Ron Tustin - Staying Motivated
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"Do not let what you can't do interfere with what you can do."
A couple of articles ago, I promised to talk more about motivation so here goes…
Motivation has become a ‘fad’ word in some ways – motivational speakers seem to be on the menu of most conferences – stories of people performing superhuman feats crossing oceans or climbing mountains against huge odds. These presentations are very entertaining but for many of us we scratch our heads and ask what has this got to do with me?
For those of us who reach a stage in our lives when we have more choices, when we have more free time - being and staying motivated can sometimes be a ‘biggie’. Moving from a work situation where your day may have mapped out to one where it is not, means that the drive often has to come from inside us. So if we have been used to living on automatic pilot we now need to be ‘self-drive’.
Motivation is something that ebbs and flows like the tide. For most of us although it may go away, it doesn’t do so permanently. It will come back.
Key to Happiness
A lot of the thinking about keeping that drive comes from the so-called ‘science of happiness’, a new and developing branch of psychology. One thing that leads to our happiness is having goals. These may not necessarily be big goals but one or two you may have for today.
A useful way to work out these daily goals is before you even have breakfast to take say ten minutes to clear your mind of other thoughts and think about what you want to do today and how you may wish to do it. Our minds are usually racing with a lot of thoughts and to sit still for a short time and reflect on your goals for the day is like having your own ‘organiser’ inside your head.
To stay motivated for larger goals it is important that you tell someone else about it. Tell someone who will be a ‘buddy’, not someone who will try to trip you up. If there is nobody you can think of, you may wish to ask for help through an organisation you may be involved with, a relative, or make time to visit a coach or a mentor you know of.
Is your goal challenging enough without being too hard or too easy? It needs to be something that will get you out of bed.
‘Look At Her’
Some new research has shown that changing your perspective also helps with motivation. That is to say, rather then using the first person, I, use the third person, he or she about your self. For example, if you have a goal to lose weight, don’t say “I have lost 2 kilos and am exercising’ but rather “He lost kilos and he started exercising’. The research shows that you will increase your motivation if you pretend you are your own parent and can marvel at what you have already done!
If you can become more motivated you are also likely to be more optimistic and hopeful about the future. And the good news is that you are able to change things. No longer do we need to rely on the view that so and so is a pessimistic person, it is part of his character. That idea has been well and truly challenged.
By changing your perspective, changing the thoughts inside your head, carrying out some of the tips above you can become more motivated and optimistic about life. Personality or character CAN be changed by working on your own thoughts. Pessimism creates more stress in our lives and that takes valuable years off our lives. I think we all owe it to ourselves to thrive with the time we have on earth. Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.
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