Oct 24, 2011

What's my motivation?

I got a really neat email this morning from a girl developing an app to help people with weight loss.  I won't go too much into it, since it's her idea and I'm sure she doesn't want any of you filthy pirates robbing it, but in essence, it makes weight loss a fun game.  The idea is that some people are more motivated by a high score than they are by their current health and longevity.  I think the idea is great.  The concept of discovering what motivates people, and then channeling that to help them reach their goals.

So it got me to thinking about motivation in general, and what motivates people to do what they do.  Everyone knows you're supposed to eat plenty of raw fruits and vegetables, and that Pepsi melts nails (construction, not finger), that aspartame gives monkeys brain damage, etc. etc. but lots of people still eat crap, and don't make any effort to improve.  On the other hand, some people are right on the ball with their health.  I have a friend who actually only eats raw food.  EVER.  She is very motivated to take care of herself.  What about smokers?  That smoking causes cancer and other horrible diseases (like the dreaded "yellow finger") is common knowledge at this point.  So, are smokers motivated to smoke, or are they just not motivated to quit?

There seems to be an ebb and flow to motivation as well.  Personally, I find it really hard to get my motivation up and keep it there (it's called MD, "motivational dysfunction" hehe).  I guess that's why I have about 7 unfinished crochet projects scattered around the house, and I have a place mat scotch taped behind my sink for the DIY back splash I was planning on making, and why lettuce always goes bad in my fridge (no motivation to make a salad).

There are many different reasons to do things.  Money, appearance, fear, to gain something, to prevent something.  It seems to me, however, that the most effective motivator is passion (pronounced "PASHon", Antonio Banderas style).  If what I'm trying to do is a random passing idea, and isn't a manifestation of everything that I love in life, a way to realize all my hopes and dreams, chances are it isn't going to get done.  So, since a kitchen back splash doesn't give me goose bumps, keep me up at night, make me emotional because I feel so happy when I think about it, it looks like I'll be re-sticking the tape on that place mat for months, maybe even years to come. 

Luckily for me, I've actually found something that does make me feel like that, and it's probably not what you think it's gonna be.  You all think that I'm really into art, and I am, but not the way that I'm into...science.  I have enrolled in a program about full body alignment, and it's the most sciency thing I've ever done.  I'm learning about blood physics, skeletal mechanics, thoracic this and cervical that. I'm learning why wearing high heel shoes makes you lose bladder function.  I'm learning why poor posture leads to cardiovascular disease.  And yes, I do get emotional from time to time during lectures explaining all this jibber jabber.  After all my going on and on about what path to I'm on, what direction I'm supposed to take in life, it seems that I have found it.  I've never been so happy, or loved what I'm learning and doing so much.  And  I believe that is the motivation I need to keep me going for a long, long time.  :)

Oct 3, 2011

You see what you want to see.

I know I complain a lot about my kid, but mostly I'm just kidding.  The truth is, she's nothing more and nothing less than herself.  She needs to be picked up more often than other babies.  She has an unpredictable sleep schedule.  She may or may not eat when food is placed in front of her.  Sometimes she nurses 3 or 4 times at night.

She also does a lot of really cool stuff.  She usually asks for the potty (even at restaurants) when she has to pinch one off.  I can count on one hand the dirty diapers I change in a month.  She says a lot of words, always knows when it's her dad on the phone, recognizes pictures of her grandparents, and always knows to say "Bop" (pop) right after she says Nan.  When her Baby Einstein video says the word "friend", she looks at me and says "Mai?" because Mai is the little girl next door, her best friend.

So, high needs, low needs, mad skills, no skills, she just is what she is.  The hard part of my job is having the patience to deal with the times when her "flaws" seem the greatest.  That gets me to thinking about labels again (click), and how we tend to label benign traits according to how convenient or inconvenient they are for us.  For example, Myriam needs a great deal of attention and physical contact.  Some people call it needy, clingy, or say she's too dependant.  But you could also see this trait as securly attatched, bonded, or loving.  Another example is when we go out places, or have new people visit our home; she takes a while to relax and be at ease. She's really "sensitive".  Or shy.  Or a scaredy-cat. Or, as I would rather see it, she's very perceptive, and aware of her surroundings.  She's not a wimp, she has an analytical mind, and needs to figure things out before she's fully comfortable. 

See what I'm getting at here?  None of these traits are either negative or positive, but the words we attach to the traits give them a good or a bad value.  It's a classic glass half full, glass half empty scenario.  Personally, when describing my daughter, and life in general, I'd much rather be going around with my glass half full.  And when there's only a drop left in the bottom, I want to exclaim "Sweet!  There's still a drop left in here!".