Finding your own motivation to succeed

By // March 27, 2015

This post is written by guest blogger Joan Shulman, a member of the Board of Directors of LightHouse Holyoke.

I’d like to pickup on the chicken/road theory discussed by Catherine in the previous post. One sentence in particular really struck a chord with me: The person who is motivated by their own desires and vision will work through and around the obstacles. How true!

When the motivation or drive of students is based on the approval of others (including teachers, parents and making grades) it’s a set-up for the development of tendencies that can follow us into adulthood. The two that immediately come to mind are pleasing and perfectionism. On the surface, pleasing and perfectionism may not sound too bad. After all, who doesn’t want to be nice and look good doing so? It becomes dangerous when our choices and actions become so focused on showing up for others, that we lose our selves and the connection to our own purpose. I am quite sure the traditional education setting adds to the cultivation of these nuances in adult personality. To quote author & researcher Brené Brown, “Worthiness doesn’t have prerequisites.”

Imagine a learning environment where our own sense of internal worthiness is the motivating factor; where there is no shame in “failure” but rather encouragement to try, to make mistakes, to be innovative and take risks. Let’s face it; we all fall on our faces from time to time. That’s life. But what if our community was there to encourage, support and cheer us on in those difficult moments? Wouldn’t we likely get up and try again? Now that’s a chicken who’s determined to cross the road. That’s Lighthouse Holyoke!


Hi, my name is Joan Shulman. I’m delighted to introduce myself as a member of the Board of Directors for Lighthouse Holyoke. Progressive education is not new to me. I attended Hampshire College when it was still considered an experiment, and my own children attended an alternative charter school in Central MA where I served as the School Counselor for 12 years. Currently I am a life coach with a passion for shame-free living. I facilitate the work of Dr. Brené Brown and mentor therapists and coaches through their certification processes. I look forward to meeting you and to my involvement with the Lighthouse Holyoke community during such an exciting phase. It is truly an honor.

One Comment on ““Finding your own motivation to succeed”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *