MOTIVATION: 5 WAYS WE RENEW IT, BUT DO THEY REALLY WORK? (Issue 28)
by Diane Gold
When we want motivation, we consider changes in our lives. We will go to extreme measures to accomplish our goals. Our actions are not always the straightest path or the simplest way, but we, as humans, use very similar techniques.
I remember how I really wanted to motivate a great romantic relationship with my live-in partner. I was smothering, jealous, hovering and naggy, not so much, outwardly, but inside. I was, of course, not motivating the responses I wanted. I was acting from attachment, short- sighted perception and delusion. I couldn’t see the forest because the trees were blocking my view.
Or, as Bruce Lee said,
“Don’t think. Feel. It is like a finger pointing away to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.”
I was so driven on building, fixing, motivating, roping in this relationship that I missed the fact that we cannot lasso love if we want an honest, mature relationship, and that strangling, oppressive thoughts always get in the way of the ultimate goal.
My biggest mistake for which I continue to pay a high price was that, during this period of time, my concentration on my children was shared with this negative smothering, jealous, hovering and nagging.
The reason I mention this anecdote here is to encourage people to look at the outcomes they want and determine their action plan as if they were looking at the actions of someone else and whether these actions would make sense or not. Of course, it is very much easier to see the forest when we are in a helicopter than when we are on the ground standing in front of a giant tree.
Here are 5 actions that many of us take in order to reach our goals. We must head John Heywood’s 1546 poem that tells us to look before we leap (actually, to looke ere ye leaped) to be diligent to act on behalf of achieving our goals before we take a step.
Here comes an anecdote again that you may have heard. When I was in kindergarten in Philadelphia, the teacher would make me drink the milk that was supplied at snack time. She would also force me to put my head down. To me, it was slavery, and I cried every day. My parents were quite aware that the situation was not good for me, so we moved to Queens, NY. I’ll never be sure the move was specifically for me, or whether my dad was changing jobs anyway. But here’s my conclusion now.
Whatever made me cry may have come with me to NY since I didn’t get to deal with this teacher torture in Philadelphia. My point is that I could have had the same reaction to some issue in NY which stemmed from not being able to fit in. I didn’t have such issues, so maybe, in this case, it was the teacher.
Today, the teacher’s old-fashioned “you will follow my commands, young lady” attitude would be frowned upon by the principal (when my mother reported it) or framed as child abuse. Not so in 1955. But who knows how much stronger I would have been today had I learned to adjust to that situation.
There are lots of stories on TV about teens changing schools to avoid confronting a person with whom they had a bad experience. We always hope that the new school will change everything.
When we lose our motivation on the job, often times, it’s because the job is not creative enough. We are unhappy with the work or salary and want bigger and better horizons. When we don’t monetize what we deserve and we love our jobs, it usually doesn’t move us to leave.
Just as often, we are not happy with ourselves. So, we change jobs with the idea that many negative things will disappear. This strategy works only when we realize that we must change, too. If we don’t change our education, our training, our attitude, our social demeanor, we will end up experiencing the same feelings at a lateral position which might not be very satisfying.
There are times when it makes sense to move. When we are teens and go to a particular school, if we have friends; moving is devastating. If we have none, it is a blessing. When we are adults and are leaving a broken relationship, a dead-end job, a family tragedy; we are moving ourselves. But we get to see new people, trees, streets. This is motivating and empowering. So many of the bonds that bear down on our ability to inspire ourselves or to be productive are left behind.
Of course, we take ourselves with us. Our fears, our anger, our discontent, our joy, families come with us. We still must make changes that got to have the bonds that made us move away. When we start looking at them but they have not built up in our new location, it is a little easier to work with them. This self-examination allows us to become energized because we are no longer expending a lot of energy on whatever made us move. Or, if we do, we can start working on it again.
CHANGE OUR DIET BECAUSE THE LAST ONE DIDN’T WORK
When we have found a meal plan that works, we sometimes becomes too rigid because we don’t want to rock the boat of success. But, when we have not found one that is working, we easily jump ship and start a new one. We all do it, and it might be the right thing to do.
However, often times, when we have been looking for a way of successful eating for years, we want to see results in less than the time it takes for changes to start showing, and we lose our patience.
When we begin a new food plan, it is exciting. It’s a chance to succeed. We have that motivated feeling because we are ready, and nothing is there to stop us. We are working with that clean slate.
CHANGE OUR EXERCISE PROGRAM BECAUSE THE LAST ONE DIDN’T WORK
It’s amazing how similar we are as human beings. We have similar tolerances when it comes to self-defeat, lack of get up and go and patience. So when it comes to wanting results from an exercise program, we definitely want to see something right away. Or almost right away.
Like with the nutritional plan, we need a little patience. If we are unmotivated because we are sick of the same fitness regime, sometimes variation helps. If we are unmotivated to the point where we are not exercising, it is definitely time to change to doing exercise.
I have a special exercise gift I want to share so that we can all feel results almost immediately. It comes with a request, and that is that you commit to do it for 1 week. For those who choose to do it for 1 week, I ask that, if you want to continue, commit for 14 more days. After the 14 days, I ask for another 14 days. There are really no strings attached, but I want you to feel the present.
Why am I being so strict? This exercise is the one! It is so motivating that I want it to be special to everyone.
Please read this lower back warning before starting.
Proceed with caution. Before going past step 6), make certain to care for the lower back. If any discomfort is felt, stop. It may be necessary to go only up to 6) or to shrink the diameter of the circles to 1 inch.
1) Stand with feet shoulder width apart.
2) Bend knees while keeping the butt tucked and shoulders over hips.
3) Place tip of both thumbs at belly button.
4) Place palms flat on abdomen with index fingers touching each other.
5) Make certain the elbows, at 45-degree angles, do not move.
6) Picture the center of the diamond made by the hands, maybe 2-inches below the belly button.
7) If the back is OK, using that central point as a point of focus, make a 2-inch circle emanating from that central point, moving the circle counterclockwise.
8) Do this 8 more times.
9) Then reverse directions and make the circle clockwise.
10) Do this 8 more times.
12) Check the back to make certain it doesn’t hurt. If it does, you are absolved from the commitment to continue this exercise.
[IF AND ONLY IF YOU HAVE DONE THIS EXERCISE FOR ONE WEEK, YOU CAN ADD THE FOLLOWING.
SPECIAL ADD-ON INSTRUCTIONS ONLY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE EXECUTED THE ABOVE EXERCISE DAILY FOR ONE WEEK:
If you have done this exercise with the hands in the diamond position at the belly as instructed, you have been holding the area which make the small circles with the ab muscles. Now it is time to change the hands only to the rear with 4th and 5th fingers touching each other and touching the tailbone. This change, for the person who has experienced the first position, will insure that you can correct yourself if you feel your butt sticking out. There should be as little movement of the butt and hips as possible since the exercise is for the muscles between the belly button and the groin. Have fun!]]
Whatever we use to motivate us is great, as long as it helps us develop. Changing our environment, our school, our job, our food plan, our exercise plan are only as good as the progress we make because of the change. If we start something new, we have given ourselves a new start. We need to use this fuel which can stimulate motivation to work on ourselves because, no matter what the change, we are the key.
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DIANE GOLD, AUTHOR
Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Moms For Healthy Daughters, is a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, a music and stress expert and a dedicated mom. She believes we can motivate ourselves very well. She says, “When we believe a change can motivate us, then it will. We must find daily opportunities to clean our internal slate. This will activate our motivation.”
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