Simplicity motivates in spring

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 23, 2009

The great comedian George Carlin once said of motivation books: What’s the deal with motivation books? If you’re motivated enough to go to the bookstore to buy a motivation book, you’re motivated. Put the book down, tell the clerk, “I’m motivated.”

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, patriarch of the first family of football Archie Manning and others recently participated in a seminar in Jackson on motivating the attendees to, well, get motivated.

It’s easy to be unmotivated this time of year — especially this year. The economy is in the tank. The country is staying divided, if not moreso than ever in my lifetime. The dark afternoons have been with us for three months now. Added together, it’s been the winter of bad news.

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Spring is here, though, and the weather that greeted the season of re-birth has been Rockwell-esque, the perfect medicine for an ailing psyche.

To further attempt to motivate ourselves out of the winter doldrums, follow these simple steps. Be advised, though, that my advice and $2 will get you a ride on the New York City Subway.

• Get out of the house and breathe in the air. Someone, somewhere in the neighborhood will soon be mowing the grass for the first time of the season. The intoxicating odor of freshly cut grass provides a perfect elixir to the smell coming from our nation’s capital. Hang the clothes outside to dry; the smell is almost as blissful at freshly mown  grass.

• Turn off the TV, ditch Shep, CNN and Greta, and appreciate the small things. No one get motivated watching a shouting match between windbag on the left and blowhard on the right. There is no joy in Greta-ville.

• Weather the storm. When times get tough maybe it’s time to step back, re-think priorities and enjoy the things that make life worth living.

Find your way out to the country on a crystal clear night and find Orion in the Western sky and the Big Dipper in the North. Put the mutt on the leash and walk around the neighborhood — say hello to those you encounter. Take the kids to a playground.

Archie Manning I am not — even though I can throw a junior football 50 yards — but try those three and maybe you will be motivated to at least look at your life in a slightly different light.

If not, remember the No. 4 train Uptown takes you to Yankee Stadium.

Sean P. Murphy is Web editor of The Vicksburg Post. Write to him at Box 821668, Vicksburg, MS 39182, or e-mail