• Christian Snuffer

Motivation - The Four Pillars Pt. 1

“I help young men find the motivation to live intentionally, communicate effectively, and to serve those around them.”

This week I want to step away from behavioral interventions for a moment and explain the reasons I started Youth Mentor SLC. This blog is part 1 in a 4 part series expanding the pillars of my business: Motivation, Intention, Communication, and Service.

Motivation: When I was a kid, I never lacked motivation. Most of my time was filled with sports. I was good at them, and practice was never a chore because I enjoyed it. When I reached adolescence, I decided to focus on baseball. The focus paid off, and I played through my sophomore year of college, but my time in baseball was coming to an end. After that year, I decided to quit because I didn’t see a sustainable future, and I wanted to focus on school. Soon after quitting, I learned that the years of sustained motivation were not an inherent quality of mine - they were a circumstantial byproduct of doing something I enjoyed.

It was a painful realization to face. I didn’t know what I was working for or what I wanted to do. Baseball had provided my purpose for 15 years, and without it, I was lost. I was a rudderless ship at sea, going through the motions, hoping I could find something to fill my time. It took me three years, and the discovery of a new passion, to recognize what had happened to me.

In 2015 I took a job at Pacific Quest on the Big Island of Hawaii. My official new title was “Field Guide,” and my responsibilities included: maintaining safety, teaching communication skills, fostering accountability, facilitating conversations, demonstrating vulnerability, role modeling organization and hard work in the garden, and listening. In short, I was a mentor.

Six months into the job, I felt something that had escaped me since my junior year of high school - PASSION. The job was incredibly nourishing, and I regularly meditated on how I could hone my skills to become the best Field Guide possible. I read, studied, sought out mentors, and I thrived on feedback from my co-guides, supervisors, and students. By the end of my first year, I knew that I had found my calling.

It is easy to look at an adolescent and comment on how lazy they are, how they never work hard, and expect things to happen for them; I am guilty of this. But my experience has softened me, and I believe that laziness is not an inherent quality no more than motivation is. Laziness is a byproduct of no passion, purpose, and reason for being.

When I talk to my clients about motivation, it is not a discussion centered around a to-do list or a plan to go through the motions of whatever task is at hand. It is a more in-depth discussion about passion, purpose, and reason for being. It is a discovery process, filled with new ideas, and activities, a search for the thing that fuels them.

When I say, I help men “find the motivation,” I mean just that. I help them find what they love to do. It is rarely the case that we find the passion that will fuel them their entire life (they are teenagers after all), but it is something that feeds them at that moment. And once they have felt that once, they can recapture it in the future.

“I help young men find the motivation to live intentionally, communicate effectively, and to serve those around them. “

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