Motivation. How do you instill it, teach it? Where does it come from? Is it innate or can it be learned? The people who “get ahead” in life are not necessarily the smartest, but they are motivated. They have vision. But where do they get it from?

I remember my first-year roommate at college told me upon meeting that she wanted to be an aerospace engineer. What?? The idea of that occupation wasn’t even on my radar – maybe that’s one of the many perks of going to a big, well-funded school system (Northern VA vs. coastal SC). But she had vision. I just had some ideas and stuff I liked to do, but no clear vision of how to fit them together. Sure I made better grades, but she was working toward something real. (Not sure how she fared as we lost contact).

Will, our three-year-old, is motivated to achieve, to be “big”, to do whatever Anna (five years old) can do. He’s our go-getter so far. Anna, our firstborn, is the observer, cautious and calculated, not too excited about taking risks. Is that just a benign, natural personality difference or can we/ should we seek to get her more motivated? Don’t know. All I know is, as a parent there are a million things to analyze, evaluate, and puzzle over, and few clear answers.

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