Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Tell me where you are from and I will tell you where your motivation may be

It will be over simplifying to say that a nation's identity can be reduced to a single characteristic, as it is unethical to rely on stereotypes to describe anyone.  Yet some comedians may refer to a single word to pinpoint to beliefs that may be representative of a culture.

In various stand up comedy shows I have heard Canadians to be generally well-known for their politeness, Americans for their sense of patriotism, Germans for their precision, Japanese for their harmony, Indians for their hard work, and Iranians for letting their emotions to guide them.

One may well never be able to reduce the complexity of cultural identities to a single item. Within the same culture, there are way too many exceptions, and too many individuals that are each different from another. But I wonder if, leaving such items as the culinary, clothing, etc. aside, there are some habitual particularities that mark some cultures and affect the behaviour of individuals within it leading us to do things the way we do them. What can possibly be the causes and effects of such particularities at a national level? To what extend would it affect the individual within that culture?

Monday, 5 March 2012

Motivation cartoons

Since I do not possess the talent, nor the patience to draw, I have recently found interesting cartoons to share on the topic of motivation. Do not hesitate to click here to view them.

These cartoons may not necessarily represent my own point of view. It is the tie that each cartoon makes to another important concept that captured my mind. From representation between motivation, collaboration and team work, we move on to its impact on competition, award and family, leadership and management and we also see the connection made between motivation and fitness, to name only these.

Motivation is such a broad term. I believe it is important to know what the word may imply to us based on our field of interest, philosophy or profession.  We can each analyze it differently to better understand it. Despite these differences in conceptualizing the term, there is at least one common goal which I interpret it to be the drive that motivation gives us to do or not do something. It may not well be a ground breaking piece of information, but most likely a confirmation.

Go, go, family go!

Friday, 2 March 2012


Whether you are a poet or not, it does not matter. In fact, I suggest to focus on what motivation may bring to light with the help of an acrostic poem:

Moves us in a way to 
Orient our emotions into actions.
Trains us each to
Imagine the possibilities.
Validates our being,
Activates and energizes us.
Teams us up with ourselves,
Initiates us and
Obliges us to
Negotiate the urgency to get going.

What is motivation to you?

Go, go, family go!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Let's go on, motivation or not!

As I was reminding my middle daughter to wake up, get up, get dressed and have her breakfast this morning, I could not stop thinking that I was living a deja-vu. She is only seven years old and masters many tricks for not taking charge of her duties for as long as she does not have to. Among the steps that I have taken to reason with her, I have noticed that whether I yell, calmly remind her, draw her pictures, post sentences on her bedroom wall with her help, she still finds a way to 'forget'. Is it that she is forgetting? Is she seeking attention? Is it that she is lazy?... I will spare you my list of questions but choose to share with you a comment made by my second half regarding our daughter's present lifestyle choices: let's spare ourselves from some useless parental headaches by seeking to understand what her motivations are. If we can understand her motivation, we may have better chances to get to know her. One thing said is far from being one thing done if you know what I mean.

I have previously looked at motivation as the fuel that brings us to act and complete tasks, but where do daily routines fit within this framework? There are tasks that we need to do that we have the motivation for them or not. Well, if I don't get to brush my teeth in the morning, my breath may stink today, and if I continue on that trend, I may increase the chances of getting cavities and gum disease. Motivated by the instant circumstances to please others or feeling te crush of long-term consequences. Will I brush my teeth seeking to please others? Or I feel like brushing them concerned by my own well-being? Chances are that we may actually go ahead and brush our teeth without even thinking about the why. We may get the habit of doing it (or not doing it). I agree, whether we brush our teeth or not is not an overly important issue but the point is that:
1) we may undertake an activity out of habit
2) we may do something because of ourselves
3) we may do something out of concerns of others

Coming back to my seven years old, apparently she may be picking on habits that are just unacceptable to me. She NEEDS to wake up, get up, get dressed and have her breakfast. At this point, she may complete her routine to please me, less concerned about what is right for her. What if as a teenager, she can still not understand the 'motives' behind our obligation to complete certain tasks? I am sure that I am not the only parent who would want to avoid relying on shooting at someone's wrong doing (do you recall the laptop shooting dad?) and to prevent that, I am focusig my energy to work with my daughter in a way that she gains consciousness about why it is that she needs to be doing certain things. I am here referring to the three points raised earlier. While engaging dialogues, I attempt to see where she is with respect to them. Will we be able to point at what her motivation really is? I do not know for sure, but I will at least know that the task was completed today!

Monday, 27 February 2012

Is motivation bound to culture?

Reinforcing awareness to the dangers of stereotyping has become second nature to me. As you will notice, despite my beliefs, there is a question that I am burning to ask. Does our cultural background mark our motivation in a particular manner? I occasionally wonder if there our cultural background marks our motivation and ask myself questions about what is the relation between motivation and culture.

We are presently living in the world of globalization that is undertaken by technology. We may not need to travel very far to get things done as the world of the internet allows many professional among us to get things done from the luxury of our home. Yet, we all have different personnalities and ties to various culture. Would it be possible to think: let me know your culture and I will tell you what your motivation is? or vice-versa?

I believe that it is possible to predict motivation on the basis of culture. The similarities between cultures may make it more difficult for us to distinguish what is at stake with respect to motivation and what lies at the heart of our motivation based our culture.

In a previous blog (Motivation: from emotion to action 1) I argue that the actions that we undertake are directly dictated by our motivation. In another post within the same blog, I differentiate between motivation and resolution (On motivation and resolutions) and indicate that motivation refers to the energy that is needed to meet our resolutions. The layer that I am adding to this definition is that our motivation is partly guided by our cultural background.

I still need to develop on that, which I aim to do in my future posts.

Go, go, family go!

Motivation, writing and social media

Would you agree that it is more engaging to continue to write when you know that there are actually some people who would be out there to read your work? I wonder what is motivating you to continue to read this blog and at the same time, if you maintain your own blog, what is motivating you to continue to write your blog.

For me, I am going to keep this post quite short, but before I say until next time, it is on days like today where I think: 1) how is it that so many thesis and research papers get written throughout the world where only very few get to read these sometimes amazing pieces of work? and 2) how can we possibly motivate students to practice their writing skills where they would actually be able to share their written pieces (if they would choose to do so) with others.

It seems to me that social media has been the motivational tool for many of us, encouraging greater number to read, write; hence go ahead and explore an area which may have been felt reserved to others. From an educational point of view, the quality of the written work differs. While some pieces may be masterpieces others may be less inspirational. What amazes me is that within this pool of information available to us (for as long as we possess the required technology, including the knowledge and the willingness to take part in it), is how fame comes to some while living the others. Some bloggers see themselves more successful than others. How come? Experience, style, philosophy are of course all great assets to the blogger. Beyond that I have not yet conducted any research on this yet, but I believe that the theme chosen is also highly important. Originality is also key as much as accessibility is important.

It is then with less fear that I agree that my two young daughters spend some time familiarizing themselves with technology. I am happy when uder supervision they each sit behind their computer, ready to explore their writing skills on a wordprocessor application, and their research skills on the internet. They even get to post their work for us to see. What a fun way for them to practice their presentation skills even at a young age! How lucky can they be if only as parent I can encourage them to put inpractice their grey cells in that manner rsther than jumping to embrace tevhnology for some useless computer games.

Well, I will keep you posted on how we are doing, but why not take the opportunity to let me know your reaction and experience to these.

Until next time,
Go, go, family go!

'motivation: where are you?'

I am aware of it, but it still surprises me how relative is motivation to mood. For the past couple of days I have let myself been driven by my mood swings and it has been quite an unproductive vicious circle I have found myself in. Unproductive in terms of my writing, I have had less control over my eating, finding the slightest comments made by others about what I wear to what I eat irritating, and most of all, I have been unwilling to think positively. In fact I have come to loose sight all the possibilities, loosing touch with my motivation.

Motivation: where are you?