Oops, I forgot. Motivation Day 6

Well, I missed a couple of days. I have an excuse, but the truth is that I simply lounged a bit too much this weekend. I was active, but not too active.

I had a friend come out, and we had a grand old time – skyping with my sister while we had a few libations. It was a great time, and was good for the soul…so I don’t feel guilty about it ūüôā

Now, on to the challenge. Remember, I was supposed to find things that I finished, and start writing a list of them to show that I have a track record of completing things.

The problem is: I looked at my huge projects and said “I’m going to finish those”. Then, I didn’t finish them, and I started to feel like I was failing. Well, when I thought about it, I realized I had missed the point of the challenge entirely!

I should not have tried to bite off the big challenges in my life to make a list of completions – I needed to take small steps, to show that I do finish. That then becomes motivation for the bigger tasks.

My completions list:
1. Completed the expense report I was putting off at work
2. I decided which tires I want for my car (have to wait a couple of weeks before I can get them put on)
3. I finished watching all of the episodes of Boardwalk Empire (okay, that’s an easy one, and no motivation was necessary, but still, I finished it!)
4. I finished making my cinnamon snap liqueur (it’s delicious!)
5. I finished scanning in all my filed documents to Evernote 

So there you have it. I’m well on my way to having a rich, full, completions list, and you can too.

Tips for you

  • If you are looking to set a track record of something (for me it was finishing, but it could be anything for you: Starting, thinking, being kind to strangers, etc.) don’t necessarily set lofty goals and set out to achieve them.
  • The goal is not to change your behavior right now – the goal is to recognize that you already¬†do whatever action you are interested in increasing in your life
  • Don’t let any achievement be too small – see completion #3 for me up above.
Day 7 Challenge
Embrace Your Willpower (Tip #29)

This is a simple concept, but one that everyone can benefit from.
First of all: Know that you do have willpower. It exists in all of us, but we need to strengthen it. 
“If someone were to put a large barbell weight on the floor in front of you and ask you to lift it and you knew you could not, you would not say ‘I have no strength’, you’d say, ‘I’m not strong enough‘”
We always have willpower, but if it is weak, we need to work it. If you wanted stronger arms – you would work them out, if you wanted stronger legs, you would work them out, so if you want a stronger willpower, you will work it out.
The first step is to acknowledge that you have willpower – done. I know that I have willpower. I have utilized it many times, so I know it is there.
Step two is to know that your willpower is yours to develop. I’ve done this before, and it worked pretty well. I would put a brownie, or cookie, or whatever, in front of me – and just stare at it. I would want it, but I would not eat it. I was testing my willpower, but also strengthening it.
My challenge, therefore, will be to take at least 5 challenges tomorrow in which I push my willpower. Perhaps it will be with a delicious treat, or the desire to sit back and watch TV, or to browse Facebook. I’m not sure what form it will take, but I will show that I do have willpower.¬†
I invite all of you to join me in this challenge, and post in the comments the 3-5 things you have done to strengthen your willpower!!!

This 30-day challenge is to use one tip per day from the book¬†“100 Way to Motivate Yourself”¬†by Steve Chandler. The goal is to find great methods for self-motivation which can be used in the future.

Me, Myself, and I – Motivation Day 2

Day Two
Day 2 was also a success. I was traveling most of the day due to travel delays (hence the post coming today instead of last night)

The goal was to allow myself to sit there, in solitude, and to allow the universe to reveal itself to me. Specifically, the challenge was to “not just do something”. This means I was not supposed to allow myself to give in to pointless distractions – I didn’t sit and read the news, I didn’t start playing games on my phone, I didn’t start watching mindless videos. I sat there, and let my mind go free.

Not only did I spend time on the plane, in solitary, allowing the universe to reveal itself, but I also spent some time in the morning, and also ended up in the bathroom at work at one point, sitting for longer than usual, allowing my mind to work. Further, when I had dinner at the Airport (St Louis Lambert Field), I was truly in my element.

Did I have some crazy revelations, and understand the universe in its fullest? Are you crazy? No one could come up with that in one day. I did come up with a new business idea, though, and I felt quite confident, and comfortable in my skin.

Dinner was a great experience – remember yesterday (well, 2 days ago) when I was living into my future self. Well at dinner, it was never better. I was sitting there, enjoying a Knob Creek with air (that means “neat”, “up”, “straight”) and some Truffled chips, and my mind was clear, and it was working. Every input was processed much faster than usual, causing everything I saw start to make much more sense, and everything to connect in its own weird way. It did feel like I could see so much more, even though I was in my own head.

So now, what do you need to do to reach this point of clarity? You need to obviously meditate every day, and give yourself at least an hour of peaceful serenity with no distractions, and no worries, right? Hell no – if you can spare 5 minutes, you can get a benefit out of this. Many of the worlds most powerful people do take time, say an hour every other day, or every few days, to just sit there and think. When you take this time, you will see your mind start to take care of things that it wants to. Your problems will find solutions, and all you have to do is get out of the way, and stop drugging your brain with distractions!

Your challenge: Just try it, for 15 minutes today. Take 15 minutes, and turn off the TV, put your phone on silent, turn off the radio, get into a comfy chair. If you have family, tell them you need to be left alone for 15 minutes. Just see what happens. I bet you will get addicted to the immense understanding that only 15 minutes will give you.

On a side note: I remembered an old memory game last night, and on my drive home, I was able to memorize 70 words in a row, and recite them. I have never done more than 30 before, so this was a huge feat. The biggest benefit of this, however, was that I began to re-learn how to focus. I can still remember all 70 this morning, by the way. It’s a very powerful game (and you can use it to almost instantly memorize a list of ten, which is a great party trick.

Day 3 Challenge:
Build a Track Record

This is a simple one, and a concept many of you are likely familiar with. It’s simply establishing that you can do X, because you have done X.

The example in the book is of a gentleman who wanted to be better at finishing things. He was looking for affirmations that would make him better at finishing. The answer was not to use affirmations, but to build a track record of being a finisher. He bought a notebook, and wrote down everything he completed. By the end of the first page, he had a track record of being a finisher. He didn’t just say “I’m a finisher, I’m a finisher, I’m a finisher” which your mind knows is a lie. He was able to look at his list, and say “look, I’m a finisher!”

Many of you know this concept as writing a list of things you’ve done. I remember filling out a to-do list, and adding some things I had already completed, then crossing them out. That has worked before, so I’m trying it again.

So here I go, I’ll follow the same track as the gentleman in the story, and I’ll go ahead and finish 2 things today which have been on my to-do list for a while. So here we go!

This 30-day challenge is to use one tip per day from the book¬†“100 Way to Motivate Yourself”¬†by Steve Chandler. The goal is to find great methods for self-motivation which can be used in the future.

Oh My God I’m so Motivated!!! Motivation Day 1

Day One
Day one is nearly complete. As a reminder, my challenge was to imagine my future self, and then live into it.

Obviously, I can’t complete all of that in one day. I can imagine my future self, but I can’t “live into it” in a single day! So I bit off the do-able piece: Imagine my future self.

Now, the gold standard for imagining the future is the “home of the future” videos from like 50 years ago, so I’ll try to follow that style!

The Paul of the Future

The Paul of the future is a sleek model, wearing the finest bespoke Italian suits. He is surrounded by friends as he tours the world, learning new cultures, and expanding his incredible business empire. Since he first began his meteoric rise, he has been adored by many, and envied by more.

Today, he is setting up a new production plant for the newest model of human interfacing neural driven synthetic upright motor vehicle. Since the original model of his genius device was first developed, humanity has changed forever.

But once this plant is set up, the day is not over – Paul will be sleeping on his private Jet as he heads to his private island in the Caribbean, where he will be meeting with a world leader (Mr. Recchia could not disclose the identity of this world leader to us for security reasons). When he isn’t courting business relationships, and cultural relationships, Mr. Recchia is enjoying his favorite relationship – his wife and two kids – Paul Jr., and Satorica. *I’m guessing girls will have really weird names by then* He enjoys spending time with his family at their home in the United States of North and South America.

Paul Recchia – the perfect combination of health, intelligence, creativity, relationship builder, and family man.

And scene.

I think that’s a pretty damn good life to aspire to live. That’s a great Paul to become. So the way I see it, that is a long term goal. The problem is, that could be a long way off – where do I start? Well today, I began eating healthier for a start (to get to that “sleek model” status) and I felt like I was carrying myself differently – standing up straighter, speaking with a stronger voice, taking charge. I began feeling like my future self.

It is said that when Michelangelo came upon the huge piece of Marble that would become David, that he could see David in the marble – he just needed to reveal him. I feel like I have this great new self within me – I just need to reveal him. Right now, at this very moment, I have my future self sitting here – I just have to give him a chance to get out. When I got my salad today, I felt like that other Paul was getting that salad. It’s a very cool, yet bizarre feeling.

For some other methods for picturing your future self, here are some resources:
Weight Mirror – If weight loss is your game, you can see what you will look like!
Guidelines for imagining your future self
100 Ways to Motivate Yourself by Steve Chandler

Day 2 Challenge
Don’t Just Do Something…Sit There (Tip #18)

The point is to take time to just sit there, and let the Universe reveal itself to you. When you remove distraction, your mind is free to run wild. Instead of finding something busy to do, just sit there, and enjoy the time. You don’t need to actively “think”, you need to break down the wall and let the world bring the solutions to your doorstep.

This is one that has echoes in many of the most successful people ever. Bill Gates is notorious for taking time to just think (See Lifehacker for a nice article about this)

I’ve known this for a while – but Steve does identify a great point:

“Sometimes, in my seminars on motivation, a person will ask me, ‘Why is it that I get my best ideas when I’m in the shower?’
I usually ask the person, ‘ When else during your day are you alone with yourself without any distractions?’
If the person is honest, the answer is never.”

This is a fantastic point, and I had recently noticed that when I drive, I have absolute clarity. I can think on unprecedented levels in my car. I have personal insight, and when I stop driving, it stops!

So tomorrow, I’ll be finding some time to just sit and think, and try to ignore all other distractions. Maybe in the morning, maybe in the evening, maybe in the bathroom during work, who knows. I will do it, though!

This 30-day challenge is to use one tip per day from the book “100 Way to Motivate Yourself” by Steve Chandler. The goal is to find great methods for self-motivation which can be used in the future.

At long last, motivation, and how you can too

Reading note: The new challenge is at the bottom of this novel of a post.

If you haven’t noticed: I have not done more than one damn post in the past, I don’t know, 32 years! You see, it was a question of motivation, or rather the lack of it. Now I’m not talking about monetary motivation, or career motivation (let’s be honest, this blog won’t help me with either of those things) I’m talking about good old self-motivation. I used to have plenty, but then it dwindled, and then it disappeared.

I have a tendency to go through motivational cycles. Sometimes, I’ll have no desire to really do anything, and the next moment, I’m incredibly into reading, or working out, or cooking, or learning piano, or…you name it. But inevitably, that motivation dies down, and I fade away. I usually go back to it at some point, but there’s a dead period in between.

Some of the “motivational cycles” that I’ve had:

  1. Chocolate Making
  2. Reading
  3. Working out
  4. Learning Piano
  5. Learning Guitar
  6. Making Pasta
  7. Making Bread
  8. Becoming a pick-up artist (that one worked out real well)
  9. Eating Healthy
  10. Losing Weight
  11. Living Long Enough to Live Forever (See Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever)
  12. Roasting Coffee (currently)
  13. Brewing Beer
  14. Writing Music
  15. Computer Coding
  16. Starting a Business
  17. Being Stylish
  18. Being Perfectly Groomed
  19. Mixing Drinks (Mixology)
  20. Writing a Blog
And there’s more, but I just wanted to show you that there are a number of things for which I’ve become highly motivated. The problem is: I almost always will lose interest, lose motivation, and not finish what I started.
In fact, I was recently in such a bad slump that I feared I would never come out of it. I was on a project at work which sucked the life out of me. It had me searching for a new job even (I have since moved on to a new project, and have restored my faith in my company) I felt in a rut, and I was finding myself escaping, whether into music, news, politics, or, mostly, TV shows. I watched all 3 seasons of Arrested Development…twice. I began watching Cheers, I watched every episode of Shark Tank more than once. Finally, Shark Tank pulled me out of the slump.¬†
Problem: I go through motivational cycles in which I am intensely motivated, but soon lose interest and at the same time, the motivation.

Solution: Figure out what motivates me, and keep doing it!

I had an epiphany during my recent kick of motivation (actually, while sitting at a Chinese restaurant waiting for food – I was going through a Chinese food kick. The benefit being that I learned how to make some kick ass fried rice). The epiphany – if I am not always motivated, then why don’t I figure out what is motivating me, and make sure I can recreate those conditions.¬†
It’s simple, right? Well it took me 24 years to figure that one out. The exception is at the gym, where I had a playlist specifically designed to motivate me. It started out fun, but then towards the end, when things got tough, it got incredibly spirited and energetic.¬†
So, I thought to myself:
Me: Well, what typically motivates you?
Paul: Hmm, I’m not sure – Shark Tank motivated me because I want to be like the sharks – not ruthless necessarily, but stylish, well spoken, and highly capable
Me: What else?
Paul: Hmm, I’m not sure, but I bet someone has written a book about this.
Me: You’re right! Let’s search Amazon ūüôā¬†
So I found a book which had great reviews, and promised to help me motivate myself. I bought it for Kindle, and just started reading it yesterday. I must say, it is quite handy so far. It is an easy read, and is organized into 100 tips for self-motivation. A tip from a reviewer was to read this multiple times (spaced out, of course) and soon the actions will become part of your habit.
I am currently on #27: Create the Way you Relate. However, I had a great idea – why not take on some of these challenges. Maybe even one per day. Maybe even for a whole month!
Challenge: Follow one tip from the book: 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself: Change Your Life Forever (Link at the end of the post) per day for 30 days

Each post will have a breakdown of the progress in the current day, and a preview of what is to come for the next day. As I go along, hopefully you’ll get some helpful tips, and maybe even decide to buy the book for yourself (If you go through my link, I’ll get a few pennies, so that’s always appreciated)
Day #1: Stay Hungry*
This stems from advice the author received from Arnold¬†Schwarzenegger (before he hit it big). “‘It’s the same process I used in bodybuilding,’ he explained. ‘What you do is create a vision¬†of who you want to be, and then live into that picture as if it were already true'” (Chandler Loc137)
So the goal is to picture yourself how you wish to be, and then strive towards that goal.
“A major part of living a life of self-motivation is having something to wake up for in the morning–something that you are ‘up to’ in life so that you will stay hungry” (Chandler Loc137)
“The vision can be created right now–better now than later” (Chandler Loc143)
So tomorrow, I will set out to create a vivid picture of who I wish to be. And even better, I’ll write it down here, so it will be here to stay, as a reminder.¬†
*Though this will be tomorrow, I will plan out the challenges the night before, so I’m not forced to think something up in the morning.¬†
If you’d like to check out this book, please see the link below (note that a new edition is due out Nov 22. of this year)
If you’d like to pre-order the new edition:¬†