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!