Where Does Our Motivation Come From and How Deep Do We Have to Reach Inside to Find It?

Last year, Aleksander Doba completed his third solo voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, in a specially built kayak, just shy of his 71st birthday.  His third voyage, from New Jersey to a port on the coast of France, took 110 days. His first trip, in 2014, originated in Senegal on the west coast of Africa and ended in in a town on the coast of Brazil, and the second went from Lisbon, Portugal and ended on the beaches in Florida in 2014.  These trips leave him covered in salt-induced skin rashes, blisters, and flaking fingernails and toenails. He brings enough freeze-dried foods and water and can sleep up to three hours a night in the kayak of his cabin, constructed to be unsinkable and self-righting.

His attitude is refreshing. What most people experience as suffering, he re-labels as determination and motivation, what he calls a kind of "contrarian self-determination."  He says the challenge is not physical but one of tedium and perseverance.  "Hundreds, thousands, maybe millions of repetitions. The brain is removed from the process."  He attributes his outlook to his Polish heritage, "If you aren't willing to suffer, you can do nothing; you can sit and die."  And, his outlook is punctuated with the comment, "I don't want to die in my sleep."

Our well of motivation is bottomless. There is no end to what we can accomplish, until we stop trying.  Aleksander Doba is a good example.  Where do we find this bottomless reservoir of strength and determination?  When working with nursing home patients who struggle with a steady stream of physical losses and setbacks, from amputation to stroke, I look for this inner strength and determination.  Sometimes it’s a flame that hasn’t gone out, or energy that’s been blocked, or even just a lot of mental clutter that gets in the way. Whatever the metaphor, I stress with my clients the point that it’s in all of us, is always there, and can always be tapped again.  Like the young woman who fell into a diabetic coma and now is ambivalent about her will to walk again.  A part of her is just tired of the struggle, and another wants to get back to where she was before but even better. So, we look for – and help her find – that very same determination and motivation that Alexander Doba uses to kayak across the ocean. It’s there, in every one of us, though sometimes hidden or locked away, but there just the same.

To see pictures and read the whole story about Alexander Doba, click here

This Weeks' Recommendations

The Living to 100 Club, LLC, is an Amazon Affiliate; sales commissions accrue to the Company when recommended Amazon products are purchased by our readers.  These products target healthy lifestyles, information on successful aging, and aid to caregivers. 

I've Decided to Live 120 Years: The Ancient Secret to Longevity, Vitality, and Life Transformation New York Times bestselling author and one of the most renowned meditation teachers in our time, Ilchi Lee challenges you to radically rethink your ideas on aging, health, personal fulfillment, and what's possible in your lifetime.

I've Decided to Live 120 Years: The Ancient Secret to Longevity, Vitality, and Life Transformation by [Lee, Ilchi]


Vesper Time: The Spiritual Practice of Growing Older "A thoughtful little book that reflects on the issues and graces that influence the spiritual life as one grows older.... [Cunningham's] words are sensitive, validating, and encouraging as he describes the challenges and blessings encountered at each stage.


Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui: Free Yourself from Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Clutter Forever Clutter is trapped energy that has far-reaching effects physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. In Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, Karen Kingston, pioneer of a branch of Feng Shui known as Space Clearing, expertly guides you through the liberating task of clutter clearing


Weekly Radio Talk Show

The Living to 100 Club is all about staying positive as we age. Our blog articles and our new weekly live Radio Show emphasize longevity, successful aging, risk management, and handling setbacks whenever they occur.  Be sure to tune in to our weekly live Radio Talk Show on VoiceAmericaHealth, every Friday at 2pm Pacific, with your Host, Dr. Joe Casciani. 

Missed the live event?  Recordings of all episodes can be accessed on the Club website. Scroll down on the audio player and select “Episode Listing” to display the selections. And now, you can see the schedule of upcoming guests - take a look.

Handbook for Club Members

Be sure to see the Club's Handbook, 9 Principles for a Positive Frame of Mind, available for free download on the Living to 100 Club website. This Handbook is our guide to creating and maintaining this positive frame of mind. The principles help the reader examine our usual thinking patterns about aging and encourage us to consider a different perspective on what we can accomplish and what we can expect of ourselves. This is no time to sit back and muse “what will be will be” – it’s time to re-define ourselves as strong and capable, and to shape our future as much as we can.


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