What’s Your Carrot?

Image from Kinolife
Image from Kinolife

“Dangling a carrot in front of a donkey—or anyone else for that matter—is not nice, and not fair, unless you eventually plan to give it up to them.” ~ Vera NazarianThe Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration


Traditionally a carrot was dangled in front of a donkey to keep him moving forward, even if he didn’t want to go. He trotted along, all the while hoping to get his mouth around that sweet juicy treat.

We all work better with a little incentive. When we plan something and work towards it, or choose a reward for the achievement of a certain action or purpose it allows us to hold a pleasurable image in our head, even when where we are right now is nothing but pain and hardship.

It will be worth it, we tell ourselves. It will be worth it because…    there’s that juicy carrot at the end of all of this!

Image by Bev Ribaudo
Image by Bev Ribaudo

Early this year, while I was still so sick from my latest round of lyme drugs that I couldn’t get out of bed, my husband put a deposit on a cruise holiday next year. You need to have something to look forward to, he said.

What a wise man.

On the nights when I couldn’t sleep, wracked with pain and fever, miserable with both lyme disease and the side effects of the drugs that are treating it, I would google that holiday. I’d read reviews from people who’d taken the trip already. I searched out the ports we’d visit and what we might do there.

I even googled the onboard cocktail lists!

For me, that trip is a shining light at the end of a dark tunnel.

What’s your ‘because’? What’s your carrot?

Are you being mean to yourself by holding that carrot so far away that you never have any chance of being able to take a bite?

Worse still, is there no carrot at all, leaving you with nothing but work, work and more work?

I challenge you to find a carrot sweet enough that it will motivate you to do (or keep doing) the thing you need to do.

Little carrots. Big carrots. Allow yourself the pleasure of anticipation, and the thrill of the reward. You’re worth it!

And do share with us what your carrots are. Maybe you’ve got an idea that will be just the inspiration someone else needs!

Image by Relo Mary
Image by Relo Mary
Hi! I'm Nicole Cody. I am a writer, psychic, metaphysical teacher and organic farmer. I love to read, cook, walk on the beach, dance in the rain and grow things. Sometimes, to entertain my cows, I dance in my gumboots. Gumboot dancing is very under-rated.
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12 thoughts on “What’s Your Carrot?

  1. My mantra has always been “someone to love, something to do and something to look forward to”. My carrot at the moment is a trip to Europe in 2015.

  2. Hi Nicole. How much fun is it planning a cruise! I just LOVE planning holidays too! I know you love your food and wanted to mention there is a book you can get at the library called “Where chef’s eat” so you can also check out fantastic places to dine at all the ports! Lots of love. Ange O xxx

  3. I think it’s only fair to nominate my husbands carrot ( if you get my drift ) .I’m pretty good, these days, in rewarding myself something good after a long hard day, but my husband is rubbish at it .
    He is building our new house in Wales and working non stop, here, at our present house .
    Here is the carrot I think he’d choose .
    A lovely early sunny morning, fishing somewhere ,of his choosing , a nap in the afternoon with a little sport , a beer and a cheese cob . Then a huge plate of hot Chilli and lots of fluffy rice to mop it up . .. such simple pleasures .

  4. Dear Nicole,
    I absolutely love this post. Most certainly having a carrot is now part of my self-care. actually I might choose few. say moving out of the city and in to the country, having my practice established, and going to india foe health retreat with my family. now just looking at this makes me so motivated to keep going enthusiastically . Much love to you.

  5. Yeah I could do with a carrot at times, not a real carrot because I don’t eat raw carrots which is not the point I know but had to say it anyway, because well that is me…………….You have no idea how hard it is some mornings to get out of bed and go for a walk when what I really want it to roll over and continue to sleep……………

  6. well, a huge carrot for me is going to be having 2 babies in my arms, but really, the road -altho it kinda WAS long & hard at times- feels pretty easy at the moment & i’m so happy to be on it. i’d really like them to stay in there as long as they can, say 38weeks, please…I Do have an elusive carrot idea of ‘being on top of all my things’ – which has been there for a LONG long time & it does seem i’ll never get to it, maybe i won’t, because more stuff keeps coming up that is important to do…so i need to reward myself for all the little things i guess, & be grateful, which i’m feeling SO right now.
    (it always blows me away to hear friends talking about how they’ve done everything & have nothing left on their ‘to-do’ list – i simply can’t imagine it!!)

  7. You are so right Nicole. I need a carrot! I work really hard and it seems its just to put food on the table a lot of the time..My real carrot would be a loft extension (we live in an old bungalow) that would have a second bathroom, master bedroom and huge studio for me to paint and design in and maybe give classes/hire help. It’s the mother of all carrots and I need to believe it could happen. Hope you are feeling as well as possible today x

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