Kick the cat. Kick the dog. Kick the Can. Kick the habit. Kick in. Kick it up. Kick in the head. Kick in the pants. Kick out. Kick butt. Alive and kicking. Kick against the pricks (biblical). Kick off. Roundhouse kick. Kick up your heels. Kick the bucket. Kick the ball. Penalty Kick. Free Kick. Kicking and screaming.

One of my all-time favorite guilty pleasures is to watch M*A*S*H. Don’t ask me why unless you have an afternoon, but one reason is for Hawkeye’s tirades where he says phrases in quick succession focused around a word or idea.  I don’t believe he ever used “Kick”, but you get the idea.

I’ve tried my hand at it to see if any of them where helpful to set me in motion for being self-motivated. I seem to be in a paradox wrapped in conundrum wrapped in a soliloquy concerning finding and settling on my first commandment for my Happiness Project. There are so many areas to choose from to begin real change, but all I am motivated to do is just list them or fret over them. I’m just not motivated past the point of being motivated. It could be better said that I’m procrastinating.

A few sample areas could be: Letting things go, de-cluttering, taking care of unfinished items, more attentive husband, funner dad, curb spending to necessities, and so on.

I watched Invictus with my two older sons and afterward my oldest son said, “I’d like to have that feeling sometime in my life.” He was referring to the unbelievable upset of New Zealand by the South Africans in the 1995 Rugby World Cup.  I agree with him in my own way that I, too, would like to have that feeling. But let’s consider how everyone got to that point.

Nelson Mandela had to have the moral capacity to do what was right to get his country to see people equally.  That meant Mandela spent about 26 years in prison breaking big rocks into smaller rocks. I don’t believe myself or that my any of my three sons have that level of patience, but for me that was the “Tipping Point” for all the feel good events that transpired after Mandela’s release and election to be South Africa’s President.

I want to have the feeling of euphoria similar to winning a World Cup, but to this point in my life I’ve not had the metaphorical kick in the pants to get me started and then the patience to be persistent.  All this time I’ve wanted someone to provide that kick and then keep up with my progress and yell at the side of my head while their blood vessels burst each time I wanted to stop. Slowly I’m realizing that person needs to be me.  I need to keep me going. Yes, inspiration can be found, books read, and philosophies studied, but in the end it comes down to kicking myself into gear or changing the pace as needed.

I believe Bobby Knight said it best, “Most people have the will to win, few have the will to prepare to win.” The South African Rugby players had motivation, sure, but they also prepared for the upset and when it came down to playing in added time after regulation had expired… they were prepared and outlasted the All Blacks from New Zealand.

”Believe deep down in your heart that you’re destined to do great things.” -Joe Paterno

None of the areas I’ve listed for self-improvement will ever be completed, but I must at least start them so when it comes to added time I can just outlast and play out the clock with a knowing smile.


About this entry