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

 

 

No News is Good News

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I’ve avoided watching/listening to news for two weeks now. I didn’t realize how frequently I was checking it and how awful it made me feel.

Since I’ve stopped checking in with CNN, NPR, Fox News, etc., I have:

  • read a book (my cousin’s (!) – Beloved Sa Mi)
  • made major headway with my second children’s book
  • voted early in the general election for Mesa, AZ
  • completed the pre-candidacy phase of the National Board Certification for Teaching program

Most importantly, I’ve felt clearer and more centered. 

If the news is getting you down, why not cut it out of your life?

Frivolity

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We have a natural tendency to be preoccupied with things and competition (Mine is better than yours, I make more than you, I’m good at this, what are you good at?)

But there comes a time when this comes to a natural conclusion (perhaps a little after adulthood), and can be replaced by something deeper: Finding your essence identity (spiritual dimension).

The material and form identities still exist, but they should no longer give you a sense of who you are.

Lighten up. It’s just form. You never cease being you and there’s no need to get excited or stressed about the forms that happen in your life.

(Eckhart Tolle)

Sunday Suggestion

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I’ve been pushing myself lately to be as productive as possible at work and at home: teaching, preparing for National Board Certification, participating in a video coaching study, painting, working on two books and publishing this blog daily.  🙂  Exercising in the morning actually makes me feel more energetic so that is how I start the day. The days end with cooking dinner and cleaning up.

But I’ve been feeling…unsettled….a bit anxious, even. If I don’t get to all my tasks, I feel down on myself. I’ve been feeling like the proverbial hamster on her wheel: running and getting nowhere.

A few days ago, I was waylaid by the flu. I gave a talk Thursday night to parents for Curriculum Night and then collapsed when I got home.

Of course, I was majorly bummed and nearly distraught: I don’t have time to be sick!

Bedbound, I realized the grace in being forced to slow down. Obviously, my body is trying to tell me something. Unable to clean the house, paint (properly), write or workout is a good exercise in just being. Illness has forced me to get more sleep and in stillness, I’ve watched the monsoons each night in all their glory: thunder, lightning and rain.

So, today, my Sunday Suggestion is to slow down. Maybe whittle a task or two off your “To Do List”

Say “no” more often. Ask for help. Take a walk instead of checking email. Hang out with positive, quality people. Plan a day to do nothing but enjoy yourself.

It might diminish the anxiety. It might help you find your center. It’s already working for me.