18 December 2012

Motivation

I was looking for another paper that I wrote for a class, and found this entry I wrote for another class's forum.  It was a mandatory and prerequisite class, that I hated.  I didn't want to complete assignments for this class but had to indeed find the motivation to keep doing it anyway!  I feel the same way about the class I'm in now at times:
  
Motivation is ultimately a personal driving force.  Yes, someone could pressure you to do something.  However, it means nothing until you actually start doing something.  If you really don't want to do something, you can drag your feet even though you have all this pressure.  That's why I say motivation is really more of a personal force.  
A thief can motivate someone by pointing a gun to get a wallet.  However the victim could still refuse at the possible expense of his life.  A boss can motivate by giving incentives to do well on a project- extra money, vacation time, or whatever.  But it is up to you to say, "Yes I want to do that."  That very same boss could tell you that you have to do something or you will lose your job.  If you feel like you aren't appreciated and don't like the lack of respect, you may not feel motivated to do better.   
When it is 6 am and I am in a PT formation, I don't feel motivated all the time.  However going through the motions, acting like we are enthused and want to be there, helps us to really get motivated.  False motivation can become real motivation.   
Planning goals that mean something to us and knowing that in order to accomplish those goals, one must do something, is a way to get motivated.  When we fervently want to get somewhere, we will try to accomplish those things that matter in the pursuit of those goals.

The class was easy but very boring and ridiculous.  Now I am in the middle of a final paper for a much more demanding class, and find myself still struggling with motivation.  There are always other things that interest me more.  I like to learn, but sometimes can't focus on what is needed right now.  I guess this will be my new years resolution, finding and using motivation, as well as focusing on stuff that is required before all the other things.  What are things that matter most to you?

16 December 2012

Flatpickin'

I was finger picking on the guitar making some music with open strings and mostly 2 note chords this morning.  I've had an affinity with the guitar for a long time.  I took my first lessons when I was 16 and wanted to learn some Country style playing.  My instructor picked up a Mel Bays guitar book on flatpicking Bluegrass style music.  I became good at cross picking fast and have incorporated that into other styles.  And then I started learning some Joe Satriani style legato and incorporated that.  I really became a fan of guitar Rock music and Funk.  Then I started learning some Jazz, Bossa Nova, and other styles.  I was fascinated with trying to come up with strange chords and moveable forms.  Only the past couple years have I really started playing without a pick and using my fingers.  There is so much that can be done and then I realize that I haven't concentrated enough on learning actual songs!  I was all about learning the music theory behind how things work together and making my own music and sound.  I realize I need to learn some songs with the wife who also plays guitar.  I could spend time on learning how to read notation quickly too, but most songs have chords above them anyway.  When I was fresh out of high school, I took singing/vocal lessons off and on for a year, because I wanted to be a vocalist.  I picked up playing the guitar because I thought all singers played guitar as well!  I ended up getting good at playing guitar and forsaking developing my vocals more.  But, I had my own business of teaching others how to play guitar, which was a lot of fun.  Now I want to play and sing with the wife; it's just a matter of finding the time to practice together.  Producing and marketing a song or even an entire album would be amazing! 

12 December 2012

Thankfulness

It has been a very long time since I done any blogging.  I married my beautiful wife this year and after being overseas for a while, I am in our apartment.   She is preparing a delicious meal downstairs.  And I am using the desk I acquired for $15 dollars a couple months ago.  I need to get caught up on some school work.  I am currently taking a class on international organizations.  How this will help me, if at all in the future, I don't know.  I know that I am missing a whole week of assignments, because I chose to focus on studying hardcore that week for the promotion board.  I performed really well in front of the Sergeant Major and First Sergeants, and got the promotable status.  Now I'm just waiting on the points I need to get published.  I was ahead for this month, but the requirement could go up.  I'm not in too much of a rush though.  I'm glad my work paid off.  My wife was a big help.  She quizzed me and listened to recordings I made over and over!  She and I both were glad that was all over!
So I have a lot to be thankful for.   Obviously being married to a lovely woman who truly makes me happy tops the list.  Getting myself in better physical shape is great too.  The army had a lot to do with it at first, but this year starting when I was in Korea, I started running and lifting to get in even better shape.  For being over 30 now compared to some of the young guys, a couple years removed from high school, I hold my own.   I have a couple running routes, but I haven't looked for bike trails yet.  I should get my wife a bike too.
I have a lot of goals, but I am not the best at using my time.  After work sometimes I just want to take a nap or watch a movie with the wife; I don't want to study or workout!  But this is an area I will continue to work on.  Back to being thankful- I'm glad I can spend time with my wife in person and not need to Skype date real late or early.  We have no debt, outside of some student loans that I am paying off.  We both have cars that are 5 years old and running well.  We found a great place to live near where I work and in a nice area.  We have been attending a non-denominational church that we both really like.  We are getting spiritually fed.  We have a nice little Christmas tree and lights up.  We decided to celebrate Christmas in a better way than the general American public.  We will give 1 or 2 meaningful gifts to each other and that's it.  We realize that Christmas roots are not in Christ but in the Festival of Lights and other mostly European traditions celebrating the Winter equinox.  I think it is fun though :-) I've always celebrated it to some extent, but my wife's family did not for the reasons I mentioned.  I refuse to tell my future children that Santa brings them gifts, but I will tell them about the Santa message of giving.  But more importantly, I will tell them about Christ's compassion and love.  We participated in filling a few shoe boxes full of good stuff to send to less fortunate kids this year.  I hope it brings someone joy.
I'd like to concentrate on learning more Argentine-style EspaƱol, because they use vos instead of tu, which sounds cool to me.  I thought about learning Brazilian Portuguese but it is so much more difficult.  Anyway, languages fascinate me but so do cultures and people.  This all loosely ties into the degree I'm working on- International Relations; I like the subject, but I also have an AA degree in Drafting and Design and have always liked engineering, science, and math.  So maybe I should find a school to concentrate on that, because there are no online schools that I know of that offers engineering, except Computer Engineering, maybe.  All I know is I got excited while I reading an article in Foreign Affairs magazine about 3-D printing and fabricating.  I don't know.  Just wanna make sure I am focusing on something that will be useful and make me happy.  I was asked if I plan on re-enlisting today and I don't know until I see and do more.  I know that I want to make a positive difference and be creative.  I wanna see some of my ideas transpire into something tangible.  D'ya feel me?