Stuck on powering through a plot point in the story you’re writing? Can’t muster the energy to finish that painting you’ve been working on lately? Feelin’ like your bed and Netflix are calling you when you’ve got other and better things to do, people to see, and places to go? Enter Motivation―everyone’s personal cheerleader.

The question of whether or not Motivation is a true emotion has been an age-old argument among the others of her kind. At first, it was ruled that she was not a real feeling; she was merely an abstract concept. Then it was thought that while her classification was nebulous, she undoubtably played an important role in the perpetuation of humanity and life itself. Eventually, it was determined that the connection between Motivation and the recognized emotions was undeniable; they were interrelated, correlated, and interdependent; one could not exist without the other. She is, therefore, a cherished relation, and the emotions no longer question her credibility within her hearing. Instead, it has been widely and nearly universally accepted by all that Motivation and her job is unique and necessary; her unusual history and job make her one of the most important and undervalued of the states of being.

All this talk about Motivation demands an explanation of her M.O., her nature, and the fruits of her labor. At her most basic, Motivation’s one and only job is to…well…motivate! She’s the force that drives you to do more, do it all better, and strive to be your best self. She’s the inspiration for all those posters with kittens hanging precariously from trees, raising one paw triumphantly in the air above a familiar Dakota font mantra: “Hang in there!”

She operates on nothing but the best of intentions. She’s bright and peppy, always ready to pump up whomever needs a little extra something to cross off that next thing on their to-do list. She tries to make sure that nobody is left feelings down about themselves, their ideas, their goals, their dreams. Her own goal is, after all, to ensure that no good concept is left abandoned on the drawing board―she was created to be a mover, herself; a mover of worthy ideas, an enabler who makes sure that every promising project is seen through to fruition.

She’s fickle, though. Motivation refuses, sometimes, to show up and sprinkle her fairy dust when you know you need it most; she comes in fits and starts, leaving legions of artists and writers and movers and shakers halfway through their ventures as she moves hastily onto the next name on her call list. It often seems that she chooses her subjects at random, stumbling across certain individuals to shower with her blessings while lending little help to others. There is, more often than not, no real rhyme or reason to Motivation’s appearances. She is, like the nature of her purpose, whimsical and prone to distraction. Although the intense frustration that is almost always triggered by her sudden disappearing act can become tiring, it makes it even more special when she chooses to stick around for a little longer than usual. Her presence becomes a gift, a valuable treasure that cannot be bought for any sum.

Although she is energetic and vibrant on her own, she is easily defeated in battle: in a clash with another emotion―Apprehension, Sadness, Fear―she usually slinks away broken. But that said, she is also the most malleable and cooperative of the emotions: Under the right conditions, she is able to meld with other states of being and collaborate to transform into something new. When this happens, Motivation becomes a superpower―she is temporarily unstoppable, powered by the intensity of her partner. She has been quoted to have said herself that she and Anger work almost perfectly together; many incredible things have spawned throughout history from the whirlwind of feelings and thoughts that emerge from a dance between Anger and Motivation.

As indecisive and unreliable and hasty as she is, though, she is ultimately the only one of her kind who can do this job; she is the only one who can push past a stubborn and seemingly immovable writer’s block, the best defense against a creative slump, and arguably the most important part of the actual doing of something. Motivation is a hustler; when she chooses to avail herself, she won’t allow her lucky patron to dawdle and flounder. At the end of the day, she will never, ever stop―and she’ll make sure you never do, either.

—By Victoria C., 18, Alberta, Canada