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.
“Never give up. Never ever give up.” ~Paraphrase of a quote of Winston Churchill’s *
It can be very hard working toward your dreams and goals. It can be incredibly discouraging and disappointing. It can be painful.
DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES GIVE UP. When you quit, when you throw in the towel, when you give up then it’s all over and there is no hope and no way those goals and dreams will ever come into your life.
You deserve to achieve your goals and dreams. You wouldn’t have them if they were not meant for you. They have your name all over them. They are yours! Go get ’em!
YOU MUST HANG IN THERE. Put your shoulder to that obstacle and push. Even if you have only a little tiny drop of strength, give it your all.
Dig deep. You have strength, you have might, you have a titanium core within you. Life may have knocked you around so much that you think you’re weak and wimpy. I am here to tell you that you are a mighty warrior. You are a victor and a champion. You are way more powerful than anything Life can throw at you. You CAN do it!
So, take a breath and move forward. You can do it, I know you can. I am sure of it!
Your homework for today is to take a look at the steps on the pathway to your goals and dreams. In spite of Life and your Inner Critic telling you it’s impossible and you’re so dumb for thinking you can do it, in spite of that, choose a step, a tiny one that you are positive you can do and then do it. Do it with all the might and glory that you have within you. Because you do have it, it is there waiting for you to tap into it. Go for it! You can do it, I am so very sure of that!
Go for it! You can do it! Yay for you!
I am so very proud of you for not giving up. You are my hero!! You rock! I knew for certain that you could do it!!
* The speech was made October 29, 1941 to the boys at Harrow School. ” Never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” The full speech is contained in “The Unrelenting Struggle” (London:Cassell and Boston:Little Brown 1942, and is found on pages 274-76 of the English edition). It may also be found in “The Complete Speeches of Winston S. Churchill,” edited by Robert Rhodes James (NY:Bowker and London:Chelsea House 1974).
There is an important thing to do before taking the first step. If you’ve started without doing this, no worries! You can do it now–or when it becomes necessary.
Get some cotton (imaginary cotton is just fine) and then:
Stuff your ears with it so that you can’t hear what other people say about you and your dreams and goals.
Most people are trying to be helpful and show their support for you, but sometimes it comes out wrong. They don’t intend to be hurtful or insulting but, without meaning to, their suggestions come across that way.
Some people in your life are naturally negative, even when they’re trying to be positive! No matter how perfect the thing, they’ll naturally find the flaw or the problem. And no matter how happy the occasion, they’ll find something that isn’t quite right. And no matter how well you’ve done something, they’ll find a reason why it isn’t good enough.
Then there are those few people who don’t like you and who don’t wish the best for you. They may even be openly hostile and venomous toward you.
The best way to deal with them is to not listen to what they say: plug your ears with cotton! As much as you can, avoid the negative and the venomous ones all together. If you have no choice, though, limit the time your time with them as much as possible.
Don’t try to justify yourself and what you’re doing, don’t try to explain yourself, and– above all–don’t try to prove them wrong. None of this will change their minds about you and what you’re doing. If you engage them in any way, chances are the whole situation will devolve into a complete mess. None of this will make you happy and it certainly won’t take you any closer to your dreams or goals
Engaging them isn’t worth it.
You have better things to do with your time. You can’t afford to indulge in having bad feelings and negative thoughts. Your goals and your dreams are too important, too valuable, to allow yourself to be derailed.
But, man oh man does that person–or those people–get under your skin!
What do you do about this? How do you get back on an even keel?
The very best thing you can do is to take the next step! You may be agitated and as a result only able to handle a little piece of a step; that’s okay. Do something–anything, no matter how small–that will move you forward.
You may be so agitated, though, that you can’t move forward, even the tiniest bit. In that case, do some self-soothing things such as talking to a person who believes in you, who always makes you feel good about yourself. You can read a book that uplifts you and never fails to put you into a positive frame of mind.
Take a moment to remember and think about the accomplishments you’ve had so far, not only with your dreams and goals but also the times when you helped someone. Perhaps you need to reach out now and help a neighbor or a friend.
You may need to spend time in nature–take a walk or work in the garden. Perhaps it’ll help to play with your kids or your pet.
Once you’ve re-centered, then take that step!
Your homework today is to write down things you can do that will make you feel better when Life or a person has got you down.
For extra credit, find someone you know who’s struggling or maybe doesn’t feel so great about themselves. Give them a pep talk. Tell them the things you admire about them. Remind them of what they’re good at. You’ll make their day–and your own, too!
You can do it! Yay you!
I’m so proud of you for turning around a negative situation. You rock! I knew you could do it!
“The unexamined life is not worth living by a human being” ~Plato
What if you look back over these past seven days and find that your energy and enthusiasm has dwindled? What if Life has intervened in ways you hadn’t imagined so you’re not really taking any steps at all? What if you never really got out of the starting gate in the first place?
What do you do about this?
Is it time to pack it in, give up, and somehow reconcile yourself to the seeming fact that you’re just not one of the lucky people who can attain their goals and dreams?
The answer is: NO!
Don’t let these thoughts get to you!
It’s very common to find your drive and motivation flagging and it’s an all too usual thing for Life to mess up our best-laid plans. And, many people feel discouraged and disappointed from time-to-time.
When you evaluate yourself, be gentle. I’m positive you can look back over these past few days and identify little things you did do to help yourself and small steps you did take. Even if you’re at the very beginning point where you’re working on this in your mind, give yourself credit for the things you are doing. Even just the simple awareness that you want something better for yourself and you’d like to–or hope to–one day do something about it is a reason to celebrate yourself. Remember from previous posts that mind-work in the form of imagination, visualization, contemplation, and awareness is vital and valuable. Also remember that teeny-tiny steps are the foundation of the larger steps you’ll take later on
Your homework today is to celebrate the victories you’ve had this week, no matter how small or seemingly inconsequential. It’s hard work breaking steps into small pieces, overcoming resistance and inertia, pushing aside fears and anxieties, and moving forward. You did it, though!
“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.