“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit." -Aristotle
Why is sustaining motivation so hard?
The big secret is that we often know what is good for us and yet so many of us choose to ignore our feelings and ideas. Instead we say 'if only' or “when I get so and so' then and only then we will pursue this change.
We trick ourselves with the mantra of “Maybe Tomorrow" putting our energy and focus onto the future instead of 'now'. This paradoxical system of change is what I want to address today.
So many of us can become stuck in the pattern of projecting our excitement into the future without ever taking pleasure in the action or the journey…I call these folks the “destination seekers".
The fundamental problem with this is that kind of interference of “maybe tomorrow" is that reinforces behavior and patterns that move us into procrastination and out of action.
The consequence is we learn to be counterproductive and tell ourselves a story of all the reasons 'Why' we should or cannot today.
The way out of this habit building dynamic is Awareness and I would say it is only one piece of the puzzle.
Once we know all of our blind spots, our patterns and behaviors we are left with a choice. That is a moment of truth for all of us.
Commitment is making a VOW to yourself that things must change.
The kind of commitment I am talking about is about embracing change, it is about facing our pain, our short comings and saying to yourself “I will leave no stone unturned"
When you align with a deeper sense of purpose and meaning your whole being and sense of self-worth changes. To sustain this feeling for any length of time takes perseverance and understanding that action + commitment is key to lasting change.
My invitation is to approach your life as Ghandi once did when he said “My life has been a series of experiments with the truth".
Everyone including myself has a set of tools and suggestions for what works in terms of finding health, more happiness and meaning in their lives. Those suggestions might come from a place of knowledge, but true knowledge can only come from integration as we experience in our own life.
That is assimilation…And it often carries with it a certain sense of freedom.
A freedom that allows you to become more flexible and respond to life's challenges and relationships with more authenticity.
Take a journal and start writing your own personal journey.
Write about your childhood, family, job/careers, lovers etc.
Most of us have chapters in our life that are good and bad, exciting and painful. Allow your writing to take you where it goes…The point is to reflect on your life and explore your past.
This process is an investment into getting to know yourself better.
We all have areas of growth in our lives. Some of us want to improve and others choose not to for whatever reason.
Along time ago a wise teacher in my life said 'Ken if you want to continue on this journey of self-development and personal growth then surround yourself with people who will help elevate and teach you'
Our environment is everything.
Seek out people who will bring out the best in you and help support you.
What is disowned in us we will either seek or be repulsed by in others .
Some of us cannot ask for help, others struggle giving, some are minimalist's and some have high expectations.
Maybe it is finding your voice in relationship or perhaps it is learning how to be a more supportive partner. Whatever your disowned aspect is I challenge you to encounter what is disowned in yourself.
The big question here is how do I do this?
Take a piece of paper and draw two columns. In the first column write all the qualities you want to be seen as. In the second column write all the qualities that you 'never' want to be seen as.You will start to see what your values are and in those values are often fixed patterns. See if you can come up with a few!
“Everything happens twice. Once in our mind and the other in reality" Steven Covey
The power of our belief is a great force and so is our unconscious system that often feed our beliefs.
Focusing on our intentionality for a future yet to emerge is almost always helpful, whether that is working on your own personal goals with the help of life coaches, with a career or relationship.
Along time ago I studied with some Tibetan Monks and they taught me the practice of slowing down and before doing any visualization to purify my mind.
The act of mindfulness helps us encounter our fears, our worries and it gives us a chance to take what was once unfinished within ourselves and becoming whole again.
Most of us believe in ourselves on a thin layer attached to a bigger system of doubt. Until we encounter our fears we cannot truly believe in ourselves.
Practice both mindfulness and visualizing meditations.