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?

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Motivation at work

 Around the topic of motivation, the following video posted on youtube illustrates 'what motivates us' particularly at work. 

Within the ten minutes of the presentation, the cartoon approach makes the topic light in content but appealing to the eyes while pointing to a very interesting finding: there is a link between our motivation and the rewards we may get from completing the required task. However, there is a limit for the rewards to have positive influence on us to get us going. If overwhelmed by the feeling of getting too much reward, we may tend to do even worse than if not rewarded at all. Why not be your own judge and watch the clip.  

Too much reward at work? I wonder how does it work out at home? Is it possible to think that we may occasionally give too much rewards to our children to get them motivated to do things?

Well, I may be a little bit pulling too many ideas from different directions, but as I am thinking and writing I cannot stop linking this idea about motivation and rewards to my everyday life as mom. My children need to do things around the house for example, for they need to learn to become responsible, autonomous, collaborative etc. how should they be rewarded? what is the limit? The recent Youtube posting of the laptop shooting dad, followed by a recent response to such posting by a blogger on Blogher and the flow of comments it created on Blogher led me to put this all together. In my opinion, yes, the father went over the border: what kind of example are we setting: you are not happy about something, go ahead and shoot it! Anger management, here I come. On the other hand, yes, complaining is part of us, we need to set limits dear Hannah so that we are not pushed in all directions but to actually go to the extend of publicly revolting against your parents? That is out of border as well. Doing chores around the house is everyone's responsibility. Some parents may choose to pay for the work, some other may believe that it is part of life and no monetary reward should be given. Our opinion is as vary a we are. We all grew up in different parts of the world, with different level of education, different beliefs and traditions, just to name those. So yes, we may not all reach the same conclusion.

I have tackled here various topic, raised many questions while leaving out many answers. On the topic of motivation, rewards and children: I am working on the following with my children. I do not provide monetary rewards in exchange but more chances to be responsible in our everyday family activities, from choosing to plan out our next meal, to the different things we could do throughout the day, to when to watch TV and what program to watch, etc. What has become key is that the more involved they are with such decision making,  the healthier our relationship has become and the more motivated they may seem to get to take on a task and tackle a new one.

I will need to watch and learn. That is true, as some days are better than others for the reasons that I am not always aware.

Thank you.

The various subject for discussion that I opened up earlier, I will come back to them in future blog posts.

Go, go, family go!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

On motivation and resolutions

For me, there is a difference between motivation and resolution. I believe that there may be a tendacy to mix the two particularly because they can both equip us with the determination to go on.  Resolution seems to refer to only a part of motivation. I understand motivation to be a broader concept that may englobe resolution.

It became important for me to differentiate between the two concepts as I am watching my two daughters grow into teenagehood. Their journey has developed to an educational process for me. On the one hand I try to make them understand the importance of having meaningful and healthy resolutions, and on the other I try to guide them throughout their journey towards meeting their resolutions. During these moments, as I am watching them completing their tasks and interracting with each other or others in general, I question myself about what their motivation to get to their resolution can possibly be.

Resolution is pretty similar to goal setting as I understand it to be. Having a resolution resembles the final goal that one may want to reach. It does not clarify how one may proceed to achieve such goal, but it clarifies the goal that one looks forward to accomplish.

Motivation, for me, refers more to the energy that is needed to meet our resolution. As matter of fact, we commonly tend to talk about 'staying motivated to achieve our new year's resolutions' for example.

As much as resolution shapes our life, motivation leads us. Resolution like motivation defines us. Acknowledging them and being able to describe them will help to better understand ourselves I believe. I cannot stop thinking that to know a person, knowing what their motivation is a key element.

That is where I will continue to explore in my next blog.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Motivation, here we come!

Among the relative that surround me, I will share with you some thoughts around three of them as I am asking myself what seem to drive their actions at their present age. There was a time when I am not certain why I would position me at the center of the stage, thinking that my dear ones are acting in such or such manner mainly because of me. Now older, maybe more experienced in life if not wiser I come to think differently. My seventy two years old father still surprises me as much as my two daughters under the age of ten. I have lived my life quite close to my father, both from a geographical and an emotional point of view.  My father is a big traveler, but don't get me wrong, not the four star hotel explorer and cruise ship lover kind of traveler; but more of the backpack camper type, with a thirst for activities rarely others would conceive to do, as if he is constantly willing to challenge himself. Over the years, I always had the opportunity to get to better know my father. We were connected enough for me to better understand him one may think. Well, I am still searching for answers regarding his personality believe it or not.

Recently, I have started to ask myself questions around his motivation. I believe that it plays a big role in shaping our personality. If you want to know a person, try to understand what their motivation is. Day by day I incline more towards this possibility. It is not always possible to approach the person and ask: 'Hey, what is your motivation? Let me know because I want to know you better.' In fact, we may not always be in touch of our motivation. We may do things without knowing why we do them.

My daughters are at an age where they play the game of finding where their limits are. Once they have found it and they feel like it, they try to see if they can push their limit even further. Is their main objective to upset me? I come to that conclusion particularly when I am tired or already upset at something else (yes, I do feel those as well and I admit that I am far from being perfect). During my relaxed time, I come to another conclusion: that their personality is continuing to take deeper shape.

Well, what I do tell myself every day is that even if I cannot point exactly to what motivates those loved ones that surround me, I should continue to search for their motivation if I want to better understand them. Can I actually do that? Can I even do that to better know myself?

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

1, 2, 3, mommy!

I am still stunned by the fact that it is only after the birth of my third daughter that I finally truly feel being a mom.

Surely, when my first daughter was born and finally able to say her first words including a surprising Mama, when she was 11 months old, I felt the special attachment that we both still feel for each other. Commonly the type of bond that develops between a caring mom and her ever growing daughter. I will never forget that still a newborn, I could not wait to hear her sweet voice, helping me to feel warmer blood running in my veins as well as some occasional goosebumps, having always wondered what her voice would sound like. Many of my friends who did not wait the ten years my husband and I waited to have children as we were busy completing our graduate studies, warned me about the reality that there will be a time when I would be fed up to be called Mom. Of course, I did not understand their stories until this reality bit me once this same first daughter turned 7 and her sister 61/2. You know how it is, the never ending shouts: 'Mom, she pushed me', 'Mom, she doesn't want to share', 'Mom, I am hungry', 'Mom, can I watch TV'...Well, you get the picture.

Now, few months before the birth of my second daughter, I was already on maternity leave, left Canada (my parents, mostly the devoted grandmother of my children) for a few years. We left to live in the US thanks to my husband's job relocation. When my second daughter was born, my first was 18 months. Quite a busy lady was she! Active and needing attention, typical of toddlers her age. Unsurprisingly, driven by my adrenaline and hormones, I was happy to care for my second daughter, breastfeed her and cuddle with her. Pretty much just like I did with the first. Still, the same thoughts came to mind: her voice, what will it sound like? How about her eyes, which color will they end up be? Will she enjoy the water and embrace the idea to swim in the pool? It will be a long list if I would go over the precious memories I have of this beloved second daughter. As a snap shot, there is that sweet time when sitting on her high chair, she would munch on her favorite cookie or favorite pizza (yes, I have to admit,  we are not always eating healthy) and watch her doze off  while chewing her food as toothless as she was. Or how about the time, all the joy and laughter she offered me during bath time. Patiently, she would wait sitting-up in her stroller as I was dressing up her older sister. Her quietness always marked me, and filled me with great joy. Giving me the energy to go on. Cute in her boots and raincoat, just learned to walk, she would go wherever (or almost) her sister was heading to. There are a great number of cherishing memories. Oh, where did all that time go?

My third daughter was born this past July. There is about 81/2 years age difference between the first and this last one. Despite all the unique moments that I had with my first, as well as my second daughter, it is only following the birth of the last one that I feel being a mom. It is not like I did not spend time with my daughter, because I did. You know how it is, we balance our life as a working woman and a wife and a mom and a housewife. Like many, always trying our best and keeping up in joggling it all as well other duties as a swim coach for the school I teach at and a mom taking her own daughters to their synchronized swimming classes twice a week, not to mention the late meetings and interviews at school and the occasional hosting for late night family parties at home. Most likely, none of that is new to you. In the end always pulling it together occasionally wondering how is it that we did it. But now, since my third daughter came to the world, as I mentioned: Mom at last! Both my husband and I know THAT IS IT, we will not have any more children. No more feeling the kicks of a baby to be born inside, good bye to the joy (or early pains) of breastfeeding. No more questions about what the voice of the next one will sound like, or whether she will be left or right handed.  As I focus a lot of my energy and time on my third, particularly since her two older sisters are at school during the day, I watch my third daughter grow. At seven months, she has already started to say some gibberish as 'Mumm'.  Day after day, I am trying my best to capture these unforgettable moments especially knowing that these times will not come back again after her. That will be it, as she will continue to grow, I will only have these memories to remind me of all these special moments, including the bad nights sleeps and the continuous rocking to sooth her while trying to fall back to sleep.

I now wonder, when will it be a that I could feel being a grandmother?

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

How relative is motivation to generations?

It is quite motivating to be able to come back to Blogher every single day, read interesting blogs and post my own. Thank you NaBloPoMo! As a mom with her younger one at home, it gets me going. Writing becomes once again my main motivation. I truly missed that over the years, 'too busy' (if you know what I mean) to teach, and 'too busy' to look after my husband and my two lovely daughters.

Motivation and Generations. Now, as I was watching the 'Scent of a woman' this morning, I could not stop thinking about the difference of age of the two main characters and their motivation in life in that movie. Three intriguing questions came to mind: 1) can we, as adult, meaningfully describe our motivation to one another?; 2) can we truly understand another person's motivation?; and 3) is it possible to grasp the motivation of our loved ones?

I will open these questions for debate. What are your thoughts?

Until my next blog.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Falling short of motivation!

As a graduate student, it was partly the title of Dr. in Philosophy that encouraged me to pursue my studies at the doctorate level. It is only later, many years later, that I realized that I was in the program for the wrong reasons. Not a single soul within the whole department tookany steps to guide me. Now, after two masters, three kids and fifteen years of teaching I am choosing to recounting that experience in writing. Has it been felt a failure before? Possible. No matter what I thought about it then, it is the now that matters as Helene Cixous among numerous feminists have pointed out : it is the now that matters. The past shapes us, the future will become. The now is what we are.

At first, the blame went to the supervisor of the program. Mind you, I still believe that she did not lead me efficiently. Then, I believed that the whole department was turning against me. Poor secretary who was always so caring. As matter of fact, I continued to maintain communication with her as I quickly accepted that it is not worth loosing friendship over what I later accepted to be little stuff. Unlike the role of the prof. that Robin Williams play in Good Will Hunting, my supervisor was far from being inspiring and motivating.

For a some time, she made be think that I got in the program by luck. I was sure that luck is not sufficient to get you in. Thanks to university's standards, good marks do not fall from sky. So, imagine that from a number of years, your motivation for why you get up and do what to do is scattered by an outsider. If you let your emotions guide you, the way I did, you will end up finding yourself out of track. No motivation, no goal, just your emotions. I found myself in a pool of if...and what if... to summarize uncertain of what to do next, no light at the end of the tunnel.

Call it a quality if you would like or even luck, I will call it a blessing. It is it is in my nature to be active. Imagine that, I was active, keeping my head and my mind busy with another Master's program, two part-time teaching jobs and some house chores as a newly wed, but no real motivation behind it all. In reality, I was mainly hiding behind all these tasks. Not admitting that all was blurry for me. No vision for the future, just a matter to look after daily tasks. It felt awful, worse than if I would have found myself naked right in the middle of the UK's newly wed royal couple. I was doing work, but work lackng quality. I was active, yet, quite hollow inside. Such devastating feelings continued until the time motivation gradually came back to me, helping me to feel better, making me realize that the events of the past had no reason to make me feel low. Isn't that the falls that help us to become a better walker or a better biker as we grow up? The student in me then was not able to see that. The teacher in me now helps me to realize what went on then. Sad that all that community of doctorate holders were unable to make me realize. So surely enough, time heals many things. What we do now can and will have consequences of what will happen after. Remaining active was a good thing, but refinding motivation, readjusting it to the reality of now, became definitely more recomforting, especially after that long moment of falling short of motivation.

I look forward to come back in my next blog and continue to think about motivation. Maybe this time, I will provide other examples drawn from the life of  my loved ones.

Until next time,

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Motivation: from emotion to action 2

I believe that few realities are written on stone and motivation is not one of them. Of course, just like a car can get low in gas we can occasionally run out of fuel and seem to have no other choice than to disconnect with our motivation. In the extreme case, our vision may become blurry preventing us to see the horizon and leaving us only to loose our motivation from sight. In rare cases, we may get disconnected for ever but most often the possibilities to get disconnected temporarily may occur. Particularly since our priorities in our daily life may change, we may need to readjust ourselves to meet these changes. In such moments, it appears that we may become more vulnerable and in our defense rely on such reasons, to not say excuses, as "I am too tired", "I am too busy", "I do not feel right" or even, "it depresses me"; or just like it happened to me last night, I "did not get the time to get to it". We can not control everything, but staying focused is generally a useful strategy to cope with events during rough times. As matter of fact, motivation can actually do that. Give us the boost to remain focused. Feel in control. Be in control.

Please stay tuned as a life experience will illustrate that in my next blog. 

Friday, 10 February 2012

Motivation: from emotion to action 1

I argue that we are driven to do what we do because of our motivation. Under the most difficult times, you may go on with the task you are undertaking because you have the motivation to do so. Various emotions such as tiredness or sadness may be easily forgotten since it is motivation that encourages us to take the necessary steps to be active and accomplish our tasks. To my knowledge, a lack of motivation can leave us to feel too busy, too tired or too lazy to get going. Possessing motivation can refuel us, equipping us with the necessary energy to go on.

And to be continued...

Thursday, 9 February 2012


According to Psychology Today:

Motivation is literally the desire to do things. It's the difference between waking up before dawn to pound the pavement and lazing around the house all day. It's the crucial element in setting and attaining goals—and research shows you can influence your own levels of motivation and self-control. So figure out what you want, power through the pain period, and start being who you want to be.

It would not be realistic for me to expect my under 10 daughter to tell me: 'well, mom, the motivation behind my action is that...'. I doubt that even my own dad, who is now more than seventy years old, would be able to explain to clearly explain the motives behind his actions, as the word desire comes easier in mind. Don't you find that it appears easier to relate actions to emotions: 'you are making me upset', 'you pushed me into doing this', 'I was feeling sad, that is why I did that', etc. Do not hesitate to let me know if you have never heard such sentences. We all need to express our emotions, however I believe that we should distinguish between how we feel and what we do. I am not a big believer in: 'I desire to do that, that is why I did it'. Such conceptualization  is not a satisfactory explanation to me.

According to Dictionnary.com:

Desire a longing or craving, as for something that brings satisfaction or enjoyment: a desire for fame.

The concept of 'desire' deals merely with emotions and I believe that focusing on only that is walking on fine ice.  Emotions are important. We need to express them. I am a true believer of that. What we do can be related to our emotions; however, I argue that we need to look beyond our emotions if we want to understand the reasons behind our actions. Having just a desire to do something is not enough for us to go ahead and do it. Desire may give us the urge to act upon whatever it is we have in our mind, but it will not necessarily give us all the needed strength to actually act. Desire creates the craving. Having a craving is one thing, taking the necessary steps to appease our craving is different. Thus, I focus on MOTIVATION.

As previously indicated, in my upcoming blogs I will look at the reasons behind why it is we do what we do. Do not hesitate to write me your comments during this process, as healthy dialogues can only lead to healthy development of the mind.

Until next time.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

But why did you do that?

Have you ever found your young child to do things, surprising you with their creativity, and then up to you to find out about why it is they did what they did, especially if their actions were wrong? Thanks to my 71/2 daughter, I often get 'these' kind of surprises. At first, I used to get upset, thinking that the basis of her actions were directly tied to my emotions. Let's play the game of making mommy upset did I used to think. I now agree with you, too simplistic for a mom who supposedly has some experience to be a mom. It took me some time to realize that I should rethink my logic. Her desire to make me upset may have occasionally triggered her actions but not every single time. Of course, I have tried to ask her the question of WHY did you do that? However, even as an adult we may have difficulty to answer to a WHY question. There is so much that we can expect of a child. She barely had an answer to offer to explain why.

How is it that she ends up doing what it is that she is doing? Out of desire? It is possible. I did it because I WANTED TO, because I LIKED doing it. Out of desire may be a valid reason, but I believe it is not the only one. One should look at the MOTIVE behind the action. What motivated you to do that may be a better question to ask ourselves.

And this is the topic I would like to further expand in my few upcoming blogs. Please stay tuned...

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Selfishness? What is that?

Recently I introduced to one of my daughter the concept of 'selfishness' as it seems that many of her actions are merely targeted to satisfy her own soul first, despite the need of the rest of her family. The explanations needed to be as simple as possible as she is only 7 years old. I stuck to how a selfish person only thinks about herself and how before responding to anything, she would first think about what she wants first.

I believe it is great that a person that young can have the confidence to say what she wants, but at the same time, she needs to understand that ONLY thinking about ONESELF can have devastating results in the long run. Despite the mere satisfaction in the short run, it will not take long for friends to start distancing themselves from her, for as long as she would only believe that SHE IS RIGHT and ALL NEED TO ACCEPT HER WISHES. I truly believe that everyone needs to learn that there is a time to voice our wishes, and another to listen to the needs of our surrounding.

Go, go, Family go!

Monday, 6 February 2012

How happy are you?

I am on a maternity leave, away from the regular classes I teach, but oh am I ever busy?! True, I am busy but quite happy. Are you happy? What does bring you happiness? Let’s take a deep breath and reflect on that, shall we?
The concept of happiness has attracted a great number of writers, philosophers and great thinkers for over centuries. There seem to be some connection between happiness and satisfaction. But happiness is one of those concepts that I believe quite relative. What can make me happy may provide you with other emotions. The opposite can of course be true as well.

There are some ties between my happiness and my ability to associate with people. Creating and maintaining connections appears to me as a good way to pave my way to happiness. As a human being, we are social beings. We often like to feel that we are not by ourselves. Like many of us, I enjoy to connect to others. I am happy to be able to connect with others both directly and indirectly, in person, by phone or the net. I am continuing to work on my skills to improve my abilities to do that, as it is not always easy to deepen and keep these friendships.

As a mom of three, I came to realize that one good way to stabilize the level of happiness in our household is to work on friendships especially with other families who have children of the same age as ours. They get to socialize, as much as we do. It is good for everyone and no one feels being left out. However, I cannot afford to just rely on such friendships; far from saying that they limit me I am only indicating that the variety of friends can help to meet my other interests. I do need to address those as well so that I can better reach a satisfactory level of happiness. It is not really the number that matters to me, but the variety.

How does it work out for you? How do you rate your level of happiness?

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Technology...connection or disconnection?

I find it amazing how technology enables us to connect to many, as much as it can disconnect us from those who may be immediately surrounding us. Sure, the easy to use computer programs and the internet allow us to reconnect with loved ones live. Thank you to programs such as Skype!  At the same time, these same useful tools prevent us from directly connecting with those who are just right there beside us. Come on, admit it, has it not happened to find yourself typing your thoughts or exchanging words using your computer, phone or tablet and coming close to ignoring those who are right there beside you?  Think again, it may have happened at home, or in an office. If you are telling me that you just don't know what it is I am talking about, eh bien chapeau!

Technology is just wonderful. Thanks to it, I sleep reassured that my daughters can share their tooth fairy stories with their grandparents living overseas. They can talk to each other live, they can exchange emails and load pictures for each other... But, wait a minute, you know about all these tools, why remind you all about it?  Not only these tools allow my parents and my children to stay connected, it is also a great physical and mental exercise for the two generations. Particularly for those who are not so tech savvy oriented, finding the right key to press can be great challenge. For the kids, such time spent behind the keyboard is quite useful writing exercises. If the two generations happen to be talking to each other, what a better way to practice giving presentations and speaking clearly. Of course, not every child has Emily Young's ability to express herself, but they sure can give it a try for themselves.

Similarly, when a sister is using technology to connect with grandpa', she has to disengage from the rest of the family. That is normal. It is unlikely to spend 24/7 with each other at home in most situations, of course, unless we are talking disability, sickness, etc. Disconnection occurs when the is not time limit set. When siblings forget to connect with each other in real time. When mom and dad are too busy with their own emailing. When each member of the family focuses over too long period of times behind the screen. When focus is on reality as seen on the monitor rather than lived in real world.

So yes, yeah to technology! Connection or disconnection? Part of the answer is really in our palms.

Go, go, Family go!