The Reward for Following Motivation

Gros Ventre River Sunset

Motivation. It’s a term that’s become more and more foreign to me since living within Jackson, Wyoming, rather than on the northern fringes of it. I’ve noticed myself heading out to catch fewer sunsets because there’s a little bit of extra distance. Rather than the location pictured being just a few minutes away at most, it’s now about 10-15 minutes away, as well as Grand Teton National Park itself. It seems like with every mile I’ve added to the distance between the park and myself, my motivation to make a quick trip out for a sunset diminishes that much more.

Last night I saw dramatic storm clouds above town and a clear opening where the sun was going to set. Excitement built for a split second before excuses began pouring in:

  • I’m in for the night.
  • I want to watch a movie and just relax.
  • What time is it? It’s about IceCream:30.

Sometimes though, it takes something dramatic to snap you out of such a dismal state. I looked up again at the sky and imagined the potential sunset, realizing that most of the action would be in the south, thus deterring me yet again, realizing that I would have to drive all the way up into Grand Teton National Park, a whopping 15 minutes north!

Finally the absurdity of my excuses became clear to me. I’m in Jackson, Wyoming. Grand Teton National Park, in the grand scheme of things is approximately right there! I grabbed my cameras, jumped into my car and headed north. The best spot I could think of for a good destination looking south was along the Gros Ventre River, bordering the northern end of the National Elk Refuge with the southern end of Grand Teton National Park. I pulled up and headed down the bank to the river where the clouds had just begun lighting up. From the first moment of the undersides of the clouds beginning to light up, I knew this was going to be well worth the “trouble” of driving 15 minutes away from home.

The next time you feel excuses piling up to not follow your passion, try to put them into perspective and see if there’s a bit of ludicrousness to them. It’s easy to get bogged down in daily habits, but when you feel the motivation to get up and go break the cycle, no matter how slight, odds are it will pay off in the end.

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