“How would you motivate (justify) your answer?” was apparently a test question written by a school teacher. One student’s answer was “Go, answer, go!”

What motivates you to get up in the morning? Having an appointment to make such as a dentist appointment might help. I don’t have an appointment lined up I may want to get a couple more winks of sleep. I might have my own personal reasons for getting up, such as wanting to make a french toast for my husband and me. Or trim my toe nails. Or organize the papers on my desk. Or I could practice my harp, banjo or viola. Or plan a day trip. Take a walk. Ride my bike. Add soil to some of my houseplants. The list is getting bigger . . . and could get much more bigger. I would feel good about accomplishing any of these tasks. It would give me satisfaction, the feeling of joy related to my success, and reduce the pain of thinking I should, the guilt of knowing I haven’t completed something on my to do list.

Growing pains. Sometimes we need to wade through frustrations, work on learning how to do something, before we get to celebrate an accomplishment. Why do we put up with some unpleasant experiences? I recently join a quartet, actually an octet because there are two of us on each part — first violin, second violin, viola and cello. Sometimes our practices can be unpleasant. I might feel bored, or frustrated, or tired. Usually the head violinist starts us off by counting a full measure of music such as, “One, two, . . .” then leads us in. At one practice, someone suggested the head violinist say “Ready, set, go!” to start our playing of a piece of music. “No! Don’t start that way!” I yelled. “We’re more intelligent then that!” I thought to myself. I like classical music and I have some musical ability. The knowledge I might learn something new or we might play better together in the future encourages me to stick it out. There is hope. If one decides to quit over one (or two) bad experiences that might be a mistake. You would never know what you may have missed.

Looking at things differently can be beneficial. Asking oneself, how can I make this situation better might be a good idea. I knew someone who would ask himself “What can I learn from him/her?” when meeting the other members of a toastmaster club. One day he said to me “I wasn’t sure what I could learn from you when you first joined the club. After hearing the speech you just gave, I . . . I can learn sincerity from you.”
We do the best we can. Our parents did the best they could. Our former teachers did the best they could. Our coaches nudge us in directions they believe are good for us.

Forgiveness. No one is perfect. We certainly won’t get very far believing we’re better than everyone else. There is no weakness in forgiveness.

Acceptance of others, of ourselves where we’re at, right now, but knowing we can grow into better persons. Not being so hard on ourselves. Working towards being worthy of our accomplishments. Of success. Of happiness.

“Yes, I found joy”, I told my neighbor who ask me if I had found joy yet. I had given a copy of “A Penguin Family . . . Finding a Joy” a week or two earlier. Well did you tell her to get her “bottom” back home? She better get her “bottom” back home.”

So what’s next? A book signing? A book reading? Entering book contests? A celebration? Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

To wrap this blog up, let me say I think the joy of an accomplishment, justifies the work it took to get there. Ready, set, . . .

Go, (Your Name), Go!

P.S. Joy is back home, now. Grounded in her room till she can learn how to fully appreciate what she has accomplished, till she can find the motivation to reach her other dreams.