How I Stay Motivated

Recently, I’ve been asked how I stay motivated. My friends know me as the type of person willing to stay up into the next morning studying for exams or completing assignments. Now, this is not something I enjoy doing, so I shouldn’t have to stress the importance of motivation in these nightly efforts.

I have a lot of personal reasons motivating me to work hard, and the irony that these hardships have bestowed myself with a sort of privilege is not lost on me. With that being said, I want to focus on a secondary, but nonetheless important way in which I motivate myself, music.

Quietness has eluded me ever since I moved back to New York. I am always within a few tens of feet from another family member inside my apartment. So to block off the chatter I began blasting music through my headphones. In a sense it became a sort of pregame ritual. I’d get home from school, pop in my headphones and start working. I’d play whatever music got me hyped up. I’d get my blood pumping, get a tiny bit angry, and throw myself completely into whatever task was in front of me. I’d feel unstoppable, like Jordan in his prime, fully prepared to sacrifice sleep and even some of my own sanity to accomplish my goal. I know it’s not solely the music motivating me, but hearing Jay Rock yell “win win win win,” over some of the most inspiring horns in recent memory damn well helps.

Now, a disclaimer, all the music in the world won’t help if you don’t have the right mindset. You have to believe that mentally speaking, we are all equal in our capacities to learn, that the only difference between you and the next person is how willing you are to dedicate yourself to your studies. Now go put headphones on, blast your jam, and get to work.

My 5 Songs:
Win” – Jay Rock
Praise The Lord” – Asap Rocky
Black Friday” – Kendrick Lamar/ J Cole
Superstar” – Lupe Fiasco
The World Is Yours” – Nas

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  1. Lol! Yes, sir!!! *increases volume of music in headphones.”

    Whether or not I am around people, music is part of my motivation and drive. The other day I was exhausted and played “Push It” by Rick Ross because I had to push it to the limit…It got me through.
    I also agree, you have to want it as well.

  2. Hi Joseph,
    I surely do agree with you that music is therapeutic and is literally the tune of survival!!! All your music choices are winners but I absolutely love your number 5 song ! Nasir Jones is always a source of inspiration for me and a lyric of his that seems to always resonate with me is: “It ain’t hard to tell, I excel, then prevail
    The mic is contacted, I attract clientele
    My mic check is life or death, breathin a sniper’s breath
    I exhale the yellow smoke of buddha through righteous steps
    Deep like The Shining, sparkle like a diamond
    Sneak a uzi on the island in my army jacket lining
    Hit the Earth like a comet, invasion
    Nas is like the Afrocentric Asian, half-man, half-amazing!”-It Ain’t Hard to Tell

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