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Self motivation part 9

Problems are good

Everyone is trying to eliminate problems but the truth is without them you will miss a golden opportunity to stretch yourself and learn. No problems means no solutions and that is a missed chance to be creative.

In general people fear problems. They get in the way of what we want to achieve. When they come along there is tendency to run and hide and pretend that it doesn’t exist and hope it may go away by itself.

A lot of people have had life changing experiences when faced with truly severe problems.
Obviously, you don’t wish to experience such stressful problems but the resultant affects can be tremendous.

Keep in mind

Many things that you read and notice that give you motivation end up on a shelf to be eventually forgotten.

Keep the momentum going by using some simple techniques to remind you of what they were.

  • Put post-its in visible places around your home and place of work
  • Make a tape of key points and play them in the car and elsewhere
  • If you have been to a course or read a book why not create a mind map of the points

Whatever system you use, make it so that it easily grabs your attention.

  • Create a song or poem from the key points
  • Repeat a good maxim or affirmation (see self motivation techniques – part 4) out loud regularly
  • Go over old notes on a regular basis as a refresher
  • Adopt specific memory techniques by creating a story in pictures or use other methods

If you regularly use a simple system to retain key pieces of information it will eventually become ingrained in your mind.
Why not sit down and make a list of 20 ways you may be able to provide reminders?

The problem is if you don’t keep goals to the fore it is easy to lose focus and forget about them.

Brain storm

This technique is often used for problem solving in a group but can just as easily be used on your own.
Just as for a group situation you can generate a list of ideas that may solve or alleviate your problem.
Don’t restrict yourself to one day, you can do this every day for two weeks.

Try to generate 10 to 20 ideas and don’t judge them.
After 5 days you may have 50 to 100 ideas.
Many of these you will judge to be impractical but many will be innovative.

Another method for generating ideas (which can be used for anything including finding potential goals) is to generate say 20 sentences based upon the completion of an initial stem. For example:

“If I had unlimited resources I would…”
“I could improve performance by 5% by …”

If you can improve your performance by only 1% every day you will have doubled your output in just over 3 months.
Once you have ideas you have direction and hence motivation.

Future proof

At one time we might work for the same company for all of our working life and then retire and go off and find something to do.
With companies not being immune to takeovers, cut backs and closures job changes have become inevitable.
Moving or changing jobs has encouraged the individual to attain new skills.

Now any company that stands still is likely to stagnate and eventually wither in the face of competition.
New skills are valued not just experience. Make sure that you take every opportunity to improve your skill base.
If you can give yourself an edge you then become less dispensable.

Motivation and competition

At one time competition became a dirty word in many schools.
Competition seemed to suggest a head to head challenge with only one winner and a demoralised loser.
No one wanted any losers so competition was removed.
Sports Day became Fun Day.

Some schools will also remove grades for tests so no one gets upset.

In fact when you or anyone else competes you are not really going head to head with another but yourself.
No matter how good you are at one particular item there is always someone who is better.
You are really using the other person to test your own level of competence.
In this way your own skills and experiences will rise.
This will improve motivation.

If you are trying to compete in performance against a pessimist who decides to take no action you can’t win and you will make no personal gains.

Competition also teaches sportsmanship affording a valuable benchmark as to your progress.
This raises your self esteem and hence your motivation.