Motivation

 

I am sitting at the open window (at four a.m.) and breathing the lovely air of a spring morning… Life is still good, [and] it is worth living on a May morning… I assert that life is beautiful in spite of everything! This “everything” includes the following items: 1. Illness; I am getting much too stout, and my nerves are all to pieces. 2. The Conservatoire oppresses me to extinction; I am more and more convinced that I am absolutely unfitted to teach the theory of music. 3. My pecuniary situation is very bad. 4. I am very doubtful if Undine will be performed. I have heard that they are likely to throw me over.”

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky 

 

“You absolutely have to believe in yourself. Man, you’ll get rejected hundreds of times. You have to believe in yourself if you’re going to succeed.”

Jon Bon Jovi

 

Confidence – noun, a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities. 

Tchaikovsky was plagued by depression and also a hypochondriac. Somehow, he persevered and produced prolifically.  Bon Jovi and Tchaikovsky both possessed the drive to create music. This high level of motivation enabled them to overcome obstacles such as rejection and mental illness.

 

 

*photos from Unsplash.com

 

 

It’s All You

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Photo from Saffu

If you’re “climbing a ladder” in your work and you feel tired and discouraged, I recommend giving Seth Godin’s podcast a listen. If you have children who are considering a career in music (as I do), have them listen to it as well (click the link below):

Seth Godin’s Akimbo Podcast: You’re It

With echoes of James Altucher’s “Choose Yourself,” philosophy, it’s a must hear. Always a little ahead of his time, Godin offers sound advice regarding “going for it” and not working to “pay one’s dues.” Don’t buy into outdated and ineffective advice.

 

 

 

 

On the Daily

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Photo from Debbie Hudson

My optometrist told me about his Corvette Stingray. He got it from a couple who purchased a brand new car and needed space in their garage. Everything in the Corvette was shot: the engine, upholstery, paint, some of the body was dented. They had it towed to his house.

Two years later, his Stingray is on the road. He fixed the engine himself. The upholstery still needs to be replaced, but the car has come back from the dead.  The doc worked on it every weekend for two years.

Sometimes, our dreams might take years, because we “only have the weekends” to work on them. But with diligence and consistency, they WILL actualize.

 

 

Deep Work*

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Sketches for Book 2 illustrations

Doing deep, meaningful work requires a lot of time in quiet solitude.

I’ve been procrastinating and distracting myself from my deep work (National Board Certification, writing and illustrating Book 2).

So, I shall remove the distractions: posting and reading feeds in social media (FB, Twitter) and checking (and re-checking) the news. Honestly, reading the news and getting upset is not helping anyone. But somehow, I believed that being up to date on current events was being good citizen. As long as my vote is informed, I’m good.

Now, on with the deep work…will you join me? What are your distractions and excuses?

 

 

*Cal Newport

Sunday Suggestion

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This week’s suggestion is an overall recommendation to “go for it.” Stretch yourself. Take a risk. Invest money and time in yourself to be better.

I’ve been teaching for over 11 years and the subject of pursuing “National Board Certification” has come up multiple times. Each time, I dismissed it immediately, based on what I had heard as simply “extra work” for an empty title. But the people who have been saying that are people who did not pursue the NBCT. 

Recently, a colleague (who IS certified) spoke highly of the program. I attended two meetings this week and I’m now completely ALL IN. I’m going for it. I don’t even care about the title or the actual certification. It’s the process….the four modules will require me to create, re-create, and reflect on my teaching process with students and their parents. I have discovered a renewed sense of respect of the profession. Teachers create the certification process for NBCT. How refreshing: Teachers having control of an education program.

Yes, it it will require a huge time commitment. But it will be worth every minute to gain a heightened awareness of my teaching process: be the best teacher I’ve ever been, be able to mentor others, gain confidence and forge new friendships on district, state and national levels!

If there is something you’ve been considering, but worry about the time or expense, ask yourself, “What is the cost if I don’t do it?”

 

Some trivia: Did you know that although Arizona is often in the bottom 3 in terms of investment toward public schools, we rank anywhere from 12th to 16th in number of National Board Certified teachers in the nation? Teachers in AZ are working hard in their profession – despite the bum rap – for our students.

 

Bullet Journal and Financial Tips

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Thought I’d take a chance and be vulnerable. Share.

Above, my journal entry for yesterday and today.

Below, my financial tips that have helped my husband and me reach our goal of $1,000,000.

I know it’s totally taboo in America to talk about salary and net worth. But I really want to help people who struggle with money. 

I’m a teacher, for Pete’s sakes.

I don’t make a lot, but I also don’t spend a lot. I started my career in radio and I made $17,000 a year. I ate pasta for breakfast, lunch and dinner until I developed a food allergy. Of course, I was unable to save for retirement during that time. I don’t have regrets: I met Gloria Steinem (she’s a goddess!), the lead singer of Simply Red (he was a jerk) and Lou Diamond Phillips (swoon)!  I befriended Steve, our Program Director, who encouraged me to be a writer. So, I don’t regret that year, but it was an entire year that I did not save or invest money.

My next job: administrative assistant in a money managing firm. Wow, did I learn a lot. I learned about stocks and investing and I started my 401K.

There are two things I recommend you do ASAP:

  1. Start a financial spreadsheet with every asset you own…how much you own. Also, keep track of your debt (credit cards, mortgage, etc.) and make a plan to pay them off immediately.
  2. Another Must Do: start an IRA. Contribute to your company’s 401K.

If you can, find an excellent financial advisor. We did this and I attribute much of our success and wealth to him. You’ll need to do research and be financially savvy. NEVER simply hand over your finances to someone. ALWAYS know what is going on with your money! And don’t be shy about telling him/her what you want to sell and what you want to purchase.

Owe Vs. Own

Guess which one you want to grow?

Maybe you have a lot of debt. Maybe you have no debt but very little savings. Whatever you dream for yourself, you can do it! Just make a plan and begin.