Jill was running late. She only had a little time on her lunch break to run an errand for her significant other before returning to work to finish a big project she’d delayed until the last-minute.
She parked outside the post office. When she returned, her car was pinned in by another vehicle and she couldn’t get out. She sat on the curb and waited. Twenty minutes later an elderly man returned to the car blocking Jill’s. Jill shouted “Hello!” but the man got in his car and pulled away without saying a word.
Jill returned late to the office. She knew she’d have to work overtime to finish her work. She stared out the window cursing herself for procrastinating on this project. She looked at the files on her desk, feeling overwhelmed by all the work ahead of her. Still, she couldn’t manage to get started. She felt angry.
Then the phone rang. It was Jill’s significant other asking if she’d run the errands she’d asked. She shared what had happened that day. Her significant other empathized then made her promise to do one thing, no matter how small, for herself: order a healthy meal, take a walk in the park, or listen to some music before she started working. Jill agreed. She thanked her for understanding, for her kind advice, and hung up. She looked at the files and thought, “I can handle this, but first…” She smiled, grabbed her coat and headed out for a walk. Her significant other was right, she deserved to take better care of herself, and she resolved to do just that.
We all do it – We say ‘yes’ to others and ‘no’ to ourselves, add too many things to our calendar, neglect our mind, body and spirit, and beat ourselves up over our own limitations and mistakes.
How about you? Are you taking better care of others than yourself? Do you put others’ needs ahead of your own and push your desires off to ‘another day’? Do you burn the candle at both ends to the point where you feel you have nothing left to give?
This is a common problem we all face. But the fact is that when we take care of ourselves, our work becomes easier and less stressful, we are more content, and we feel happier, healthier, and are more engaged in life. And here’s the kicker – it doesn’t take much to achieve this feeling. It simply requires a small amount of consistent ‘me time’ each day. It could be as simple as a 20-minute meditation, a 30-minute workout, or some quiet time to read your favorite book. Out of 24 hours in a day – 1,440 minutes – can you commit to sometime just for yourself?
You deserve as much care and compassion for yourself that you show to the people in your life. What one action of self-care will you take for yourself today?
Learn more about my upcoming workshop on January 30th: Lighting Your Fire: Sparking Your Inner Motivation to Achieve Your Goals!
“Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.” ~ Einstein.
Some people have clarity of purpose. You can see it in their behavior, attitude, and results. But for others (you may know someone like this), they have nothing more than a fuzzy idea of what they want for today, tomorrow or next week.
Many people struggle to come up with a coherent answer when they are asked the big question: What do you really want out of your life, long-term?
Do you know what you want?
Some standard responses include: “I’m not sure,” or, “I live for today and let tomorrow take care of itself.” Some people have a restrained version of their ambitions because they are afraid to think too big, as they may fail or be criticized.
If Einstein is right, then that’s exactly what they will experience: uncertainty, random results and unfulfilled aspirations.
It’s often a struggle to take initiative and have enthusiasm for our goals if we’ve lost touch with the life we really want to live. Here are several tricks to help you get back in touch with the life you want for your life.
1. Heal the past. It’s tough to move ahead when you’re anchored to the past. Letting go of the old, untrue stories we tell ourselves and others is the key that can release us from our limiting beliefs. Healing the past acts as a springboard for releasing ourselves to pursue a meaningful future.
2. Know thyself. Taking a self-inventory of our skills, abilities and interests rekindles our enthusiasm for the desires we may have forgotten. It helps us confirm and/or rediscover our true avocation.
3. Be bold in thinking, not hasty in action. If hasty decisions or thinking small got you to where you are now perhaps it’s time for a change. Maybe it’s a total about face – leaving a career or relationship for something new. Or maybe it’s just re-imagining your current situation. For example, if you’re a journalist, instead of quitting writing try your hand at a novel. Or if you love to cook, take cooking classes and consider catering or working as a chef.
We all get to choose our own reality; self-assurance vs. uncertainty, intentional effort vs. random results, and contentment over our accomplishments vs. unfulfilled aspirations.
Facing the past, getting to know yourself, and taking action can feel unfamiliar and even a bit scary at first. But once you make the effort, you’ll find clarity and discover what it is you really want. By doing so, as Einstein suggests, the universe will respond in kind.
What reality do you want for your life?
Learn more about my upcoming workshop Lighting Your Fire: Sparking Your Inner Motivation to Achieve Your Goals!
In the movie Cast Away Tom Hanks’ character, Chuck Noland, is marooned on an isolated island. He manages to stay alive sleeping in a cave, and eating raw fish and coconuts. For three long years he deals with emotional ups and downs, multiple injuries, the blistering sun, and terrible storms.
With rescue more unlikely with each passing day, why did Chuck Noland choose survival? He could have just given up. But Chuck persevered because of his desire to see his fiancé again. That’s the drive that kept him alive.
While few of us will ever be faced with such extreme survival situations, we do have one thing in common – we’re all motivated to do what it takes to get what we want if we want it bad enough. Whether that’s to be reunited with a loved one, getting that job promotion, or satisfying that craving for an ice cream sundae, we instinctively set our eyes on the goal and take the steps necessary to get there.
What is Motivation?
Motivation is that driving force that initiates and pushes us to take action in order to achieve something. Often times it feels instinctive, internally driven, like there is something inside of us pushing us to move forward.
In his book, Drive, author Daniel Pink suggests three elements that drive us to do our best work:
This is the urge to be self-directed. We do the work because we’re engaged, not because we’re told to. Self-directed people have buy-in to the bigger purpose.
It’s human nature to want to be better at doing things. Take playing guitar for example. For most, there is no recording contract in our future. We do it for fun and the challenge and satisfaction of improving our skill and technique.
Connecting to a cause bigger than ourselves fuels our deepest motivations. People want to believe in what they do and who they’re doing it for.
On the island, Chuck was self-directed, he needed to master skills to survive, and his purpose was to see his fiancé again.
What’s your reason and desire for keeping on track with your goals? What concrete steps are willing to take right now to improve your autonomy, mastery or purpose?
Watch for details on my upcoming workshop Lighting Your Fire: Sparking Your Inner Motivation to Achieve Your Goals!
Terri O'Donnell is a certified Life Coach. She is an honest, straight shooter who is dedicated to using her training and experience to help people live the life they desire.