Part I: Motivational stories of those residing in Monrovia, Arcadia, Pasadena and Sierra Madre
By Hansol Hwang
Motivation, is the high we try to reach every week, often times achieving it through various types of narcotics such as quotes of the day, meditation, repeatedly giving pep talks to yourself on the drive to work, coffee, morning routines, exercise and etc. We either cycle through a set of means or religiously stick to one.
Welcome to this weeks motivational fix, where I will share an individual’s means to achieving his or her motivational burst of energy.
I, like many others out there, am constantly seeking after motivation. So, why not find motivational inspiration in others who already have a means that works for them? That is why in this series, which will go on to cover a few more people, I plan to share exactly that. I plan to share the motivational stories of those residing in Monrovia, Arcadia, Pasadena and Sierra Madre areas, hoping it will serve to encourage and strengthen communal bonds of the people in each city.
I hope to share this by showing you – the reader – more than telling you. I hope to immerse you into a part of this person’s mindset for the short duration that you are reading this.
These methods I share will not always be a surefire way of sparking that motivational high, but I hope that when you read this it will spark even an ounce of inspiration that will eventually lead to fulfilling your motivational fix.
This week I will begin with the story of how a man’s motivation is driven by his faith.
Sitting down, arms poised and propped on the arm rest of the chair, Michael Vivo’s arms expose the words “Faith is All I Have,” inscribed in a broad cursive-like font, wrapping half the circumference of his forearm.
The ink left a mark on his life. It became more than just words but a way of life.
“I live by faith. I am very spiritual so I believe something greater than myself, that way I feel humble about the littlest things and I am appreciative of the smallest gesture or anything, because the little things matter just as [much as] the big things to me,” Vivo said. “And those are the things you learn in time, in mistakes and lessons.”
Faith is the underlying force that drives Vivo’s motivational principle. Although faith is everything to him, what keeps Vivo motivated is when he tries not to worry about the problems he cannot solve.
“I try to solve everything and when you realize you can’t, it overcomes you. And it makes you doubt yourself, so […] you have to distance yourself from the things you can’t really solve and concentrate on the things you could [sic] and help others while you are doing that,” Vivo said. “And don’t let mistakes define you, let them be a lesson. Let them help [you] find your purpose in your life.”
Those mistakes taught him to focus on the bigger picture, which helps him drown out the unnecessary worries in his life – worries that can slow him down. For Vivo, this bigger picture and purpose in life does not involve him, but involves living for those he loves–his family. This motivates and drives him.
“If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your family, your kids, your close friends. Find someone that you care about other than yourself and realize that you are going to do it for something other than yourself,” Vivo said. This reminded him of when his children were born. He said that it is a, “big reminder that it is not about you anymore.”
Additionally, the tattoos on his arms serve more of a purpose than just art. It reminds him of the person who he has become, and reverts his attention to what he believes in, and the principles in life that drive him.
On his right arm is the tattoo of a snake with a body coiled into an infinity symbol, with the mouth spread wide open trying to devour a flower that is at the end of its tail. Although others might wonder why his faith tattoo is paired with a symbol that alludes satanic meaning, the true meaning that underlies it is not satanic in nature.
He said the tattoo reminds him of how evil always tries to conquer the beauty in the world, a reminder for him any time he uses his right arm. This is the same when he uses his left arm.
“I use my hand for everything. Even for bad things. If you ever do a bad thing you are always reminded of what you are really about,” he said.
He then said, “Keep learning. Keep learning. Learning is key. I hope they start looking at the bigger picture. I hope they have a lesson that snaps them into seeing what is really important.”
Submit your motivational story at firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject line: Communal Motivation). Please include name, city of residence, and a sentence or two about why you (or someone you know) should be featured.