Resolution and Motivation

How do you motivate yourself to do something? For some, it may be the threat of physical punishment. For example, if you don’t do something, you get punished. This form of punishment is very common in schools, where teachers use the threat of detention to coerce students into behaving properly. “If you don’t keep quiet, you are going to spend all the time you have wasted in this lesson staying in during the break time. If you waste twenty minutes of this lesson, I will make you waste twenty minutes of your lunch hour!” Outside of school, of course, adults are withheld pay or privileges if performance falls. Many working adults face being fired if they do not meet targets set by their employers, but that is another story for another day.

What if you wanted to make yourself do something you would normally not? This activity may be something like going for a run, living more healthily, or making some changes for the better. Usually the reward in itself may be enough to justify finding the willpower to do so, such as being more healthy if you could only just kick yourself out the front door to go running. But if that is difficult, giving yourself a reward may also be an option. For example, if you dislike running very much – or any form of sustained physical exercise – going out for a run and then telling yourself you’ve earned the chocolate bar for tomorrow because you’ve burned off the calories may be one way of doing so.

So it is a new year and the time to live positively.

The classical composer Camille Saint-Saens is known as a serious composer, but he seized the opportunity to try something new by writing Carnival of the Animals, a light-hearted piece, on a whimsical new year’s resolution. (Read more about it here from the Piano Lessons Crouch End website.) It turned out to be one of his more famous works!

Let that be your new year motivation!

Amusing Airline Anecdotes

Half term is nearly upon us, and for those of us seeking to go on a trip away somewhere which involves a short-haul flight, beware of the squirrels.


Have you read about the squirrel that got banned from a flight? Or how the horse got on in the first place? You may think this sort of weird remarks as coming from the Guinness Book of Strange Records, but they are absolutely true.

They are not the kind of anecdotes people come up with to break the ice during silent and perhaps awkward dinner conversations, or perhaps sprout to look smart, aware or knowledgeable in the company of others.

Animals are allowed on aeroplanes in certain cases. Why is this so and how is this possible?

Well, airlines recently introduced that policy in order to help passengers with a fear of flying to cope. Some passengers have anxieties about travelling up and down in a flying metal tin can along with hundreds of fellow passengers sardined together and driven around with no control – having an animal comfort companion is a way of establishing some control and taking your mind off an otherwise stressful situation.

In the past, a turkey has travelled on a plane. There are also pictures of a horse. Cats and dogs are more common. The carriage of animals has to be booked in advance of course, but even so, a woman who booked in her pet squirrel as a travelling companion had to be removed from a flight. But not first before standing her ground and having the whole planeload of passengers disembarking.

What a nuisance caused by a squirrel!

This tale may be recounted to you by the passenger in the seat next to you as a welcome distraction from in flight demonstrations. And if you are feeling in a bit of a gregarious mood, why not tell your fellow passenger about the music composer with two skulls? You can read more about Joseph Haydn (yes, there really are two skulls in his tomb!) from the Piano Teachers N4 website.

Happy holidays!