What do you do when you have several directions or opportunities to choose from? Each one seems promising, as if they’ll all take you farther down the path toward where you want to go.
What do you do?
Take a moment for playful contemplation. Hold each one in your mind, giving yourself time to play with them. Let your mind come up with impressions and feelings and images about each one of the opportunities. Give yourself about 10 minutes for this session–no more than 15 minutes. This is meant to be a quick, fun session. You are after first impressions because they are often truer than the ones you get after you think about it a little bit. When you think too hard, it invites your Internal Critic to weigh in and oftentimes it can be a Negative Nick. So give this a light touch and be open to what ever it is your mind has to show/tell you.
After the session, jot down a few notes about what you felt about each idea during your contemplation and what you feel now. Soon, if not right away, you’ll be drawn to one idea/opportunity/path/step. It will feel right or it may feel fun or you may “just know” in your bones or heart that it’s the right one. The energy of that path or step will be a little different than the others–a little brighter or lighter in weight.
Your homework for today is to sit in playful, quiet contemplation and hold in your mind the steps and direction you are taking toward your goals and dreams. Whether you have a clear direction with obvious steps or if you have several options and paths available, take the time to hold this in your mind. For those of you with multiple choices, one of them will stand out, even a little bit, from the rest. For those who know for sure you are on the right path, this exercise will confirm it and give you that much more confidence.
Remember to take the next step in your journey, even if it’s just a teeny tiny one. Keep the momentum up; keep moving forward!
You can do it! Yay you!
I am so proud of you! You are awesome! I knew you could do it!
Another seven days have gone by so it’s time to check in with yourself. It’s time to acknowledge all the achievements you’ve had and the steps you’ve taken, no matter how small they may seem. No effort is ever wasted. Every tiny piece of a step contributes to your forward progress.
As you look back over the days, what good things stand out? What are you pleased with and even proud of? What happy surprises did you have? Anything serendipitous happen?
Think only of the good, the progress, the forward movement. This is not the time to beat yourself up; this is not the time for woulda’s shoulda’s coulda’s.
YOU ARE REQUIRED TO THINK ONLY OF THE GOOD STUFF THAT’S HAPPENED AND THE PROGRESS YOU’VE MADE AND THE STEPS YOU’VE TAKEN!
Congratulate yourself! Good job! You done good, Kid!!
Your homework for today is to CELEBRATE! Take a moment to feel good about yourself. Note where in your body that emotion lodges. For instance, many people report that good feelings center in their chest and feel warm and glowy. What do they feel like for you? Revel in and enjoy those feelings!
For extra credit, treat yourself as a reward for a job well done. It can be something as simple as spending the afternoon in the library reading your favorite magazines or it can be borrowing a DVD or a CD of music that you like. Another reward can be meeting a friend for a picnic in the park. You don’t have to spend money in order to treat yourself.
They’re catchy and tuneful, memorable and easily get stuck in your head. You hear the first note or two and instantly your mind knows what it is. You’re snapping your fingers and tapping your toes, and all day it goes ’round and ’round in your head.
You can do this for yourself with your own personal motivational statement. Just think how powerful it would be to have a statement or a song that, to you, has power and energy in it–and have it looping in your mind throughout the day. It’d be jet fuel, for sure!
For inspiration, think of your favorite company taglines, such as “Just do it” (Nike), “Where’s the beef?” (Wendy’s) and “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.” (M&Ms). Also, think of your favorite jingles, for example “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is!” (Alka Seltzer), “My bologna has a first name it’s O-S-C-A-R…” (Oscar Mayer), and “Mm, mm good, mm, mm good….” (Campbell’s Soup).
Your homework is to create a tagline and/or a jingle for yourself. If you’re having trouble coming up with something original, then rework a famous one (since it’s for your own personal use, it isn’t copyright infringement). Have fun with this! And don’t worry about making a mistake or not doing it right. All that matters is that it’s meaningful, memorable, and fun for you.
You can even re-work one of your high school’s cheers or ones that your favorite professional team’s cheerleaders do. If you can’t think of any, feel free to use this:
The thoughts you think–the words you say to yourself–are very powerful. From time-to-time, we all need a little boost. One of the easiest ways do this is to repeat words that are powerful and meaningful to you. Here are a few suggestions:
Conqueror, champion, winner;
Strong, resilient, hardy;
Powerful, bold, audacious;
Mighty, dynamic, robust;
Victory, triumph, success;
Vibrant, vigorous, vitality;
Vim, zest, gusto;
Effervescent, radiant, dazzling;
Brilliant, genius, quick-witted;
Creative; innovative, ingenuity;
Smart; intelligent, brainy;
Thriving, flourishing, soaring;
Talented, gifted; well-able;
Brave, daring, heroic;
Courageous, plucky, gutsy;
Dazzling, spectacular, magnificent.
Your homework for today is to go over this list of words and make a note of those that strike a chord within you. Repeat them frequently throughout the day, each day. For extra credit, pull out your thesaurus– or go to http://www.thesaurus.com — and search for words that make you feel energized and optimistic. Note these and add them to your roster and repeat them to yourself throughout your day.
“Use Imagination!” This statement has genius in it, because it unlocks and unleashes your own special brand of genius in the form of unique and creative ideas and ingenuities. This then fuels you with energy, enthusiasm, and confidence.
“Use Imagination!” is also an anagram of sorts. You can use some of the letters in the phrase to spell the word genius!
And, it’s plain, old-fashioned fun to use your imagination and let it soar; to “give it its head” and let it run.
You may be saying that you’re too busy taking steps to waste time on imagining. Or, you may scoff at the idea, sure that nothing will come of it. That’s because using imagination has gotten a bad rap. Growing up, you probably heard that indulging in imagining was woolgathering, day-dreaming, or being in la-la land. Worse, you may have heard it called laziness, not paying attention, making up stories, or even lying.
It isn’t true!
It’s well-known and documented that great people throughout the ages scheduled time each day for quiet, contemplation in which they would let their imaginations go. Edison was famous for taking naps when he was wrestling with a problem. Often, he would wake with the solution, or a crucial step that would then lead to the solution. Nicola Tesla, upon whose work our wireless technology is based, always worked through his inventions in detail in his mind before building them. And, the daily training routine of Olympians and professional athletes includes imagination sessions where they go through their routines and perfect their movements.
Your homework for today is to schedule an imagination session. Give yourself enough time (5 – 30 minutes) and choose a place where you won’t be disturbed or distracted. As you’re getting comfortable gently think about some aspect of your dream or goal. Or, you can think about your dream or goal in general terms. Then go for it–let your imagination roam and soar where it will. And, no worries; you can’t do this homework incorrectly! It doesn’t matter if your mind worries or wanders–gently bring it back to your dream or goal. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t get any images or ideas. No effort is ever wasted. View this as a building block or a training session. Trust that you’ll get better at it because, with regularly doing this exercise, you will get better. Remember, too, that even the greatest thinkers didn’t have insights or eureka moments in every single session either; you’re in good company!
Here we are at the beginning of a fresh, clean New Year. It’s sparkling, glittering with opportunity and promise. We can do anything we set our minds to! We’ll knock it out of the ballpark this year, for sure.
From this vantage point, we believe that this year will be different for us. Of course we’ll follow through on our plans, goals, and resolutions. We have vim, we have vigor, and we’re confident we’ll keep driving forward all the way through the end of December. But yet, there’s a niggling uncertainty in the back of our minds…how will we actually do this?
Though, for some of us at the leading edge of the New Year, we have a different vantage point. Instead of seeing the brightness of possibility and good fortune, we may be experiencing the bone-wearying lifelessness of the deepening rut we’ve been in for years. We have no goals, we have no plans, and we have no resolutions. Our hopes and dreams died years ago. We have no expectations because we promised ourselves that this year we would not set ourselves up for the disappointment of not following through and the resulting humiliation of being in the same place–or worse–this time next year. Furthermore, it’s exhausting to even think about getting up the nerve and wherewithal to try–yet again–to make something different for ourselves. But still, there’s a small whisper niggling at the back of our minds saying that we’re made for something more, something greater, than this…but how do we actually do this?
The answer is: by taking one step at a time.
It sounds simplistic, even ludicrous. Maybe it’s insulting to be told something we’ve heard countless times before. We’ve already tried it with varying degrees of success and yet we’ve stood by helplessly as our excitement and drive fizzled out. Or, perhaps we’re crushed by the despair of not being able to summon the tiniest scrap of energy to take so much as a feeble limp, much less a step.
All these objections are saying one thing: the steps you are taking, or are imagining you must take, are too large. Break them into smaller pieces. Make them microscopic if you have to. Break them down to the point where the first step is something you believe is reasonable and achievable; something you can do. It doesn’t matter what other people are doing or have done. It doesn’t matter that the step you are taking is so small that even the most powerful electron microscope would have trouble detecting it. The only thing that matters is that you are taking action–moving forward.
So that first step–either the one you will take or the one you are imagining taking–break it down into smaller pieces. Break those into baby pieces. Then break those into teeny tiny pieces. Keep breaking them into smaller and smaller increments until you get to a piece that you know you can commit to doing.
To help you, repeat to yourself often throughout the day, emphasizing the word in italics:
I can do it;
I can do it;
I can do it;
I can do it.
Also repeat to yourself often throughout the day, emphasizing the word in italics:
Yes I can;
Yes I can;
Yes I can.
If one of these strikes a chord within you, then repeat that one as often as you can. Write it down, carry it with you, paste it where you’ll see it often, and refer to it throughout the day.
Your homework for today is to break your step into small, easily doable increments and do only one of those increments today. Or, when you imagine a step you might take if the world were perfect and if you had a stiff wind at your back, break that down into a very small piece that causes you to say, “Huh. I think I can actually do that one.”
For those of you who can take the small incremental step, go ahead and do so. For those of you who can only imagine it, then do that–trying to imagine it using as many senses as you can. Don’t worry if you get only a little glimmer of it. That’s good enough for now.
Congratulations! Pat yourself on the back because you did it! You took the first step! That’s all you had to do today so you’re done! You’re free to do what ever else you’d like to do.