieved.  

Borrow from A Podcast

Podcasts have a way of delivering great content in an easy to consume format. Keeping a list of go-to podcasts helps to remind us what to listen to when we feel stuck. 

One of the podcasts I frequently listen to is The Principal Liner Notes by Sean Gaillard. A few weeks ago, I listened to a podcast that reminded me to keep passion a focus in my life. It seems that most people will always be busy. But, waiting until next week, month or year to do the things we want to do is not a good plan. Sean Gaillard, the host of the Principal Liner Notes Podcast, reminded listeners that present-tense passion is important. We all lead busy lives and many of us continue to feel overwhelmed daily. However, there is always room to pursue something that interests us. I love that Sean used the phrase, “Present-tense” meaning that it is not something we once did or are waiting to do when the time is better. Present-tense passion is about finding a way to incorporate something that lights our soul on fire with a decent amount of frequency throughout the week. 

Borrow from Colleagues or Friends

Inspiration might come from the teacher in your hallway or a friend from college. Do not overlook inspiration that comes from the people around you! Making a list of people who inspire me reminds me of the power that comes from ordinary people. Amy, an impressive runner, and good friend of mine sees a hill and always charges up it with enthusiasm. Until I find my own excitement for hills, I am working at trying to borrow her mindset. When I do not have the motivation to run outside in the cold, I think I borrow my husband’s words “Of course you want to run outside in the cold air. It’s amazing!”  I will need to borrow this for quite a while as I am sure it will be a while before I am excited for challenges in the cold temperatures! 

Lastly, a fellow distance/ ultra runner posted a goal of completing 6,240 miles this year. Carilyn Johnson frequently posts how many miles she has left as well as the great food she is cooking for the day. Her high mileage project inspired my own 3000-mile goal! #project3000miles has given me so much energy for the 2022 running year! 

Borrow from Movies

When a movie is watched with the hope of gleaning inspiration, there is no shortage of options.  Everything from American Underdog, to Encanto, to The Pursuit of Happyness drives home big ideas. Sometimes the best inspiration comes from watching a quick clip from a movie that you remember well. Having a digital portfolio with a section dedicated to movies provides opportunities to be instantly inspired by works that have previously spoken to you. 

Borrow from Books

From fiction to non-fiction stories inspire. Go-to authors or highlighted passages in books have immense potential to transform a person. 

Borrow from History

History is loaded with examples of pioneers who found their way during difficult times. For as far back as records go, people have been doing the impossible! Borrow, courage, energy, ambition and strength from those who have gone before us. 

Borrow from the Olympics

The Winter Olympic Games are currently taking place, and it is a great time to listen to stories about athletes overcoming adversity, places around the world coming together, and take in the essence of what being a champion means.  

Borrow from Music

Music has a way of speaking to the soul and saying things that don’t always come together by using words or phrases. @smgaillard (Sean Gaillard), shares how music is part of each day.  

@AllysonApsey (Allyson Apsey), recommends creating a playlist to lift spirits. Music has magical power.

Borrow From Google

Teams of creative individuals work on advertisements,mindsets and objective for various companies. Often these can be borrowed and adapted to help us move forward. Google for example, is well known for having an opportunity to devote part of their time toward an area of interest. No matter how busy we are, there is a way to dedicate some of our time to passion projects and research. 

You  Have Had the Power All Along

Sometimes we just need to be reminded of the avalanche of resources available to us. When the continent speaks to us, it is important to listen and move in the direction that we are drawn to. The key to finding motivation is to have a very diverse portfolio. Accessible resources make it easy to devour content when it is needed most. It might be a story from the Olympics,a song on the playlist, a podcast, a brave example from history, or words from a friend or book that help us find our stride. When things feel impossible, borrow what you need to until the impossible slowly begins to fade into possibilities that have been yours all along. 

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