The Comical Misadventures of a Rambling Mind


Motivation can be a slippery beast of a bitch to catch and hold on to. My psychology books would talk about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Does it come from within you or are you moved by outside influences. Maybe an artist is uninspired to paint. Maybe a couple is stuck in a rut and needs a change. Maybe a child sees no reason to strive for excellence.

In some cases it is being able to find your muse. At least I'd say it is for the creative types motivational needs. Sometimes even writing this blog requires motivation that isn't there. Not for lack of anything to say, but for lack of motivation to present it.

When I worked at The Hotline I'd often get parents who had issues with their children. They couldn't get their son or daughter to do what they wanted them to do. Typically it wasn't any unreasonable request that they were asking of their child. One thing that I would always ask, is what motivates their child. What's something that they enjoy? That is what is used as a reward/punishment. Occasionally I would get a frustrated parent who would ask if I had children. Most of the time I would tell them no, with the addition that I had worked with children in a close environment where their everyday mundane behavior was governed by what they should or should not do.

Of course this doesn't take the place of being an actual parent. Yet it gave me enough of an insight to understand where motivation might come from. Occasionally a child would get in trouble for some offense. The infraction would vary. Maybe they got in a fight at school. Perhaps they were picking on a housemate. Maybe they were not doing their chores. Nothing to unusual or unlike what would happen in a typical non-group home home.

These kids were on a point system of how their privileges were earned. Have a bad day and earn a lot of negative points? You probably weren't going to get to go over to the neighbors house and play video games. Have a good day and do all that was asked of you (which honestly wasn't much)? Then you probably were going to get to go to the Field House and play basketball after dinner.

What I noticed happening was when a child reached a certain point and he knew he wasn't going to be earning his privileges for the next day, he would go Out Of Control. He'd see no way to redeem himself from whatever might have got him to that point so he might as well go balls out and just go wild. Usually not violent, but there was no reasoning with him till he calmed down or just got tired of acting out.

Then you'd sit down with him and hear the story about how he got in trouble at school for forgetting his homework. Which earned him a bad grade. Which he knew he'd get in trouble for at home for not having his homework either done or with him. Even though we'd remind them and check to make sure it was done. It would become a domino effect.

But I'm getting off track... Motivation! A person needs to be able to see and know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. That even though they may be in trouble in the short term, that there is a long term that is going to be better. With kids, it's usually more difficult to explain, because they don't think long term. Even for adults it isn't easy.

Everyone has their Point Of No Return where it just seems like there is no way to get back to a better place. It's not easy to find the motivation when you have nothing to work towards. Nowhere to go.

A dead-end job. A grounded child. A writer whose used up all his words. Everyone needs motivation. If you can't find it from within you, hopefully you can find it around you.
I posted this @ 5/04/2006 11:52:00 AM.............Need a link?..........

I'm a 30-something student of human nature. A music-lovin', groove-shakin', laugh-inducin', dish-cookin', gossip-slingin', type of guy. This is my diary of sorts...

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Olbermann: Gay marriage is a question of love
Gay ex-governor says he's too poor for alimony
-Barack’s Gay Balance
Calif. Supreme Court rejects gay marriage ban
-Where the Bears don't fear to tread
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Counting Sheep
Originally uploaded by Fib.