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Friday, March 11, 2011

What Motivates You?

Earlier this week I had to reset my goals for March Madness. No, it’s not basketball. I actually know so very little about basketball, other than watching Son #1 play, that I can guarantee that I will not likely be writing about it anytime soon; unless it is about Son #1 activities. Getting to the point, a friend of mine suggested that I check out Denise Jaden’s blog and the March Madness Challenge. The basic premise of March Madness is that we set our book-related goals for the month the intent being that we work in an online community of like-minded individuals checking in each day Monday through Friday at a different colleague’s blog site, tell each other how we are progressing, share areas where we need help or may have fallen short, and support each other through to completing our goals. It’s such a brilliant idea, I have to admit that I am a bit jealous that I didn’t think of it; but I didn’t Denise did, and she and her colleagues get the credit they deserve. Whether you are a writer or not, this is a group worth following, they are, in order of check in day: Denise Jaden, Shana Silver, Angelina C. Hansen, Shari Green, and Craig Pirrall. I recently They are worth the read, they are all very inspiring.

At today’s check in, Craig Pirrall encouraged us to take a look at our goals and our motivation. He shared the notion that when we see a great work of art, we often fall into one of two groups. Group One: Wow, I think I can do that as well! Group Two: There’s no way I can do that! (I paraphrased a bit). Thankfully, residence in Group Two is often temporary, and we find a way to pick ourselves up and move on toward our goal.

In response to Craig’s blog, today’s check-in, I find that I have a strong tendency to waffle between the two groups. Brilliant works of art inspire me. I see them and say “Wow! Maybe I CAN!”  I remind myself of the fact that some of the greatest artists of various sorts were not necessarily recognized in their time, yet they pressed on, they kept at it, they DIDN'T GIVE UP! And I won't either! Then there are the days where I look at the same work of art and I tell myself, “No way! No matter how hard I work, I will never be THAT good!” I will never be able to achieve so much as shred of the greatness of *insert name here*. Then after some ice cream, chocolate, fizzy beverage, cake, or any number of other guilty pleasures, I realize that there is a major difference between me and *insert name here*. I am NOT *insert name here* and no matter what I do, I can't be *insert name here* because we are two different people. I can work hard, I can be inspired by their success, but I will never do the things they do, because I am not them, we are two separate people. We are all different, and it is through celebrating those differences that we achieve greatness. I am who I am. I can’t be *insert name here*, and I can’t be you. I pick myself up, get back on track, and set to work making me the best me that I can be. I will do the best I can. Who knows, maybe someday, someone will look at me and say, "Wow, look what they did, I can do it too!" or "Wow, I could never be that good!" The truth of the matter is that we are all human, and yes, no matter who you are you CAN do what you put your mind to achieve. The up side of being human is that we can imagine what we will become; the down side of being human is that we can let that the idea of that image control who we become rather than realizing that we are in control of our future. Our inspirations, our motivations, our goals change as we grow. We keep on keeping on.

Thank you for reading. If you have a minute, tell me about what motivates you. What are your inspirations? What keeps you going each day?

What keeps me going each day is the AWESOME support network that I have both here in the real world and in the online virtual world. We are a team. In honor of the season of basketball – GO TEAM!


  1. What a difference it makes having a support network! Sometimes I think I don't know where I'd be if it weren't for my critique group, my online writing friends, my family.... Thank goodness we don't have to go it alone. :)

  2. Absolutely! Going it alone rarely gets us anywhere. We need the pair(s) of fresh eyes to keep us honest, sincere, and accountable.

  3. I think there are some people who have already said, "Wow, look what Jenn has done/accomplished/achieved and thought I can and will do that too."

    Ice cold Pepsi motivates me. So does great books and movies. And awesome people.