Motivational speakers need not apply here

The New Year is well on its way and packed full of resolutions, many of which already are at the side of the road covered with dirty snow or being blown away by the blustering winds.

Alas, if only those casting away these broken dreams had gone to a motivational speaker, they could be pounds lighter, their diets healthier, lives happier, relationships flourishing, homes cleaner, children better mannered, careers flourishing, checking accounts larger, business escalating and the list goes on.

Even I, at this very moment, could be living on a diet of spinach and kale and spending each morning doing sit-ups while listening to a tape guaranteeing that I could learn to speak Chinese in two weeks. Sadly, I haven’t sat through a dinner of creamed chicken and peas over biscuits and heard a motivational speaker since the Monday nearly a decade ago when I turned off my alarm clock set for 5:30 a.m. and went back to sleep.

I can hear motivational speakers from across the country, or at least the one or possibly two (so I’m a dreamer) who might be scanning this, on the verge of sending me a scathing note. I won’t be bothered by this because I do remember one of the tidbits I heard from my motivational speaker days: Do not be bothered by criticism and keep moving forward.

I did learn from the motivational speakers of my adult life, but it was those of my childhood who put me on the path I walk today. It was my mother who made me aware of the importance of thank you notes, planning ahead, being respectful, and good old-fashioned manners, which can lead to a happier, more fulfilling life. It was my mother who motivated me to stop fighting with my brother. “You can clean the windows, one on the inside, the other on the outside, until you learn to get along with others.” It was my dad who encouraged me to follow my dreams but also motivated me to get a job done quickly and not put it off. “I told you this morning you couldn’t go on that date until the lawn is mowed.”

There are many motivational speakers and just as many ways to be motivated. Maybe I can learn Chinese in two weeks.

Joyce Ore

Joyce Ore writes delightful stories about life with a dose of humor and sprinkle of nostalgia. Her column appears Saturday in the Tribune.

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