I was completely striking out in my attempts to motivate my nephew to clean his apartment when he opened my eyes; “Pam, it is so bad, I just don’t know where to start.”
That one bit of honesty moved me from frustration to empathy, remembering all the times I have bailed on initiatives because the prospect of starting was too demoralizing (like this morning, when I couldn’t load the dirty dishes because the dishwasher needed to be unloaded, but I couldn’t unload the dishwasher because I needed the counter space to do it and it was cluttered with pots and pans that needed to be put up first).
So I gave my nephew a starting place and, voila!, he was on his way with hope. (Which reminded me to put up my pots and pans.)
Some days, a little push from someone (into hope) goes a long way.