Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Final Project: Motivation in a Crisis

The class is a study of Motivation; to be moved into action.

What is motivation? What are some sources of motivation? Does my past motivate me today? Does my unconscious motivate me in any way? Do all people share similar motives despite cultural, language, and socioeconomic differences? What role does motivation play in my selection of a mate?
Questions like these and others are part of the reason I was so interested in taking this course. While the study of motivation alone was interesting, the course also helped me understand more about myself. Why was I pulled to psychology and education as professions? Why was I so determined to do track in high school? Why do I take solace in isolation rather than in companionship with humanity? I found the reasons for these choices through the study of motivation and the class forums.
The class of “Motivation” is more than just an education and four credits. It is also a way to grow in maturity and wisdom. But most importantly, it has helped me survive!
Read on…

About a month ago, I had chest pains and was rushed to the hospital. There I was examined and my cardiologist found muscle protein in the blood stream. She ran another lab to see if it was heart muscle. The results came in while I was waiting for orientation to start. That is when I met Dr. Berg and asked to be excused from orientation.
It has been a rollercoaster since then. Well, it has been a rollercoaster since the beginning as you may know if you have read my posts. At first, I was angry about the news. Then I thought about all the abuse I put my body through. I have only myself to blame.
I have been going to University of Pennsylvania from some treatments and tests since I got the news about my heart. During all of it I have been taking this class, and I am so glad I decided to drop learning theory instead of this class (I couldn’t do two summer classes at the same time and deal with the heart issues).
When my cardiologist called with the results of the lab showing heart muscle in the bloodstream, I broke down. I screamed at my God, asking him why he let this happen after all I did to try and turn myself around. Then, I took another look at my situation. Using this class as a guide I went over my past and examined my motives, including the ones that I was unaware of (all of which is posted in my third post). I examined the sources of my motives whether they were psychological, physiological, and environmental. I studied the incentives of my motives, what it was that I was after when I chose a course of action.
I especially focused on chapter 7 section one; Appraisal of life events, primary and secondary. I decided to do just that. I took out a piece of paper and started.
I considered all of the variables in my life. Then I did a primary appraisal. It was a negative of course. So, I moved on to secondary appraisal.
I had a body that was abused for what was to be the growth years, the years where my body should have been at its peak! So that was a negative, but at least I was aware of it. So I gave that one a neutral mark. Now I had a family to lean on once again. I had my faith in my God again. I was no longer in isolation. I had my friends. I had a huge buffer of support for this situation. I had coped with my stress in an emotion-focused coping strategy. Ever since my brain tumor, I had developed a positive approach to most of life’s lemons and therefore I saw them as more of a challenge. I decided that I fell into the “sense of humor” and “hardiness” categories of personality.
After the appraisal, I decided that I was going to overcome this challenge. I shared the whole appraisal process with my family and friends, and we all got a laugh out of my list of past errors. They agreed with my decision to overcome this challenge.
It is all right there! The essence of the class!
A fork in the road. What motivated me to choose my action?

1. The sources of my motive
a. Psychological
i. Personality
1. Sense of Humor +
2. Hardiness +
ii. Emotional state
1. Stressed -
2. Suffering from low self esteem –
3. Happy +
b. Environmental
i. Support of friends +
ii. Support of family +
iii. Religion +
iv. In a hospital (stressful environment in my opinion) -
c. Physiological
i. Lost weight +
ii. Will to survive (humanities shared past) +
iii. Body badly beaten (personal past) -
iv. Well fed, no thirst. +

Nine positives, four negatives. While this list here does not contain everything that I had on my notepad, it had the core ones.
Thus, my motives pushed me into action, and my disposition and personality pushed to challenge this lemon and overcome it.


So you can see how this class was more to me then a few credits. It was my survival. This all happened a month ago and since then I have been healing very well. I place my success on many things, mostly on this class. It has been a long, stressful, and exhausting couple of months but I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

I was going to put up pictures of my past and some MRI’s. I know this is a lot of reading and I am sorry for the lack of extras like pictures.

P.S. Thank you to all of you who have commented to me. Your words give me strength through this ordeal.