Last night I was at dinner with my best friend, Ella Garnett, and we were talking about how we had got to that moment in our life; the things that drove us, the things that influenced us, the things that motivated us.

As I recounted the influences in my life and realized one of my greatest motivators has been my dad…

I can recall coming home from school with 97% on assignments and my dad saying: “Where’s the other three percent?”  I’d like to blame him for my perfectionism, but audio tapes exist of me playing the piano at six years of age and literally screaming out in frustration if I played the wrong note.  I have been a recovering perfectionist since 1997…

The interesting part of this story is how my father has motivated me.   There have been a number of occasions that his statements were what compelled me to succeed…and NOT just getting that extra three percent 😉

Occasion #1: I had won a three month membership to a gym when I was 16; don’t remember why, must have been something athletic.  After the three months were up, I wanted to join and my dad said (to the best of my memory) ‘Renee, you’ll never use a membership to a gym; I had one for a year and went twice.’  Not only did I join the gym, I’ve been a member at one every since, going 4-6 times a week.

Occasion #2: I was going to start a Master’s degree and when I told my dad he said, “Renee, you don’t want to do that, you won’t like writing all those papers and doing all that work.”  Not only did I get that MA, I completed half of a second MA this past summer and am working towards my PhD.

What is the lesson here?  If you want to get me to do something, call my dad and get him to tell me I won’t want to…jk 😉  I love my dad, and if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be where I am today!

There was one other occasion, that had nothing to do with my dad…I took piano lessons for FAR too long (nearly 10 years), and one of my piano teachers told me that ‘I am a good piano player; but I’ll never play with soul”…

I’m working on that 😉

What is your motivation?


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