Living a Motivated Life

A Memoir and Activities

What if, as psychologists and adult educators advocate, a person chose a life where his motivation for the work itself determined what he did? Living a Motivated Life: A Memoir and Activities follows the author through forty years, revealing how he selected vocational pursuits guided by his understanding of intrinsic motivation and transformative learning. As a compass for relevant decisions, these ideas gave energy and purpose to how he lived, and an instinct as sure as sight for the future.

Written with nuance, humor, and unpredictability, this story renders how he came to appreciate learning for the pleasure of learning. Facing similar challenges as those of today’s first generation college students, the memoir narrates his unexpected college enrollment, his friendship with an ancient history professor, and his triumphs and travails as teacher, psychologist, human relations specialist, psychotherapist, and adult educator.

This is the first memoir of someone who consciously chose to lead a professional life to experience flow on a daily basis. It is an important step in the integration and evolution of intrinsic motivation theory and transformative learning. But it reaches beyond this outcome, sharing how the author aspired to be better at what he valued and showing how he discovered and extended these ideas to others.

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Raymond J. Wlodkowski, Ph.D., (1970), Wayne State University, is Professor Emeritus (Regis University-Denver), scholar of adult motivation and learning, member of the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame, and co-author of Enhancing Adult Motivation to Learn (4th ed., Jossey-Bass, 2017). Dr. Wlodkowski is the founding Executive Director of the Council for Accelerated Programs (CAP) and the former Director of the Center for the Study of Accelerated Learning at Regis University. He is a psychologist and co-author of Teaching Intensive and Accelerated Courses (Jossey-Bass, 2010) and Diversity & Motivation: Culturally Responsive Teaching in College (Jossey-Bass, 2009), winner of the Cyril O. Houle Award for Outstanding Literature in Adult Education. His books have been translated into Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese. Dr. Wlodkowski has been the recipient of awards for teaching excellence at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Antioch University-Seattle.
Hear Raymond tell stories from the book at Fitzgeralds in Chicago:
Dr. Finley Hooper:
Throughout Raymond Wlodkowski’s memoir, he refers to what he learned and experienced with his friend, the ancient history professor, Dr. Finley Hooper, author of Greek Realities (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1967). In this video Raymond recalls how they initially met and the risk he took to encourage their friendship beyond the classroom.

Beds and Pencils:
Highly influential throughout Raymond Wlodkowski’s memoir and personal development was the education he received in parochial schools, largely taught by nuns. In this video Raymond recalls his first day at school and the calamity of losing the special pencil he received from his teacher, Sister Leonisa.

Safety Boys and an Uncommon Friend:
Very few crossing guards ever have the opportunity to turn away eight hundred students, a decision Raymond Wlodkowski and his friend Bob Buziak made at thirteen years of age to increase their chances for a “snow day.” Twenty years later they meet in New York City to recall this escapade in the presidential suite of RCA records.

"If you're looking for an inspirational story about the pursuit of knowledge, and how to become a better adult learner, this would be a great book to read." - in Windy City Review

"Overall, I would strongly recommend this book to individuals that enjoy the art of storytelling and the power of transformative learning. Wlodkowski provides a scenic tapestry of stories, composed of a wealth of knowledge that is germane to both psychologist and the field of adult education in a way that makes learning the material feel effortless. At the core, Living a Motivated Life serves as a mirror for each of us to do our own reflective process on what we can extrapolate from our own lifewide learning experiences to the benefit of others." - Joslyn S. Johnson, in Adult Education Quarterly
About the Author


PART 1: Memoir

1 Real Life Education
2 Sister Mary Desiderata
3 Having a Ball
4 Doing Duty
5 Lucking Out
6 Learning to Flow
7 Transformative Friendship
8 Teacher Newbie
9 Teaching Troubles
10 There Are Ways
11 Entering a Life of Study
12 Human Relations
13 Therapy Lessons
14 Adult Learning
15 Perspectives and Connections
16 Conversations of Respect

PART 2: Activities

17 An Overview of Intrinsic Motivation, Flow, and Vital Engagement
18 Transformative Learning: A Partner to Intrinsic Motivation throughout Life
19 Learning to Evoke and Sustain Intrinsic Motivation with Transformative Learning

<>Notes and References
All interested in intrinsic motivation, transformative learning, adult learning and development, professional learning and training, social contribution and change, storytelling and memoir as means to greater agency, self-regulation, and fulfilment.
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