Don’t think too hard about it. Time does not exist. Weekends are a myth.
My go-to motivational videos
Finding motivation in the context of online classes is a different beast. I’d bet most other students will agree: it’s a nightmare. Aside from the change in schedule, the visual cues at home scream relaxation instead of productivity. I can’t believe I’m now fighting against my bed.
I wanted to share some of my favorite motivational videos. These live-rent free inside my brain, and I pull them up from storage when I feel stressed, overwhelmed, or listless. Continuous loop.
(I’m still trying to find ways to get the most out of this distance learning experience. Help).
Usain Bolt Olympic gold compilation – Motivation to win
Usain Bolt is one of the greatest athletes of all time. His last name just happens to be Bolt. You’d think it’s fate, but as he says himself –“Talent you have naturally. Skill is only developed by hours and hours of work“. He knows what it’s like to fall. He knows the value of both effort and experience.
When I say motivation to win, I think it’s about having fun. Bolt always looks like he’s enjoying his time on the track. A part of me believes that this is related to success; only winners have the luxury of fun. In my long life of learning, where the competition is only against myself, I know I want to have fun.
It’s also about pressure. Usain Bolt won his first Olympic gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics at the age of 22. I’m 25. This comparison isn’t always unflattering; I don’t need envy in my life. I’m not aiming to break world records. But I think these monstrously successful people provide a blueprint of what task focus can achieved. It’s the clarity of Bolt’s goals and his determination to execute that drive me to continue working.
Watching this compilation carries some emotional echoes from this really awesome animation depicting his life. I recommend watching The Boy Who Learned to Fly (2016).
BTS ‘ON’ Performance Video – Bring on the pain
The title of the song comes out best in the outro: Bring it, bring the pain, oh yeah / Come on up, bring the pain on, yeah / All that I know / is just goin’ on and on and on and on / Bring it, bring the pain, on yeah
The song is daring the universe to keep bringing the pain on. Infinite problems, infinite level ups. There are lyrics expressing the struggle with the obvious fear: Is it the shadow that’s shaking / Or is it my feet that are trembling / Of course I’m not unafraid. But the song presses listeners to come back up: Even if I fall, I come right up, scream / That’s how we’ve always been.
Bring the pain on is motivation by choice. Maybe 90% of the problems that occupy our minds are self-inflicted. We consciously choose to contend with the hand we’re dealt with and to care about whatever problems we have.
If I am faced with any struggle, BTS reminds me that it’s a challenge that’s worth the pain –my studies, my insecurities, my friends, my art. Just as BTS has chosen to face their haters and shadows, I can have the motivation to face whatever comes my way: Can’t hold me down ‘cuz you know I’m a fighter / Carried myself into this beautiful prison.
Also, the kinetic manifesto video is amazing! Their badass dance and drum choreography are absolute must-sees. It goes so hard. Go watch it.
BTS also just released their latest single, Dynamite! It’s a light song with good vibes only. It feels like a song to dance to at 2AM when you’ve lost all will to study and your back hurts from carrying your future.
Yuzuru Hanyu ‘Notte Stellata’ Performance – Eye of the storm
The world moves in 2x speed when you’re in the zone. Sometimes you’re stuck in a feedback loop of anxiety, adrenaline, and stress.
Finding the eye of the storm means finding a moment to breath. It gives you time to take control of your life before biology and instinct get away from you.
Yuzuru Hanyu is my favorite skater for many reasons, including the sheer awesomeness of being a back-to-back Olympic champion and the detail he put into his iconic Seimei free program. I fangirl over all his routines (but also the fact that he studies sports physics).
But I love him best for his Notte Stellata performances. Starry night. As an exhibition piece, it’s less about the competition and the world records, and more about appreciating the beauty of the sport broken down to its simplest forms. That delayed single axel.
Arianda Grande ‘God is a Woman’ MTV Performance – Feeling yourself
In a different year I would have written Nicki Minaj ft Beyonce’s Feeling Myself, because that’s literally a song set up to hype yourself up when you’re all alone. But recently this live performance of God Is A Woman by Ariana Grande has been looping inside my head.
The set, the representation, the choreography. That golden greek myth aesthetic. Ariana Grande hitting those notes with her spine practically broken in half. The lyrics! And I can be all the things you told me not to be / When you try to come for me, I keep on flourishing.
The anime Haikyuu!! inspired this post
This was my first week in internship.
By the time this is posted, I’ve already finished three weeks of online internship. I’ve also –hilariously, unbelievably, probably unsurprisingly– finished all four seasons of the anime Haikyuu!!, all five OVAs, up to the last chapter of the manga, and even the spin-off series.
My new fandom has been a lifesaver.
I’ll probably blog about Haikyuu!! in my next post about anime recommendations. (I wrote my top nine anime picks here).
But as a little sneak peak, I love this sports anime because it makes me want to keep moving as well. The main protagonist, Hinata Shoyou, is hungry to compete at the top of the volleyball world, despite being short and also team-less at the start of the story. Every time he goes feral, I’m like –go baby gremlin. Go.
His hunger motivates the rest of the team (and all of the viewers) to jump even higher.
My next hurdle to jump is wrestling with anesthesiology and making sense of my backlog of notes, so that’s it for today!
Hope everyone’s staying sane and hopefully even a tiny little bit motivated during this actual crisis. 🥰