Self-Motivation, Optimism and Dora The Explorer

Jennifer Prosek  Follow

Let’s face it, this weather is a killer.  It’s dreary and gray every weekend, and cold.  This lack of vitamin D is a real demotivator.

This weekend, I decided we had two choices: either feel sorry for ourselves (for not living in California) or to self motivate.  But what to do?  As the mother of a 3-year-old child, I can tell you we have overdone every local indoor kid activity known to man.  So hmmm, time to get creative!  There is always something fun to do right?

So we took out our paper and crayons and drew a map – Dora the Explorer style.  For anyone who has every watched Dora, you know it’s a show about an adventure, usually where Dora has to follow a map to get somewhere so she can save the day.  And the map typically has a three-part adventure.

We sat at our living room table and drew a map that we would follow.  My daughter Scout's spirit came alive as I told her we were going to go on an adventure together ("just like Dora"!).  First we drew some big icy rocks, then we drew a “secret beach” and then we drew a forest.  We got on our coats and boots and followed the map. To make a very long story short, the point of this little tale is that we self-motivated ourselves into one of the best and most beautiful winter afternoons I’ve ever spent.

And the lesson learned here, the analogy in life, is that we always have choices – to either be creative and solve a problem with motivation and optimism, or to wallow in our situation and miss the adventure.  At our company’s winter offsite a month ago, our guest speaker told us that people who are optimistic are scientifically proven to live longer and healthier lives, and that they are generally more successful.

This dreary Sunday winter day was a test – I’m proud to say we passed! CJP

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