Sunday, November 30, 2008

A motivational post

Because who doesn't need a little motivation once in a while? And who better than me to give it? Note the hypotheticalness of those questions, no need to answer them in the comments.

Everything's clearer with a graphic.

So, I've gone a while in my life without any real goals. I have vague long term plans that could possibly be called goals, but if so, they're wishy-washy-prone-to-change goals. I recently realized I needed to set goals, so I set my mind to it. To start off, I set a serious goal for Thanksgiving break. I spent Thanksgiving in New Mexico where my brothers both live, and I set the goal to stop my three year old niece from calling me a little girl whenever I talked to her...especially on the phone (my brother taught her to call me that, he gets a kick out of it, and she's come to love it. She gets so excited to talk to me and call me a little girl that I almost felt bad trying to break her of it).

I once thought I would never learn to ski...especially after my one and only attempt at it. And I can't ski and never will be able to because I didn't set the goal to learn. Some day, when my kids want me to teach them how to ski, I won't be able to. They will cry and be disappointed in me for years after that. Their strongest childhood memory will be that I couldn't teach them how to ski. And why? Because I didn't set the goal to learn. So set goals.

So, time to be motivational. Setting goals can be discouraging. You can feel your time running out. You will most likely run into setbacks. For example, when you try to change one niece, you may suddenly find that another niece and nephew catch on that it's fun to call Uncle Mike a little girl, even though it's obviously not true. Some setbacks can be painful, such as small children jumping on you and kneeing you in the stomach/legs/face/neck while happily calling you a little girl. At times it can seem like there is no way to accomplish your goal. You don't know what to do, you have no idea how you teach a three year old, and when you were three you were always polite and kind to everyone so you don't relate to name calling at all.

Goals should be measured. If you don't put people after the ramp, how will you ever know how many you could have jumped over?

But persevere! Somehow, things will work out if you persevere. I can't pinpoint exactly what it was that did it, but eventually I got through to my niece. By the time I left New Mexico, she was calling me a big tough man, which is obviously more accurate than a little girl. And as an added bonus she started calling my brother a little girl. Accomplishing goals can be so sweet. So go set some goals and accomplish them!

To sum things up, sometimes goals can be like getting a drink from a drinking fountain when you're two feet tall. Even doing all you can do (climbing stools, pushing buttons, the works) your goal will still be out of reach. But if you just start crying, other people will come and lift you up so that suddenly your goal is easy and takes no work on your part. At least I think that was the moral of the story.


Dan Ritter said...

You must have too much time...all these graphics in your posts. I checked your blog from home, by the way, so you could get your Boise spot...hope you're happy.

Kip and Katie said...

Highly Highlarious my friend. The only problem was that I read your post while Libby was sleeping on my chest and when I got to the part about your nieces and nephews kneeing and kicking you I lost it and I woke her up.

Keep up the good work.

thedannycrittershow said...

Best graph ever!!! You got serious skills! Quit engineering you should become a philosopher or better yet a motivational speaker! That's what my neighbor does, he makes good cash!

Elizabeth Downie said...

Hahaha, I'm glad you got your niece to stop calling you a little girl :) Sounds like it was a successful vacation.

Katherine said...

I feel so motivated now, Mike! I wonder if I could set/achieve a goal to have all of my students worship the ground I walk on and give me really nice gifts (preferably the monetary kind)? I'll work on that and get back to you. Hilarious post, by the way! You're a very witty writer!