How often do we view with grace an unexpected need or interruption that invades our scheduled lives? Do we immediately think to ourselves, ‘I don’t have time for this!’ Then go on to perseverate about how many things will need to be rescheduled, or put aside temporarily in order to handle it. The world in which we live seems to be moving faster and demanding more time and attention everyday. Yet, unexpected issues surface frequently and we have a choice in the way we respond.
The most common reaction is to view the unexpected with frustration. We see it as an imposition and internally rally our emotions around the unfairness of it all. We resist because it feels like we are being told what to do ..it wasn’t our idea or need and why do we need to change our schedule? We continue to complain until we work ourselves up to a fever pitch and yet the unexpected is still waiting (sometimes growing bigger if only in our minds) to be addressed. Finally we calm down and, rather begrudgingly, figure out a way to get it done. When we view the issue from a perspective of restrictive motivation (I HAVE TO) we bring in so much negative energy. We allow ourselves to go to a place of judgment and irritation. We can almost feel our blood pressure rise as we think about it. After we have handled the issue we often continue our mental dialog regarding ‘the intrusion.’ That’s a whole lot of time (which we don’t have) and emotional energy (which takes a mental and physical toll on us) that we have expended needlessly.
There is a better way. We can decide to respond with constructive motivation (I choose to) when confronted with an unexpected issue. By taking a deep breath and allowing ourselves a quick moment to accept, without judgment, that things naturally crop up and we need to adjust our schedule to accommodate them, we can move on quickly to figure out the specifics. When we willingly CHOOSE to accept the need to address the issue and get it done we remove the suspended animation of the tension. That’s it …just get it done and move on and chalk it off our ‘To Do’ list. When we utilize this approach we are choosing to see the issue through a kaleidoscope of possible solutions and as we turn it a few degrees we get a sharper view of the most productive way to proceed. We focus our time on the best approach for addressing the need rather than wasting our time emotionally resenting it. When we decide to just get it done without perseverating and complaining we are using a positive more proactive approach. We become are more confident and in control in the long run.
In goal setting this idea of restrictive versus constructive motivation is a biggie. It doesn’t matter the task – writing a proposal, presenting at a conference, cleaning the house or taking the time to listen with our hearts when someone needs us – the choice of how to view the unplanned need is ours and the way we decide to address it speaks volumes about our personal level of development.
Since we are all here to learn life lessons, could it be that the Universe is presenting these unexpected interruptions or additional needs as a way to help us develop more patience, and personal regard for others? If so, the quicker we decide to CHOOSE to respond with grace the less intrusions will be presented in our lives.
The next time you are confronted with an issue that causes a disruption to your scheduled day take a moment and remember the choice before you … restrictive or constructive motivation. The choice and result is always up to you.
Have a great few days!
This is the second blog on the topic of how small changes in our thinking can make huge impacts in our lives. In goal setting we know that there are two different types of motivation – constructive and restrictive. The understanding of the difference between the two are significant and can be life changing.
The definition of constructive motivation is deciding to CHOOSE to see the opportunity in a situation. Even with events in our lives that challenge us using constructive motivation we decide to handle them in a more positive manner. Think of the saying, when life gives you lemons, make lemon aid. This is a perfect example of constructive motivation. It allows us to bring a more energized mindset to any chore or event. Life is not easy or for the faint of heart. Why make it harder on ourselves? Constructive motivation colors our world with vibrancy and is energizing not only to us but to those around us.
Restrictive motivation, on the other hand, is easily identified because the person usually starts by saying, ‘I HAVE TO …’ or ‘so and so is MAKING or EXPECTING me to …’ What they are saying is that what they need to do or are expected to do is not really of their choosing and consequently they psychologically resent it and see it as a demand. When you think about it the only two things we have to do in life is die and pay taxes. We don’t have to work at a particular job, live in a particular environment or maintain certain friends because we can change those things if we are unhappy with them. If our job is too stressful we can start looking for a different one that better suits us. If our bills are too high and causing us stress we can change our spending habits. People who use restrictive motivation often enjoy the attention received by playing the role of victim by being the person who is constantly overwhelmed by the demands of others. Their attitude speaks volumes. Slowly but surely they have fewer and fewer friends because their negative energy zaps others. Over time, people choose not to be around them. It just takes too much out of us to hear their latest version of what is not working in their lives. It can be exhaustive just thinking about them.
If we want to feel more in charge of our lives we can do so by consciously thinking in terms or ‘want or choose to do something’ rather than ‘have to’ do something. It takes practice but over time the results are worth it. Reading this you may think the difference of thinking in terms of ‘choosing’ rather than ‘having’ to is merely semantics but it is so much more. The difference is truly immense because in reality it is all about energy – positive or negative. Just think about how you feel when someone tells you to do something compared to when someone asks you to do something. You may still do the task but when asked you feel you have a choice and do it more willingly. When being told to do something you may still do it, of course, but you bring to the table a subtle but natural resentment to the task just as we did when we were kids and our parents told us to do this or that – remember how you felt? Not so good right? Then why would we do the same thing constantly to ourselves?
Our tomorrows stretch out ahead of us just as a blank canvas to an artist. What colors, attitude and motivation we choose to bring to the experience determines whether we bring our total self to the experience with gratitude for the opportunity to live another day and make a difference or not.
The amazing and wonderful thing about life is that we have the exclusive choice to use constructive motivation to cause us to feel deeper and accomplish more by recognizing the gift of being here on this planet to learn our lessons. It is totally in our power to choose our mindset and with it the life we choose to live.That is an awesome opportunity!
Have a great few days!