Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘restrictive motivation’

How Do You View Disruptions?

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!

No Worry, No Problem, No Drama

In the last two blogs we have dealt with how small changes can improve our lives. Specifically, in the first blog I discussed the difference in two types of motivation – restrictive (I have to …) or constructive (I choose to…) Basically, it is the difference in the mindset or approach we take when approaching a task. Either way the job has to get done but with restrictive motivation we feel put upon or upset as compared to constructive motivation which causes us to find something positive either about the task or at least the feeling of accomplishment we will receive when it is finished. Listen to yourself and others over the next few days and you may be surprised at how often restrictive motivation is used. No wonder so many people feel perpetually exhausted! Just visualize the difference in a smile or a frown. It literally takes more muscles (thus energy) to frown. When we use restrictive motivation we are, in essence, constantly frowning on the inside. Conversely, when we are practice constructive motivation we are smiling our way through it.

The next blog on the theme of small changes we can make for a happier tomorrow was on the topic of hope. Show me a person who exhibits hope and I will show you a person who is successful at life regardless of his station. When we practice hope long enough it becomes an habitual way of thinking. We train ourselves, in essence, to expect good things to happen in our lives and refuse to be sidetracked by a challenge along the way. We become more optimistic and inspired by even the little things in life because we are surrounding ourselves with positive energy. Hope truly does spring eternal and is a learned behavior.

The next small change we can initiate is training ourselves to deal with things we can change and not allow ourself to wallow in blame, fear or self pity for the things we cannot change. One sentence or thought repeated enough can make a huge difference. For instance, by thinking to ourselves ‘I simply won’t go there’ it helps us to redirect our attention to the things we can change rather than wasting our precious moments on this earth dealing with negative thinking. This one simple but powerful statement speaks volumes about what you value and what you choose to fill your mind with in life. Remember the statement – garbage in – garbage out? Negatives in the form of worry or drama are not elements of problem solving but are merely methods of either attention getting or unresolved fears. Neither approach fixes anything and, in fact, simply makes the issue bigger than necessary in our own minds. I have never seen anyone solve a problem by constantly worrying about it or repeatedly and dramatically talking about over and over. In fact, these ‘catastrophic thinkers’ can sap the life energy right out of us.

Each of us will have our own fair amount of problems to deal with in life. The longer you live the more you can see that life seems to be an equal opportunity employer. It is simply part of the human condition. Developing a Plan (sometimes even a Plan A, B and C) and working through the steps we need to follow (with mid course corrections along the way) is a constructive way to address an issue and keep it in perspective. Naturally we begin to feel more in control with any issue we are dealing with when we stop perseverating on it or on the ‘what ifs…’ and develop steps to address it.

These above ideas may simply seem like little more than common sense to many of us. However, there is a difference in knowing something and actually doing it – a big difference!

Listen to yourself over the next few days and see if you can put one or two of these ideas in motion. Just remember when dealing with any change in our lives, step by step is a cinch.

Have a great few days!

Choosing Happiness!

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!

How Full Is Your Cup?

Wouldn’t be interesting if we measured our success not only by what we accomplished but also by how much we smiled, laughed and really enjoyed life along the way? May sound like an impossible dream but just what if we tried it for a day. What if we began a habit of mentally reviewing each day before going to sleep to take note of the number of smiles and laughs we had that day. It would only take a couple of minutes but could do a world of good.

I think working hard and making a difference in life is critical to a life well lived. However, simultaneously enjoying the journey along the way is equally important. Life is not about simply arriving at our destination but bringing both our head and heart to the journey along the way.

It has been said that we only have two things that we have to do in life- pay taxes and die. When we realize that the rest of our lives are made up of the millions and millions of choices we make along the way, it puts the responsibility and control directly on our shoulders where it belongs. Our life then is made up of ‘choosing ‘ not simply ‘having’ to do something. When we view our life in the context of choosing – which is a form of positive energy – rather than a ‘have to’ type of thinking which is negative or restrictive motivation we feel and generate greater happiness. As a result we attract more positives along the way. Remember the saying ‘like attracts like?’ It truly does. What are you attracting into your life today ? When we choose to be happy and grateful we discover that each day brings even more of that same energy to us.

Basically, it boils down to the fact that we have a choice in life. We can see our cup as half full or half empty. The actual contents remains the same. The challenge is to turn the kaleidoscope of our thinking ever so slightly and look – actually seek – the many positives that exist in our daily experiences.

The choice for our journey in life can be viewed as the mode of transportation – by wagon wheel – feeling and complaining about each bump along the way – or we can choose to lighten our load and use in our minds’s eye a vehicle that will offer both comfort and enjoyment for our ride. I choose the later and work everyday to stay in a more positive mind set.

Given our free will, as we learn our life lessons we can make the journey as difficult or as enjoyable as we choose. It is all up to us. No one to blame, no excuses for our experiences, just the reality that we chose this lifetime and we also have the power to enjoy the ride along the way.

Is it time to have a conversation with yourself and choose to focus on happiness?

Have a great few days!