Posts tagged ‘motivation’

January 8, 2013

How to Stay Motivated: Don’t Get Glad. Get Mad

Don't Get Glad. Get Mad.

Don’t Get Glad. Get Mad.

I know this blog typically talks about getting success and being happy so the advice I’m about to give you will probably be a bit shocking. But I ask that you bare with me….

Getting to success usually takes a lot of hard work, determination and motivation. Now if you are like most people, you usually feel the most inspired and motivated to make a change after something negative happens. For example, you feel motivated to work out more after you realize you can no longer fit in to those size 10 pants. You feel motivated to ask for a raise after your boss decides to  add another duty to your already heavy workload. Or you feel motivated to get your finances in order when you get that last phone call from Sallie Mae about your student loans. In each scenario, the motivation was triggered by one thing. Anger or some other unpleasant feeling. You hated how it felt realizing that you put on weight, or in major debt, or not making what you are worth so much that you vowed to do something about it. So you buckle down for a few weeks and do everything in your power to make sure you never experience that again.

But then you start to feel content with your life. That’s when you begin falling off the wagon. You stop getting up for the morning workout. You stop entering purchases in to your spending journal and you stop drafting a way to better position yourself for that raise. You’ve lost that angry feeling, become content with your life choices, and basically settled. Most importantly, you lost your motivation. Of course, you’re gonna stop taking steps to make that change. You have become complacent with your life.

Don’t feel bad. You are not alone. It’s a trap that many people find themselves in way too often. Even I am guilty of it every now and then.  Luckily, there is a simple way to fix this and regain that motivation. (This is where the shocking advice comes in.) Allow yourself to get mad. Yes, you read that right. Stop getting content and allow yourself to stay mad. Once you lose all the unpleasantries and bad feelings associated  with a certain life aspect, you no longer feel the need to change it. Why would you? If you are content with it, you don’t have  a reason to fix it. I challenge you to regain that motivation to get back on track.

So how do you do that? Allow yourself to relive the moment that first motivated you to change. No, I don’t want you to harp on the past, But give yourself that constant reminder on why you are altering your lifestyle or habit in the first place. Every so often, revisit the day you realized you could not fit into size 10 jeans as you stood alone in the dressing room feeling defeated. Or save that  unappreciative voicemail from your boss and replay it every time you need a kick in your pants to keep striving for your goals. Do whatever you can to keep that fire within you burning. Once the fire goes out, motivation and all hope is lost. Luckily, it can always be reignited. Get mad again and I guarantee that passion and motivation will make it’s way back to you in no time.

Whatever you do, ignore the Gladware slogan. Instead, Don’t get Glad. Get Mad.

What do you usually do to stay motivated? Has revisiting anger helped in rekindling motivation?

TERRIfic Quip: If you blame lack of motivation as your reason for not taking action – you’ll be stuck forever. (Courtesy of Miss Donna)

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December 19, 2012

The Best Christmas Gift of All: Encouragement

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So there’s six more days till Christmas and you’re a little panicked. I would be too if I still couldn’t find the perfect gift for that hard-to-shop for family member. Plus there’s no guarantee I would receive online orders in time for Christmas. At this point, most people would tell you to channel your creativity while you make shallow and pathetic attempts to make something. But for those of you who are really desperate and know you’re as coordinated and creative as your children’s math homework, I’m going to tell you the one gift that is even more meaningful than any DIY project or store bought gift.

One word. Encouragement.

You’re probably scratching your head right now. But the truth is, so few know how to be truly encouraging. When encouragement is offered, it always seems to come with some kind of stipulation.

“You want to be a writer. That’s great. You should do it. I just hope you’re not a starving artist.”

“Oh, you’re starting a business? Congrats! Be prepared for some loss. You should do it though.”

“Training to be a chef is so hard. You can do it as long as you take it seriously.”

“Good luck with paying all your student loans this year. You’re gonna need it. It’s practically impossible.”

While these phrases may be said with good intentions, (or so we hope) they carry doubt and the dreaded “but” with them. And even when attached to encouraging words, that “but” can really put a damper on the receivers spirit. I know because I’ve been there before. I can’t tell you how many times people have said to me, “Good for you. But you can’t make a living from that that.” or “Wow I can’t believe you’re writing an ebook! I think you should do it. They are much harder to sell than traditional books though.”

Of course, hearing these things definitely bothered me for a bit. Luckily, writing was something I knew I always wanted to do whether or not I had anyone’s approval. However, I did have the approval and encouragement of my parents. I remember the day, I told my mom that I wanted to quit my job to be a writer. I was still living in my parents’ home, struggling financially, and had a bunch of student loans to pay for. Needless to say, I was a bit nervous telling them my plans. Much to my surprise, I got words of encouragement rather than words of concern and non-support. The words my mom uttered, meant the world to me.

“Go for it. I always said you can create your own opportunities.” 

There wasn’t a hint of doubt or a shadow of disbelief – only genuine encouragement as I took on the biggest risk and scariest chapter of my life. She could have said to me that writers never make it. Or she could have also reminded me that I must still find a way to pay back my loans. But she didn’t. Somehow, she knew I was well aware of what I needed to take care of. But she knew that I needed her support more. Little does she know  that small phrase is one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten. I take her words with me every time I need to conquer a new challenge or each time I’m faced with a business related fear. And my father has been just as supportive since I’ve started this journey.

No, their encouragement wasn’t a Christmas gift per se. But it was a much needed gift at the time. I recommend it, because it is the one gift that can change a person’s world forever. Encouraging words have the power to last a lifetime if you do it right. They won’t die if the battery runs out of life, and it won’t break if you drop it. Deliver it with love and it will stay in the receiver’s heart forever.

So how do you do it? Eliminate the doubt, slash the “what if’s” and sprinkle it with loads of love, sincerity, and pure belief. Do all that and  you’ve got the making of a Christmas gift that would go down in history.  Best of all, it’s priceless!

What was the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received? Have you ever been on the receiving end of true words of encouragement?

TERRIfic Quip: Don’t wait for it. Create your own opportunities.

November 6, 2012

5 Types of People You’ll Encounter on Your Way to the Top

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

For the last few weeks, I’ve given you several reasons why you should stop everything and just follow your dreams. I’ve also let you in on ways to stay happy. But what I haven’t told you about are the types of people you’ll run into while chasing your dreams and leading that happy life. Some of them are good people. Some of them are bad people. And some of those people are just there. Regardless of what role they play, you should be aware of them. That way when you do cross paths you’ll be prepared. Here are the five types of people you will encounter on the way to your top…

  • The Parent – Ok, so you know the song “Parents Just Don’t Understand”?  Well, the same concept applies when you are in the process of dream catching. Parents mean well and most of them support you in whatever you set your heart on (as long as it’s legal.)  But when you tell them you are taking a leap of faith to pursue your passion, the amount of support you expected may not be there. It’s not because they don’t believe in you. It’s just because they are scared for you and their natural instinct is to protect you from the unknown. They only want what’s best for you. The best way to deal is to reassure them of your skill and drive. Otherwise, it may be best to ignore the “words of concern” to keep your insanity. You may also want to keep some major hardships to yourself. After all, you wouldn’t want to put your loved ones in a coma caused by an unnecessary overload of worry.

* This person isn’t always an actual parent. It may be someone who is like a parental figure.

  • The Clueless One – So this person is clueless but doesn’t know it. They’re the ones that keep pulling facts out of their butt’s in regards to your new endeavor and spewing them at you whether they’re welcomed or not. No one knows where these statistics are coming from but it doesn’t stop you from hearing it. Sometimes these tidbits of advice, statistics, and facts of life are completely baseless and sometimes theres some truth to them. Take it with a grain of salt and/or take it upon yourself to do a little fact checking just to save face. I’m going to assume that this one means well. They just happen to be well, umm… clueless.
  • The Naysayer – Whether or not you’re a dream catcher on the way to your top or an average Joe just doing what he can to get by we’ve all run into this one before. It’s the never have anything good to say, down on life, can’t catch a break, poor soul that always has something negative to say. You could have just landed the tv role of your dreams or won the lottery and this person will still find a way to rain on your parade. My guess is this person saw their dreams crash and burn in a horrific death and wants to spare you the pain. The other possibility is that they’re afraid you’ll actually do what you say you’ll do. So how do you deal with them? You know what they say… Never get talked out of your dreams by someone who gave up on their own. 
  • The Impatient – They stand by your side, and scrimp and save with you when you explain you can’t afford to do something. They are completely supportive of you but now they are tired. Tired of the skipped dates, tired of the sacrifices and tired of staying in all the time. Chances are they support your ambition, but don’t understand the time and sacrifice it takes to accomplish your goals. As long as your dreams don’t cut in to their social time and their selfish needs they’ve got your back. Otherwise, beware of the whiner. The truth is most people don’t understand how demanding dream catching is. The probably never well unless they are doing it themselves. I say make new friends with similar goals. But that doesn’t mean you have to let go of the ones you already have. After all, it could get pretty lonely at the top so make sure you keep your support system close.
  • Miss Done it All – This girl is absolutely amazing. She’s been there. Done that. Got the t-shirts and the awards to prove it. She’s been where you are and is a wealth of knowledge. More specifically, she IS who you want to be.  When you get near her, you go into a shock. Not because she’s scary, but because you can’t believe you have actually come this close to royalty. So what do you do? Don’t let the moment slip away. It’s the perfect time to channel her genius. Flatter her and find out what steps she took to make it to the promise land.  But don’t be overly intrusive and remember to say thank you!

What other types of people have you encountered on your way to the top and  how did you deal with them?

TERRIfic Quips:  The more you love your decisions, the less you need other people to love them.

September 4, 2012

Life isn’t Fair… So Why isn’t it?

You don’t have to be a wise old sage to know that life isn’t fair. Unfortunately, it probably never will be. How many times have you

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

been passed up for that academic scholarship you know you deserve when the dean’s daughter always gets it? Or how often can you recall always having to clean the dishes after your youngest sibling made the mess. Yet he got to watch cartoons all day while you were slaving away. Or what about last week when the police officer clearly racially profiled you and pulled you over because you just so happened to to match the description of the person who stole a car last week? The list goes on and on.

Being the optimistic person that I am, I would love to say that these “injustices” will end someday and life will soon be fair for all. But I have to face the fact that it probably won’t. I’ve sat there and pondered why we all can’t have the lives we’ve hoped for. I’ve pondered the reasons why the person who follows all the rules and works hard just can’t catch a break. And I’ve tried to make sense of the reasons why all my prayers don’t come true. Then it dawned on me. Maybe life isn’t fair because it’s for the best. Perhaps, it’s because we’re destined for something better.

Remember that post where I mentioned I didn’t get that raise I knew I deserved and how unfair the entire situation was? Well, I didn’t realize it then but not getting that raise was the best thing that ever happened to me. Of course, my heart was broken after all the hard work, preparations and prayers I put into work performance so I can earn the raise. I was driving around a beat up 97 Ford Escort, and had student loan bills I couldn’t afford just piling up. If there was ever a moment I felt life wasn’t fair that was it. But it took that realization of an unfair moment for me to do something about the situation.

I was struggling financially and mentally with little hope for growth and improvement for a position I only liked. I thought, if I was going to struggle I might as well be struggling for something I loved. And that’s when I took the biggest risk of my life by quitting my job and embarking on my journey to freelance writing bliss. It was time for me to take control of my own salary, my own mental health, and my professional growth. Taking that risk was one of the best things I have ever done and I owe it all to an unfair life and lack of a raise. I’ve learned that life isn’t supposed to be fair. Sometimes we need those unfair moments to motivate us. Sometimes we need those unfair moments to realize that we are settling or that we are destined for something better. Or sometimes those unfair moments are there to teach us that we should be happy with what we already have. Whatever the reason, I am happy life isn’t always fair and that I don’t get everything I ask for.

Aren’t you happy you don’t always get what you want? Is there an unfair moment that ended up being rather helpful? 

TERRIfic Quip: Everything is cracked. That’s how the light gets in.