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Motivation Mondays: DILEMMA

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“The answers to our many dilemmas reside within our understanding about who we truly are.” Joseph Rain

Motivation Mondays: DILEMMA - Making more difficult, undesirable choices...

Motivation Mondays: DILEMMA – Making more difficult, undesirable choices…

Dilemma Definition: A situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives, especially ones that are equally undesirable.
1.1A difficult situation or problem.
1.2Logic – An argument forcing an opponent to choose either of two unfavorable alternatives. Oxford English Dictionary
Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better. Sydney J. Harris


What does the word – DILEMMA – mean to you? What motivates our decisions/choices? Do you experience daily dilemmas or just occasional ones? When we talk about the complexities of life, we are often referring to those moments when the choices we need to make are not so obvious. Life throws us a curve-ball, from time to time, and the choice or direction to turn to is as blurry as a foggy autumn day. How do we decide which way to turn? How do we pull ourselves out of the quagmire that has landed on our doorstep? The answers are not easy but we can and must dig deep within for the best answer that meets our needs and that speak to our personal moral codes.

You see, dilemmas force us to face ourselves, our fears, and our weaknesses and make hard, decisive decisions that will have an impact on our future. Sometimes, the impact might be short-lived and lead us in a new direction. At other times, the impact might be long lasting and even damaging so, we must go within our hearts and contemplate our choice; this is what some say is a call to follow our conscience. Now, before we get all worried about this, I’d add that dilemmas offer us great crossroads to traverse and push us to look at why we feel stuck. In a time of moral/ethical dilemma, we must face our dark thoughts, our prejudices and decide which door to walk through.  Which door will you choose?

A Dilemma/Judgment Tale: Who Must the Boy Choose?
In an ancient village, far and deep in the forest, a community was grappling with a tough decision. A beloved elder in the village had been accused of killing the Chief’s favourite horse and first son. A tribunal was set up and he was sentenced to death by a slow bonfire. Many in the village were not convinced that he committed the crime but, the star witness against him was the Chief’s Senior Adviser. The Senior Adviser was a cruel and vengeful man who bullied the community and exacted quick and deadly justice on anyone who stood in his way. Behind closed doors, many villagers wept and discussed how they wished someone would step forward and exonerate the kind elder. “He could not have committed such a heinous crime,” they said, “but, who will come forward and speak the truth?”

As night turned to day, a young boy tossed and turned on his raffia bed. It was the Senior Adviser’s son who knew exactly what happened. You see, the Senior Adviser had private hopes to one day become Chief of the village and he planned a scheme to get rid of the heir to the throne. His son saw him do it, and he was disturbed that his father had pointed an accusatory finger at the one man in the village who had practically served as a foster father to the little boy when his own father was away at a long and protracted war with a neighboring village.  The young boy felt that he needed to make a decision but his tender heart was torn.  In this time of crisis, he realized that he must choose between his loyalty to his own father, who was a cruel and unjust man, and his loyalty to the kind, elderly villager who was once a loving foster-father to him.  One thing was certain: Someone was going to be punished for the crime! Who did he choose? Who would you choose?  Adapted African Stories via


“A moral dilemma is equally absorbing whether the stakes are the destiny of nations or the happiness of one or two people – at the most.” Alexander McCall Smith

Motivation Mondays: DILEMMA - Making quite difficult, undesirable choices...

Motivation Mondays: DILEMMA – Making quite difficult, undesirable choices…

Some kid asked what a dilemma is. And I replied: When a starving man has to choose between a plate of food, and, a roll of toilet paper. Mokokoma Mokhonoana
Eternal Dilemma: Too tired to stay up, yet too awake to fall asleep
Ethical Dilemma: complex situation that often involves an apparent mental conflict between moral imperatives
False Dilemma: A logical fallacy where only two alternatives are considered when other options might exist.
Moral Dilemma: A conflict in which you have to choose between two or more actions and have moral reasons for choosing each action

How do Dilemmas operate in/shape our lives? What motivates our decisions/choices? Our upbringing plays an enormous role in how we respond to difficult and unpleasant choices. Some people won’t bat an eyelid over a choice that involves harming someone else, while some folks would put themselves in the line of harm to avoid making such a choice.  When we are faced with a dilemma, all of our upbringing, our cultural beliefs, and the influences that have seeped into our subconscious mind come into play. Some folks draw a line in the sand and are determined to never cross it, while others play Russian roulette with their decision-making.

The truth is that when we have to make a decision that entails picking one of several lousy options, we have to weigh the possible outcomes and what the extent of our loss will be. Do we stay or walk away from an untenable situation even if it means job loss and financial ruin? Do we expose a scheme that will  hurt our company even if it means being blackballed? Do we  identify a family member who has done wrong even if it means jail time and family shame? All of these dilemmas force us to examine ourselves and determine how much pain and suffering we can endure… But, at the end of that decision is freedom from a yoke that will imprison us if we don’t act. What will you do? Think of a dilemma you faced in the last 5-10 years; how did you handle it and was the outcome one you have made peace with?

A Dilemma/Judgment Tale: Which Wife is Most Deserving Of Praise?
A great hunter who was revered in many villages across the African plains had not returned home from a hunt. Everyone was worried and a search party was sent out to look for him.  He had left the tracks created by his hunting group in search of a large ox he saw. He knew that if he brought that ox home, he would have enough to feed his three wives and many children for weeks. Unfortunately for the hunter, a lurking tiger had the same idea and fate brought them together in one terrible and tragic moment. The tiger won and dragged the ox to feed his brood.  As the search continued, the missing hunter’s first wife had a vivid dream in which she saw what had happened to him. She shared the dream with her fellow wives and it was at that moment the second wife remembered that she had had a similar dream the night before and that she had been guided by a mysterious voice to the ravine where his body had fallen.

The three women tied their wrappers tight, and followed the second wife as she led her fellow wives to the place where their beloved husband had died. As they keened and called for the villagers to come and retrieve his remains, the third wife told the other two that an ancestor had come to her in a dream and gave her sacred words to whisper in his ears. They encouraged her to go ahead and do so. Lo and behold, when the third wife said the words, the hunter opened his eyes and came back to life; the third wife had helped restore him to life! When the elders arrived shortly after and heard the news, they all agreed that one of the wives was deserving of the greatest honor ever bestowed on a woman in the village. An argument ensued as they debated which wife deserved the award and title.  Which of the three wives deserved the highest praise and honor ?

The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for August  and September 2016 are:

08/01 –  2 New Moon, 5 Summer Olympics begin in Rio, 07 Friendship Day & Sisters Day, 07 International Forgiveness Day,
08/08 – 08 Peace Festival, 09 Book Lover’s Day, 09 World’s Indigenous Peoples, 12 International-Youth-Day, 13 International Lefthander’s Day, 14 Tisha B’av,
08/15 –  15 Assumption of Mary, 15 National Relaxation Day, 18 Full Moon, 18 Bad Poetry Day, 19 Nat’l Aviation Day &
World Humanitarian Day
08/22 –  22 Be An Angel Day, 22 National Tooth Fairy Day, 26 National Dog Day, 26 Women’s Equality Day, 27 Global Forgiveness Day
08/29 –  29 National Heroes’ Day, 29 More Herbs, Less Salt Day, 30 Toasted Marshmallow Day

09/05 –   Labor Day,  International Day of Charity,  8 International Literacy Day,
09/12 –  15 Day of Democracy Day,  17 Constitution Day
09/19 –  21 International Day of Peace/ World Peace Day, World Rhino Day
09/26 – National Preparedness Month, National Childhood Cancer Awareness, National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, National School Success Month, National Childhood Obesity Awareness

Are You Looking for Ways to Stay Creative in 2016?

– Join the Daily Post Post-a-day or Post-a-week Challenge.




— Join the BlogHer Writing Lab

More Below!

“The dilemma for society is how to preserve personal and family values in a nation of diverse tastes.” Tipper Gore

Motivation Mondays: DILEMMA - Making difficult, undesirable choices...

Motivation Mondays: DILEMMA – Making difficult, undesirable choices…

“Whatever I learned,
Whatever I knew,
Seems like those faded years of childhood that flew,
Away in some dilemma,
Always in some confusion,
The purpose of this life,
Seems like an illusion!”
Mehek Bassi, Chained: Can you escape fate?


What dilemma are you struggling with right now? How motivated are you to resolve it? Sometimes a dilemma arises and we hope that if we ignore it, it would vanish on its own. Of course, that rarely happens but when we are motivated to deal with a difficult issue head on, we must make some difficult decisions. Which will give us less pain? Which decision can we live with regardless of the outcome? Which decision will impact us and our family for lifetimes to come? We must contemplate our choices and choose with care. What would you do?

A Dilemma/Judgment Tale: Which Brother is the Most Noble?
Once upon a time, many moons ago, three brothers couldn’t agree on which one should marry the beauty of their village so they all married the same girl. Not long after, they took a journey together to a strange land and set up a home. One night, the girl was murdered by a robber, and the eldest brother was condemned to death on suspicion that he murdered her in his room.  The village judge sentenced him to death but, as part of a final wish, he begged to visit his father to see him one last time before his execution. The judge agreed but he was late in returning to face the music.

As the clock ticked away, the second brother stepped up and offered to die in his place. With much consternation, the judge agreed but, as the second brother was about to be executed, the third brother stepped forward and “confessed” to the murder of their mutual wife.  Everyone was shocked at the new revelation and the court was ready to reconvene and set a new trial. At that moment, the eldest brother rode in and was ready to embrace his fate. He interrupted the court and assured them he was still ready to face the penalty even though, in his absence, his other brothers had claimed their place on death-row. There was much turmoil in the court.  Who should be executed? Which of the brothers is the most noble?


This post was inspired by a Daily Word Prompt:  – DILEMMA – Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. Not sure how to participate? Here are the steps to get started.


Have a dilemma free week ahead!


Any Zen Antics stories via


Positive Motivation Tip: Our daily or occasional dilemmas show us who we really are. Act with wisdom

Motivation Mondays is open to anyone who wishes to share a motivational quote, photo, personal challenge or a post that encourages others to start the week on an upbeat note.
Basic Instructions: Each week, I will have a motivation word to help us create a response. (See listed words for the months above/below)
Email address: You may email or share your post as a comment and I will add it to the round-up of related posts. email it to: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com
Category tag: – Share your post using Motivation Mondays
Twitter hashtag: – Use this on Twitter #MotvnM
Dedicated Page: There is a dedicated page for Motivation Mondays. It has the same instructions and will include other helpful tools and a link to the round-up
Facebook Page: MotivationOnMondays Join our page and add your post and/or any motivational piece you think will be helpful to others.
Facebook Community: We have a Facebook community forum to compliment the page. It serves as another way to share uplifting posts and thoughts. Please join in and add your voice.

Badge: – I created a fun badge using PicMonkey’s free photo editing tools. You can create your own, use WordPress’ integrated tool on your blog or you are welcome to use mine. (see dedicated page)
Tag: – Motivation Mondays
Hashtag: – #MotvnM
Related Posts

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS:All Photos –  via Wikipedia, and/or Dilemma, Choice via Pixabay

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet









29 Comments leave one →


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