This project started from a personal curiosity and a few big questions. Why do I see so many people who at some point in their lives stop growing, start complaining about everything and seem stuck in a square without exit? Are there certain ideas, tools or experiences that could get someone unstuck? Can we train ourselves to become driven and self-motivated without waiting for a magical solution coming from others? Can inner motivation be activated by a certain set of individual and intentional actions that we learn to understand and practice like any other skill? I don’t have an answer yet. But that’s why we are here.
Do you ever have days when you wake up full of energy and joy of life and you feel like you're ready to move mountains? You brush your teeth, throw some cold water on your face, look in the mirror and tell yourself, nothing will stop me today. You go to the kitchen, drink a glass of water, stretch a bit and put a serene smile on your face: silence, coffee, a book. Suddenly, your smile drops. You’re out of coffee. OK, it will be just reading then, I’ll stop for coffee later. Two minutes pass and your kid shouts from upstairs that he’s up. He stands there with a disappointed face like he just found out there is no Santa Claus. I hate school, he mumbles. Eyes rolled, sighs, feet dragging. I’m not having this conversation without a coffee.
You drop the kid to school and stop by the store. Your favorite employee, Sabina, is again at the cash register. She wouldn’t get the employee of the month award even if she was the only employee left on the planet. Never smiling, always grumpy, repeating the same seven words to each customer: hello, loyalty card, there you go, bye. By the time you have your coffee and sit down to start doing all those great things, your energy and joy of life just dropped from 10 to 5. If this is how the day started, I’d better go back to bed. It’s Doom’s Day.
When I have mornings like these, I tend to jump to the conclusion that my entire day is ruined. What we think and how we feel makes or breaks our actions and behaviours, so when we keep telling that to ourselves, we get into a foolproof commitment to make it an awful day. So how do we fuel our drive to move forward, do what needs to be done and be who we are, despite annoying happenings in our lives, no coffee or the sight of Sabina? How do we let go of all these external triggers, and focus on what truly matters to us and helps us evolve? Sparking Drive is a space where I want to explore these questions and look at certain patterns of behaviour and attitudes that help us find our inner motivation and courage to show up, no matter what.
Graffiti Art in Doel, Belgium. ©Personal Photo Archive