Overcoming a Lack of Motivation

Ever find yourself in a motivational slump? Last week as I viewed large pockets of free time on my calendar I was practically doing back flips thinking of the precious hours I could spend advancing on my goals. Turns out, it didn’t happen that way. What happened was a total lack of motivation, followed by frittering the hours away, ending in a period of zero progress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Determined not to let this happen again, I resorted to research. Needing stimulation beyond my own self coaching  I scanned through some motivational blogs and came up short. Everything read like the same old blah, blah, blah that ran through my head. Nothing signaled a brain spark until I noticed a post by Olympic athlete, Inga Stasiulionyte.

Now I was onto something. If anyone could help me carve a path out of this listless do-nothing fog, a javelin thrower turned executive coach had a chance. Obviously anyone who followed her dream all the way to the Beijing Olympic Games knows something about victory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I studied her approach to success, it all boiled down to one common theme. Discipline. Okay, nothing new, we all know it takes commitment and focus to get to the goal line, however, in this simple sentence Inga offered up a key to get me back on track. “Build a no-matter what mindset.” Aha! You see all week long I gave myself permission goof-off. I decided if I could permit a lax attitude, I could also create a no-matter what mindset.

While testing it out the next day I encountered some resistance. After working on my top priority for twenty minutes, I found myself cleaning out a desk drawer. Obviously my brain preferring to operate on auto-pilot wasn’t buying into this new mindset thing. Faced with the choice of rearranging my desk or returning to work I vacillated for a moment. As I surveyed the objects in the drawer I spied a big black marker.  Grabbing the fat pen and a sheet of paper I wrote in large black letters “no matter what” and stuck it on the wall in front of me. Eyeing that powerful phrase was exactly what I needed to kick me back into action.

This new mindset worked again the next day. You see, I live in the desert and was late getting out for my power walk. Feeling like the heat was getting to me I considered cutting my trek short. Taking a deep breath I looked up at the sun and proclaimed (yep…you guessed it) no matter what! It was all I needed to suck it up and finish my walk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s face it. Human beings fall into slumps that thwart progress. When the doldrums take over, search out a role model who didn’t give up. Grab on to a motivational mantra and push yourself forward. Although I cannot correctly  pronounce Inga’s last name, I assure you I will never forget her for inspiring a “no-matter what” mindset. Game on!

 

A Lesson In Gratitude

My 88-year-old mother has been a positive, loving, stable, supportive, and giving influence throughout my life.

Money was scarce, but I never felt poor. We lived in a small home in a little steel mill town. Although we struggled, I never heard my parents discuss money concerns.   Nor did I know  they searched the couch for dimes that may have fallen out of dad’s pocket to pay for his bus rides to work.  Never missed having a car.  Always felt loved, and secure.

But I never really realized how important that security was, until a few days ago. The backstory is three years ago, when my mother’s dementia became apparent, I moved her to Florida to be near me.  My father, who was her prince, and our hero, passed two years prior.

This week something happened. Mom told me she was scared.  She asked to  go “home.” When I inquired who she wanted to see at home, she said her mother.  More of the backstory, both parents were deceased by the time she was three  years old, and her sister, age 14, successfully raised my mom and her four siblings.

Have you ever watched your mother cry and say she was scared?  This was my first experience seeing mom genuinely afraid.  It devastated me.  It made me cry.

But, this blog is not about my mother’s experience or how well (or at times not) I deal with her pain. My message is I am a very lucky person. The question is why, and I hope this simple little story is a life lesson.

Lucky, you might think?  Dealing with a mother who has dementia?The answer is yes I am a lucky girl. While reflecting on what mom is going through, I realized my parents provided immense security. I never knew about the financial pressure of making ends meet. There was never a time I felt I could not go to my parents. They were always there for me. Although I have always been grateful, I know I have truly been blessed. 

 

Even after my dad passed, as hard as that was, I felt comforted by the very thought of him. Maybe that sounds a bit crazy but you see, he took great care of mom.  They watched over each other.  Daily I pray he looks down on me, and guides me to make the right decisions for mom.

Today I read a beautiful post written by a young friend of mine, Aimee Tarte, Owner of Lady And The Mug, in Coral Springs, Florida. She wrote:

No matter what happens in my life, I am at peace because I understand how blessed I am and for that, I’m eternally grateful. Let’s not just be thankful today, but change our mindsets to appreciate the smallest of things we overlook. I’ll always be an optimist and believe in everyone, especially those who have done wrong against me. Serve others, give with a pure heart, and remember how short life is”

 

That says it all, now doesn’t it?

Take a few moments to STOP and think about your life. What lessons of gratitude can you find that never occurred to you? Think of one small of thing you previously overlooked and post below. I would love your feedback.  It could inspire all of us!

A note from Sunny. This blog was written by my dear forever friend, Irma Parone of Parone Group.

She can be reached at irma@paronegroup.com  www.paronegroup.com

Also please free to also leave comments on this post.

 

Giving the Precious Gift of Kind Words

My friend Melissa is one of the most generous people I know. She blesses the lives of many in a very special way. When the moment presents itself, Melissa never misses an opportunity to lavish sincere praise.

Not only does she express her kindness to others by issuing compliments, Melissa does so in a significant way.

The other day I was the recipient of one of Melissa’s bighearted gifts. She attended a presentation I gave at a business meeting. Not only did she absorb and remember the message I delivered, the next morning when I visited my Facebook page Melissa tagged me in a post.

Other friends might have sent me a quick private message telling me they enjoyed my presentation. Not Melissa. She wrote a lengthy paragraph of “shout out” praise to be viewed on social media. Her act of kindness was extremely generous and an example of how Melissa goes out of her way to lift up people making them feel special.

Generosity is the virtue of giving freely and abundantly. Sometimes we give time, in other instances money or material goods. People like Melissa find innovative ways to make the world a brighter place with carefully chosen words.

Khalil Gibran is quoted as saying, “Generosity is giving more than you can and taking less than your need.”

Wise words to live by and yet, conversely, we can all identify acquaintances, perhaps even family members, who either refrain, or rarely think to offer up an “atta girl” or extend encouragement. Often in my coaching practice I encounter individuals who talk about never receiving a compliment from a parent, sibling or their boss.

Denying a deserving person a word of praise is the opposite of being generous. In fact, withholding admiration on a consistent basis can even be a form of emotional punishment.

Not everyone is as highly skilled as Melissa in the art of a compliment. If you are holding back praising others because it feels awkward, or you fear doing it wrong, just practice. Start small.

Try telling your boss you like her dress (if you do). Next try focusing on characteristics and skills. Perhaps your coworker wrote a procedure streamlining a task and making your work-life easier. Applaud that action, verbally, in writing or at a staff meeting in front of the boss.

There is only one rule when passing out compliments. Be sincere. Coupling sincerity with generosity makes your compliment memorable.

Make a point of issuing gracious compliments this week. Gift others with words of praise. Remember it costs you nothing to be kind, but may mean everything to someone else.