07 December 2006

Motivation

I was recently privileged enough to be invited as a guest speaker for a monthly lunch organised by local business women. I spoke about motivation from a slightly different perspective, and I must say that I was inundated with telephone calls, e-mails and faxes from people who attended the lunch. The sincere appreciation expressed was a little overwhelming I must say. Everyone who contacted me asked me to put my thoughts about motivation in writing, so I thought I would.

Of course it is tough to condense a 40 minutes presentation to a few hundred words but I will do my best. The following ten suggestions are what I use to stay motivated in my life, both personally and at work:

  1. Start every day with focus – quiet time, think about the day, visualise and plan ahead.
    This way your day starts in a very positive and focused manner and from my experience, you get a lot more done with a lot less stress.
  2. Work smart – don’t hide from crappy stuff, manage your time and work realistic hours.
    We all put off doing the things we don’t like, we all complain about working too much and having too many things to do. It really is about working smarter rather than longer. If you feel like you never get your list of “things to do” completed, you soon burn out.
  3. Never play the victim and avoid people who do – keep negativity away.
    Some people seem to always find someone to blame for all of life’s challenges. Keep negative, motivation stealing people out of your life (both professionally and personally).
  4. Have a very strong moral code – black and white. Prevents gray areas.
    Knowing what is right and wrong takes a lot of pressure out of your life. It lets you get on with what you are doing without having to constantly evaluate decisions. Stop and think about your own moral code.
  5. Laughter is a big part of my life – especially at work
    Motivation feeds on laughter. Encourage lots of this in all parts of your life. Have a little fun – it really isn’t that serious. Make your workplace a lot of fun – laughter is not unprofessional.
  6. Learn to say no and listen to your instincts
    Feeling that you have no control in your life can result in serious motivational problems. “No” is a very powerful word that we all need to say more often and to know when to say it, we need to learn to listen to our instincts.
  7. We all make mistakes – accept them and let them go – move on
    Making mistakes means being human. Don’t beat yourself up. Learn from them and put them behind you.
  8. Know what de-stresses you and know when you need it
    Stress affects us all in different ways. Likewise the tools and triggers for de-stressing are different in all of us. Learn what works for you (I like a swim in a creek, away from people and in the middle of the rainforest) and know when you need to do it. Stress builds up over time, not overnight. Likewise de-stressing takes time to take affect. Start working on it now, not when you are a wreck.
  9. Have a good confidante – not a whinge group
    We all need someone who we can talk to about anything – the good, the bad and the ugly. Someone who won’t judge, but will understand. You need to be completely comfortable that what you say to them is in confidence.
  10. Stop and enjoy the special moments that make it all worthwhile
    Take the time to stop and celebrate the special moments in your life. All too often these get lost in the midst of the madness of day to day work. The achievements are why we all do what we do, acknowledge and enjoy them.

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