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Understand Your “Why”: How Leaders Can Stay Motivated and Motivate Others

Understand Your “Why”: How Leaders Can Stay Motivated and Motivate Others

By David Metzger R.N.

A few years back, I found myself in an enviable position. I was in the zone, a prolonged flow state that I neither planned for nor consciously designed. At that time, my primary focus was writing (a nonfiction book and a popular narrative podcast). During those heady writing sessions, my hunt-and-pecking fingers could barely keep pace with the inspiration pouring from my brain. I felt like a child running on a beach. Wind in my hair. Panting for air yet unable to stop.

Of course, not all the work I produced at that time was usable. In turn, I enthusiastically devoted many hours to rethinking and rewriting the words that would eventually be printed and spoken. When I wasn’t actively writing, I was thinking about writing. I was mentally editing sentences that had not yet been written and forming narrative arcs that only made sense when viewed as a whole. It was nonstop. It was exhilarating.

I was highly motivated for longer than any artist deserves to be—and then, for some reason, I wasn’t. Since that time, I’ve often pondered what strange alchemy of desire, preparation, and inspiration had put me in the unique position of being so happily productive for such a long period of time. More importantly, I’ve wondered what would be required of me to exist in that space once again.

At times, motivation seems to magically come and go. Even as I sit here now, trying to write this article, I find my attention shifting to just about anything except the task at hand. It seems, ironically, that I too must harness my motivation in order to write a convincing article about, well, motivation. Let’s go.




About the Author – David Metzger R.N.

Pediatric Oncology Nurse, Father, Author

David is a pediatric oncology nurse, father, and podcast host. In his recent book, Nurse Papa, David explores the illuminating intersection of his life as a dad and his role as a nurse caregiver for sick and dying children. In his writing, David hopes to bring insight into some of the common myths and quandaries of parenthood and provide some much-needed humor and humble awareness of the struggles of being a modern human.

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