To Really Motivate Yourself, Choose a Lofty Ideal

Filed in Living by on July 28, 2016 0 Comments

Bichon Show Cut

Even before we adopted our new dog Anderson, I decided I was going to do some things differently with him than I did with Munson. Munson was Munson, and I wanted Anderson to be Anderson. So while Munson was groomed to have what is called a “puppy cut,” which is really cute, I wanted Anderson to have a “show cut.” A show cut is what Bichons have when they are entered into dog shows, and an example is pictured above. I think it is way, way cute. It will also require taking Anderson to the groomer at least once a month, with a lot of brushing in between.

In addition, I planned to take Anderson to obedience school. Munson was not trained in obedience. My thinking was that maybe I’ll pursue Anderson’s training all the way to have him certified as a therapy dog, which means I could take him to hospitals and nursing homes to use him to help soothe people who are suffering or lonely.

Then something happened that made me even more motivated to accomplish these goals.

I was driving along the other day and noticed a new building not far from where we live, and the sign read: “Anthem – A Memory Care Community.” This, of course, is just a euphemism for “Alzheimer’s nursing home.” I started thinking about the people residing there, and how sad many of them must be. It must be incredibly difficult to lose one’s faculties in this way. We are all proud, and we all cherish our relationships and memories—these people are being slowly and stealthily robbed of these. Then I realized this would be a great place to take Anderson if he was a therapy dog. With his fancy haircut, and newly honed obedience skills, the residents there would probably love to spend time with him. At such a difficult time in their lives, Anderson and I can be a breath of fresh air.

Also, and this might be a little insensitive, we’ll have the advantage of being “new” visitors every time we come!

So now I am really psyched up to get Anderson groomed and trained—we are on a crusade! (He just doesn’t know it yet.) Now, when I am teaching Anderson such seemingly mundane things as “Sit” and “Stay,” I will think about the elderly folks at the memory care home that he and I will be comforting and bringing joy.

Are there any activities in your life that you might choose to turn into a crusade, and thereby infuse yourself with greater energy and motivation?

When you help your child with his or her homework, rather than just viewing it as your parental duty, you might consider what he or she might turn out to be with your patient and consistent guidance. They might be the one who invents a lifesaving vaccine or groundbreaking new technology, or more simply, devote their life to helping others by being an outstanding teacher, health care professional or social worker.

At work, rather than just going through the motions to make enough money to pay your bills, you might instead set an energizing goal. You could choose to focus on being able to afford that idyllic two week vacation to Europe you’ve always dreamt of, or having enough money to fund education that would allow you to pursue the career of your dreams.

By choosing a lofty ideal, you can supercharge your motivation and achieve the things your heart really desires!

About the Author ()

TIM MCINTYRE retired in 2004 from his position as president of Applied Systems after facilitating a successful sale of the company. At only forty-six years old, he made the unusual decision to fully retire to pursue other interests and simply enjoy free time. As a hard-driving Type A personality, this turned out to be a significant challenge for the Notre Dame and University of Chicago-educated MBA, CPA, and Certified Cash Manager.

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