Desperation, Inspiration & Motivation

Desperation. Inspiration. Motivation.

I love each of these feelings or experiences like a close sibling or a favourite pair of jeans that you’ve had forever.  These differing feelings drive me, ignite action and help me get where I want to go – in every aspect of my life. They push me forward. Keep me going and certainly contribute to the fabric or make-up of who I am – both inside and out. In their absence,  at best, I’d be moving at half-speed or at worst, going backwards.

If these three little fire-starters were, in fact, siblings…Desperation would be constantly hungry, stubborn, determined and definitely the loudest talker. Inspiration would be the creative, insightful and thoughtful one and Motivation would be a powerhouse all on her own but made more so with the presence and influence of her sisters. Motivation is the creator of the GSD plan (Get Shit Done) and then has the means to make it all happen!  But it would be wise to remember their 4th sibling, Perspiration; the tough, hard-working, reliable, what-you-see-is-what-you-get sibling who has the ability to really take things up a notch!

I have 9 siblings, so this analogy of siblings is one that I come by naturally.  There are a dozen family members that comprise our family. My mom and dad had 10 children, with 7 daughters and 3 sons creating the fabulous chaos that has existed all through my life, especially at dinner time, Christmas time, at summer gatherings, and, well, pretty much any time where two or more are gathered! And to top it off, I have a twin – how lucky!  We are quite different in personality although some say we’re very similar in a lot of ways and we certainly are in appearance! We’ve had our share of fun throughout history tricking teachers, friends and family!

Growing up in this enormous family, especially with so many siblings, was the greatest gift that life could offer. But, let’s be honest, we’re probably (OK – definitely!) as dysfunctional as most families and have all the same issues and struggles that pretty much every family experiences. But life is perfect in all it’s imperfection – our family included.

Something that has become apparent over the last couple years…and the essence of where we’re going here today, is that nothing is complete without the others.  Just like family – when one is missing, there is an empty space at the dinner table that is noticeable. We need each other to get where we want to go in life, from our goals, achievements and external aspirations to a greater sense of internal fulfilment, sense of community and other ‘inside’ feelings such as feeling loved, appreciated and supported. We need each other. We’re better together and no family gathering is complete when one is missing.

And it’s the same for desperation, inspiration, motivation…and perspiration! It is the combination of all of these that have the potential to make life a masterpiece! Could it be advantageous to intentionally bring all of these feelings in to our lives? To welcome their existence?  To create space for all of them? Even desperation?  Yes! I think so. Each has so much to offer and teach us in the process of living – especially desperation.  (That’s been my experience, anyway.) I believe that we need all of these things in our lives if we really want to take our aspirations up a notch and get some serious shit done! (Pardon the language, but saying stuff or things just doesn’t capture the point. 🙂 )

Nothing great has ever happened in my life without a little hunger, creativity, focus and sweat!  

Desperation, inspiration, motivation and perspiration.

Desperation wakes you up at night and demands action. It certainly has done that for me and not only wakes me up at night but keeps me awake for hours – digging deep, brainstorming, worrying, trying to create a better plan or finding a way to get through a struggle and at times, doing the ugly-cry until I could cry no more. Desperation demands that I find a way to grow. To change. To move forward. The past few years have been especially challenging for me and desperation has proved to be a powerful force.  Without desperation finding it’s way into my life at certain times, I imagine that I’d feel helpless, hopeless and I’m certain that nothing would change.  Nothing. The times in my life where I’ve been filled with desperation where awful.  Awfully hard.  Awfully fear-filled, drenched in worry and overflowing with stress.  But I’m also awfully grateful for those times because in those experiences, I’ve become ‘more’, moved forward, expanded as a human being and gained a greater depth of character. (Universe; if you are listening, I just want you to know that I’ve got plenty of character now.  We’re good! Thank you.). Yes, desperation was awful but it also created different paths to wander down.  And some of those paths have led to extraordinary places, people and experiences. Truly extraordinary! I’m certain it’s the same in your life too – the difficult, desperate times have led to or created some amazing possibilities and outcomes!

When I’m feeling most desperate, I try to remind myself that my desperation…is the storm.  If you ever find yourself feeling this way, I hope this quote comes to mind when you need it most.  YOU are the storm! 

So, while desperation wakes me up at night, inspiration stirs me in the wee hours of the morning to jump out of bed and create something new.  To make the world better.  To think differently. To find a way to help others. And to create possibilities and opportunities.

Ahhh, yyyyyyyeeeeeessssssssss!  I love inspiration. Inspiration finds me at the oddest hours – usually in the early hours before dawn, waking me with a start!  Waking me with another new idea! I’ve followed some of those ideas and there have been a few that were worth jumping out of bed for.  Others…not so much.  I should have stayed in bed and saved myself a lot of time, money and effort.  Not all of my inspiring ideas come to fruition, that’s for sure!  But inspiration still deserves respect.  While it doesn’t always show up for dinner or when you want it to, when it does – it’s a game-changer.  Inspiration really is like that sibling that never comes home and is always off galavanting the world – and you miss him/her terribly.  And then, out of the blue, they show up at midnight, knocking at your door with a backpack full of souvenirs and ideas just for you!  When ever I hear that knock on my door – I’m grateful because I know that it’s a gift!  It’s presence can change my life – and yours!

Yes – indeed, it can! And it will! But only if we’re paying attention and listening for the tap-tap sound. Sometimes it’s very quiet, knocking softly at the back door, or side door, or on a window, where you least expect it.

And then there’s motivation.  Motivation truly is a power-house, but usually not all on their own!  Motivation is a follower. For me, motivation usually follows inspiration, perspiration or action (which, is often caused by desperation).  It’s not as common for me to simply be motivated…and then take action.  Typically, I am motivated by goals, commitments, those inspiring ideas that come at 3:00am…or by desperation (fear, worry, urgency, or stuck-between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place situations). Motivation never comes out of thin air, at least, not for me. It’s always created, like alchemy, by blending or mixing other elements to create something new.  Motivation has always been a bit fickle for me and I’ve discovered that the secret to keeping motivation alive within myself is to be kind.  Be gentle. And be firm. All at the same time. Motivation runs for the hills the moment I get into berating myself, negative self-talk or ‘should-ing’ all over the place.

When I’m inspired by a new idea – motivation comes easy! When I’m feeling desperate – motivation arises out of necessity and brings the GSD plan and the light at the end of the tunnel is eventually found. But when there’s nothing – motivation doesn’t magically appear.  I’ve come to learn that it would be silly to expect it to.  At least, this is how it seems to work in my life.  If I’m wanting to experience greater motivation, I’ve got to find or create a little more inspiration, get a good sweat on or get a little more desperate. It’s really that simple.

Ultimately, no one has a problem being motivated, in my opinion.  Feeling un-motivated is really just a lack of inspiration, perspiration or desperation.  When I’m lacking inspiration – the easy solution for me is to find a bigger problem than my own – a way to serve or help others in a greater way. Creating a greater purpose.  Something bigger than myself.  Forcing myself to get out for that run becoming completely desperate!  That’s motivating! Being overwhelmed with desperation will motivate just about anyone!  Having things go completely side-ways and feeling trapped in a corner, so much so that you’ve got NO other option but to lay-it-all-on-the-line…YES – that will dramatically increase motivation!  (Speaking from experience, if at all possible, go for option #1 or #2. Option #3 is not recommended.  Take my word for it. I’ve been there.)  

And lastly, there’s perspiration. Perspiration is truly like that old, favourite, well-worn in all the right places pair of jeans that just feel great when you put them on! The more holes they have and imperfect they become, the more perfectly they fit! In my life, perspiration is exactly like this.  I love hard work, whether it’s working on my business, shovelling snow in the drive way, going for a long run, riding my bike for hours, painting the interior of the house or doing yard work.  I love the feeling of hard work and the results that perspiration bring. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally and even spiritually. When things are not going quite right in my life or even when I’m not feeling quite right on a given day, everything improves with a little sweat! Trust me. Try it for yourself!

As we continue to maneuver through the unique circumstances of this global situation, let’s take a little time to think about how to take things up a notch in our lives by welcoming and embracing all that life has to offer, including a little desperation, inspiration, motivation and perspiration.  I can only imagine all the shit that we’ll get done! The masterpiece of your life is just waiting to be created! 

Every day has the power of a new beginning and this is the beginning of anything you want!

If you’re looking for a way to harness the power of these four little fire-starters and wanting to ignite more joy, fulfilment and accomplishment in your own life, I’ll be hosting a free 30 minute webinar on Wednesday, June 24th, 2020 at 10:00am.  Please join me!  You’ll find all the information and how to register at under the speaking tab. There will be downloadable worksheets, self-assessment tools and more than enough ideas for you to apply in your own life to help you get where you want to go over the coming weeks and months!  Hope to see you there!


Crystal Flaman is an international keynote speaker and social entrepreneur, inspiring you to discover your dreams and the difference you can create in the world. Anything is possible. Everything is possible. Believe in your dreams. Do what you love and be fearlessly you. 

If you would like to learn more information about this topic or to have Crystal share this message with your team, in person or on a virtual basis during the current global situation, please contact Crystal.  

Thank you. 

Rave Reviews

“All I can say is WOW! Crystal Flaman you were on fire at the recent Vernon Women in Business Leadership Conference. Your ability to tie the conference theme into your inspirational messaging. You had the entire room captivated with the interactive activities you brought to help solidify your messages. As the MC, it is my job to mind the room and the time slot. Your expert storytelling had us all captivated from beginning to end. Thank you! I would highly recommend you for any event where the group is looking to elevate their team and individual performances.”
Faith Wood, Inspiring Minds Consulting Ltd, Owner
“Crystal was invited to kick-off and set the tone for our Professional Development conference. She delivered an interesting and engaging presentation, and inspired us through her passion and leadership, focusing on creating significance in our successes. Feedback after the session was incredibly positive, appreciating the relevance to both work and home life. Crystal even left us with parting gifts – a crystal prism and rings with encouraging words on them…and I still have them hanging at my desk as a reminder of what she taught us.  I would highly recommend Crystal to speak at your next engagement if you’re looking for a moving, honest and successful woman to ignite passion and inspiration for your team.”
Caren Leinwant, Green Shield Canada, Individual Business Services Manager
“I have known and worked with Crystal for the past 20 years.  She is an amazing person!  Crystal is a great speaker – engaging, humourous, and has the ability to appeal to many different audiences – young and old.   She is always prepared and willing to be flexible depending on the needs of her clients.  She has worked with many start up businesses over the years to provide information and guidance.   I would not hesitate to hire or refer Crystal for any speaking, mentoring or coaching opportunities for businesses in my community.  I know you won’t be disappointed.”
Wendy McCulloch, Community Futures Boundary, General Manager
“Crystal is creative, innovative, passionate, and inspirational. She planned special, memorable, and meaningful activities for our students that helped them to recognize their talents, boost their self-esteem, and prepare them for their transition to middle school. Both staff and students were so impressed by Crystal. The students were excited about the gifts they received and these special tokens will forever remind them of the lessons learned during their time with Crystal.  It truly was an honour to work with Crystal and experience all that she has to teach and offer. Our students are better, more confident people because of the time spent with Crystal.”
Mrs Lara Davies, Teacher, North Glenmore Elementary School
“Her physical and mental strength is only matched by the kindness of her heart. Crystal Flaman is a talented entrepreneur and athlete who has combined her passion for humanity with sport. Every opportunity is used to promote the well-being of her fellow man whether it be at home or abroad. A gifted speaker who can inspire you to tears, or better yet action, uses her magnetic energy to promote positive change. Crystal is hard working, committed and her tenacity is evident in many of her successful projects. Working with Crystal will be one of the best decisions you have ever made. “
Laura Thurnheer, Associate Dean, Okanagan College
“The Diva retreat was the most amazing week of my year. I am new to yoga, so was worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up but Amelie was an amazing instructor and paced the class to include all abilities. It was a beautiful way to start the day! Crystal guided the workshops in her bright and positive way. Each day we meet for a workshop in a safe and supportive environment, with great materials to take away. She created a warm and welcoming place to talk and share experiences. The group of ladies – new to me – became friends I am still in contact with.  We each were able to laugh, share and feel validated.

The location was gorgeous and we had ample free time to explore the village, head to the beach or hang out at the resort. I loved the balance of yoga, workshops and free time.

I would highly recommend the retreat to give yourself time to pause, reflect and refocus.”
Dianne Bondaroff, DIVA Retreat 2018 participant, Artist, Entrepreneur, Change Maker
“I have known Crystal for over 15 years as a colleague and good friend. She is a key component of the instruction team for the Leisure Development Course, a unique three-year professional development program for parks, recreation and community development personnel. Crystal’s presentations are always inspirational, sensitive, insightful and tailored to the needs of the respective students. She is one of the most passionate and enthusiastic individuals I have had the pleasure of working with and would not hesitate in recommending Crystal for whatever endeavor she wishes to undertake.”
Chris Nelson, Coordinator, Leisure Development Course
“I am not sure how to compact my gratitude for what DIVA Retreats really has done for me. My first DIVA Retreat was in 2014. I was seeking exactly what it stands for: Discover my Inner Voice and Adventure through body,  mind, and spirit. I was so blessed to have spent the week with such amazing women and it was the start of a great personal journey since then. My second experience in 2018 was equally amazing and an opportunity to hold the space for someone else’s transformation experience.  At the same time, in the end I was newly inspired again!  I wanted to give back and, instead, got so much more in return. I recommend this retreat for anyone. You are safe and instantly welcomed if you come alone or bring your BFF's. I loved it all! Yoga, laughing, learning, hiking, biking, creating, trying healthy foods, humanitarian contribution.... and most of all making connections with amazing women from all over Canada.  I don’t think there is another retreat like this anywhere that is this affordable.
Louise Sarauer, Administrative Professional, Saskatoon, SK
“I have known Crystal for over 10 years and in that time I have had the pleasure of being a participant in her workshops and presentations as well as being a fellow presenter. Her unwavering enthusiasm for her topics and her sincere, heartfelt messages for her participants, makes her presentations exciting and meaningful to her audiences. She uses her own life challenges and successes as the back-drop for her messages allowing her to use humour to engage and connect with those in the room. Often using a variety of props and techniques, participants are continuously engaged in her presentations. As a result, Crystal is an effective speaker, focused on sharing her passion and beliefs to motivate participants to take action in their own lives, towards their goals and aspirations.”
Deb Comfort, Facilities Supervisor, Dept. of Recreation, Parks and Culture, Red Deer, AB

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