Grasshoppers And Motivation | The BridgeMaker

Grasshoppers And Motivation

By on Jul 28, 2012

Motivation is the fuel necessary to keep the human engine running. – Zig Ziglar

Where do you draw your motivation from? What motivates you? Who motivates you? Is it from a book, a friend, a blog, a video, a song? Come on, I dare you. Start making a list of everything that motivates you.

Limited Thinking

I believe we, including myself, limit ourselves. We live in the proverbial “box” and rarely move to a point of allowing ourselves to be motivated by the unusual. Maybe it’s not as much allowing ourselves but more that it’s not realizing that we CAN be motivated by the unusual.

My Eyes Were Opened to the Unusual

My eyes were opened the other day to an unusual motivation.

I’m training for a triathlon and an upcoming 550-mile adventure cycling trip. I live in Texas and the heat in the summer here can be unbearable. I’m not unlike most of you in that I have my days that I just don’t want to. Just don’t want to write, just don’t want to get up early, just don’t want to work, just don’t want to (you fill in the blank).

This was a day I didn’t want to train. It was hot. I had more things to get done then I had time. I wasn’t felling it. Oh boy, here come the excuses now and I came up with some good ones.

Slapping myself out of my daze of excuses, I reluctantly convinced myself that getting out there would be worth it. Knowing that at any moment I could cave to the weakness of another excuse, I hurried to get out the door.

I’m actually laughing at myself right now because I was a poor sight. I was like a child being told to clean up my room. I kicked, screamed and made it obvious that I didn’t want to do this.

I do 20 – 30 mile training rides. My route takes me through some beautiful horse and cattle country.

Something we deal with in Texas in early summer in the country is the grasshoppers. They’re everywhere and on a country road they can be annoying. You can see them sitting on the road just waiting to leap. When they take off they’re like a guided missile. They will hit you in the face, on the leg, bounce off the bike and get stuck in your shirt.

Did I mention that I didn’t want to do this today? As I rode I was getting more pissed off at these grasshoppers. It was like they were playing with me. It was their mission to destroy me. They wanted to hold me back. They wanted to defeat me. They wanted me to turn around and never tread on their road again.

Then it hit me. One big fat damn grasshopper did it. That’s it. I will not be defeated. I will not cave to the sting of your hit. I will not turn around. I will challenge you and I will WIN. Bring it grasshopper. I’ll take another one sir.

I Will Never Be the Same

Oh man, that grasshopper ride changed my life. Seriously, I know I sound crazy but it opened my thinking to what CAN motivate me. I was stuck relying on the usual motivational stuff. A book, video, someone’s blog post.

What Motivates You?

Do you limit your motivational thinking? Do you open yourself to the unusual? What are the possibilities of using what you got to get what you want?

Right now take out a piece of paper and start to write down the possible unusual things that motivate you. Here’s my list that I will be adding to. It’s my list with no explanation so some of them will not make sense to you but they do to me. In my list are some obvious usual things but be sure to include as many unusual things as possible.
• Clocks
• The Bible
• My kids
• Money
• Writing
• Peoples problems
• Music
• Books
• Videos
• Stories
• The time 11:11
• Airports
• My past
• My future
• My mistakes
• My failures
• Rude people
• The TV shows, Undercover Boss, The Biggest Loser
• Cycling
• Coaching
• Birth
• My Mom dying from cancer
• Grasshoppers

What do you think? What’s the most unusual thing that motivates you? Got a grasshopper in your life?

Geoff Reese is passionate about life and inspiring people. The greatest inspiration and change occurred in his life when he and his wife, sold everything and moved their family from Illinois to Texas to start a ministry with gang kids and urban high schools. There, you will find him motivating and inspiring kids that most people want to forget about. You can connect with Geoff at

  • Agency is my principal motivator – as weird as your grasshopper, perhaps. 

  • EricaDLane

    This is a great article for teenagers and adults alike.  I will definitely share this with my kids.  I think that it will make for a meaningful family night!

    •  Oh Erica, you got my heart on that one.  If you looked at my bio, I’ve got a special passion for teens.  They are our future.

      I hope you do share it with them.  They may roll their eyes but keep at it because one day it does sink in.

      Stay Strong and Be Inspired.

  • miriamkubicek

    Really vivid description of your ride, Geoff!  Could almost feel those grasshopper “arrows” hitting.  You have a good list there.  Mistakes and failures are VERY motivating but so is just plain fun.

    •  Wow Miriam, so true.  I will definitely add fun to the list.  Thanks for your comment.

      Stay Strong and Be Inspired.

  • Hi Geoff! Enjoyed your post. Ants fascinate me.
    My Mother will always be my primary motivator. But I find that every little thing can be encouraging, if we choose to see it that way. 😀
    Thank you!

    •  Thanks Vidya.  That’s awesome that your Mom motivates you.  Love it.