Motivation is a very personal theory that looks and feels differently for everyone. It has to come from within your own being. Teachers and parents alike all want to know the secret to making their children become more motivated.
Motivation is a gift that comes from within, however, I do believe that part of motivation comes from being shown the positive results of getting yourself motivated. This is easier said than done with some people. A typical human response is, "So what's in it for me?" Answers could be as simple as getting a high score on a test and having the proud feeling that I did and just look at the responses that I am receiving from the smiles and happiness from my parents or teachers. As an adult, it may be possible bonuses, or promotions, or just a nod and a smile with a, "Way to go" high five from co-workers or the boss.
This represents the reasons for people's actions and needs concerning motivation. This can be in a positive or negative behavior or desire. Think of a bank robber, for example. He robbed that bank for the motivation of getting money. Obviously, not clearly thinking that he would eventually get caught, lose the money that he stole and be put behind bars for punishment. A missing component would be to think the whole action through. Take the money and run sort of omits some of the not so great consequences.
I was questioning my own motivation and how I am working now to keep my motivation going when things don't seem to go in the direction that I want them to go. What do I personally do instead of just putting my head down and crying it out or throwing a hissy fit? Because, I am human and sometimes doing one of those acts does not seem unreasonable and can actually get rid of excess stress. Personally, I only advise doing this quickly and quietly just to get it out of my system and only if necessary for my mental well being.
We all have to take control and responsibility of turning events around to help us become better human beings. It is our emotional intelligence that kicks in. For some, it kicks in faster than others. It can even depend on the circumstances surrounding why you need to stay motivated.
Staying motivated has to be for your own self, not others. Others may help, guide and support you. Only you can mentally get to where you want to be. For me, I started thinking what is it that I do personally to get there.
First of all, I believe that I have to not compare myself to others. I am my own unique individual. Plus, I must be kind to me. Sometimes, I catch myself putting 'me' on the back burner instead of sharing the kindness with others by taking care of myself. I also need to remember that I can only help others by first helping myself. Believing in me and recognizing the progress toward my goals is very important. It helps to visualize my goals through writing, pictures, and reading. I always want my goals to be high, so I try to make them specific and realistic. Taking it one day at a time and even days that I must take it one hour at a time help.
When goals are reached, or even the mini-steps toward the big goal are met, it is time to give myself a reward. It could be a trip out for some retail therapy, or a trip to Starbucks for a skinny vanilla latte or even Happy Hour at Sonic for a giant unsweetened iced tea with extra lemon. It doesn't take much for me. It is just a part of surrounding myself with positivity.
I am ending this blog with how I begin each day; on a positive note. My quiet coffee time, with a little meditation and choosing my personal positive mantra of the day (sometimes more than one in a day) is what instills in me the motivation to carry on in the best way that I know how. Ayn Rand said it well, "A creative person is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others."
Friday, February 24, 2017
For months we very carefully have been doing a lot of research and talking about whether or not we were ready to have a puppy in our home. Both of us being previous dog owners, just not for over 20 years, we remembered (or thought that we did) just how much involved one must be if you wish to have a well mannered dog.
Now that I worked from home, we would have an opportunity to take care of one properly. With both of us leaving for work so early and coming home so late, there was no way that we could have cared for a dog. I know that for me in the home alone, it would be great company. Plus, Steve would be retiring at some point in the near future and our puppy Davis would have both of us with him most of the time. For now, it is a matter of training him to our standards.
Of course, this meant going out and getting all set up for a puppy. We are going the crate training route and thank goodness that our vet totally believes that this is the way to go for most dogs. It does fit our little one's personality. He actually goes in it for his own peace and tranquility.
The two pictures above show his growth. He went to the vet for his third puppy visit yesterday. He has doubled his weight. He is now 4 months old and weighs 20 pounds. It is hard to guess how big he will get, however the vet was guessing that most definitely over 50 pounds and could go to 60.
With that being said, I most definitely want a dog who is obedience trained, so we have already started this class. He is the star pupil in the class. Most of the time he is great at home. When he wants the mischievous puppy horns to pop out, he is a star at that also. Have you heard the term selective hearing? Davis can come running to you when you call his name 90% of the time. The other 10% he will come if he wants to and if nothing else is distracting him, such as a leaf or a plane or bird in the sky or a fly zooming over his head. This is when I realize he is just a puppy and we just keep working on it. The key word is consistency.
Then there was the day that I thought someone had done something terrible to Davis. It was as if he had become possessed. He started running back and forth in the yard, giving little yips at me, staring at me with wild eyes and then doing it all over again. Thank goodness that I did get a highly recommended book on goldendoodles and they call this the 'zoomies.' Another name is the puppy crazies. Most breeds go through this. It is a matter of running off excess energy that built up. So it is important to get enough exercise for him.
Steve has been taking advantage of the beautiful weather that we have been having by taking him for a 2 mile walk around our lake in the neighborhood another walkway in the neighborhood. Usually Davis returns, has his dinner and then sleeps, let's say 'conks' out for about an hour. He is a very active dog and will need a good walk every day. I don't think it will be happening on rainy days because at this stage, he does not even like to go out to take care of his business if it is raining or if it has rained and the grass is wet.
We decided on a goldendoodle after seeing a few around the neighborhood, reading about them and seeing pictures. Yes, the majority of goldendoodles are golden in color. I love the fact that our little one is a black goldendoodle. In fact, the whole liter of puppies were black. The mother was a black standard poodle. The father was an English Golden Retriever. Davis is quite a handsome dog. He gets all the oooohhhhs and aaaaahhhhs when we go out. He tends to be a ham and eat it all up. He sits straighter, curls his tail or if it is in the middle of walking then he begins his prancing, as if to say, "Look at me!"
A puppy is not for everyone. Steve and I both have had our moments of being worn down just taking care of our new baby. All it takes is his sweet little face, a snuggle and a puppy kiss and it makes us remember why we chose this little furball to be ours.
Even though he is not this size yet, at the rate that he is growing, it won't be long and he will still be just as precious at this age as it was the day that we picked him up from his very special breeder. All of her puppies are given such tender loving care and Kim always wants to be sure that each of her puppies will be going to a home where this will continue. Davis is in that place! xxx
Monday, February 20, 2017
It is such a good thing that I have a very supportive partner who knows, most of the time, before I do when I am headed into one of those moods. Just the other night, he walked in and said to me that he was going to give me a stern talking to and that I needed to listen for my own good. As it happened, at that very moment I was writing out a special card to him, apologizing for showing my Negative Nellie side of me. I know that I don't like me when I am feeling that way, so why should I expect anyone else to like me. WOW! Never will I ever take it for granted that he not only still likes me, he even still loves me! Then, as if that isn't enough, I have children who love to push my buttons just so they are able to get a rise out of me. It is their way of expressing how important it is to laugh at yourself. So you see? There is really no way of becoming a chronically unhappy person around my house. This is a very good thing and something that I am thankful for and proud.
It does not matter if one considers happiness to be a state of mind or an activity, either way, happiness needs a level of commitment within your head, heart and soul. As The Dalai Lama states, "Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions." For me, and I am fairly sure for most others, it is what you have whirling around inside your head. I can't blame circumstances on when I am feeling down. There is an option. It is a choice no matter when good or awful things are happening and going on around me, I still have a choice of how I will respond.
This means that I must kick out the negativity. For me it is a very positive thing that I am a breast cancer survivor. What is unfortunate is what some of the medication created in my body after all was said and done. Does it get rid of the joint pain through complaining and being unhappy? Of course not! So what is one to do? It is in the mindset of looking at this scenario in a more positive way. Happiness is when what you think, say and do work in harmony. Having and practicing wishful thinking, then putting forth an effort to move on from this situation is what will help. The oh woe is me trick gets old and although I do not use that phrase often, I am so lucky to have a partner who helps me to mend my thoughts and stretch my mind. There are so many positive things going on all around me. Even in my astrology reading today said to play to my strengths by remembering who I am and what I have been through. This will keep me on the right path.
I have the power to see my doctor and follow his medical advice on how to handle the way my body feels at times. I have to be good to myself and project outwards what I want to be projecting within me. It is okay to take it easy for right now. I don't have to wear a red cape and be Supergirl in order to be happy. It is a matter of being true to myself that will keep me from falling. Complaining is a certain way to go downhill fast. I prefer to be going up, rather than going down, thank you very much.
Definitely, I am just saying that we all must not let one or two complaints be the only focus within our lives. Life is too short to be taken so seriously. One can't just dream and wish for their happiness. There is some work that has to be done in order to achieve it.
Knowing that I have mentioned it before, I am the eternal 'list maker.' So actually, on my list there are a couple of things that as of today, have the ability to make me unhappy. Bear in mind that I am talking about me, personally. I am not getting into politics, world peace, global warming, religion, or other such things. The list of things that make me happy take up more than two pages. I refuse to blame others because I know that I have the option to be happy within me. I have the power and so do you.
Friday, February 17, 2017
We both want to help make life easier for one another and trust me on this one: it will always be the small things that make such an awesome difference in each other's lives. One of our favorite times of the whole day is when we get to sit down together after work, while dinner is cooking or we are working on dinner together and sharing our day and our thoughts. This usually involves some very good music playing in the background and a glass of wine. We almost always cook with wine and sometimes it goes into the recipe..
Last night, just as Steve was about to sit down so that we could share our day, the song by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young randomly came on Pandora. It was, "Our House." We both just stopped and listened. It brought back such wonderful memories of seeing them perform twice in recent years! And if that wasn't enough, going to Graham Nash's book signing and having a short, yet entertaining conversation with him.
We both read the book that Nash had chronicled as his life up to that point. After reading about how he became Graham Nash as we know of him, we realized that "Our House" was written for Joni Mitchell. He left the UK for Los Angeles with nothing but his guitar and the clothes on his back. He met Joni Mitchell, who had invited him over to her cottage and at that time in her life, it was a little cottage, nothing posh. Nash took her up on the deal and that night he also met two other friends of hers, Stills and Crosby. They got out their guitars and started singing and playing. Nash was amazed at their harmony and asked if they could sing it once more and let him join in. And so a band was born. Their voices blended so well together. There most definitely was a lot of ups and downs with this group. We all would have lost out on some remarkable music if they had not worked so hard at staying together.
When the song was over on Pandora, Steve paused the music to tell me how the stars apparently were all lined up just for him to share a story with me. Yesterday afternoon, he was outside with Davis, our new little puppy, just letting him romp and roam like puppies need to do and he was leaning up against the fence looking over the side of our house. For some reason, his mind started thinking of the builders who constructed our house. Did they ever think about the love and joy that their skills may be bringing to people?
While outside at this time is when the song, "Our House" came to his mind and how those lyrics fit our house in almost the same way. On some of our chilly nights, he does light the fire and I always have flowers, many from our very own garden or a bouquet of roses that he gives to me so that I can place in vases that I pick up from here or there. We both feel that everything is easier because we are a team. Our house did not start off as our house. We worked as a team to put it all together. Friends from the UK came over to see the house before we had even begun the process and instantly gave us such constructive ideas. It became clear, that one idea led to another, that led to another and we most definitely now feel that it is our house.
You must understand that most houses in the UK are no where near the size of our house, and our house is by no means larger than the typical suburban neighborhood house. Downton Abby it is not. So when our friends came in via the entry hall, which lead to a very large room that was designed and built to be the living room and then looked to their left and saw this very much smaller room which had the chandelier for the dining room, they said that it was all wrong. The big room needed the chandelier so that it could become the banquet hall like in the English castles. I never quite saw it that way. Then the smaller room could be turned into a study or library.
Brilliant! All of the dining room furniture would fit much better and it simply involved moving the ceiling lighting fixtures. WOW! We already had a 'keeping room' as the builder's plans called it. Basically a sitting room with the fireplace in it and lots of books with a surround sound music system for our music. (no TV for this special room) As for that other small room? It did become a study.
Steve and I both believe that our house is a very, very fine house. We may never have two cats in the yard. (maybe one dog and one cat?) What I do know is that our house is full of harmony, love, adventures, coziness, contentment, joy and laughter.
Monday, February 13, 2017
Love can be invited into your life and it comes in a variety of different manners. Love experiences are different for everyone and even the meaning of love is extremely subjective. Examples: "I love my significant other, I love my children, I love my pets, I love bacon, I love books, I love my job, I love....!" You get the picture. With it being Valentine's Day, my blog is going to focus on the love between significant others. The word "love" in my opinion is overused. Would it be more precise to say that I enjoy bacon or I have a passion for reading books or my job?
My point being that we all must use our words carefully. It really is not that difficult to understand love once you are aware of how it works. Usually, as in my case and many others, it can be very easy to fall in love with someone. The difficulty is to stay in love. The most important part here is to understand that if it was difficult to stay in love then it was not "the love of my life." Know when it is time to move on once you are aware that there is not a shared love in that relationship.
Truly, most couples who are together are together because they feel as if they are deeply in love. I would not have gone through all of the steps leading up to marriage if I had not positively believed without a doubt that I was in love and that someone was in love with me. We would spend the rest of our lives together. Love is always beautiful, if it is not beautiful, it is not love. Where love at one time may have existed, it faded and it probably faded because it was not 'real love.' There is a big difference.
When I meet couples who are coming up on 35, 45, 55 or more years of marriage with the same partner, I am totally amazed. If you stay around them for any length of time, you can actually feel the love that they share together. My husband and I have each been married about 35 years, just not to the same people. Call us slow learners, perhaps? It just took a while to figure out if we were experiencing real love or not. Taking the time to think what unconditional love really looks and feels like is the most important question for all to ask of themselves. Just be real. It is not that complicated.
Well, it sorta, kinda is a bit complicated; so much so, that books are written to teach you how to get someone addicted to you. Is this what you want? In my younger years, basically, this was how the 'game plan' went. The books are written to teach men or women how to have the opposite sex eating out of your hand. If that is what you want, then that is what you will get. Some people are better at this game than others. Some people fall for it easier than others and believe themselves to have fallen in love, when really we are talking infatuation. Infatuation can be very exciting and intoxicating. It can easily make one think that they have found their soulmate.
The saying that the third time will be the charm was so true for Steve and me. At the ages that we were when we met, we both had a much clearer view of the world. For both of us there were some clues that we used to distinguish if we had met our life partner.
The best part of the day, my highlight, is when I am with him. My day has gone well and being with Steve it goes up to another level. When something good happens, he is the first person that I want to tell. I would do anything to make his day go better and to make him happy. I want everyone around us to know just how much I love him. From the very beginning, I was in the long term thinking mode. It becomes hard to imagine a future without him. We have shared some of these feelings that we had this time around in dating. Amazingly enough, we both had basically the same list of the characteristics of real love.
The term unconditional love is used frequently. In thinking on those terms, it is rather redundant. Real love is unconditional. It is absolute love. Steer clear of someone saying these words, which just so happen to be the second longest running Off-Broadway musical, "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change." You should run like the wind and start imagining what your unconditional love will involve. It is worth the wait if you have not found yours yet.
Friday, February 10, 2017
I love knowing that I have control over my own life by not having a need to follow others to meet my goals. Now that I am writing my blog and my novel, I have had all kinds of advice from others. Please don't get me wrong. I love receiving the advice and new ideas from others. This is where my own goals get met by me choosing what solutions I am going to use in order to meet my goals. I cherish this interaction when it is true constructive interaction. For someone to tell me that I can't do something a certain way is simply a taboo. Probably a certain guarantee that I will most certainly do it that way and more. It may be a combination of what other writers, non-writers, friends, family and others suggest to me. In today's world there is no one right answer for each person. Putting a label on me, lining me up on a conveyor belt and stamping me with the same stamp that other writers have will not work for me.
This mentality does not just exist in the world of authors. It is everywhere. Actually, what made me think of this herd mentality was a conversation that I had with my husband about Jon Anderson. Some of you may recognize the name. I didn't. He was the front man for the English rock band called Yes. Once I was told who he was, I could hear his very distinguishable voice singing some of my favorite songs. Other than that, I did not know one fact about him.
Steve heard him interviewed about having a state of independence. His thinking was that we are all as a whole more connected with the media, therefore we think that is what life is all about. We are listening to others tell us what life is all about based on their personal interpretation. In his words, 'stuff' is going on all around us; not just where you live or where I live. It is world wide, yet people, usually those independent thinkers, are getting on with life.
Independent thinking allows yourself to just be. Many times, this kind of thinker is called stubborn, radical, or just plain not right in the head. For me, it is a matter of not being controlled by sound bites in the media, which most definitely includes all social media.
Some of the so called facts that are spread throughout the media are quite unbelievable. I say this because people in general read it, therefore it must be true in their minds.
If more people were independent thinkers, they would search more for the facts, not twisted facts to help someone misguide others to move more to their way of thinking. I know that it is not always easy to accept myself and not care what others may think. Sometimes the best way is to just move away from all of the bologna and remain silent. There is no way that I want to pull one sheep away from his herd. He has to decide that.
What I have learned is that I determine my own happiness and have accepted that life is not always fair. (This was a favorite saying of my Mom's and most of my teachers.) It definitely had an impact on me. So, if life is not always fair, what am I going to do? A saying that is used more and more and that I learned from my daughter (so I must have passed it on the fairness of life, just like my Mom did) is to "Suck it up, Buttercup." We all need to be our own hero, not depending on others. It is all well and good to look up to others who are deserving...never leave yourself out of this group. Use your independent skills to find your answers.
The quote that I will leave you with is from George S. Patton, Jr., "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."
Monday, February 6, 2017
There will always be naysayers out there to stifle your dreams. I am just simply not willing to let them have control over what I dream, much less the ways that I plan on making them come true. When it seems to be tugging at me harder, I simply think of a dream that one person had that seemed to be out of anyone's reach. There are so many to choose from, if you do a little bit of research. I just happened across this brief, yet fascinating story the other day.
To me one of the most impressive dreams is the story of how the first bridge over the Niagara River near the Falls came to be built in 1847. The bridge had to be built over a giant gorge, except the builders first had to get a line over the canyon from the United States to Canada. Roaring rapids were below so a boat was out of the question. The airplane had not been invented yet. Even an expert with a bow and arrow could not shoot an arrow that distance.
Charles Ellet, the designing engineer, continued to think and ponder over this problem, coming up with what possibly could work. One revolutionary idea was definitely worth a try to see his dream come true. He sponsored a kite flying contest. He offered a five dollar prize if anyone could fly a kite across the gorge and let it go low enough to the ground for someone on the other side to grab the string. Believe it or not, a young boy won this contest on his second attempt. I would say that the young lad was as much of a dreamer as the engineer. He managed to get the kite over the gorge, low enough to fasten it to a tree, which was used to pull a cord across, then a line, then a rope. Next came an iron-wire cable with steel cables until a structure that was strong enough to build a suspension bridge was in place. One year later it opened and this all began with a dream from someone who used his imagination and motivation to make it come true.
Unlike a kite with a string, I feel that there is no limit to how high or how far my dreams can take me. I had a principal once who told me that my dreams are only limited by the power of my own imagination. If I can 'taste it, feel it, see it, hear it and smell it' then my motivation is already in place. This is the reason that I begin each day with a positive mantra, along with quiet meditation. Many others would argue the point that other guidelines must be thrown into the works to make dreams come true. I say that I am quite capable of getting where I want to go through my dreams. It takes patience and sometimes that is the hardest part of it all for me. I just know that my dreams will take me where I want to go. How about yours?
Friday, February 3, 2017
Some very close friends and family already know the sad truth of my own athleticism. The fact is that I have none. Not one ounce of agility, balance, coordination nor speed was loaded into my DNA. At least not the kind to play sports.
My Momma was a model and did teach me the proper way to carry myself, even yes, practicing the walk and turn with a book on my head. I even did a small amount of modeling in high school for a major local department store, as well as representing my high school for fashion on a local TV program with George Klein. My Mom did get me involved in dancing at age five. We danced and danced and danced. I loved the tap dance, the ballet and the creative movements. I did keep up with the moves at that age, to the best of my ability. When the Recital Night came, my group of dancers came out, all cute in our little red and white polka dot costumes, including the hula skirt. The crowd went wild. Elvis Presley's song of Rock-a-hula started playing. The crowd seemed to be enjoying it so much that I thought that I would get out of line and sit in front of the line of dancers and watch too. Even with hearing my Mom telling me to get up and dance with my group. I was so intrigued by it all.
Needless to say, I did not take another year of dance class. At that point my Mom decided to put me in Drama. She thought that I did have a skill in being overly dramatic at times. I did enjoy it. It was one on one. Ms. Coffman, my teacher, met with me once a week to teach diction, poetry, movement and then finally working with others in order to be in a play. The play was Little Women and I had a major role as Jo. Beautiful long dresses with lots of petticoats...much more my style. I did continue this until my teacher's retirement.
Meanwhile, back at Junior High and High School, we had P.E. classes and briefly learned a bit about many sports. That would not have been so bad if it had not been for the fact that we had to put on a one piece uniform that you had to step into. It was shorts we an elastic band connected to a short sleeve top, snapped up the front and white. It was hideous. There is no wonder that I learned to basically despise anything to do with sports. This is where I believe it all began, as far as organized sports for me.
There are some pictures above and I have a short story for each one. Let's start with bowling. I was asked to join a group of friends to be on a bowling league. My first and only night was a disaster. Even the bumper guards would not have totally helped me. I did throw some balls over in the lane beside ours by accident, and yes, I did apologize. However, the biggest problem was when I was swinging the ball backwards to aim and throw it forwards down the lane and my fingers accidentally let go of the ball. The ball went flying backwards and landed in a glass trophy case, now broken all over the floor. I was asked not to return if I planned on playing. I never returned based simply on the fact of my embarrassment. So bowling was not for me.
At a casual, very large family reunion, there was a game of volleyball taking place. It looked like it could be fun so I joined in. It was fun unless the ball was hit hard and it was coming straight for you. Apparently, you are to put both hands up and whack it back over the net. I chose to cover my head for protection. After doing this a few times, I was asked to go and get some drinks for those playing. I took the hint!
Basketball was a little different as long as it was not a real game. My brother taught me a game that was just the two of us. He made a shot and then I had to replicate it. If either of you made it then you received a letter from the word, "HORSE." No fouls, no pulling the ball from someone's arms, and no running up and down the court from one net to another. Rarely did I spell the word before he did, but still I rather liked this game. I would like to know where the game got the name 'Horse.'
Zumba or line dancing? I am always two steps behind the others. If I join in, I always try to be on the back row. This way I do not feel so uncoordinated and I am not throwing others off their step routines. When I dance, I do my own thing. Looking at those out on a dance floor, I think that most people do their own thing, or else they may have had one drink too many?
Now...please do not laugh at this. I did join a gym and hire out a personal trainer. It did me a world of good. He always had me warm up on the treadmill or the recumbent bike. This was before going to the other machines or lifting lighter weights. I know this did help in my balance so it is something that I am continuing at home now that I do not go to the gym anymore. We purchased our own treadmill and bike and a zaaz machine for our exercise room. Also, for Christmas, I received a few weights to work with. Now it is a matter of setting the time to go to 'our' gym and working out. The one machine that we did not purchase was the elliptical...why? Because a few time my trainer attempted to put me on it, I simply could not get the movement going right in order to operate this complicated machine. I could stand back and watch others go fast on it. Then I would try again. HA! I am sure there were cameras in the gym. All I can do is hope that it never gets out.
Another gift for Christmas that I received was a beginner yoga video that I had asked for. One day of trying it, even using pillows for my knees, just about did me in. Luckily, I have a daughter who could show me how to modify the on the floor core movements to standing movements. I do believe it is working. There is even a book called Chair Yoga. Now I am adding some of those movements. I am at least coordinated enough to do these.
Taking care of ourselves is what it is all about. So what is your way? Knowing that I am not a runner or a jogger, I will walk, thank you very much. Knowing that I like perfect weather for walking, I now have no excuse if it is too cold, too windy, too hot or humid because it is in our home. For me it is a case of my own determination working along with what coordination that I have within me to become fit. Any other suggestions are welcomed in my comment section at the end of this blog.