Tag Archives: motivation

ASK WHY

I think this is the most important question we can ever ask – about anything: “Why do I want this?” “Why do I react like this?” “Why do I do what I do?”

Little children ask “why” all the time and it usually drives adults crazy because at one point we can’t answer anymore. This is the point where it is smart to say “I don’t know…”

While training to become a therapist, I learned about communication skills in relation to a client. In this training we were taught never to ask why; because it is too pushy, forces the client’s hand…Whatever. Instead you should ask round-about questions such as; “what would it do to you if…”. I am fine with this but I truly don’t understand the taboo around “why“. It is a simple, straightforward question that really puts things into perspective.

The why is what drives us, our motivation and our lust. Without a why, there is no forward motion. It is the best question if you are looking for information, any information; “why does the sun go up?” If you no longer have a curiosity to why things happen (or don’t) you are in a rut or a depression. You have stopped moving forward and life is probably rather bleak. You are not interested in knowledge, understanding or change and you probably lost connection with yourself.

When I ask you: “What is your dream?” and you need ages to think of something, you have a problem. If you finally come up with an answer but don’t understand why you want it, it will never happen. We move forward on our why’s; by knowing and understanding what we are looking for we can make it happen. If you are just looking to get rich, it won’t happen. But if you can figure out why you want to get rich, it might happen. The same goes for everything; if you don’t know why, how will you ever find a reason and motivation to do anything? Once you start asking why, you might even find that your wish or goal is quite different from what you originally thought and voilà! you learned something about yourself.

So; why am I writing this blog? Because it matters, the things I write about changed my life (and others) so much to the better and I want to share that. BUT, when I started writing this was not clear to me, I just wanted to make myself heard.

Go ahead; pick a topic in your life and ask the why’s, over and over again, until you reach your deepest want, lust or fear and you will find your road to success.

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MOTIVATION WHEN STRESSED

(picture from “The Independent”)

Part of motivation is actually stress; that’s what gives the “kick” to get going. The “good” stress as it is called. But what happens when that “good” stress swamps you? Everything falls apart and instead of giving a kick to get going, it either paralyzes you into either non-action or makes you inefficient. Problem is, we seldom notice it happening, one day our heart is just not in it. And when we are stressed, seriously stressed, how do we find the motivation to deal with it? The very nature of stress is the complete opposite of motivation. It is fine to talk about stress-management and techniques – I do it all the time – but I have also realized that this is not always the solution, since motivation is lacking. We need to learn about stress and our own reactions to it to be able to handle it; nip it in the bud, as it were.

Many years ago I had a break-down from stress and of course I didn’t see it coming; I was having the time of my life and things were going well. Being much in demand, I kept adding to my agenda indiscriminately…does it sound familiar? One day I crashed and everything fell apart. I emptied my agenda and just tried to make it through the days. Even though I was a therapist and had all the know-how to handle my own situation, I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. I didn’t do “all the stuff” to help myself, even though I consciously knew I should. Over time I taught myself to deal with it. This was before stress had become a serious issue, and there was not much help to be found…I just had to figure it out.

When stress is breaking us down we don’t breath, meditate, exercise, eat properly and so on. Even though we know this is what we should be doing we seem to be incapable of doing it, so we take another cup of coffee and force ourselves to push harder to “get on with it” without any motivation for it at all. When the head-aches, back-pains and stomach-pains set in we reach for the pain-killers.

So how do we break this bad circle? How on earth do we find the motivation to deal with our stress? Especially when it seems that the world is caving in on us. This is the inner stress; the invisible enemy that doesn’t really show on the outside, the night-time demons; the angst, fear, sleeplessness, churning thoughts, night-mares, depression and hopelessness. Stress-management starts here; in realizing what you are feeling, when and why. Only then can you start doing something about it. Stress always creates angst and we find ourselves battling invisible fears. The reason I call it “the night-time demons” is because it always happens at night, when we are not occupied. At night they become larger than life, tearing us apart and in day-time we run faster than ourselves to keep these “demons” at bay. This creates a state of chaos in our emotional systems, and we can see no solutions. But there are always solutions.

Start slow, this takes time:

  • Every time the “demon” kicks in, get out of bed, turn on the light and look at it: The first question is: “what can I do about it right now?” The answer is usually “NOTHING.”
  • Drink a cup of tea, don’t lie in bed tossing and turning, this exacerbates the angst. Better to realize that you are not going to sleep anyway and do something instead; Write lists; what can I do tomorrow? The next day? Maybe I can talk to my boss, teacher, banker and ask for advice. This is a creative process and it helps your mind to relax.
  • Change one thing to the positive; like exchanging coffee for herbal tea, take a short walk or pay attention to your breathing. Do this at least once a day. Just one little thing that is manageable. Over time you add to it.
  • Cut something out, give yourself a break; Find one thing that you do every day that is not absolutely necessary and cut it out. Again, over time, add to it. One thing at a time.
  • Write yourself into your agenda; Your time to do nothing or do something you want. When in stress we have the feeling that we need to explain or excuse ourselves; you are accountable to nobody but yourself. If your agenda is booked, you say no to other stuff…this goes for your time as well. Nobody has the right to question why you are busy, it is nobody’s business but your own.
  • ASK FOR HELP! I can’t stress this enough. We all need a helping hand sometimes, and there are always people who are prepared to help us when we need it. You are not alone.
  • CRY (if you need/want to); it helps to balance us within when we are “poisoned” by our own stress-hormones. But don’t feel sorry for yourself, remember; you put yourself here in the first place.
  • SAY NO! Don’t add anything to your schedule unless it is for your personal self. You are busy healing yourself; make no mistake about it – this is work.

It is all about self-respect. If you do not respect yourself, how are you going to respect anybody else? You will end up resenting the people around you – even your closest ones. It’s like in the airplanes; First you put on your oxygen-mask, then you help others. So get that oxygen-mask on!

SELF DEFINITION

I have listened to so many kids who say they don’t like who they are. They come from all walks of life; some have wonderful home-lives, others come from a hellish existence, still they all feel the same – it’s part of becoming who you are, part of growing up. As I said before, you can’t tell somebody what they have to do or be, they have to figure it out for themselves. How is this done? How do we know what we want to do or be in life? An adolescent lives more or less day to day, making life seem eternal and confusing. If they are in a “bad place”, how are they going to get out of it if they have no sense of future?

I listen to them; to their complaints, their tears, heart-ache, confusion and disappointment until I have a feeling of where their problems come from. Then I tune them into themselves:

  • Who are you?
  • What do you want?
  • Why do you want it?
  • How will you get it?

At this point they are usually angry or crying from confusion. Then I speak to them about Self-Definition, that we all make choices. Each individual is responsible for who they are. This will always form the base of what you receive in life, no matter where you come from. You can be nice and have nice things happen to you, or you can be nasty and have bad things happen. It is always about choices.

I hold up a mirror for the kid; showing him exactly who he is, right now, and he usually doesn’t like it. Then I ask him to think about who he wants to be. I make him aware of all the choices he has. I ask him to tell me what kind of person he wants to be and then we work with this picture, making it so real that the kid can feel it. This is the new mirror – the motivation to change – and the kid always likes this. We are emotional beings and emotion rules our choices much more than we believe.

Once this process is started it can’t be stopped, the kid will now think consciously about his actions. It doesn’t happen overnight, changes take time. Little by little the kid becomes comfortable with his new self-definition and works actively to become what he wants to be. This needs work and their are plenty of ways to do the work, it all depends on the individual. There is no need for recriminations, punishment or anger. Kids judge themselves harshly, in secret. If you add to that burden, they spiral into negativity. If you help them to define themselves and realize that they do have the power to choose and make changes, they usually will.

This, by the way, also goes for adults. Every now and then it is good to take stock of who you are and check if it fits with who you want to be.

MOTIVATION

This is something that has been popping up a lot lately; for myself, my clients and also as a workshop I am doing with some other people.

So what is motivation? The most basic motivation is survival; we’re all genetically engineered to be motivated for that…and we are prepared to do anything it takes – even if we might not believe that from our comfort zones. But this is “cave-man-level”. What about motivation from a perfectly normal point? How do we find it, and more important; how do we keep it?

Habits are strong powers in our lives; how we eat, exercise (or not), smoking, drinking, sleeping… to change any of this takes a tremendous effort. Our thought-patterns are also part of our make-up but in a much more subtle way. Habit and thought-patterns are the biggest influencing powers when it comes to motivation and follow-through. The more comfortable we are, the harder it is to keep up motivation; but when something happens, such as a disease, suddenly nothing is to difficult to beat it – motivation is up and running 100% = survival motivation.

  • Set a goal.
  • Set a time-span. With larger goals it is important to break it down into smaller parts to ensure that you succeed by reaching these smaller parts. This spurs you forward to the next part-goal.
  • Find your motivation. WHY do you want this? Make this very clear to yourself and write it down so you can see it every day. Make it your mantra.
  • Motivation stays 2-7 days maximum, then you have to review it, tweak it, re-kindle it. If not, you will just quit here. This is the toughest part because this is where mind-set or thought-patterns kick in. And if they are negative, motivation is out the window.
  • Find somebody to hold you responsible. It is much easier to re-kindle motivation if you have somebody trusted to pep you and push you forward. When you feel motivation flagging, talk to this person.

When you are changing something or trying to reach a goal you need to be very clear and specific about what you want. This needs to be “larger than life” in your mind. Because you always start out enthusiastic and full of self-confidence, making some very powerful “feel-good-hormones” move in your system. But after a few days “normality” leaks in, negative thought-patterns make themselves heard and you feel low. At this point most people quit, this is the difference between winners and losers; winners just keep on working on their goal, no matter how bleak everything might seem, they dredge up their motivation from under the stone where it hid and kicks it into life again. The clearer your picture or idea is, the easier to get back on track and stay there.

There are always solutions.

Here are 2 movies to depict motivation, I find the first one horrible…it’s extreme and might have the total opposite effect – demotivation.The second one many of you have already seen. It is truly about motivation, Nick Vujicic is the man! This, of course, is my point of view, for some video #1 is truly motivating. Whatever makes you tick…

I would love to hear from you on motivation; ideas, experiences – anything – share!

TRAINING

I have started a training/diet program that will run all through January. It is brilliant and I am really happy with it. Only thing is that I was so stiff and sore for the first 3 days I could hardly move. Still I kept training, doing the programs as scheduled. What was interesting was that the more I moved the better I felt, even though I was still in pain. I mean; walking down the stairs or sitting on the loo became major obstacles to be hurdled only with ample preparation, not to mention bending down…OUCH! My muscles seem to be growing so quickly (and painfully) that I have the feeling they are trying to burst through my skin to do their super-power-thing. Well, you get the picture. To combat this I made (of course) a blend of essential oils to rub on my poor suffering muscles (they actually even hurt to the touch!).

The saving blend:

  • Lavender (lavandula augustifolia) 15 dr.
  • Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis) 15 dr.
  • Black Pepper (piper nigrum) 15 dr.
  • Marjoram (origanum majorana) 15 dr.

Blended in 30ml of vegetable oil. This is a very strong blend, normally these amounts of essential oils would be diluted in 60ml veg. oil. Always test strong dosages first on the inside of your arm, leave 12-24 hours to make sure you don’t get a negative reaction. I am not very sensitive, so I can use this dilution which is about 6%.

I apply this blend to all the sore areas; chest, thighs back and front, knees and bum 3-4 times daily. Now that the soreness is passing, I will use it less and probably change to another blend to back-up my training. I will tell you about that later.

The biggest point in this whole 30-day meltdown-program is motivation. Every day I need to plan my meals and training (4x 15-20min sessions/day). When I was so sore I was really low on motivation, but then I brought out that gorgeous little red number I haven’t been able to wear since I quit smoking and BOOM – motivation kicks into over-drive. 🙂

Oh yes, if you are interested in this fantastic program check it out on the link below. Here you can also download (for free!) a sample of the Elimination Diet that I use. Remember diet is not only about weight, it is about health.

http://www.daxmoy-pts.co.uk/