My Gray Stripes

Becoming whole through family life. Desserts help.

Mastery as motivation

My husband pushed me into the choppy cold water of Canyon Lake this past Veterans Day. No worries, I was in our new kayak. Actually there were worries, mainly, could I control the wobbly thing or would I get tipped into the icy water? Gratefully, rowing skills from my fishing days as a youth came back to me and I paddled into a piece of heaven on earth. After a few hours basking in the sun, wind blowing my hair, kayaking with my whole family, I was happy. I was deep down, completely relaxed, “left it all on the field” content. While physically drained my mind and heart soared. I returned home eager to tackle the mundane tasks of life and after a good night’s sleep I awoke eager to face my week.

So much of what I do each day is important yet nebulous. Raising a family. Being a good neighbor. Becoming more faithful. Being a better wife. Days, weeks, years, can string together with minimal concrete feedback that I’m on the right track to anything or anyplace in particular. Wicked problems abound. And I wouldn’t have it any other way than each day being a leap of faith, hope, and love.

Yet mastering a new skill adds something concrete to grab onto, adding interest, personal growth and energy. Looking back on skills I have mastered I see their importance beyond the content of the skill itself. Playing the piano started with a bang then ended with a thud. Karate, breastfeeding, and skiing visited me for a short season. Caring for children started when I was young. Baseball and enjoying craft beer, often together, came later in life. Reading, cooking, and teaching, stayed with me long term and moved me toward expertise. No matter when I took these skills on or how long they stayed, each heightened my motivation for living life more fully in the moment.

Motivation is priceless. It can be difficult to stay motivated for the mundane duties that comprise most of life. Like a kid taking to a bicycle for the first time, I was bound and determined to ride my kayak and not fall and get soaked! Shocking cold natural consequences looming helped me to focus. Then my sheer child-like enjoyment of trying to master the kayak in particular, directly increased my motivation for living life well in general. Life’s short, paddle hard.

Gray Stripe Earned: Master something, anything good, and put increased motivation toward living all of life well.

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This entry was posted on November 22, 2012 by in Fun & Mundane and tagged , , , , .
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