I wanna study hard but I can't, how can I motivate myself for that?

I'll answer that with a hypothetical exercise and then ask yourself if it can be applied to studying, living, or anything else that makes you feel like giving up.

Here is the hypothetical exercise:

Imagine that there are two skyscrapers, each 100 stories high (and yes, the memory of the now destroyed World Trade Center twin towers comes to my mind every time I use this illustration; but this story precedes their untimely destruction so I continue to use it because it also shows what can come about by avoiding tragedy).

These skyscrapers sit side-by-side 100 feet from each other.  There is a six inch wide steel I-beam resting on the edge of each tower, spanning the 100 feet, creating a thin bridge between the two towers.

You are standing on one of the towers where the I-beam is balanced, looking across to the other tower.

I have a question for you: Would you walk across that I-beam for \$5,000?

99 out of 100 people would say no.

Why is that?

Clearly, the risk of falling 100 stories is not worth that sum of money.

Risk vs. Reward.

The fear of falling is greater than the prize.

OK, so what if I said I would pay you \$100,000 to walk across that I-beam?

More of you would do so, which illustrates that the prize, if it is valuable enough, would pull more people off the sideline and into danger.

Risk vs. Reward.  For some, the prize is worth overcoming the fear of falling.

Let's change up the situation.

Imagine the same picture but now the weather is very cold – just a few degrees above freezing and there is a thin coat of ice on the I-beam.  Oh and there is also a 30 mile per hour wind blowing steadily at the top of the towers.

Same question:  would you walk across the I-beam for \$100,000?

As you might expect, the number who say yes always retreats in light of these new parameters, and despite more money, almost no one would cross that tiny I-beam.

Just not enough reward for this increased risk of falling.  Fear now controls the picture.

So, one more change and we're done:

Imagine that a little girl, maybe 5 years old, is on the other tower and is walking towards the I-beam and it is clear that child is about to try and go across this thin bridge to where you are.

The wind is still blowing and the temperature is still very cold, and the child, despite your shouting and imploring, is getting closer and closer in an attempt to walk across that I-beam.

Final question:  Would you go across that I-beam for no money and save that child from the danger she really doesn't understand?

Almost everyone I've shared this scenario with says yes.

The prize is now priceless in many minds, and fear is shoved aside.

Some respond that even if they fell in the attempt to cross the I-beam, they could not bear living with themselves if they made no effort and the little girl fell.

By now, you see the point.  Keep your eye on the prize and you can overcome any hurdle which is almost always just an imaginary hurdle in your mind.

If you are struggling with your school work, (or with any number of life situations) and you have challenges working your studying around your family, or any other outside influences, are you frozen by fear? Is that fear causing you to be paralyzed into just giving up?

More than likely, it is not as bad as you have believed in your mind.

Make a decision in your mind and keep your eye on the prize.  The prize in the short term is good grades, a sense of accomplishment, and the satisfaction of knowing you are learning and growing.

The long term prize is what you will get from the completed education of where you are as a starting point down the road.

A better job.  A better situation in life.

Better life results is the goal.  Remember and think of it as the little girl who is ignorant of the danger around her - in your case, the danger of feeling "why should I continue this - just too hard, just too long, just to (fill in the blank!)."

To quit and not finish the education "drill" is to seriously jeopardize your future success simply because you didn't keep the long-range prize in mind.

Re-focus, remember this little hypothetical story and press on.

It will be worth it in the end!

Bruce Haines

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