“You can’t make footprints in the sands of time if you are sitting on your butt — and who wants to make butt-prints in the sands of time?”
Robert Mowad wrote the comment on butt-prints. I think it’s right on. You’ve got to get up and keep moving — no matter how you feel. You’ve got to get up if you’re going to have a life worth living and a career worth having.
And that takes enthusiasm — lots of it. That’s why I wrote about enthusiasm last week. As Henry Chester said some time ago, “Enthusiasm is the greatest asset in the world. It beats money and power and influence.” Absolutely!
If you haven’t got as much enthusiasm and energy as you would like, it is easily obtainable. So I urge you to get a copy of my CD on “ATTITUDE” where I outline an eight-point, step-by-step program for getting an enthusiasm that never fades.
Of course, there may be some of you who think my endorsement of enthusiasm is nothing more than a simplistic, even unrealistic approach to life and work. After all, the famous psychiatrist, Sigmund Freud said, “The chief duty of a human being is to endure life.”
There’s some truth in that. There are certain, unpleasant occurrences in life that we have to endure. But Freud was much too grim in his analysis. And later research into Freud’s life revealed that he had some personal problems that “colored his analysis.”
Rather than endure life, it is our duty to master and enjoy life. And that is entirely possible — if you are in control of your motivation. And now is the time to do it. As Mark Victor Hansen, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, says, “Now is the only time there is. Make your now wow, your minutes miracles, and your days pay.”
For those of you who just can’t get motivated, who are making more butt-prints than footprints, let me suggest seven simple tips you can do to get started. Use any or all of them for a jump start.
1. Go to bed an hour earlier.
Catch up on your sleep. Take a nap if you can. Study after study shows that a majority of people are sleep deprived. And too little sleep almost always hurts motivation.
2. Take a mini vacation.
People are working longer than ever before. We were told that if we bought all the latest technology, we would have more free time than ever before. Just the opposite has happened.
People seem to be “on duty” all the time. They can be reached anywhere at any time. They’re never “free” of their work. And that can be draining.
You occasionally need to get away from it all. Even if it’s nothing more than an eight-hour get-away, it can replenish your motivation.
The research is absolutely irrefutable. Exercise will give you energy and clear your head. So don’t even try to rationalize yourself out of exercise.
Start with a ten-minute walk and see how you feel after that. And if you’re having trouble motivating yourself to exercise, then promise yourself you’ll quit after ten minutes. Usually your endorphins will kick in, and you’ll want to continue to exercise.
4. Eat healthy.
You’ve heard the old saying that you are what you eat. There’s truth in that.
You wouldn’t be stupid enough to put kerosene in your car and expect to drive across the country. You wouldn’t get much movement with the wrong fuel.
The same is true for your body and your emotions. You can’t put junk fuel through your mouth for ten, twenty, or thirty years and expect to feel good. And you can’t expect to get the right energy level with the wrong foods.
I’m extremely careful about what I eat. It’s my job to motivate others, and so I’ve got to be healthy and energized all the time. And I am. I haven’t missed a speaking program or a day of work in twenty years because of illness.
Of course, you may wonder how I can eat healthy when I’m running through airports and having to eat on the run. It’s simple. I always have Labrada protein bars in my briefcase, and I eat those.
I can tell you from experience they’re the best. I went to a health food store and purchased dozens and dozens of protein bars. I bought one of every flavor of every brand. And by far, the Labrada bars have the best ingredients and the best taste. They help me to stay healthy.
5. Visualize success.
Imagination has power. Imagine the best that could happen if you were truly energized. Imagine good results coming from your efforts to call that new prospect or start that new training program.
You need a vision bigger than your fear. If you’re in sales, for example, and focus on your fear of rejection, your motivation will be badly damaged. But if you focus on the great results you want to achieve, there will be a big difference in your energy level.
6. Limit your exposure to TV.
More and more research is showing that TV actually depresses the human spirit. And it doesn’t seem to make much difference what programs you watch. Motivation levels are simply lower after watching TV.
If that isn’t bad enough, TV seems to interfere with the positive aspirations in life. In one study, 44% of the children said they liked their TV’s more than their fathers. And in another study, they concluded children will spend more time watching TV before they reach Kindergarten than they’ll spend later in life getting a college degree. I think there’s something radically wrong with both of those pictures.
7. Verbalize belief.
Nothing kills off enthusiasm and motivation quicker than doubt. If you doubt yourself, if you don’t believe in yourself, you’re drying up the natural levels of energy flowing deep inside you.
I remember one of my coaching clients who was struggling with motivation. He was riddled with self-doubt. So I asked him to start each morning by saying, “I believe. I believe. I believe.” He did, and over time his doubts were replaced with belief, and his lethargy was replaced with energy.
You might try saying, “Belief works wonders.” Dwell on those words. Let them sink into your mind. Say the words over and over. Say them with your voice until your mind believes them.
These things will get you going – even if you’re not motivated. And a terrific resource for getting more energy than ever before is my new 6-pack CD album on “Mind Over Matter.” It’s so good I promise you absolute satisfaction — or I’ll buy it back from you anytime, whether that is next month, the next decade, or whenever.
Action: Give the “I believe” regimen a try. Say it every morning with enthusiasm and conviction until you truly do believe in yourself. Then repeat the regimen once in a while after that to keep your mind fully fueled.