The Cycle of Motivation

20170617_084040[1]What drives us, is it fear, desire, greed or is there a built-in human trait of just wanting to achieve more? Whatever it is we are all part of the cycle of motivation.

I run because I want my body to keep up with my children but also to be a positive role model

I work to make a living but also because I am passionate about what I do as a teacher.

I skype my grandmother every week because I care about her being on her own and I know she wants to see her great grandchildren.

Can motivation be seen a vacuum, where a single focus either the spark or the goal is the only thing that moves us forward? I believe motivation is a combination of past, present and future, all three influence what you do next. Previous experience or learnt values have gotten you to where you are today; your current beliefs about what and where you want to be will put you on the road to achieving your vision in the future.

We are all motivated and we all motivate. Something drives us to get up and just do it! We encourage or inspire others by role modelling our behaviours, but we are not just motivated we are also motivators. Our achievements and the way we handle our journey are soul food for those trying to get or keep themselves on track.

Does it come from inside? You know you want to live a healthier life, or have more quality time with your family or maybe retrain for a different job, what-ever the reason do you have the tenacity and perseverance to go out and get what you want? Or is it that we are ruled by external factors? A need to pay the rent or live up to peer and social expectations, or cultural values and beliefs. We are all a complex mix of emotions, needs and desires so what motivates you may not necessarily drive me. At some time, we may all lose our mojo -that feeling that we are on a roll and making progress in our lives. Once you have discovered your purpose, your goal and then surrounded yourself with supporters that will help you to refocus when things get tough or when you just lose track of your goal your mission is then to seek advice, get encouragement and stay motivated.

I had never been sporty or into fitness, but after an accident caused me to rethink my career options I sought guidance counselling. These sessions gave me light bulb moments, an epiphany if you like, I felt like I had a been in an exorcism that left me enlightened, ready to change my life and get on with studying – unbelievably as it turned out, to be a personal trainer. I was motivated, I needed to make a living and I needed to new beginning. I shared my mission with everyone and over the long months that followed I self-doubted, I struggled with study and the financial cost of retraining, I wondered if I wasn’t wasting my time but by using those around me and being persistent I achieved my goal of being a fitness instructor and then as a personal trainer.

Think about anybody in sales or counselling maybe your personal trainer or real estate agent and how they reach in and find the pain, the thing that really motivates you and helps you to see where you should be going. They help you to make decisions, and find the motivation to move forward. We might not always like it, but sometimes we need someone to shine a light on what we really should be doing.

Maybe you are one of those who like to prove others wrong, when you’re told you can’t achieve something or for whatever reason people don’t believe in you or don’t know your inner strength. Bloody mindedness, stubbornness can be great traits in the truly motivated.  When I was working and fell out of a tree the surgeons told me I wouldn’t walk normally for a long time and to avoid the high impact labouring work I was doing, I was devastated and lost my business. After the shock wore off I got motivated and when the screws were removed from my ankle I rehabbed myself until six months later I ran my first marathon. Don’t tell me can’t!!

Self-doubt can cause you to step off the track to your own success. When something goes wrong or you see a hurdle you need to use that part of motivation where you reach inside and overcome the fears and uncertainties that stop you jumping out of bed, trying new things or pushing forward with the things you believe in.

Everyone is different, it might be the accumulation of things or wealth or the desire to be a specific type of person; well-travelled, educated or highly regarded in your field, whatever it is it comes from inside. Your past experiences have moulded your desires and your need to gain whatever it is you strive for.

Motivation can be linked to enthusiasm, as in “nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm”. Share your goal, your dream, your enthusiasm. Search out the things that motivate you and nurture your own fan base, you don’t have to do all the work alone to be the person you want to be.

I encourage you to get up and share your enthusiasm and through your motivation inspire others to find their passion and push themselves to achieve and continue the cycle of motivation.

 

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Women’s Work

 

Is it called women’s work because it means getting paid less? Now it is true that women get paid less than men! A 2015 study says 20 percent less! In most occupations the difference is not that noticeable, but I believe that women get paid less than men because of their preference for occupations as carers and educators.

In New Zealand it has been over 120 years since Kate Shepherd led the suffrage movement to allow women the right to vote, and yet women still fill the low paid and under-appreciated roles of educarers, not what most of us think of as equality. It has been 100 and 20 years and those of us who do the women’s work of early childhood education still accept that even though we nurture the future leaders of society and have full responsibility for the wellbeing of societies most vulnerable, we as teachers still accept being paid less than other qualified professionals.

Why do occupations dominated by women earn less than a men’s? Is this why only 2 percent of early childhood teachers are men? According to Employment New Zealand statistics in 2015 the average pay rate is approximately $31 for men and $27 for women, Now most qualified early childhood professionals do not earn the women’s rate and I’m sorry to say I bring the male average down too.

Womens work and by this I mean the ability to nurture, and in a calm stable manner provide education and care in equal proportions.  Yes, by this I do mean to multi task and think on our feet – this is skilled work that to do well takes years of practice and dedication.

This work is arguably the most important work in society – work that I might add sends grown men running in terror, work that the average parliamentarian would not and could not even dream of doing as a career.

The work caring for the elderly, caring for the sick and caring and educating our children are predominately women filled roles where people are responsible for societies most important assets and families most precious possessions.

 

What makes an early childhood teacher? It is not just the now mandatory 3 year degree plus 2 more years of on the job evidencing teacher practice – (yes it does take 5 years to be a registered teacher of 3 year olds!) It is about looking after young children as an altruistic vocation. I have heard teachers described as “someone who steals from home to take things to work” this is a passion not just a job. Just like all teachers, early child hood teachers take work home and are under pressure to meet company, parent and government expectations. Early childhood teachers act as professional guardians of children and manage situations in the moment while delivering curriculum from a social and academic basis. Womens work is done from the heart, this should not mean that teachers are penalised and taken advantage of by being given less than they deserve.

Research says that the early years of 1 to 5 are the most important as they affect the rest of our lives. What you did or did not learn before you went to school has shaped what you are today. These years are where language is developed, social skills are ingrained, and the habits and behaviours that follow us for the rest of our lives are made. While parents are the most important part of any small child’s life, 96.2 percent of New Zealand’s children are spending their important waking hours in centres away from family.

What children are being imprinted with and the quality of care they receive comes down to the expectation that caring qualified professional women and men will do this role for less than the average man, for less than a professional wage, for less than they deserve.

Early childhood teachers are there when children’s brains go through the most rapid growth, when children are developing theories about the world around them and when they are creating disposition’s and character traits to carry them through the rest of their lives.

Why don’t more men do women’s work and by default increase the pay rate for women? The answer could be in this quote from Ruth Simpson (2005) who wrote “Women pursue male careers because they offer prestige, higher pay and opportunities for advancement, but men in non-traditional occupations have less to gain and much to lose. They may have to make sacrifices in terms of pay and status, as well as raising questions on masculinity and suitability for the job”

So much has been written about why men don’t work with small children – is it the noise?, the runny noses?, the fact there are so many women or is it because of the nurturing nature of the job? I believe it is about the money $$

Teachers have accepted the low pay rates for too long – a qualified professional is a qualified professional no matter what your trade or gender. Private centres are reliant on Government subsidies to pay for qualified professional teachers and when these subsidies fail to keep pace with inflation and the cost of living, teacher’s wages also fail to keep up, which makes it difficult to attract and retain dedicated professionals.

 

The government accepts the importance of quality early childhood education and our politicians have children too, so why the reticence in paying educarers a professional wage?

Government policy decreasing subsidies since 2009, to childcare centre’s to pay for qualified staff can mean either a drop in pay and/or less qualified staff to provide a high-quality care for children or for centres to pass the cost of hiring professionals on to parents – making quality care out of the reach of working mums and dads

The women’s work of early childhood education should be much better respected, remunerated and restated as the valued and valuable profession of women and men.

 

References

http://www.iwpr.org/initiatives/pay-equity-and-discrimination

http://stop4-7.be/files/janpeeters10.pdf NZ Research in Early Childhood Education, Vol. 10, 2007

Simpson, R. (2005). Men in non-traditional occupations: Career entry, career orientation and experience of role strain. Gender, Work and Organization. 12(4), 363-380.

Maria Johnson: Early education needs funding boost from Government http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11787131

 

Think Positive

We all meet challenges in life but what sets us a part is how we react to those challenges.

One of my favourite positive hero’s was Forrest Gump he was  able to extract something good from potentially bad situations, and whether by luck or by determination, he made the best of things, showing a relentlessly positive outlook.

This quote attributed to Buddha is great but probably works best when reflecting on a challenge – the old lightbulb  moment “ohhh ah I see the positive side now… “Every experience no matter how bad it seems holds within it a blessing, the goal is to find it”.

The great bards Chumbawamba were succinct with their 1997 hit “Tub thumping” – I get knocked down but I get up again … speaks to me about resilience and thinking positive about whats coming next.  Tom Laurie said “Positive thinking helps you stand back up again when you are knocked down by bad luck or negativity” (Goal Setting: 12 step guide to achieving goals and realizing real success). There are moments in life where you need to tell yourself that you can do it – that you can get through to a your goal or a better place

Its been 10 years since Rhonda Byrne published the secret which proposes a law of positive attraction where a call to the universe encompasses a mind over matter idea, where there is something greater than the physical – think positive  / be grateful.

The power of positive thinking – if you don’t mind then it doesn’t matter. Not always realistic but bring you peace when  used in conjunction with some of the following;

  1. Be grateful  – keep a journal
  2. Reframe your challenges. … “Sometimes you win and sometimes you learn.” – Robert Kiyosaki
  3. Get good at being rejected. …
  4. Use positive words to describe your life. …
  5. Replace have with get. … I haveto go to work. I have to go grocery shopping. I have to pay my rent. Now change this one little word to get and see what happens. I get to go to work.
  6. Don’t let yourself get dragged into other people’s complaints. …
  7. Make someone else smile

Numbers 5 and 7 work well for me and everyone is different but we all can do with a reminder sometime to look on the bright side, be grateful and think positive.

Here are a couple quotes to keep you thinking, Merry Christmas

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty” – Winston Churchill

“Optimism is the most important human trait, because it allows us to evolve our ideas, to improve our situation, and to hope for a better tomorrow.” ~ Seth Godin