Well, honestly sometimes its not so little or gentle. Nonetheless, life finds its ways of MOTIVATING you. Pushing you into the direction you need to go.
Example, you have big dreams.... but little means.
You decide you wish to take steps to better yourself, or change your lifes coarse. but the first steps are not always the easy ones. First steps can be less appealing things like taking a ground level position or lower ranking job to wiggle your way, often slowly, to your ultimate goal.
But that road can get bumpy, it can get tiring, monotonous. Things go wrongs, roads you thought went straight are all wacky and turn ways you never expected. Life doesn't always warn you that your choice will be difficult, or trying. Or that it is miles and miles to your next metaphoric rest stop.
But one thing life is good at doing is bumping you here or there like a dogs nose to her pup to try to keep you on track. Life is like a mother duck, often hastily swimming around not watching you, then turns around and quacks at you to keep you headed the way you need to be.
Sometimes we need reminding why we are on that path, why we put up with it all, or where it was that we were headed to begin with! Sometimes we grow to complacent, and put up with where we are because things are "not bad" or "okay". So we lose our drive to cross the finish line.
But usually there is something that will inevitably happen to jog your memory as to what you wanted. To the place or point that you were trying to reach. And usually it is this thing that happens, and support from loved ones, that gives you your drive back. To pursue, to forge onward and upward! Telling you that I can and WILL do this!
I always suggest keeping you ultimate objective in mind. Be it by written reminder, or photographic. Or whatever may work. Picture your dream, or the place you want to be, use the hunger you have to achieve this to drive you JUST insane enough to move those feet in the right direction and not an ounce crazier than that!
Strive! And make sure you realize, that no one is perfect, and there is (usually) no rush. Things will ultimately turn out as they were intended whether or not this one thing succeeds. So, while not getting to complacent, try also to not over stress or work yourself. Take it all one day at a time!