Posts Tagged ‘motivation’
Friday, May 10th, 2013
Mundane: (adjective) typical, ordinary, lacking interest or excitement, dull.
Mundane a great word. The way it rolls off your tongue even sounds mundane. I know it’s an adjective but I wish it was a noun. I’d define it like this:
Mundane: (noun) the dreaded place people settle into when they stop challenging themselves, stop trying new things, stop dreaming.
When you’re there, the days blend together. You come home from work, grab the chips out of the cupboard, turn on the TV and eventually fall asleep on the couch, day after day after day, all the while promising yourself you’ll start that exercise program tomorrow. You take a sleeping pill to go to bed and caffeine when you wake up. You’re not happy but no one knows that because you smile and function reasonably well at work. Mundane is a secret that turns into a habit that weighs you down but you rarely complain because life is good enough…ugh.
I saw a post on Facebook once that said something like this:
The definition of hell: At the end of your life, meeting the person you would have become if you had lived to your potential.
That’s an unsettling thought, more unsettling if “Mundane” rules the day. On the other hand, if you love your life, if you’re living without regret, I don’t think it would matter because life is filled with infinite possibilities which are narrowed down by a combination of circumstance, opportunity and the choices we make. Honestly, where we end up isn’t as important as the way we travel.
So pay attention to how you travel. Loving your life and escaping the grips of mundane is about traveling through life with purpose. Every day you cross the paths of numerous people…family, friends, co-workers, and strangers and your impact on them is either positive, negative, or neutral. Choose to make it positive.
The last thing I say to my kids as I drop them off to school in the morning is, “Make someone’s day better, today.”
It’s so easy…smile, hold a door open, help with a project, compliment someone, thank someone, listen. The ripple effect of kindness is beyond measure and if you live with that intention your life will never be mundane.
Wednesday, March 6th, 2013
Do you love your life? Are you excited to get out of bed in the morning? Are you thriving in your current situation or just surviving?
Several years ago, I woke up one day, wishing I was somewhere else. I guess I was so caught up in the routine of getting through my days that I lost sight of the bigger picture. Instead of being proactive, I was re-acting to the things going on around me. That’s not to say my life was bad. It wasn’t, but it wasn’t great either. It was “good enough.”
There’s no passion in “good enough.” It’s safe and it comes with sympathy from the rest of the “good enough” people in the world. For example: “Oh, so what your boss micro-manages you; at least you have a pay check. You should be grateful for that.”
Stop thinking that way! You weren’t born to acquiesce your way through life. Here’s what you need turn it around:
1. RIGHT PEOPLE:
- Personally – Who do you spend the majority of your time with? Who are the major influencers in your life? Regardless of your age, you’re a reflection of the company you keep so choose to spend time with people you admire, people who love their lives, people who are always looking forward. Remember, friendship is a privilege not an obligation.
- Professionally – Who do you align yourself with in the office? These relationships need to be strategic. Negativity and gossip can derail your career. It’s important to build relationships with co-workers who support the vision of the organization.
2. RIGHT GOALS:
- What would you do professionally if money was no object?
- What could you change about your personal life that would make you happier?
Be specific. Paint a clear picture of what your life would look like in five years if you accomplished that goal. Is it different than your current path? If it is, CHANGE your current path! Start taking small steps that move you in a direction you love. Dream about it. Visualize it. It’s never too late to create something that excites you.
3. RIGHT THINKING:
Believe in yourself. Change, adversity and roadblocks are part of everyone’s journey. You might even be victimized but being victimized isn’t the same as being a victim.
- When you carry yesterday with you, it turns into baggage. It becomes a self-limiting excuse and you become a victim.
- When you treat yesterday as an event, separate from who you are, you can let it go. You can even use it to build a stronger foundation for tomorrow.
Bottom line: Expect to struggle but remember, you’re not defined by the challenges you face. You’re defined by how you face those challenges. Life is a gift. How you travel through life is a choice. With right people, right goals, and right thinking you’ll never wake up wishing you were somewhere else.
You’ll love your life.
Saturday, December 29th, 2012
People hate New Year’s Resolutions because they don’t keep them. The 10 lbs Dick was going to lose last year are still hanging around. Jane’s new exercise plan got pushed aside because of other priorities. The clutter Sally wanted to control somehow managed to take over her house again. So what’s the point of making a New Year’s Resolution if you know you’re going to fail, right?
If you know you’re going to fail, there is no point. Only an idiot bets on a three legged horse.
Resolutions aren’t designed for people who “want” to change or for people who “wish” things were different. They’re designed for people who are sick and tired of the status quo, for people determined to do something better next year in spite of the challenges they will face along the way. Resolutions require a focused and unrelenting commitment to improve. For people with that mindset, New Year’s is exciting. It symbolizes a fresh start. It’s an opportunity.
2012 is almost in the history books. The year you just lived is your personal history lesson and the experience and wisdom you gained gives you the opportunity to live better next year. Look back and think about the things you’re proud of as well as the things you wish you did better. Will 2013 be a repeat of years past or will you finally break an old habit?
Four tips to help you succeed:
- Pick something extremely specific. For example, instead of keeping your house clean, resolve to clean the kitchen before going to bed every night or instead of starting an exercise program, resolve to walk for 30 minutes after dinner every night.
- Shorten the time frame. Don’t take on the entire year. Start with January. Resolve for one month and then re-evaluate. It takes about a month to change a habit so if you can survive January, you’ll be well on your way.
- Recruit your friends and family. Make sure everyone knows what you’re trying to accomplish, even if it’s embarrassing. Besides, a little humility just makes you more real and the added accountability will help you stay the course. Why not get a few friends on board and start a texting support group? It’s fun and it’ll dramatically increase you success rate.
- Don’t give up when you mess up. You’re not perfect. Life isn’t about perfection, it’s about becoming a great version of yourself. When you fall down, get back up. Happiness comes from getting up one more time than you fall down. Never quit!
Happy New Year!
Wednesday, November 28th, 2012
I’m lucky because I teach Pilates at Lawrence University so I get to interact with students on a regular basis. College is an amazing time in life. At LU, students are constantly exposed to new and exciting ideas not because of what they learn in the classroom, but because of the diverse people they meet and the incredible travel abroad trips they take. “Change” is part of their lifestyle.
Contrast that to the millions of Americans who work in less than fulfilling jobs only to come home to fast food followed by hours of television. There’s a complacency epidemic in this country. No passion, no drive, and no motivation to chase anything.
Statements like “Things are good enough” or “I’m just grateful things aren’t worse” seem to rule the day. Some people have been on auto-pilot so long they’ve forgotten what it feels like to live.
Sure, people deal with changes that are forced on them, like technology updates, but otherwise they stick with their routines. Lifestyle is a habit and once established it’s the hardest habit to break.
We need to shake it up. We can learn a few things from the lifestyle of college students. Why not chase change? Life would be so much more exciting/rewarding if we made “change” a habit.
Come on! Wake up and try something new.
Tuesday, November 20th, 2012
Why do you do what you do? Or as my thirteen year old likes to say, “Why are you why you are?” Then he adds, “They’re just letters, Mom.” (YRUYUR).
I’m a professional speaker and author, not because I’m a rape survivor and not because I’m an Ironman. I’m a speaker and author because I want you to become your own champion.
Becoming your own champion is about finding your voice. It’s about being authentic in a world that’s often anything but authentic. It’s about becoming a great student, a great friend, a great employee, a great leader. I want you to love the amazing gift of your own unique life in spite of the pressures you face on a daily basis to meet the expectations of a world that’s constantly bombarding you with messages about how to look, how to act, how to think, how to feel, and what to believe.
I want YOU to own your life, to wake up in the morning excited to seize the day. I want you to fight to become the best possible version of yourself. No excuses, no regrets, no blame on bad luck or misfortune…none of that!
Yes, life can be incredibly unfair. You will struggle. So you have to remember that you’re defined, not by the challenges you face, but by how you face those challenges. When the going gets tough I want you to understand how to rebound because you’re worth it.
I speak and I write because it took me thirty-five years to get it right. I want you to get it right today.
Wednesday, October 10th, 2012
As winter approaches and the days get colder and shorter, it gets harder and harder to wake up early for a workout. No matter how much resolve you have when you go to bed, the sound of your alarm clock feels like an assault, especially when you know you can just roll over and enjoy another hour of sleep.
Newton’s first law supports the struggle. It goes something like this: A body in motion tends to stay in motion and a body at rest tends to stay at rest. Several hours in a warm, comfy bed is definitely a body at rest. I don’t know anyone who enjoys the sound of their alarm clock. Even those people who religiously get up early every day have to resist the temptation to go back to sleep. They get up because they know the discomfort only lasts for a few minutes.
The best way to get past this challenge is to get up immediately, put on workout gear and head out the door. Don’t think about it, just do it. Expect it to be difficult but do it anyway. Get up! All winter, five mornings a week, just get up! If you make that commitment, when March rolls around next year, you won’t be scrambling to get in shape.
Come on…get up!!
Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012
Gratitude is important. It reminds us that we need each other, that we’re part of something bigger. The gratitude we feel toward those who’ve helped us along the way, the appreciation we feel for the gift of life, for family, for friends, and for health…all of these things should motivate us to give back, to strive to become great versions of ourselves. Unfortunately, sometimes I think the opposite happens.
It’s easy to look around and find circumstances worse than our own. For example, if your boss micro-manages you, making your life miserable, you might complain only to be reminded you that you have a great job with excellent benefits. The message is that you should stop complaining and feel grateful. There are plenty of people looking for work. Or if you’ve gained a few pounds and complain, your friends may remind you how good you look for your age. They might even recount a story about a mutual friend with major health problems. Again, you’re left feeling guilty for wanting more, for your lack of gratitude. Gratefulness in that context doesn’t make us happy. It lowers the bar of our personal expectations. If we’re not careful, it can lead to mediocrity.
Happiness comes from striving to become a great version of yourself. It’s a combination of doing your best and overcoming challenges to reach a goal. It doesn’t come from settling for “good enough”.
Don’t let gratitude keep you from success.
Thursday, July 26th, 2012
Most of us agree that the people we spend the majority of our time with have an influence on our behavior. If we want to be part of a winning team, it makes sense to recruit great talent. We don’t want a slacker in the mix when it comes to our personal success. But beyond that, its pretty nice that there are so many people in the world who are content to coast.
Think about it. Think about the people at work or at school who do only what’s required, who rarely take initiative, who gossip and complain. They lower the bar of expectation. The set the stage for you to shine. If everyone gave 100%, if everyone had passion for excellence, if everyone was highly motivated, it would be so much harder to look exceptional.
So thanks, Slackers. Keep up the “good” work.
Wednesday, June 6th, 2012
Ever wonder why you should get out of the bed in the morning? How about because someone might need you?
This morning after dropping my boys off at school, I saw a lady desperately chasing after a city bus. She was in the road running while flailing her arms, trying to get the bus driver’s attention. He didn’t stop and she finally gave up. As she stepped up on the sidewalk, another woman pulled over in her convertible and apparently offered the lady a ride. I watched in my rear view mirror as she got in the car. It made me so happy.
I thought to myself, “That’s it! Right there, that’s the meaning of life.” You should get up in the morning because someone might miss the bus and you can be there to give her a ride. It’s the little things that we do for each other that make all the difference.
Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
When you choose to take great care of yourself, when you choose to live in a fit body, everything else in life is easier. The February Challenge is 28 days of challenging the status quo. It’s 28 days of challenging your habits.
Just a week into the Challenge and I can feel a difference. Sometimes it takes less time than you might think to reap the benefits of hard work. One focused month can change your life…try! You’re worth it!!