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From Motivation to Results

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“To dream anything that you want to dream,

That is the beauty of the human mind.

To do anything that you want to do,

That is the strength of the human will.

To trust yourself to test your limits,

That is the courage to succeed.”

—Bernard Edmonds

Every day is a new day – to pursue your dreams – to start over – to put a new habit in place – to designate time for your loved ones – to write a new chapter in your life story.

Every day we have the opportunity to begin again.

Are you grieving the loss of a loved one?

Reach out to God and others for comfort.

Are you struggling with an overloaded calendar cluttered with things you don’t have time for and really don’t need to do?

Take time to find out what unessential things are keeping you from accomplishing more important things and eliminate them.

Without awareness, changes will not occur.

Every day we choose how we will spend that day. Even if you wake up discouraged or feeling low, you can reverse that by telling yourself that this is a new day with great possibilities, and you are ready to begin.

During the day remind yourself that you are in charge, and that you can make changes needed to solve problems or work with difficult people.

Time is managed by you. Change what needs changing – set boundaries where needed – then choose your attitude and move forward.

“The crisis of today is a joke of tomorrow.”

—H. G. Wells

Every day there is something we can laugh at or enjoy doing.

Often we think laughter only happens when we are with a group of friends or at a social event or when we are watching our kids or grandkids trying something new.

Perhaps it is watching a show designed to make people laugh. But we don’t have to wait to watch a funny show. Put laughter and humor in your arsenal of everyday life. We can find humor in almost anything if we want to without making light of the situation. We can laugh at ourselves because we will screw up.

Laughter is the greatest stress-releaser of all time.

Celebrate even minor accomplishments.

It can be as simple as saying, “Yes! I did it! Yeah!”

Use these celebrations as stepping stones of motivation. All goals, whether simple or complex, are accomplished one little step at a time. Consistency is necessary. There is always time to take one tiny step, even when we are busy.

Combine tasks when you can.

For example, when I am fixing my breakfast or loading/unloading the dishwasher, I will do some simple squats or upper body stretches.

When I take a time-out from my writing, I might complete some quick simple chores or make a call to a friend or go for a quick walk.

I put things that need to be done together whenever possible. It keeps one project from becoming a burden I want to ignore. One step at a time works wonders.

Just say “no.”

As you build a more meaningful life, evaluate what you can do within that time frame and what you can let go of. You will need to set limits and restrictions and say “no” sometimes, even when you don’t want to.

There will be many faltering beginnings, setbacks, disappointments, and goals left unfinished. Life will not only challenge us but beat us up.

We need the bits and pieces of wisdom we have tucked in our mind’s bank account to withdraw during times when we need continued motivation.

As we settle into a more predictable way of life, part of remaining motivated is putting boundaries in place. It sounds easier than it really is.

5 levels of needs that motivate us

To accomplish anything we not only need to expand our view of what we can do but remain motivated to keep trying.

According to Abraham Maslow, a famous American psychologist who developed a theory on motivation, there are five levels of needs that motivate us.

  1. The first level is physiological: oxygen, food, water, sleep, etc.
  2. The second is safety, which includes personal safety, a safe place to live, financial and job security, health and well-being, etc.
  3. The third level is our need to love and belong, which addresses our need for friendship, family, and intimacy.
  4. From there we advance to esteem needs, the fourth level. We have a need to respect and accept ourselves and be respected and accepted by others. Without that we will experience lack of confidence, inferiority and even depression.
  5. The fifth and final level is self-actualization, a level where we begin to fulfill our potential.

Maslow believed we need to begin with the first level before advancing to the next. Today there is some controversy about the need to finish one level before starting another, but overall, Maslow’s hierarchy describes our human needs and what motivates us.

When we put in place goals for the final level of self-actualization, we know ourselves better and are prepared to sacrifice comfort to reach those goals. We expand our view, reframe our circumstances, and go to work.

Pick up your remote

When you were a child, perhaps you picked up a leaf or a piece of bark, put it in a stream, and watched as the current took it downstream.

Perhaps you and your dad made a tiny wooden boat that you would “sail.” If the current was strong, you raced along the shore trying to keep up with it. Usually, however, it didn’t take long for obstacles such as tree limbs or rocks to snag your boat, preventing it from going any further.

However, if your toy boat had a tiny receiver inside, and you held a remote control, you could steer and guide it away from obstacles and keep it moving in the direction you wanted.

You hold the remote for your life.

You can choose to simply float along down the river of life, or you can direct its course. You can look for and avoid obstacles that might snag your “boat,” such as bad breaks, bad luck, outside influences, difficult times, etc.

You can set up appropriate boundaries. You are not at the mercy of the wind, current, or obstacles of life if you take control of the helm. You are constantly gathering new information, re-arranging and expanding the storage files in your mind throughout your lifetime.

If you continue to live by old rules, life scripts, and unchallenged behavior because it is easier in the moment, you will soon become discontented. You will lose your motivation and not achieve the results you hoped for.

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