Why you should be bothered to be motivated.SiteAdmin
By R Neil Bradley B.A (Hons) (DW Mastermind Cert) Partner HUSK LIVING
We seem to be surrounded by people who are “Totally focussed on my goals right now” We cannot open a newspaper or magazine without yet another life style “Guru” telling us how we can trade in our sad old lives, break our bad habits and become the person we have always wanted to be. Oh yes and it’s all so easy! But is it?
It’s clear we all need goals in our lives, but not every believes they have them. Many people tell me that their goal is to just make it through the day. Not very inspiring I know, but I’m sure there are times when we have all felt the same. The question is valid for us all. How can we lift ourselves out of the rut we seem to be in or escape the vicious circle, which now seems familiar and more worryingly, comfortable to us?
Well the answer is you can do it. We can change and we can all break the circle; but it is never easy. It is an inner battle that requires self discipline-bucket loads of it!
The triumph however, when it comes, will change your life.
During the course of the next few months, I will be outlining some of the more accessible and familiar ways we can all take small but important steps forward to make our lives happier and more complete. Further, using the web site here and the link to our site we can exchange ideas set out our own goals and support each other in making these changes come true.
I don’t know what I want
Does this sound familiar? Well if it does don’t panic, it applies to most of us, but when we hear everybody else’s great plans and ambitions we tend to feel inadequate and we keep our heads down don’t we?
I run some small personal workshops, and this is a topic that comes up time and time again. Quite simply, people want to move on, they’ve become stuck in a rut, bored and de-motivated but they don’t know what to do about it.
A good example of this is Sylvia. Sylvia’s husband took early retirement and spends most days out on the golf course. Still only in her mid-forties Sylvia has enjoyed being a mother since she was twenty. Now her three children have flown the nest she has time on her hands. She was cajoled into joining our weekly group and my first thoughts were that here was a very de-motivated and unhappy person.
We started to each make lists of our goals. Sylvia had a blank page. After a while she wrote, “I want to win the lottery”. I asked her if she had money worries and she replied that they were comfortably off. “Then what would you do with the money?” I asked. “I don’t know” came her honest answer, “I just thought I’d better put something down”.
It’s goals that count!
I am a great believer in goal setting. It is fundamental to achieving the success you desire. We will cover this more fully at a later date, however, the main question is, how many goals do you list? Too few and you’ve got unreachable dreams that will never happen or generalities like “World peace”.
Too many however and you move into the surreal. Twenty seven houses and “Must feed the cat fish on Friday” Goals are only any good if they are achievable and are going to motivate you. However I digress. Back to the story.
Whilst the others were still writing down their goals, I got Sylvia to go into the Open University web site. They offer hundreds of courses covering every subject under the sun. I simply asked Sylvia to go through each course and write down what subject or area interested her. She spent about an hour going through the lists time and time again and I must admit I was quite apprehensive about the outcome, I really wanted her to be inspired, but she seemed so low.
Finally she came to me with her list. Out of several hundred options, she had written two words down. ‘Archaeology’ and ‘History’ She had always been interested in going on an archaeological dig and had become an avid watcher of the BBC programme with Tony Robinson where a group of volunteers go to a dig. “I’d quite like to do that” she told me “But I don’t have any qualifications”
Here we see a classic motivational problem. She wants to find a way out of her dilemma but refuses to see that it can be achieved.
Immediately she had identified a positive in her intentions which was itself a victory, then she countered it with a negative. The conversation with Sylvia went something like this. Perhaps you might recognise it.
“You don’t need any qualifications on most digs Sylvia, they always need volunteers.”
“I wouldn’t know where to start”
“Actually I know someone in Sussex who goes on digs, I’ll give them a call”
“Thanks but I’ll leave it Neil, besides you’ll have to be young and fit”
“This guy is sixty two”
“Is he? That’s fantastic. I couldn’t do it though”
“I don’t know.”
Well we’d got quite far, now she’d run out of reasons to fight what she’d really like to do. Crazy isn’t it? But we all do it. It’s called fear of the unknown.
However with the support and encouragement of the rest of the group, Sylvia was finally persuaded to go on a dig. I wouldn’t say it was the greatest passion in her life, but we haven’t seen her since! She’s been on four digs since March and is now planning a week long dig in Malta with her husband in September. After the first experience she called me and I couldn’t get her off the phone. Her enthusiasm was contagious and I just didn’t recognise the woman who had come to my class those few weeks ago.
I find this a very good example of how small steps can lead to such life riches.
Not all of us want to abseil down the Eiffel Tower or become the second Richard Branson. The Open University ploy is a great one for those who simply feel there is nothing out there for them. No pressure is involved. All that is required is a bit of time to focus on a list.
There is something fantastic out there for everybody; you’ve just got to know where to look.