“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. If I don’t have an appointment lined up I may want to get a couple more winks of sleep or 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 practice my harp, banjo and 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 reduce the pain and guilt of knowing I hadn’t yet 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 completing a task. We have to get over the fear of trying something new.

Sometimes I put up with unpleasant experiences. I recently join a quartet, actually an octet because there are two of us on each part — two first violins, two second violins, two violas and two cellos. Sometimes during a practice I might feel bored, frustrated, tired or angry. 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 he start us off by saying “Ready, set, go!” I thought to myself “we’re more intelligent then that.” “No! Don’t start that way!” I responded ( to my and everyone else’s surprise). I like classical music in general and feel I have at least some musical ability. The hope I might learn something new or we might play better together in the future encourages me to stick it out, to keep being a member of this quartet. Besides, if one decides to quit over one (or two) bad notes/experiences, it could end up being a mistake. You would never know what you missed.

Looking at things differently can be beneficial. Ask yourself, how can I make this situation better. I knew someone who would always ask himself “What can I learn from him/her?” when meeting a new member of a toastmaster club. One day he admitted to me “I wasn’t sure what I could learn from you when you first joined the club.” (My first speech was a disaster.) “After hearing your speech tonight, 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.

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 ourselves (and others), where we’re (he/she is) at, right now, knowing we (they) can grow into better person is a good thing. Working towards being worthy of our accomplishments. Of success. Of happiness. All good things.

“Yes, I found ‘joy’”, I told my neighbor who ask me if I had found Joy yet. I had given him a copy of my book  “A Penguin Family . . . Finding a Joy” a week or two earlier after which he quipped, “I didn’t know Joy was missing.” “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 book celebration event? Yes, yes, yes, and yes!

To conclude, let me say, I think the joy of an accomplishment, justifies the work it t takes get there. We just need to decide which goals to pursue, or not.

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 and find motivation. Motivation to reach more amazing goals.

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