Learning to stay focused and motivated
Marsha Petrie Sue, MBA
Times are tough. Money is tight. Trusting others is down, blaming is up. An optimistic outlook is down and fear is up.
Staying up in challenging times requires a blend of energy, spirit, self-confidence and humor. Perceptions must change and include a broader knowledge and a more comprehensive view. What is your perspective of life and the world? Does your lens work for you or against you? Is your filter clogged with negativity? And do you look through a wide-angle lens or do you use a microscope with a narrowed view?
1. Energy: Do you get up in the morning dreading the day? Or do you great the day with excitement? Not knowing what the next 24 hours will deliver is part of the pleasure of life.
What’s the cure? Listen to people who motivate you again and again. Yes, you’ve heard it all before, but do you really apply these fine techniques on every speed bump of life? Times are hard and going it alone is lonely!
The difference between one man and another is not mere ability – it is energy. ~Thomas Arnold
2. Spirit: Definition – Vivacity or enthusiasm. Do you have real enthusiasm in your interaction with others? Spirit is built by caring and learning from your environment and not being engrossed only with yourself or your own opinions.
Tips for building your spirit:
– Stay hopeful.
– Hone your listening skills.
– Take risks.
– Volunteer two hours a week.
– Celebrate with your family.
– Enjoy the outdoors.
– Share a positive thought. Do something nice.
– List reasons for gratitude.
The enthusiastic, to those who are not, are always something of a trial. ~Alban Goodier
3. Self-confidence: When you feel that you can handle life’s challenges, you create the capability to move forward in a positive manner. This is self-esteem. The external application of self-esteem spills over into self-confidence.
Tips for building self-confidence:
– Maintain a strong belief in your own competencies to stop the thoughts of vulnerability.
– Review your talents and build from them. Check your weaknesses and if they are the problem, learn to change them.
– Cancel your membership in the whine and cheese club. “Oh, cheese, this is so hard — being at war with the economy in the tank and our troops overseas.” (You can hear the tone can’t you?)
– Keep your focus on being problem-oriented rather than danger-oriented. Understand that there is a problem to be solved not a threat to your life or well-being. This helps solutions appear quickly.
– Rise above it. Pretend you are in a hot air balloon and lift your thoughts over the issue to get a new view.
– Picture what you want vs. what you don’t want. Be careful of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance. ~Bruce Barton
4. Humor: Lighten up. We take ourselves way too seriously. The challenge is to put the humor back in your personal and professional life. Our perspective becomes so shallow that we lose a sense of happiness.
Humor is the sense of the absurd, which is despair refusing to take itself seriously. ~Arland Ussher
Staying up when everyone else is down becomes a choice. And be realistic. Weigh the facts. Learn to blend energy, humor, spirit and self-confidence. This combination is like a marinade that will make life’s turkeys more palatable and result in a happier you.
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