The Boston Girl – A book review and thoughts on being someone

This was supposed to post on Saturday, January 30th, but due to my own error it did not. So, without further ado…..

Day 29: Be somebody

I’m teaching the NETA Personal Trainer Workshop again this weekend, but have the luxury of staying at home and teaching at one of my places of employment. The group is small and 1/3 of them are familiar to me. But, it’s still a different job than I usually do at this place and it always puts extra pressure on me to “perform” at my best. Today we were talking about behavior change and motivation. We discussed, as I have often, about intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation. I always find myself to be more intrinsically motivated in life.

I enjoy seeing how much more and how much better I am doing at things. That’s part of the goal of this 30 day challenge….to improve upon myself and the way I live in order to meet goals and have a better 2016. I like the sense of challenge against myself and feeling like I’m doing a good job. But, that doesn’t mean that extrinsic rewards are never part of the picture.

Earlier in the month I wrote about wanting to read more and the book I was working on at the time was The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant. I finished that book awhile ago and The Art of Stillness is now sitting on the book table waiting for me to open it. But, there are some ways in which the story of the main character in Diamant’s book appeal to my sense of extrinsic motivation. She is the youngest girl in her family and the only one born in America. Her family is traditional and she is more modern (much like her oldest sister). Throughout the book she is constantly trying to figure out who she is as a woman and growing throughout each experience. The whole story is her own recount to her granddaughter when the granddaughter asks about how she got to be the woman she is today. During this woman’s story she, and others, refer to her becoming a real “Boston Girl”; a somebody.

The main character doesn’t strive to be famous in a traditional way, but known and important in her own way. I think this is a similar journey that I am on right now. I realize that requesting notoriety is not a very yoga thing to do, but I also believe that people do deserve recognition for a job well done. Earlier this week one of my “bosses” told me how much she appreciated my work. This meant a lot to me. I look up to and admire this person’s opinion. Even better for me is when my children tell me that I am the best mama in the whole world. And maybe it’s selfish of me to want more, but I want to be a somebody in my work as well as in my every day life.

I would love to be requested more for workshops and to have my classes filled every semester because I’m that instructor that everyone wants to take. I would love to find the full time job of my dreams where I am recognized as doing a great job in my field. I do not aspire to become a celebrity trainer, own my own gym, have my face plastered on merchandise, nor create a training system that sells out world wide. I do not hope to find the cure for cancer, win the Nobel prize, or anything of that extreme measure. But, I would like to get an article or two published in my lifetime, do some kind of research that matters, teach students in a way that is meaningful and lasting to them. And, in general, make my career matter. I want to be a somebody in my own life.

I write this blog to stay connected to my industry and to try and reach out to people who may need the information that I have to provide. It would be great if it would take off, and if it doesn’t, I will keep pushing forward. The greatest feelings of success in my life will always be those intrinsically motivated and the extrinsic reward of seeing my two beautiful children smile at me with love. But, it’s okay to go for gold sometimes too.

One final note on The Boston Girl…..I recommend it as an easy read to get lost in, but the story ends abruptly. It makes me wonder if the author was pressed for time to finish. If you shy away from somewhat disappointing endings, I wouldn’t put this one high on my list. If you like to just have a well written something to distract you in the evenings, pick it up.

How are you motivated? Intrinsic or Extrinsic?

Do you feel like you’re a someone in your own life?

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