Seeing a student waste potential is like sitting at a green light with someone who won't go. Wouldn't that be infuriating? Sitting in the passenger seat as the driver of your car stares blankly through the green light in front of you. Sometimes this is how it feels when I talk with students who haven't turned in assignments, or who put in the minimal effort when I know they could give so much more.
I think a lot of people are actually like this throughout their lives; all the stars are aligned, the light is green, and even though everything externally may be shouting "GO!", they sit at an intersection they are too scared to cross. They are too insecure, too unmotivated, too unsure of their destination to bother moving forward.
Of course, we all do this unintentionally. Many times I'm having a conversation or I'm looking at my phone, only to look up and see the light is green and everyone else has been moving around me, and I've been holding up my lane. It's embarrassing, but it happens to a lot of us. We get distracted and forget to move forward.
This distraction causes me trouble. I have realized that the times I feel most envious of those around me is the times when they are all I'm focusing on. I'm so distracted by this person's graduation, or that person's new relationship that I fail to focus on how I'm going to move forward, and so I stay still until I snap back to reality.
Unfortunately, motivation isn't all it takes to move forward. You can be motivated to go, but you may not have a clear route or even know where you want to go. There are so many directions that you could take with your life that it's easy to see why so many people just stay still. In the short term, this is fine. We can't sustain never-ending movement. But it's also absurd to stay still our entire lives and expect to move forward- even typing that sentence feels ridiculous, but sadly it is many people's reality.
Life isn't a highway, but it's also not a driveway. Stopping and starting are both natural, and we need both to occur in order to stay sane, stay successful, and stay moving.