“If you’ve never failed, you’ve never lived.” How’s that for a motivational message? Come on up to my attic and we’ll talk.
I wonder if there is anybody in the world who has never failed at something. That would be a person I would like to meet. There have been several major and minor failures in my life. One of them, that I considered really major, was when I failed to pass the practicum part of my pediatric nursing when I was a junior in college. I already discussed the perfect storm of events that quarter that led to the suggestion that I take a break and think about repeating the quarter the next year. If you want to learn more about my short-lived nursing career you can use the search box and go back to August 14 to the four parts on The Perfect Nurse. Obviously the perfect nurse wasn’t me. When you think you want something for twenty years and it doesn’t work out, it’s hard not to feel like a failure. Technically, I didn’t flunk out because my overall GPA was too high. They were willing to give me a second chance but I wasn’t willing to take it.
Since my marriage ended in divorce, I guess you could call it a failed marriage. If it’s a failed marriage, I guess you could say my ex and I both failed. Somehow in the back of my mind I sometimes think there might have been some things I could have done differently, but I never did take the blame for the failure. I have been highly motivated however to have a different attitude toward relationships with other people as a result of my relationship with my ex.
I guess if you really want to look at my life, my biggest failure has been in controlling my weight. I have probably lost more than 250 pounds in my life at different stages. I started in high school with Metrecal. Then throughout the years it was Weight Watchers (x3), Optifast, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, tonsil removal, biphetamines, calorie counting, and a variety of OTC concoctions. Nothing has ever worked for any significant length of time. It has not been unusual for me to lose fifty pounds but eventually they all come creeping back on. They know where to find me.
When I first started teaching, I took a bus trip with the Ski Club to Iron Mountain. Since I never had skied before, I took a group lesson. When I was still in high school, I sprained my ankle so badly, it would have been better to have broken it. I tore everything possible to tear. It never really healed correctly. When I got in the class, I could keep my right ski straight but my left one was almost impossible for me to control. The instructor, at the end of the class, said, “You, you, you, and you can go over to Bunny Hill.” Then looking at me he said, “You stay here.” I think every teacher ought to flunk something in her or his life just to experience how it feels. It gives one more empathy for those students who struggle. Skiing was my failure. Not one to take defeat lightly, the next day I managed to conquer Bunny Hill three times before calling it quits. It was no matter to me that two, three, and four year olds were zooming past me down the “mountain”. I was powerfully motivated to achieve.
What does my story have to do with motivation? I’m not one to give up easily. There is no way I see myself in another marriage, but I try to make a success of the relationships I form with friends around me. I take nothing for granted.
I occasionally fantasize about going back to school to become a registered nurse but I know that is not a reality. Right now I am motivated to do well with several volunteer assignments instead. While I was still working, I was motivated at various times in my life to be successful as a school teacher, an office manager, a massage therapist, and several other jobs I have done over the years.
I still try several times a year to control my weight. Will I ever lose those extra pounds? I don’t know. My concentration right now is being motivated to live a healthy life as much as I possibly can.
I have never become involved in a skiing trip since that one trip I mentioned. I have come to accept the limitations of my ankle and work with it. When I can trip just walking down the street when my ankle gives out, I know better, despite how motivated I am, than to put my life on the line out on the slopes. That goes for wearing high heels as well.
The people mentioned in the video all must have had more motivation than I. Lucille Ball was too shy. Thomas Edison was too stupid. Ulysses Grant was not considered a good soldier. Walt Disney lacked imagination. Michael Jordan wasn’t good enough to make the team. Abraham Lincoln had a perfect storm in his life too before overcoming his challenges. One not mentioned was Albert Einstein who flunked math.
We must all look within ourselves to find that spark within to motivate us. We must remember that failure is a part of life. It’s what we do with that failure which distinguishes us as ones who succeed from those who let their failure wear them down.
I have written for myself all my life. In elementary school I wrote to entertain my classmates. In high school I wrote to maintain my sanity. In my relationships, I wrote to maintain my own self-esteem and sense of reality. I write poetry to express myself. I wrote plays for my students to perform.
My motivation is the fact that I can write much more easily than I can speak. People are always trying to finish sentences for me because the words don’t come fast enough when I am trying to express a thought. That does not happen when I am at the keyboard. Yesterday I wrote my daily blog about the Department of Peace and ended up with over 400 visits from over 37 countries. My motivation is to not hold back what I feel but to express it for anybody who cares to read it. I can feel the motivation.
It does not matter if you agree or disagree with what I say. It does matter to me that I am finally being heard without others trying to finish my sentences. Who knows where this motivation will lead? I’m ready to follow.
Namaste. Attic Annie