Monday, March 16, 2009

What Motivates You?

Good morning!

Happy Birthday Vince!

I am tired as hell today. It’s my own fault. I stayed up late AGAIN for no reason last night. I could blame it on Ant for distracting me on IM, but that wasn’t the case this time ;-) I could even say it was because of Facebook. But that wouldn’t be true either. I just couldn’t fall asleep. I guess I was a little off from being out late Saturday night at the SU Reunion party at Katra Lounge where I ran into some SU heads I haven’t seen in a LONG time – Mr. Anthony “Latinegro” Otero included :-) It was SO great to see him, Pop, Kellie, Kerry, Kevin, Krystal (a lot of K’s in there), Mosi, Terry, Arley (who hosted the event) and a host of other alum who came out in abundance that night. It was packed, hot as hell, and E.J. the deejay kept the party live – a great time!

So now it’s Monday, and I can’t stop yawning. Weekends are too short – I could use one more day to get it together. As much as I love my job, I’d rather be curled up on the couch watching The View instead of watching it from my desk. Guess it could be worse – I could be standing in the unemployment line. That thought isn’t even enough to motivate me yet, although it should be. I count my blessings everyday.

I have a Spinning class to get to at 7p tonight, but I’m still trying to figure out how I’m going to stay awake until lunch time. I need some help. I need some motivation. Suggestions?

Usually I get motivated to go to the gym by watching Beyonce videos on my iPod or on the Internet. Something about the dance sequence at the end of “Crazy in Love” makes me stay on the elliptical a little longer. For Spinning though, I’ll need some other type of motivation since I won’t be able to use my iPod. Maybe I’ll pretend I’m Lance Armstrong racing to the finish of the Tour de France…who knows.

I’m sure I’ll make it through today, but there are some that find it hard to get up and go to work each and EVERY day. We do it because we need to in order to survive. Some of us are motivated by money. Some of us are motivated by fame or prestige or power. Some are motivated simply because they love what they do. My biggest challenge this morning wasn’t getting dressed to come to work, or even thinking about the gym later. What I worried about MOST this morning...was what to blog about :-) Over the past few months, I’ve rediscovered one of my biggest motivators – Writing.

My family motivates me, my friends motivate me. But writing, on a more personal level, takes me to another place. I feel like it’s something I have to do daily, even if no one reads what I write but me. I’m not famous because I blog. I don’t get paid to do it (even though that would be nice) and my livelihood from a monetary standpoint definitely doesn’t depend on it. Writing is something that I’ve always loved to do from the time I was a little girl, but never pursued it as a career. I was a broadcast journalism major in college, and I write everyday slightly in my day to day at the network. But my creative writing slowed down to just a few poems here and there that I’d jot down every once in a while when the mood hit me. The motivation was gone - until I was convinced to start a blog.

“What would I write about?” I’d use as an excuse not to start writing again.

“I can’t blog everyday, I’d never be able to do it.”

Funny right? :-)

Now I can’t stop. Writing sparks a chemical reaction in me now that I love to share...for no other reason than it makes me happy.

As I type, I feel my energy level rising. With every stroke of a key, I feel like I’m coming to life...waking up finally. If I were to be completely honest with myself, I’d want to be a professional writer, making my own schedule, with a pen and journal in hand laying on the beach. I can dream can’t I?

Is anyone else out there dreaming besides me? It’s never too late. If you’re not doing it now, tell us what you want to be when you grow up. What motivates you to get you where you're going - to be what you want to be?

You know what they say - when you love what you do, your work becomes your play. Are you working? Or are you playing? I think I’m doing both :-)
Happy Monday!



Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

My family, my friends & the life that I aspire to have motivate me.

And hey being on the unemployment line isn't that bad. I'm quite enjoying my first day!!!

Brooke said...

Being unemployed doesn't scare me, not having health benefits does :)

Rameer beat you!

My nephews motivate me too.

Anonymous said...

What motivates me? My family, my loved ones, wanting to succeed - you know, the usual suspects. But you know what REALLY motivates me???

People doubting me or talking ill of me.

I LOVE people telling me what I can't do. I LOVE hearing someone tell me the reasons why something can't or won't occur. Cuz 95% of the time, I prove them wrong. That doesn't mean everything someone says isn't possible I'll do it to prove them wrong - if someone told me I'll never pilot a plane, I'd agree! I don't go against people just because.

But there are certain things that I know fool well I can do and/or accomplish - and people have a way of wanting to be negative and discourage or tear you down. And I love doing it to rub their noses in it - LOVE IT.

When I was in high school, an all boys, lily-white, rich boy PRIVATE Jesuit high school - I remember telling our guidance counselor I wanted to go to Syracuse. Hell, I told everyone - it was no secret. It was my dream. You know what that bitch ass told me? "You might want to set your sights a little lower?" WHAT?!? Then, I had all the little white dudes tellin' me to apply to Buffalo State, MAYBE Canisius College (I went to Canisius High School,so they said it may gain me favor in getting in), various local colleges, etc.

At that point, it was no longer about wanting to go to my dream school. It was about shutting these white boys the F UP. I took my SATS MAAAAAADDDD early - so early, in fact, I was able to take them a second time, and it was STILL earlier than most high schoolers. I had all my materials in to not only Syracuse, but every college I applied to. Oh, did I mention that because they told me to aim lower, I aimed HIGHER? I applied to Michigan, NYU, Fordham, Howard University and the University Of Buffalo (had to apply to at least one school at home, even though I had no intention of ever setting foot on that campus).

I knew that I was accepted to EVERY SINGLE SCHOOL before Christmas.

I spent the rest of the year rubbing their noses in that ish. "Oh, where you going? Haven't heard back yet? Oh, gee, that's too bad. Did I tell you Syracuse got back to me in DECEMBER??" LMAO!!

Some of them tried to ask me did I get any special "Black scholarships". Nope, bitch - I got that good student scholarship! Lol! It killed them that I got in so early - and was ROCKIN' the SU gear like WHAT!

I spent the rest of the year telling them maybe they should "aim lower", and walking into the guidance counselor's office every time I was rockin' my gear or SU had won a basketball game.

I once even dated a girl, rocked her world, and broke up with her - just to prove a point to her cousin, who said "you would have no chance with my cousin". I literally broke up with her after bringing up that convo to the cousin and being like "I just wanted to point out how WRONG you were".

Oh don't worry - the girl was superficial as hell. It's not like it was going to be a long-lasting romance. I only got with her anyway cuz I was told she was "outta my league". Ain't ISH outta MY league...cuz I don't know too many who are playing at an all-star level like I am...LOL!

And I was young. Sue me.

But yeah, that's my motivation - telling me I can't do something I know full well I can do if I want to. I actually once told a girl "you're gonna love me"...and brought it up to her years later when she did.

Cocky? Nah...but for damned sure confident...

Anonymous said...

Beating Annamaria twice in the same month motivates me...Lol!

Brooke said...

Rameer, I love you :-)

Anonymous said...

Awwww!!! I love u too, Ms. Brookes!!!

Brooke said...

LOL!! My mom says that to me, "Ms. Brookes!" except she adds "Dean" to the end :-)

And I feel you on that - when people tell me I can't do something, it sounds foreign to me. I only applied to Syracuse, that was it. I knew that was where I wanted to go. People would say to me "You only applied to one school? What if you don't get in?" I remember thinking "huh?" Like that was even possible? Like you said, not really cocky, just confident in who I was and what I could accomplish. People thought I was being arrogant...but really what it was was focus. I told my mom not to waste any money or any more school applications - Syracuse was it for me.

Hindsight is 20/20, so maybe that wasn't the smartest thing to do, but at the same time I think my confidence and certaintly are what put it out there in the universe for me to make it happen. So many people told me it was the wrong me, that I was making a mistake... and now they see why I bleed Orange. Nothing feels better than to dream, as you and I did about the school we wanted to attend, only to see those dreams realized.

We change our dreams everyday, which requires different motivations. But the one thing that remains constant is that I never feel like I can't do something I set my sights on, I just need various forms of motivation to get there.

Anonymous said...


COBRA + economic stimulas package that covers most of your COBRA cost = no worries.... :)

Rameer you will get TASED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

OR you can marry Rameer & get his benefits!!! lol

Brooke said...

I'd marry Rameer off his smile alone ;-)

Cobra is expensive as hell I heard! I never want to find out! Not having health insurance scares the bjeezus outta me!

But you motivate me too Annamaria. I've been laid off before, but I had a great severance package that included my former employer to pay my benefits for a year. If I were pregnant, I'd be freaking out. But you have shown nothing but excitement and faith through this whole thing. People who live their life on faith inspire and motivate me, because it reminds me that no matter what - even if we can't control what happens to us - we can control how we react to it. So Annamaria, you motivate me in ways you have no idea...and I thank you for that!

Anonymous said...

AWWWW you made me want to cry!!! I'm glad that I can motivate you & that makes me feel good! You guys help keep me going. I have to look at the bright side & keep things going for the baby!! He/She is more important than anything else. Cobra is crazy expensive but thanks to OBAMA the government is now covering 65% soooooo it's not soo bad. Plus I need it for the baby. Besides to me right now it's more important to stay positive & healthy for the munchkin!!! In these times things can be sooo much worse for me. I have my health, my friends, my family, my boyfriend & the kids & the new baby!! I have soo many positive things going for me that the rest will fall into place.
Besides everything happens for a reason that only God knows so who am I to question it. Whatever is meant to happen will happen & I'm sure it will be GREAT!!! :)

E.Payne said...

* God (my first and true source of inspiration)

* My kids' happiness

* Money (never feeling like I need it)

* My wife's silence - this means all is well (just joking - not really)

There's more but I got work to do.


Georgia Peach said...

What motivates me to come to work each day?

- Paycheck and the ability to do my own ish once I'm here
- My social plans after work (might be a tadbit trifling to call out sick, but then go out that night to do my own thing socially).

What motivates me to succeed?

- Hmmm I'm more competitive than might seem on the surface and I've always had a goal of where I wanted to be by this point in life. Although I'm still not there, I've had some great adventures on the journey.
- Fear of failure is the other thing that motivates me to succeed.
- Third and most important thing is I want a certain lifestyle and to get it I have to keep working hard.

Overall what motivates me?
-Love of the game. I LOVE business plain and simple and eventually I'll be running my own media empire. Everything I do is dedicated to the goal of building that empire, one brick at a time.

I can respect what Rameer mentioned earlier, and I'll admit when I first moved to NYC the fact that all of my family doubted that I could make it here, made me GRIND that much harder to make it.

Brooke said...

Annamaria, your positive outlook on life is contagious, love it!

E, you can tell by reading your blog what motivates you - God, family and pride in being a great man, husband, father, son and friend. God allows us to be all that we are, so it's great that you listed him first. I should have done that, but God knows my heart :-)

Anyone have any suggestions they have for motivating yourself or others to work out? :-)

Anonymous said...

I did a 40 minute workout and was motivated that by my inlaws who call me at least once a week to tell me that I am as big as a house... Even though they haven't seen me in weeks... And I'm really not! lol

Brooke said...

Glee, your comment posted twice, so I removed one of them. And yes, you are definitely one of the most driven people I know. Working with you was a pleasure, not just because we became fast buddies, but because I got to see you at your best professionally, and that's always inspiring...especially when it's another black woman doing her thing. To be a positive person, especially in the midst of the company you kept in your dept., and STILL be able to succeed shows that you don't have to be mean or a bitch to get ahead. You're a genuinely good person who makes things happen while lifting others up, and that's motivating!

Annamaria, it would be IMPOSSIBLE for you to be big as a house - you're about as big as a minute, so they really need to stop!

Anthony Otero said...

Writing Motivates me. It makes realize that I am more than just my job.

The students motivate me. I know people wonder why I am still here and everything, but I have a very fullfilling job. I feel like I giving to students the mentoring I didnt have when I was here.

It was great seeing people this weekend too! We wont mention how they tried to not let Brooke, Sue, and I in because it was "at capacity".

Brooke said...

Well Ant, we saw when we got in that it actually WAS at capacity!! That place as PACKED!! It was damn near a fire hazard! MAD SU Heads up in there!! Was fun tho once we got in and could actually breathe!

Oh, and did I mention how handsome Ant was...he looked exactly the same as he did all those years ago, with his fine self!

I can only imagine the influence you're having on students there. We just can't believe you're there cuz of the cold and snow :-) The students are lucky to have you!

Anonymous said...

The positivity and bright spirits exuded in this blog daily motivate me.

Serena W. said...

Great blog!!!!! Whew I'm motivated just by the title and all the great comments lol!

Brooke you said it perfectly about writing...Writing sparks a chemical reaction in me.

What motivates me?

God and Lord Jesus Christ and the ancestors that died so we can live the life we are living.

My mother is my champion, angel and saint. She was along side of me when she told peeps said...yeah she's getting into SU and we ain't worried about the money. When I got in and got a damn near full ride off of grades and our income (yes we were on welfare and my mother didn't blink her eyes when I got accepted...she said the money will come) she smiled and said...I told you so! Ha!

Writing and be free with it covers me with motivation! Between poetry and fiction I have a freedom with my pen and pad or my laptop like with nothing else! I love writing childrens stories...letting my mind escape to places fills me up!

Motivating people to help their nonprofits strive strikes chords in my body! I love helping others and with my knowledge and love for it and writing that's why I'm stepping out on faith...and with no health benefits as of July 1st.

As Annamaria said I'm blessed for health, family that loves me, friends, y'all and so much more! I'm blessed with the gifts that God gave me.

And just for you Rameer...I love the haters! They are fuel to my fire! When someone says, "Oh she can't do that...oh you can't self publish, oh what are you going to do now in Dallas now that you're single and oh..." I told me hater!!!!! I love showing out!

Brooke the door will open one day and be wide and you'll have to choose. My benefits...or my dreams. I know editors that charge $8.00 a page Brookes (there are the ones that have been around the block)! They love editing and helping the author get one step closer to their dream! Do the math...400 pages times $8.00. And you know what they'll tell you...I'm not in it for the loot, this is my love!

Scary as it sounds...I chose my dreams. God already told me the money and benefits will come.

Brooke said...

It motivates me too Ram - I always look forward to reading what everyone has to say. The fact that anyone reads my blog at all motivates me. I truly feel like I can call you all friends, not just "commenters" or people who read my blog. You're all part of life now, and that's motivating :)

And yes, I'd still marry Rameer cuz of his long as he doesn't wear the terrorist mask to bed ;)

Serena W. said...

Another motivator...all the wonderful authors that have shared their lessons with me, have mentored me, loved me, tell me what I'm doing wrong, how to do it right...etc. The ones who aren't selfish and willing to share!

Brooke said...

Serena, I posted as you did, so I missed your comment. I got teary eyed a bit because my mom ddn't blink when I told her where I wanted to go either. Anyone can tell you that SU wasn't cheap, and my mom was working 2 jobs then, and had another daughter to put thru school after me. I got almost a full scholarship too, but the rest my mom paid out of pocket with the money she made off her second job. My sophomore year, I took out loans for the rest so she could put my sister thru school after me. Talk about motivation and inspiration. My mother told me to go where I wanted to go and do what I wanted to do and she and God would take care of the rest. People told her she couldn't do it alone, but she did...and she is the first one to proudly say both of her daughters are college graduates.

Did I mention my mom wore a bright orange dress on my graduation day? :) That day wasn't just for me, it was for HER - because without her motivation and encouragement, I wouldn't even be here.

Thank you Serena for being such an inspiration to me in such a short time. You've touched me in ways that you have no idea...or maybe you do. But thank you!

Serena W. said...

And Rameer and Brooke...just tell us all since we are all friends when's the wedding lol!

Serena W. said...

Wow Brooke, you're blowing me away and thank you. I had no idea. One thing I learned from family (a couple of the haters) and from those that inspire is the always remain humble. Always say thank you and love life. So Brookey Baby thank you for real. And yes graduation was Mom's day. When I got my masters I graduated on her birthday! People still tried to snatch her joy and she just stood proud! Hmmmmm, that day will always sit with me in my soul.

Anonymous said...

When's the wedding?

***cues Kanye Wesy music***

"Laaaa, la la la - wait 'til I get my money right..."

Lol! Gotta be able 2 take care of my beautiful bride. y'know.

I do have good benefits,! But I can't promise that my alter ego, Pain, won't make a bedroom appearance...

If I marry Brooke, I wonder will that make Annamaria put the taser away...

Brooke said...

Hey, good benefits is all I need :) We have great benefits here too, so I'm thrilled about that. I go to the doctor just for the hell of it :-) She's like "weren't you just here." Hey, if A&E's paying, I'm there! And I LOVE my dentist! Great teeth motivate me :-)

What scares me? Alter Ego's named "Pain." Yikes! or should I say, "Ouch"?

Serena W. said...

Alter Ego named Pain...hmmmmm. I don't know Brooke he may have the cable guy beat! LOL!!!!

Brooke said...

HA! The cable guy is Black History!

Tanya said...

It is funny that this blog is posted today...I believe that everything happens the way God intends it.

I don't get a chance to look at this during the I am sorry that I respond so late.

I guess the first thing that motivates me in the spirit inside of me to do well around me. My MOM, my family, my boyfriend, and some friends inspire me. I also find that many of my friends and peers from SU have given me renewed energy to pursue some dreams.

I guess my ability to motivate change in youth that don't look at the future as something meaningful...find more enjoyment in drug use and crime...I try to engage them in some new thoughts. It doesn't work for many but for that one that looks at me a with interest...I continue to do the work that I do. It is hard work, but I know that I am the one to do it.

I also have found some new things that are motivating me. I love photography...but it is in its infancy...I hope to develop it further and really capture the beauty around me. I love to shoot kids...I love all kinds of kids!!!

I appreciate the opportunity to share. I am not the best writer but enjoy reading all the things that everyone is sharing and hope to get better each day.

Thanks for allowing me a part of this.

Brooke said...

Tanya, thank you so much for reading and stopping by. I have to agree with you - I feel like I've gotten so much more connected with my SU family and friends, and that is such a great feeling. For all of us to have different lives but motivate and encourage each other thru one commonality (where we went to school) is so uplifting.

Working with children is such an important job, and I'm so glad you're doing it. Your rewards must be immeasurable. There are special places in heaven for people like you :-)

Keep up with the photography! You'll be better, I'm sure of it! Isn't it fun to find something that you love to do, so much that you'd do it for free? That's great!

Thank you so much for sharing. Reading all your thoughts inspires me everyday :-)

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