To consider the power of motivation (SEAL theme 3, ‘Keep on learning’).
by Janice Ross
Suitable for No Key Stage Specified
Preparation and materials
- You will need some images of Mr Motivator. If possible show a short clip from one of his exercise DVDs.
- Write up this quote from Jim Elliot on the whiteboard: ‘He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.’ (You might want to practise delivering this quote.)
- Ask the students how many of them have parents or grandparents who have an early morning fitness regime. Maybe they go for a jog or put on an exercise DVD. Chances are that they will have heard of the ‘daddy of the morning fitness programme’, Mr Motivator.
Show image or short clip.
- Mr Motivator’s real name is Derrick Errol Evans. He is a British exercise instructor most famous for his appearances on the breakfast television programme GMTV in the early 1990s, where he promoted health and fitness as a way of life. Mr Motivator performed fitness routines live each morning in a variety of highly colourful outfits.
The nation loved him! He made more sales of fitness DVDs in the UK than anyone else; the series ‘Mr Motivator Bums Legs Tums’ sold 1.7 million copies.
Mr Motivator returned in 2009 as part of GMTV’s attempt to encourage people to get fit. He travels around the UK visiting overweight viewers to try to get them motivated to improve their health.
- You too can sign up for Mr Motivator’s Mission, and follow the five-a-day goal:
1 piece of fruit
2 glasses of water
1 act of avoiding temptation
- Explain that one reason Mr Motivator has returned to our screens is because statistics show that, as a nation, we don’t eat well and we don’t exercise much. According to the chief medical officer for health, 3 in 10 girls and 4 in 10 boys aged between 2 and 15 are not doing the amount of physical exercise recommended to stay healthy. Mr Motivator has proved himself powerful at getting folks up and going, and even making it look fun!
- A motivator first has to live out what he preaches. It is said that Mr Motivator looks as good in his colourful Lycra costumes as he did 10 years ago. He can still make people laugh at themselves, can still get them moving and shaking. He appears to have what it takes. He even had an interview with Gordon Brown! He has a huge following of exercise fans, from primary school children to 80-year-olds. Great numbers have signed up for his five-a-day goal.
- The Bible tells us about another motivator. This man’s impact has lasted a bit longer and he has been making comebacks daily for over 2,000 years all over the world. His name is Jesus.
How does he fit the bill of Mr Motivator?
What motivated him? A love for his father God, and a love for the people God had made.
What was his mission? To show people the love of God and to make a way for them to know him.
How dedicated was he to the task? He spent a gruelling three years traipsing round Israel teaching, preaching and healing large crowds wherever he went. He had no home of his own, no bed of his own, never knew where the next meal would come from. On top of that he had continual hassle from religious leaders. The Bible also tells us that Jesus died on Good Friday, and came back to life three days later. That is what Easter is about.
- Jesus’ entire motivation was to show people what God is like, and how we could also be more like God.
Jesus certainly motivated enough ordinary people way back in those days in Israel. Many were willing to die for the sake of spreading the message to other people. Ten out of the twelve disciples were martyred along with countless others of his followers, who were tortured by the Romans, fed to the lions, slain by the sword or burned at the stake.
Even today in some countries of the world people who want to follow Jesus and live as Christians face extreme persecution; they are still dying for their faith. Now that is motivation.
Time for reflection
What is your motivation in life?
Here is a quotation from a Christian missionary called Jim Elliot. He was martyred in Ecuador, while trying to reach a tribe in the jungle and tell them of the good news of God’s love for them.
‘He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.’
(Read this twice and allow time for reflection on the meaning of the words.)
What do you value in your life? Friends? Family? Other relationships? Ambitions? How does that motivate you?
There are many internet sites offering ‘motivational music’ online.