At a recent student assembly, I was asked by a student leader, “How do you motivate someone who is not motivated?” The student leader had been having a difficult time connecting with those who are different and truly wanted to make the effort. I found the question interesting since no more then a couple of months ago, I was asked a similar question but by a student trying to figure out how to stay motivated and in school. Although the questions differed in context, they were very much connected, as so many times motivation is key to success. My response was similar although different.
To the student trying to survive another day in school, I encouraged him to keep showing up. It is obvious by his attendance that there was something he was seeking even if he could not pin points it. The mere fact the he, out of all the students surrounding us, had the courage to ask such a questioned, proved that he wanted something more.
To the student who asked how to motivate the unmotivated, I informed him that every student is motivated. What may differ is the objective they are trying to achieve. They may not be involved in student council or cheer or even sports, but by the mere fact that they are showing up to school demonstrates that they are interested in something and that is motivation. The responsibility of the student leader at this point is to find what relevant activities will develop even more from the students they perceive as unmotivated.