Anything can be used as a motivational tool.
Greed, hunger, lust, racism, hatred or even pain.
The trick is too use that which would normally be considered as being a stumbling block as being one's stepping stone.
Anyone who has run track knows that, when pushed in the right direction, it only requires minimal force to knock down a hurdle.
The trick is to focus only upon that which really matters.
In the Biblical story of Christ walking on water - Peter was able to perform the same feat.
It was only when Peter lost his focus that he began to sink.
Why is the hood still the hood when one should be able to use a negative situation to their advantage?
Because different people are motivated by different things (kind-of).
All people are motivated by pleasure.
Whether it's the pleasure of money, status, satisfaction or pain - finding pleasure in one's condition is key.
"What world are you living in?" is an oft heard refrain from many of my friends.
But since it's difficult to change the world - the smart thing to do would be to change one's approach to dealing with the world.
This change is mostly psychological.
"What world?" - Apparently, one which they'll never know.
I've heard it said that people hardened by the hood often don't feel any emotion but anger.
But this is not quite true.
It's not that they don't feel pleasure - it's more probable that they cannot feel pleasure.
Maybe it's that they've become inured to their hardships and that they cannot feel any emotion besides anger or resentment.
But of these people - it would seem that the ones who are able to find pleasure in their pain are the most successful.
I had a step-father who was quick to tell us kids what we would not be able to do.
He was quick to point out how we would fail instead of teaching us how we could succeed.
He would often put limitations on us that were based on his past shortcomings or lack of accomplishment.
This is the mentality behind the whole, "That's good... for a Black person" philosophy.
IMO - This is the mentality that causes more damage to our community than could anyone in the Klan.
But at an early age - I refused to listen.
When my step-father would tell me how I would fail - I searched more diligently for the answers on how I could succeed.
I failed a lot at first because I was often starting from scratch.
But this did not prove him right.
It was only proof that I needed more practice, better materials, a better method or a different environment.
After taking enough whippings for doing what he said I couldn't - I grew used to someone hating on me.
I grew used to to the doubt.
In fact, I found pleasure in overcoming ever more difficult situations.
I found my motivation in doing that which others would say I couldn't - even in the worst of circumstances.
I found that I enjoyed the pain of practice more than being in any meet, match or game.
I found that I enjoyed doing the work.
I found that I enjoyed that feeling of exhaustion when you feel like you gotta' throw up.
I enjoyed the feeling of snot running from your nose and heat radiating from spent muscles.
I enjoyed the stress before the comeback.
I enjoyed the pain.
But if I enjoyed it - is it really pain?
(Everyone is motivated by pleasure.)