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Motivation is defined as “the general willingness or desire to do something.” It is also defined as “the reason for behaving in a certain way.” Motivation is what drives us in life. It is the very thing that pushes us to reach for our goals and be our best selves. Motivation inspires us to stay focused on our purpose. It gives us direction and strengthens our resolve to have hope and hang on to our dreams.

Motivation is a tricky thing to balance when you have a chronic disease like sarcoidosis. Nagging, endless, unyielding discomfort and disquieting pain, gasps for air and dense thick fatigue that slows the body and weakens the mind are all constant companions when you have sarcoidosis. These things naw at your psyche and zap your energy. They steal your enthusiasm and drain your spirit.

Yet, motivation is the very thing you need when you find yourself in this state. You must find ways to keep your drive alive, to stay engaged and part of your own life, part of the world around you. Whatever you do, you cannot let sarcoidosis became who you are. You cannot let it define you or the disease will surely, destroy you.

Finding and sustaining the motivation to stay focused on the better parts of life and on still having goals and dreams can be an overwhelming task when you live inside a broken body, when your physical strength is unpredictable, when your mind is muddy and slow. But without motivation, we become nothing and we are nowhere…the disease wins and it’s easy to let that happen…too easy.

The determination to stay in the fight requires a conscious ability to “act as if” we are okay, to strive to maintain as much normalcy as we can no matter our current circumstances. Certainly things change when you are saddled with a chronic illness, but within the bounds of those changes, it is important to try to keep a routine, eat a healthy diet, exercise, connect with others, work if you can and find hobbies if you can’t. The point is to keep moving.

Motivation is all about forward action, not letting this disease stagnate us. Motivation is all about re-evaluating our expectations and looking for different opportunities to get our needs met when our old lives are no longer available to us. Motivation doesn’t just allow us to survive life with chronic debilitating condition, motivation gives us permission to live, to continue striving, to enjoy and to appreciate what we do have. When it comes to motivation, we have a choice. We can give up or keep pushing.¬†Motivation is the key to our hopes and dreams in every aspect of life with this disease. Motivation is a must!