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Entries in motivation (21)


Satisfy The Audience In Your Head

As a member of an audience you don't like to wait, do you? The longer you have to wait, the more anxious you get about the start of the performance.

You have an audience inside your head-it is called the pituitary gland and hypothalamus. They are waiting to send out cheers called endorphins when you accomplish something of value to you. The longer you wait to perform a difficult task, the longer you deny the audience the chance to give you much needed applause.

For that reason, consider accomplishing the task you are most dreading earlier in the day. That way, you have this audience clapping and cheering you on all day long.


Ask the Hard Questions

Consider these questions for a moment:

  • What kind of a spouse and parent am I going to be?
  • Am I going to excel at my job or just do the minimum to collect a pay check?
  • What do I stand for?
  • Do I have a plan to reach my dreams and/or goals? Do I have goals?
  • Am I following the path of least resistance or do I dare to stretch myself with hard things?
  • Do I flounder trying to keep up with the "thick of thin things" or focus on what is most important to me?
  • How much time do I really waste?
  • Am I taking time for good recreation and intermissions?
  • How well am I taking care of myself? Sleep? Nutrition? Exercise?
  • Do I know my standards and stick to them - unwavering?
Hard questions? Maybe. Are questions like these important? Yes! Continually, at any age, you need to ask the hard questions that matter to you and dare to have an opinion. If you don't like the answers, you can change. You are the ringmaster of your circus!


Of Course It Does!!!

I had to laugh when I read the headline of the Harvard Business Review Stat of the Day: Wishing Someone Luck Can Improve Performance. Research has been done in Germany that showed that when people were told "my fingers are crossed for you" before attempting a task, the task took them on average 3 minutes. For the ones who were not given the encouragement, the task took an average of 5 minutes.

My thought was, "Of course it improved performance!" Unless someone feels patronized by encouragement, it always has the mental affect of boosting your energy and determination toward completing a task. You know you are not alone. Someone is counting on you-or believes in you. The person giving the encouragement is also creating a level of expectation.

In our training programs we hear that one of the biggest frustrations workers face in the fast-paced business environment is rarely hearing that they are doing a good job. Managers and supervisors think they are too busy to take a moment and thank workers for their efforts or offer encouragement. This study tells them that they may be dead wrong with that type of thinking.

If you go back and do the math, the workers in the study improved their performance by almost 40% just by having someone say something positive to them. Where else can you get that return on investment in your people? Take the time today to offer encouragement to those around you-regardless of how small it may seem.


The Fierce Urgency of Now

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. understood the importance of "Now" and the need for "Urgency." He said,

"We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood -- it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, 'Too late.'"

As it relates to how you manage your time or focus on what is most important, what do you need to have a "fierce urgency" about-before it's too late.


The Show Must Go On

A new year begins. Time to once again put together "the greatest show on earth," or in other words, create a work environment and personal life that gets a standing ovation from everyone-including yourself.

You will have set backs and times when you are overwhelmed. You will be faced with failure and challenges this year. It is during these times that you will be tempted to "check out," "go with the flow" or give up on your dream. But don't!

It is the daily planning, the art of pushing yourself and continual execution that will make you successful this year. Call it the routine of success. Your circus is only as good as your next performance-so get dressed, it is time to make 2011 a year to remember!