Self Improvement

Finally, I’ve Discovered the Secret to Motivation!

18 June 2012

I have changed a lot in the last few months. I had a year vacation that I’ve only just returned from. A year of sex, drugs, and rock’n'roll- debauchery unending. The year was amazing, I had a total blast and learned a lot about myself as a person. But learning who you are is not quite the same as growing into someone new. Just knowing who you are isn’t enough to make you a better person- you have to DO something with that knowledge. After a year of introspection without action, I returned home and resumed my personal development. Within weeks I’d changed so much about myself I don’t even want to write it down because no one would believe me. I hope in this and future posts I can capture some of the metamorphosis I’ve undergone.

Let’s kick this off with my most evasive opponent, my oldest foe, the patriarch of all productivity- Motivation. For years I thought motivation was the thing I lacked and the reason I never accomplished anything. Instead of taking RESPONSIBILITY for my procrastination I took the VICTIM stance and blamed my ineffectiveness on my utter lack of motivation. “Well I’m not motivated, so I don’t do what I’m supposed to.” See that? That’s a victim statement, which I’ll talk about later. Just keep it in mind.

So by blaming motivation for many of my failures, both personal and professional, I attributed a cause that I thought I could ‘fix’. If I could just figure out what motivated me I could accomplish so much! If I could find that one thing to drive me throughout life I’d be unstoppable! I cannot tell you how many things I tried, how many books I read and how many excuses I made on my journey to become a motivated individual. I decided money didn’t motivate me, because offers of money didn’t make me work harder. I decided objects don’t motivate me, because I’m not really a materialistic person. (Which I am, but ‘stuff’ doesn’t sound like its worth working for.) My journey went on, I’ll spare you the details.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I’d discovered and perfected a new form of procrastination! I call it, “Discovering the Cure for Procrastination.” I now know that instead of working like I was supposed to I was looking for an external reason for my laziness. An unrealistic and imaginary ‘cure’ for an ‘affliction’ I had diagnosed myself with. Then, only just a few weeks ago I was reading a personal development book. It wasn’t geared towards motivation, it wasn’t supposed to help specifically with procrastination, it was just something on my Mom’s bookshelf called “Failing Forward” by Danielle Laporte. Within this book held the answer I’d searched for during the last five years. YEARS I have been blaming my lack of motivation for failures.

Within the pages of this unassuming book was the holy grail of advice: “Motivation comes AFTER you begin.”

Just that. Sounds simple. Danielle writes that motivation is a trap we set for ourselves- you spend all your time looking or waiting for motivation as an excuse to not have to do the things you don’t want to do. The way to become motivated.. is to start a task BEFORE you’re motivated. After you meet some success or realize it just isn’t as hard as you made it out to be in your head, the motivation to complete the project will set in. I don’t know if this hits home with anyone else or not but I felt like I was hit in the pit of my stomach with a hammer as I realized my procrastination is my fault. Of course I always told others that I only had myself to blame for procrastinating but deep, deep down I knew it was not my fault. It was ‘Motivation’s fault, I’m just the victim here.

If you struggle with procrastination or lack of motivation as I did, I encourage you to really take this post to heart. Don’t let yourself play victim to your struggles and remember in order to be motivated you only have to start! ‘Motivation comes AFTER you begin!’

Be Incredible

7 August 2010

Go ahead and make the conscious decision to be incredible. It takes two steps to be incredible, and they are easy. The first step is the hardest- making your conscious decision known. I announced mine on Facebook the other day. “I have decided to be incredible.” Deciding to change yourself in a drastic way(mine’s not so drastic, I was already up to awesome) is something I used to do in my head. I’d think to myself, “yeah, today will be good”. And it usually was. However, I’ve found that when I says something out loud or tell someone else just how awesome I’m going to be today, it tends to get me more fired up than if I kept it to myself. I’m not sure why, exactly, but somehow letting others know what you intend to accomplish during the day makes you more likely to follow through. It can be something as simple as doing the dishes or cleaning your room, or something as complex as stopping an addiction(I gave up candy) or making a big change in your life. Go out and tell someone you have decided to be incredible, and mean it. Even posting it on Facebook will make you that much more likely to fulfill your goal or make that change.

The second step is easy- Listen to yourself. Believe that you are incredible and you will act accordingly. Just have it be something you think about a few times a day or when you weigh a decision. Take actions that you think get you closer to being incredible and avoid those that you feel bring you away from your goals. Project your incredible-ness to those around you through posture, speech, and behavior and they will quickly come to look up to you as someone they want to be. They won’t know why, but they will know so and so is successful

Not sure how to act incredible? Find someone who already is, study them and find out what exactly is appealing to other people and then make it your own. Don’t copy them though- adjust their behaviors to yourself to be sure you are unique. Trying to copy someone else’s success comes off badly, I’ve noticed.. Anyhoo, I’ve talked enough. Be all you can be (incredible) and don’t run with anything pointy, slicey, or pokey.

Note To Self- Keep shoulders up and back and sit up straight all day.

Getting Ahead

6 August 2010

All right! Day TWO in a row of posting good stuff. I have some old articles I wrote a while back that will be auto-publishing themselves at midnight for the next week, they aren’t really on topic but I had fun reading them so I’m assuming you will too. Today’s topic will be about… hmm… The Slight Edge, a book by Jeff Olson. It’s a fantastic book I’ve been reading and Jeff, if you ever see this, understand I suck at citing sources so I’m just trying to make it super obvious this blog post came about because I read your book(The Slight Edge for those of you just joining us) so please don’t sue me.

SO this book- The Slight Edge- brings up some good points that made me think a lot. The book starts out describing the difference in winnings in say, a golf tournament. First place gets X amount, second place gets half of X, and so on. But the deciding factor in a golf tournament can be as little as one stroke.. one stroke doubled that player’s earnings. He wasn’t twice as good, he was just good enough to get twice the reward. I thought about this idea for a long time, and finally decided that all I have to do to be really successful in life is get the slight edge over everyone else. Now, you probably aren’t starting out too much ahead of your peers, but I think that just by improving yourself a little every day, it will add up to be enough to surpass those above you and leave the rest in your wake. Since I first read this, I’ve stopped making so many long-term goals and made a lot of short term goals that will have effects that last a lifetime. For example, a recent goal of mine is to keep my desk clean. Every morning when I get to work I’m going to spend the first ten minutes getting it absolutely spotless. Just a few days into this and I’ve already noticed changes in my attitude and behavior and my organization has been noticed by everyone else in the office. The immediate gratification and results makes it easy to want to keep it up, so I am.

Just by making little changes in your life will make it easier to change bigger things in the future. You’ve heard of compound interest? Same idea here. The little things are going to multiply and people will notice, and change the way they talk to you or behave around you. If you have the cleanest desk in the office, your coworkers who hate clutter are likely going to notice and appreciate your work. Maybe they will trust you with more work because you seem organized enough to handle it all, who knows? Set little goals every day and then meet them! This edge will go a long way, you just have to keep at it.

My goals for the day? Write a blog post, beat my high score of Bejeweled Blitz, and make a facebook page for this site.

Note to self- Don’t forget to make a facebook page today, do laundry.

« Previous PageNext Page »