Monday 6 August 2018

Poetry Monday: Motivation

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's theme is "motivation -- what moves you?"

Join Diane, Delores and me as we marshall our brain cells to explore this topic. If you wish, you may leave your own creation in the comments on any of our blogs, or if you post on your own blog, please leave a note in the comments so we can come along and cheer.

What moves us to get something done? I think most people respond well to both carrots and sticks. The trick is to figure out what those are for each individual and in each situation.

My carrots include reading time, food, a trip to a thrift store, a leisurely walk, and a clear conscience.

My sticks are appointments, deadlines, promises made, and a guilty conscience.

Sometimes my conscience and I get into a tussle over the finer points of what will satisfy it.

Like today. I am opting for a short poem yet again. I have convinced my conscience that this will satisfy my commitment to Poetry Monday while preserving what sanity remains to me in the midst of this humid weather. How humid is it? Let's just say my hair's been looking like this for the past month:

My tongue may or may not be hanging out that far also.

So .......... onward.

* * * * *

What Makes Donkey Work

Which way is better, carrots or sticks?
One drives you onward with pokes, prods and pricks.
One pulls you forward with promised delights.
Both get the job done when used just right.

* * * * *

What motivates YOU? I hope you have a carrot in your near future. Not an actual carrot, unless of course one of your carrots (i.e., incentives) is an actual carrot (i.e., the orange vegetable). No, I'm talking about a motivational carrot -- a treat!

Have a good week :)

Update:  Next week's theme is "your favourite summer memory" . . .



Elephant's Child said...

I am fairly unkind to myself, and apply the sticks with a liberal hand. Guilt and conscience drive me often. They are the spur, and reading is often the reward.

River said...

Treats definitely motivate me better than threats of sticks or other punishment. An example: I have a few new dvds to watch, so I'll spend a morning getting all the housework done so I can sit all afternoon with my dvd treat.

Terry said...

Hi Jenny,my carrot is staying alive.i wonder if I can do that for much lontger. Things are looking bad.

Martha said...

Carrots and sticks for me, too. And they are very similar to yours. My guilty conscience isn't as much of a burden now that I'm an empty nester... but boy oh boy was it heavy when the kids were young and I had to meet deadlines for them!

Marie Smith said...

I saw the topic and thought carrot sticks and dip. Food can be a great incentive. When wehave meetings for residents here, we always advertise the food we will serve.

only slightly confused said...

Great job. I totally wiped out this time.

jenny_o said...

I find that those who are most worried about their behavior usually have the least to be worried about . . . Be kinder to yourself, my dear friend.

jenny_o said...

Aha, I guess sticks don't work equally well for everyone, then . . . you have more self-discipline than I do, River :)

jenny_o said...

I'm sorry to hear that, Terry. Did you get your bloodwork results yet? Yes, staying alive is a huge carrot.

jenny_o said...

Ack, yes, I remember those well :)

jenny_o said...

And do you find your attendance varies according to the food? I could be that person driven by my taste buds!

jenny_o said...

I hear you, Delores. Some days I just can't make the old thinker work.

Joan (FDevon) said...

I never thought of motivation as carrots and sticks, but you're quite right.

I haven't been able to follow the theme for a good few weeks now. Good job that I have a few in reserve which I wrote in 2015. I seem to have written a lot that year, must have had some kind of motivation then myself, lol. Anyway, this one comes from a request by Amber who asked me to do a poem on what she should do when she's grown up. I don't know quite what she meant by that as she was only four and a half years old at the time. After a lot of thought I came up with this as she was having problems with her reading and writing, not being able to understand it.

Amber, my Sweetheart,
This poem is for you,
About growing up
And what you should do.

I know it's hard work,
I know it's a chore,
But writing your letters,
Will give you so much more.

You will be quite able
To read my cards to you.
Instead of having to ask,
Mummy or Daddy to.

And when you learn to write
Your letters A to Zed,
I'll be knocked down with a feather
When you write to me instead.

Reading and writing
Is a wonderful skill,
So pay attention in class
And you will do it. You will!

I must say, proud Grandma that I am, that her school report and SATS results were excellent this year and she is even reading books from the year above her. So she has been the receiver of a couple of much wanted games in the last couple of weeks.

Have a good week, Jenny.

jenny_o said...

So good to hear from you, Joan! I've been wondering how you are as I know last time you commented you were having a hard time of it.

I love this encouraging poem for your granddaughter. It's so true; reading and writing make every other thing in life so much easier. I'm delighted she is doing well now!

dinthebeast said...

Let's see, motivation? I guess like everything else, it has changed over the years. While music and interesting girls used to motivate me quite well, now it's more like the avoidance of impending disaster, and that doesn't even always work.
Like how it took us almost three years to get moved out of the wretched old foundry building we were living in, despite receiving a small inheritance in 2015.
But there are motivations within situations that seem to work well, like how we were given a 4X8 storage locker in that building and a deadline to have our stuff in it, and I managed to meet that deadline, by myself, with an aluminum hand cart.
I walk with a quad-cane, and I still managed to move all of our antiquated music equipment, including the bass bin that easily weighs as much as I do, into that little locker and arrange it so the door closed.
I think it was the simplicity of the task that made it doable for me, and the feeling of accomplishment I get when I push back the boundaries of what I am able to do physically, whereas the finding of a place to live is frustrating, slow, and difficult, without many carrots of motivation to be had in the process.
But I need to get past that way of seeing it, because we're going to have to do it again at the end of this year.
Well, that wasn't a poem, but it did address my feelings about motivation, I think...

-Doug in Oakland

Yorkshire Pudding said...


Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life
Live every day as if it were your last
For this is not a dress rehearsal
And carpe diem - seize the day!
Or instead you could just roll over
And go back to sleep
Like a sheep
In a valley
Baa! Baa!

jenny_o said...

This sounds uncomfortably similar to what happens to my motivation a good part of the summer!

Thanks for contributing again this week, YP,

jenny_o said...

The finiteness of a task is definitely a help for me as well. Sometimes I've broken down a very large job into many small jobs and it helps getting it accomplished. If the small jobs weren't getting done, I'd break it into even SMALLER jobs. As pathetic as that makes me sound, it did work.

I can't imagine moving at this point with all the stuff we've accumulated. It's why I'm trying to declutter.

I think we could just reformat your comment a little and call it an epic - a narrative poem that tells of a mythical warrior and his accomplishments! Except you're not mythical, you're real :D

baili said...

oh i am sorry for the irritating humid weather dear Jenny!

i would love to comb your hair if you are so busy in efforts to meet your sticks just like me
my hair can be good nest for birds around in my garden as i find less time to comb them after washing them daily

short but truly well versed and to the point poem!


jenny_o said...

You have really hit the nail on the head with your last sentence, baili -- life should be what motivates all of us, all the time! Thank you for that wise thought!

Yes, my hair looks like a bird's nest, too :)

Joan (Devon) said...

Hello Jenny, I'm back again with another poem, but not so much on motivation although I do think we should all be motivated to help our planet survive. There has been so much written about climate change on blogs and in the news that I thought I would share this poem I wrote a few years ago, (yes 2015), lol. I would have put it in a comment on your post on Friday, but it wasn't a poetry day. I nearly sent it in when the theme was Respect, but declined as I thought it might upset some people who had suffered from a natural disaster, but as it is now a common talking point I didn't think anyone would be offended.


When will man learn respect,
For living things big and small?
When will man leave well alone
And not interfere at all?

We've depleted the numbers,
Of wild and wonderful life.
We've done it haphazardly
With poison, gun and knife.

When will the destruction stop
Of earth and everything on it?
Who declared that we are God
And said there should be a limit?

Animals, fish. mammals and trees,
Are at our mercy day and night.
What gives us the authority?
What gives us the right?

Maybe, the natural disasters,
Of flood, earthquakes and such,
Are natures way of telling us,
"You have destroyed far too much!"

It's God's own retribution,
To teach us a lesson or two.
That only He controls all life
And it's not up to me or you.

I'm not particularly religious despite my reference.

jenny_o said...

I so agree with your sentiments, Joan. We are ruining this earth. And we have done it so quickly, relatively speaking. Also, it's one thing to do it unknowingly (say, during the industrial revolution), but we know better now and we are STILL doing it.

Thank you for sharing this one.

Diane Henders said...

Food is my favourite carrot! (Although carrots are not my favourite food, even though I like them a lot.) The 'stick' in my case is that horrible sinking feeling I get when I realize work is piling up ever-deeper. I work very hard to avoid the stick. But sometimes when the stick gets too scary, I retreat into books (writing or reading, but especially reading as an escape). I'm craving books this week...

jenny_o said...

And it's so hard when you can't give in to that craving, isn't it? I've become very protective of my reading time!