Archives for June 2011

Motivation: What is It and How Do You Sustain It?

[This is a news story about Willard Wigan, microsculptor. When you finish the article, watch the video at the end to learn more about this amazing man who turned childhood pain into lifetime triumph.]

Motivation is that energy, drive, and desire that makes us want to pursue a goal. We all have it in some form at different levels of intensity throughout our lives.

It can be as simple such as hunger pangs that drive us to seek a meal or as multifaceted as in going after a college degree in preparation for a given career, or as in the case of the microsculptor, Willard Wigan, to make masterpieces in a microscopic world.

When your motivation is strong, you have a clear picture of what you want to have or experience and you set out with determination, enthusiasm and persistence to go after it until you achieve it.

Since you are human, however, it’s likely that no matter how strong your initial motivation, it may wane as you move toward your goal. As a matter of fact, you may get downright disgusted and even consider giving up.

Zig Ziglar, famous motivational speaker said,

<margin:0;font-size:12″>“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”>

Feeding your mind with those things that stimulate your energy and pump up your determination is the secret to sustaining motivation.

Unfortunately, what motivates one person is not the same as what motivates you, so you’ll have to actively find what bolsters your spirit, renews your determination and sets you enthusiastically back on the road to achieving what it is you want.

One thing that motivates me are stories of people who turn childhood hurt into something grand not only for themselves, but for the rest of us as well.

Here are some ideas that work for me and others to help you get started your own search.

1. Hang out with people who are positive and motivating.

When you are around people who are actively seeking their own goals, it encourages you as well. They will also be able to share workable ways to stay motivated.

2. Fill your mind with stories of people who have plowed through adversity and setbacks to achieve their goals.

This can be in books, movies, or other media. I’m often moved when I discover that the challenges I face pale when compared to what some folks have pushed through to reach success.

I was very moved by the video above, for example, to hear that the micro sculptor was made to feel small when he was in school. He confesses that he can’t read or write, but he took the concept of “small” and made an art of it.

3. Research subjects that interests you.

You’ll discover that your goal has parts and pieces. Making a plan to tackle those pieces one by one is the start of your move toward success.

4. Focus your thoughts on your success

You may do this through affirmations, prayer, meditation, listening to stirring music or motivational recordings. If you commute a lot this is a great way to flood your mind with the positive thoughts that will keep your enthusiasm and determination high.

5. Visualize yourself achieving whatever it is your want.

As a child you had no trouble daydreaming about the things you wanted. Even though you were discouraged from it, you still visualize. It’s just that you were likely made to feel foolish  for dwelling on what you wanted, so you turned your thoughts to what you don’t have. You can change that today.

6. Create physical reminders.

Vision boards are a powerful way to keep before you what you want to achieve, be or do. Post photos clipped from magazines showing those things and experiences you desire. Then keep your board where you can see it daily. This facilitates directing your goals uppermost in your mind.

7. Be kind to yourself.

Avoid beating up on yourself when you discover that you are stalled in your efforts. As you drive your car it will eventually run low on gas. When that happens you probably don’t get mad with your car,  ditch it on the side of the road and start walking. You probably visit a gas station and get a refill.

When you begin to feel discouraged, drained, frustrated, or overwhelmed, go back to those things that can refill, refresh you and renew you.  In addition to things listed above, enjoy things that make you laugh or visit beautiful settings to feast your eyes on wonders of Nature and mankind’s monuments and creations.

Running low on motivation is inevitable. Your job is not to let yourself get empty, but always have a repertoire of ways to nourish your motivation so you will achieve those positive goals for your life that you visualize.

To get more motivation and inspiration, get my Everyday Happiness inspiration cards at http://florabrown.com/products-classes/everyday-happiness-cards/

Skipping Along with Glee is Not My Daily Reality

kidsplayingWhen folks find out I wrote a book on happiness, they sometimes eye me with suspicious,  as if they are waiting to see if I will skip away with glee or float on air rather than walk to my car.  Seeking, attracting or maintaining happiness doesn’t mean you won’t encounter sadness, upset or sometimes downright disgust.  As a matter of fact, I can get disgusted, sad, upset with the best of them. Some days I feel like a failure and can find fault with every aspect of my life.

Creating a life of happiness means gathering tools, strategies, and behaviors that enable you to cope with feelings, events and people that come along.

Of course your happiness depends on arranging your life to steer clear of trouble and being ready for adversity, just as you own an umbrella to be ready to stay dry during the rain. But just as there’s nothing you can do to keep the rain from falling, you can’t prevent some of the events that will enter your life. What you can do is develop the ways, attitude and behaviors that allow you to deal with whatever comes up, to bounce back and  return to your own happiness set-point.

On a  recent radio episode, “How to Go from Overwhelmed to Overjoyed” I discuss seven steps that help you move from situations that have the potential to overwhelm you to a state of being joyful and appreciative of  your life. I encourage you to listen to this episode and share your take on what I shared. Listen to it here  “How to Go From Overwhelmed to Overjoyed

Distraction by Any Name is Still Distraction

dreamThis is a guest post written by my fellow author and speaker, Michael George Price.

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What is a distraction?

Nearly anything can be a distraction if it is not germane or pertinent to the moment.

Distractions can be people/events/thoughts. Distractions can come from others or from us.

When distracted by others, we seem to deal with it better than when we distract ourselves. Perhaps we recognize it as such, and are able to deal with it in a more timely and efficient manner.

However, I want to chat about us distracting ourselves when we are working on a task or solution etc. Most of the time we don’t recognize it as distraction. We call it something else.

  • A call to a friend
  • Warming up a cup of coffee
  • Washing the dishes
  • Getting a snack before continuing with the project
  • A quick research on the Internet of something that just popped into our thoughts.

Why do we distract ourselves?

We are not focused on the task/situation at hand!

Why are we not focused on the task/situation?

We don’t want to do it! Or, think about it! Or, deal with it!

So, rather than handle or take care of it, we fool ourselves by distracting ourselves. We convince ourselves that the distraction is more important at this moment. We masquerade the distraction as being important.

When we are not focused, nearly anything can distract us. When we are focused, very few things can distract us.

Why is it important to recognize when and how we distract ourselves?

  • We learn how we deal with tasks/projects/people that we find uncomfortable.
  • We become keenly aware of what we do to distract ourselves.
  • We learn how much longer the problem/situation/project remains in our life or on our “to-do” list, causing us that much more anxiety.

The key is awareness. Awareness is the first step to solving any problem or challenge.

Be aware of what circumstances, situations, projects, or people cause you to distract yourself.

And use the Fearless Thinking skills taught in the “Focus” part of the program to take charge of, and control the distractions in your life.

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Michael George Price is the creator of The Courage of Fearless Thinking System. He is an author, teacher, consultant, coach, and motivational speaker. Michael teaches The Courage of Fearless Thinking System to Businesses, Associations, Schools, Sports Teams, Churches and Individuals. Visit www.FearlessThinking.com for additional information or contact Michael directly at Info@FearlessThinking.com.

Friday Finds to Lift Your Life

CBR001240Friday Finds are inspiring, informative, and sometimes just entertaining articles, blog posts, videos or other good stuff from around the Internet.

1. It Gets Better

Most of us were teased, ostracized , bullied or made to feel  “less-than”   in high school. Those who survived it found love and acceptance on the other side.From the Great Work Blog enjoy the moving stories from the It Gets Better series. http://www.boxofcrayons.biz/2011/05/how-it-gets-better/

2. Are You an Alpha Boomer?

I just learned of this new term applied to the fastest growing demographic in the US. Check it out at http://www.savoringyoursixties.com/part-of-this-hot-new-trend/http://www.savoringyoursixties.com/part-of-this-hot-new-trend/

3. Does Time Fly When You’re Having Fun or is It the Other Way Around?

Check out the 10 ways ours minds warp time– http://www.spring.org.uk/2011/06/10-ways-our-minds-warp-time.php

4. Can Joy and Fear Co-Exist?

Yes, says Leo Babauta. As a matter of fact, he joined them into one word. Read about it here to see if you can relate to this feeling –http://zenhabits.net/joyfear/

5. List of Gmail Shortcuts is Good, but Not Short

Lifehacker shares shortcuts to find whatever you need in your Gmail. Only problem: the list is not that short because there are loads of shortcuts. Check them out here http://lifehacker.com/5810601/how-to-find-every-shortcut-in-gmail

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Enjoy and leave a comment.

If You’re Not You, Who are You Then?

womanwithquestionmarkOur efforts to be happy and successful often cause us to imitate other people.

We certainly can and must learn from others, but there is a problem if we do that at the expense of never finding out who we are. It’s especially problematic when we disguise and numb our feelings.

We can’t help but feel vulnerable when we step into being our authentic, imperfect and yet worthy-of-love selves, but it’s the only path to joy and happiness.

Shame is the root of our lack of authenticity. It’s universal. We all experience that “not good enough” feeling.

In her research on the power of vulnerability, Brene Brown, researcher, author and storyteller, discovered that people who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they are worthy of love and belonging.

She took note of the qualities that these people share. Listen to what she shares in the video below and find out what you can do about it and the tremendous benefits of doing so. Then share what you think in the comments.