Magens Bay --San Thomas

Friday, October 14, 2011

Motivation and us!

Look around us! Some of us are not performing to our own expectation. Moral is low at some work-place. Then why are we demanding our kids to be the top performers? Why aren't we? Why aren't they?
As I mentioned in my last posting that I look beyond 'grades,' a friend of mine IM-ed me and noted, not all of the children are top performers! Some are struggling to get the perfect grades let alone thriving for knowledge. I agree! Ultimately, we all care about the bottom line, top performance! But, I just wanted us, as a parent, to look beyond or maybe a little closer to why ...

I, too, have faced similar challenges in the past. Pepper, my older one, is a self motivated child (Yes I am very lucky.) She aims high and somehow she always has goals in mind In fact, she has always been a top performer. But, that was not the case with my younger one, Baby Boo. She was in third year, as I recalled. One day, as I almost fainted, she came home with 'D.' Occasionally with 'C.' Fairly inconsistent. Often times when I arrived home from work, she conveniently mentioned that she has forgotten to do her homework. Countless battles were fought. She definitely squeezed my brain out, and putting my patience to the limit . I told her that having C or D is fine with me. (Yes, I meant it!) I told her the problem that I was having with her was her attitude. She simply didn't care. And she clearly didn't try her best! I told her I would have accepted if she has done her best. Seriously, I would! (and my girls know that for the fact.)
For awhile, I thought that she was probably academically challenge until the OLSAT scores revealed otherwise! she is gifted!. Then what went wrong with this picture?!!!

Self motivation! Without it, even a gifted child can perform less than one! In fact, I was told that there are plenty of gifted children that aren't doing well in this world and some parents considered gifted is a curse!
Would you believe me if I tell you that very same girl slept at midnight last nite and the other nite at 1:20 am because she desired to study for her test and finishing up her writing assignment? Despite my advice asking her to wink it out! (I did!) Straight 'A' student, huh? Yes! Neither could I believe it! I feel this part of my journey is like a dream.  (Ouch! Just pinched myself ...)

--courtesy of

Self motivation doesn't come easy, but it will with a lot of encouragement and positive enforcement. Each of us is motivated differently, some by prize, some by words of encouragement, and others simply seeing the end results. It is our job, as a parent, to help them identify what motivate them or even what motivate us!
Speaking of which .. I am very motivated! Thanks to your words of encouragement and feedback. Keep them coming. and I will do my part until I am out of breath.

Until next stop,
Journey of Life


  1. Interesting; your friend is right up to a point. Indeed, by definition, HALF of the people in the world are below 'average,' however you want to define that. And from personal experience, you are absolutely right that one's "talents" are neither uniformly a blessing or a curse. How you use them is up to you, and it's very possible, likely even, for a gifted child to lack motivation and be bored.

    As an aside, my third grade math teacher was convinced I would struggle to graduate from high school because I had an apparent lack of skill with long division. Now, with undergraduate and graduate degrees in applied mathematics, I make a pretty good living.

    One problem I see (aside from the fact that certain schools deem it necessary to assign homework to 12 year olds that requires them to be awake until midnight) is that too many people are "other-directed." There is unrelenting pressure to live to the dreams and expectations of someone else.

    For the high-achieving child, all too often, that means mom and dad and vicarious dreams that their child will "get in" to the right college. Thus, the journey of learning becomes a quest for an A, and not the knowledge.

    When I was a graduate student at Stanford 20 years ago, I was surprised, stunned even, by how many of the undergrads in my sections could not have cared less about the principles they were supposed to be learning; instead, they were focused, to the exclusion of all else, on getting an "A," ostensibly because they understood the bargain - in order to gain acceptance to the "right" medical or law school, a sufficiently high GPA was required. One student actually requested on his final that if I did not award him an "A," to please fail him, since a B would blemish his report cards, but an F would allow him to retake the class.

    It was stunning that students at one of the allegedly best universities in the world had such an attitude.

  2. Well said! Thanks for inspiring me on what to write next.

  3. Angela,
    this is a very motivating post! Thanks for the post.
    Lucky you that your baby is now self-motivated.
    I will dream big and motivate me and my beloved ones!

    1. Thank you for stopping by Colleen!Yes. i am quite lucky and I wish you the best with your dream. I know it will come true!

  4. Great post. Learning what rewards we will work hard for, what moves us, helps us reach our desired goals.