Self Help Motivation

My personal self help motivation is a question I ask myself to get me going on the days I feel less than animated to accomplish anything. Here’s the question:

'Can you make yourself do something you don't want to do, to get a result you would like to have?'

Okay, so I heard it in relationship to making more sales. But it hit quite differently than the speaker intended that day. I found wrapped up in this little saying is a ton of thought provoking elements. It applies to long range goals as well as little everyday choices. It works in a business setting sure, but I have co-opted it for my personal life.

Here are two of the main thoughts I had…

Thought #1: 

Since a life full of joy is one of my ultimate goals, sometime I have to make a conscience choice to be happy.

I don’t mean stand in front of the mirror and smile as big as I can until I feel happy.  But rather do the things in a day that bring real joy.  Not all of those things I like doing.  I think it rather mundane to cook dinner night after night.  But what brings me joy is in knowing I am serving my family and keeping the stress levels down in the house.  Same with doing laundry (enough said). 

I have found that a grateful heart has a hard time not being happy.  I lived in Argentina long enough to have seen some real poverty.  I think of the family that we had to teach how to purify their drinking water.  They had no running water and had to get it from the fields or where ever else they could find it.  So having pure, clean running water come out of my faucet and letting it slip through my fingers is a huge blessing.  I could also go on and on about hot water and indoor plumbing.

At the risk of sounding like the song from ‘Sound of Music’, I am going to list a few of my ‘favorite things’ that I am grateful for:  my bed, flannel sheets, heat, a house, food to eat, extra food in the house, ability to go camping when I want, my laptop, family that supports me, friends that like me, general good health, fresh baked cookies, Facebook where I have rediscovered old friendships, the temple being only an hour away, the extra cars I have (one has a flat right now but I can still go anywhere I need), which leads me to the 4x4 to get out of my driveway on icy mornings, my chickens that give me fresh eggs, the view out my kitchen window, scriptures with footnotes, etc. etc.  How could one not be happy when there is so much for which to be grateful! 

 Even with the trials I am dealing with currently, I can be happy and find joy, even in the mundane.

Thought #2

One thing I know about myself is this... I really hate hard work.

When Doug and I first married, we each took the same personality quiz.  I remember this one question vividly because it completely defined Doug and I.  Here’s the question.

Fill in the blank: Work is___________

  • (a.) A most productive way to spend one's time
  • (b.) A healthy activity, which should be done right if it's to be done at all. Work should be done before one plays
  • (c.) A positive activity as long as it is something I enjoy and don't feel pressured to accomplish
  • (d.) A necessary evil, much less inviting than play

Doug answered with (a.), never a question or doubt about it. If you knew me at all, you would have already figured out that I was clearly the (d.) answer.  Twenty four years later, I have moved up to somewhere between the (c.) and (b.)

But rolling back the clock to when my son was a toddler, the first thing he would say to me in the morning was “What’s the fun thing?”  He wanted to know right away what fun thing we were going to do together that day. And I had better have a good answer. I loved doing fun things with my kids. Truth is, I just loved doing fun things all the time. This is why work didn’t come easy for me.

Today I still struggle with daily choices between the fun thing to do and the thing that will bring me the most joy.  Life is nothing if it isn’t a great balancing act. Guess what I am learning?  Sometimes hard work can be the "fun thing".  Not 100% true, opposition in all things and such, but I am getting closer to believing that every week. The best part in all this is I am getting more desired results from my efforts.

So the next time you need a little self help motivation, ask yourself the same question:

‘Can you make yourself do something you don’t want to do, to get a result you would like to have?’