Thursday, January 7, 2010

Stimulus, Influence, Drive

My post about my 2010 Intentions ended with the synonyms of the word MOTIVATION - stimulus, influence, and drive. I have been thinking quite a bit about what motivates people lately. In observing the nurses and nursing assistants taking care of Mom in the hospital, I got to wondering what their reasons or motivations were to enter the nursing field.

Since she has 2 nurses and 3 nurses' aides each 24 hour period, there are quite a few different people and personalities in the mix. Being the nosy person that I am, I started talking to many of them and flat out asked them what made them choose this type of work. The answers were very interesting:

  • Money

  • Helping people

  • Training to be a doctor, furthering education

  • To be useful

  • Social

  • To find a husband!

Money and helping people were definitely the top answers. Most of these people are really wonderful and caring. They have a gift and offer much of themselves to the patients. They go the extra miles to make sure the patient is taken care of and has everything they could need. I would gladly take many of these lovely people into my family. But then....

Some have no business being within 50 yards of people in need of tending. They are surly acting and prone to rough handling of the patients. (I complained btw, about a nurse's aide AND a so-called doctor). And yes, one actually answered that she was looking for a husband.

I would say I'm shocked, but I worked in law enforcement for many years and dealt with a few emergency room personnel (and some in my department) that were there for that purpose. They were not in the career field to care for the ill and injured or uphold the law. So sorry if this offends anyone but it's my observations, my experience, and frankly - my blog. And I wasn't surprised that this was an answer to my question, I was just amazed that she said it out loud - to a family member of one of her patients!

I didn't write this post to bash on nurses and aides. I am very grateful to the mostly fine & fabulous people that have been caring for Mom these past weeks (and weeks). I was just in a pondering mood and thought I'd explore a little about motivation including my own.

Money is NOT a major motivator for me. It never has been. When we first got together, Mr. MoonCat had a hard time believing that I really meant it when I said that I didn't care if he was rich. My attitude is that as long as we have what we NEED and we can make all or most of our ends meet, we're fine. Money DOES NOT equal Happiness.

I dated a couple of guys who were all about the almighty dollar. One was already a millionaire and the other one will inherit many, many more dollars than that. They are/were both miserable human beings. They were unhappy with themselves, with the people they were surrounded by, and with their STUFF. No amount of money could BUY what they were looking for. They had both grown up spoiled and had no idea what it meant to fend for themselves. They didn't get the true value of working for what you have or for knowing who or what is truly important to you. Money or lots of things DOES NOT equal Happiness.

Don't get me wrong, I would love to win the lottery and I sure as heck wouldn' t turn it down. I could ease a lot of financial stress for many of my loved ones. I could pay off ours & my family's bills as well as set up the niece & nephews' college funds. But I still wouldn't be driving a $100,000 car and I would still choose to live in the house we're in - we're HAPPY here. I would still grow my own veggies and try to can them - whole other story to come. (The decluttering kick I have been on falls into this line of thinking in that STUFF is just STUFF. If we don't NEED it, why get it?)

I know a lot of people say they wouldn't change if they won the lotto, but I think it would be inevitable to a point. But I really can't imagine what I would BUY? Maybe a horse trailer of my own since I always use Dad's? That is something we are planning on getting in the near future anyway, so it's not some big "Whoo Hoo, I'm a MILLIONAIRE, Look at me & my money" thing. It's a real life object/tool that we have a NEED for and to be honest, will probably buy used anyway - millionaire or not!

I'm glad to say that the hubby now gets that I really don't want a lot of the trappings that some people feel they can't survive without. It sounds corny, but as long as we have each other, our family/friends (furry and otherwise), and our health -we're good!

I would have to say that some of the things that DO motivate me are the well-being of my loved ones, for me to be allowed to be creative, to be acknowledged (thank you lovely blog readers - you really do hear me!), to make a positive difference in someone else's life, and to do what I can to make our world a better place. -and that concludes my acceptance speech for my Mrs. SuperDuperAmerica award...... Just kidding, I don't mean it to sound like one of those sickly-sweet diatribes. But I think these really are some of the things that make me tick.

So what drives you?


  1. For me money = freedom. Some people take that freedom and crap all over other people with it to feel superior, and some people take that freedom and help themselves and their family and friends with it. I don't have alot of money, but what I do have, I share. I give to charity, I buy lunch for a friend, I pick up gifts all year long, just beacause I know they will make someone smile. And my friends are like that too. The only thing that would be great about winning the lotto is that I could by my best friend a house instead a book by her favourite author.

    Unforunately many people work in higher paying jobs, only for the money. I suppose it makes you appreciate more, the ones who do it because they love it!

    I do have the utmost respect for those in the medical/health industry though, because I definitely couldn't do that kind of care!

  2. Rue, I am so glad you responded to this. I really didn't mean it to sound like I was against anyone for choosing their career for the money or for already having money. That is the true #1 motivator in any field. It's just not the way I'm wired.

    If I could find something that I loved to do that paid major bucks, I'd be there in a heartbeat. I just need to be happy first where I am and then deal with the money part second. It's not that I don't NEED the money, I just have that lovely problem with being very, very easily bored so if I hate the job, I get into trouble. Now if I could just find that perfect job....

    I love what you said about being able to get your friend a house instead of a book by her favorite author. That would be awesome, but you know that book is probably a treasured possession for her because of the thought you put into it - for her.

    One of my joys is finding things for my family and friends that I know will be absolutely perfect for THEM. It may cost a few pennies, dollars, or nothing if I can make it, but it's personal because they were the only one I had in mind when choosing or creating that item. I pick things up all year long too, it's too much fun surprising my loved ones with something special that I've found just for them. Especially if it based on some off-the-wall comment they made months earlier.

    As far as the nurses and doctors, I am also very much in awe and in extreme debt to them. I do know that many of the nurses don't make near as much as they should compared to the doctors since they're the ones truly caring for the patients on a daily basis. I couldn't imagine dealing with the things and situations they do. It takes a special type of person for that kind of work and I couldn't do it either.

    The medical community was just the convenient example/experience I had at the time when I was writing this post - it could pretty much apply to any career field when it comes to the motivation issue.

    Thanks for your great input as usual! I appreciate it.

  3. Hmmm...I've thought about this for a few minutes...and here's my thoughts.

    In college, I originally started out as a sports med. major, with hopes of eventually getting into physical therapy school. However, after a year of that, I realized I wasn't in the right field.

    I'd always been interested in the human body, biology, physiology, and I decided to take nursing classes.

    I knew I'd be using the knowledge which so interested me, that I'd have tons of job security, and that I'd make a healthy enough income so I'd never have to rely on anybody else for money.

    I've always been a very social I knew I'd have no trouble caring for and getting to know my patients. And I was right. Within a year of graduating and passing my boards, I was a charge nurse.

    It was a good fit for awhile, but I burned out. I'll be honest.

    I'll also confess and say that after Parker was born, I resented being away from him for 12 hour days (or nights) at was horrible.

    So anyway, that's me in a nutshell. ;)

    As for the money, it would simply be nice to not have to worry about bills. To have enough money left over where if we want to take a family vacation, we can, without straining our budget to the point of bankruptcy, you know?


  4. Hi Bridget,

    I'm so glad you replied to this.

    I can relate to the burning out at a job that you initially enjoyed. I was with the Sheriff's Office for over seven years and I loved it - at first. I had found my niche, I was working daily with a lot of great people, I was helping citizens in the community, AND I was making very good money with good benefits.

    But, the 12 hour shifts, no social life beyond my workmates, and the resentment of missing out on things with my family & friends took it's toll.

    I was completely fried. The fact that my boss was an extraordinary bitch didn't help one bit and was pretty much the final straw. She made an extremely stressful work environment intolerable. I just up and quit.

    Even though I was essentially broke, I was so much happier. My family noticed a change immediately.

    Your last statement is exactly what I want - to not have to stress out about every bill coming in. If I could have the bigger bills paid off (come on Lotto!), the every day stuff would all fall into place. Vacations are high on our list too.

    Thank you so much for getting these great conversations going. I really enjoy it.


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