Motivational Momentum

Men of McCallie,

Thanks for a great first week of school. It is one of the best opening weeks that I can remember in quite some time. Much of the credit goes to you for helping us get started on such a positive note.

Last Tuesday during Chapel, I asked you to consider the following questions:

  • Why does McCallie School exist?
  • What will you do with the opportunity this school year brings?
  • What is the source of your motivation?
  • What is your responsibility to others?

Let’s revisit motivation for a moment.

Greed, attention, guilt, fear of failure, etc. are sources of motivation that work on a temporary basis. I don’t believe we can sustain motivational momentum with these sources at our core. 

Matthew 6:21: For where your treasure is, your heart will be also.

Greed, attention, guilt, fear of failure, etc. are sources of motivation that work on a temporary basis. I don’t believe we can sustain motivational momentum with these sources at our core. Sure, they work on a limited basis and do so, arguably, quite well. Sustainable motivation has to have at its core a combination of sense of duty, benefitting others, and making a positive difference.

I am reminded of a young man I was working with in my early years of teaching. He was a talented young man, but was struggling to find consistent motivation. As we were talking about the issue one day, he mentioned to me that his parents had promised to buy him new tires for his truck if he did his homework and came to practice all week.

At first, this seemed to do the trick. However, after the tires were installed on his truck, he wanted to spend his afternoons riding around rather than do his work and come to practice. Motivation based on stuff is fleeting, because we get tired of the stuff or it wears out.

I enjoyed seeing many of you at the football game the other night. We had a great crowd that helped the Big Blue win a close, but exciting game. The S.P.I.R.I.T.U.A.L.S. gather on Landress after the game was a great event. My compliments and thanks to them for organizing it.

Men, we are off to a good start. Keep supporting and furthering each other.

With appreciation,

Dean Sholl

Kenny Sholl is Upper School Head at McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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