The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
- Psalm 19:1
10 Hard Truths I Don't Want to Tell My Children But Have to Anyway10) Some people will treat you indifferently. And that'll hurt you more than if they went out of their way to hurt you. It doesn't mean you're not special. It just means that they've forgotten how to see how special people are.
9) As special as you are, you're not more special than others. God loves you. I love you. But that doesn't mean the world revolves around you. It doesn't. The world was full of heartache and smiles before you got here and smiles and hearts will go on breaking long after.
8) People who work in drive-thrus get the order wrong. I don't know why but it's about as consistent a rule as rock stars and overdoses.
7) Oh, your favorite bands break up. And it seems the more awesome the band is the quicker they break up. The terrible ones linger on forever or reunite often. Spandau Ballet is currently touring. You don't know who they are and if I do my job as a parent you never will.
6) Suffering is part of this life. As much as I'd like to protect you from this, I can't. I may even be the cause of it sometimes. But it's part of life and good can come out of it. I'll hate watching you go through it but I'll be proud of how you get through it.
5) Loving someone doesn't mean they'll love you back. Just try not to make too much of a fool of yourself over it.
4) You're going to die. You will. But trust in Christ's promise that you will live forever.
3) Rooting for sports teams is simply another avenue to invite heartbreak into your life. I've been incredibly lucky in that I've seen my NY Rangers win the Stanley Cup, Notre Dame win a national championships, the Mets win the World Series and the Giants have won three since I really started paying attention to sports. That's actually really lucky but that's about 120 sports seasons and 6 championships. That means 114 times I'm left screaming at the television, admonishing coaches, and yelling about biased referees. That's not a good rate of return. But you'll probably do it anyway. The good news is that some of the happiest people I know are Cubs fans and some of the most miserable are Yankees fans. It doesn't make sense but it's true.
2) The SAT's matter a lot as to which college you'll get into. But which college you got into stops mattering two years after you start working.
1) The easy way usually isn't the right way. I wish it were different but taking the hard way really does build character. It's a funny thing about character. It usually builds when you're not focused on yourself. And a strong character makes the hard way a lot easier to bear.
There's a lot more I don't want to tell you but you'll learn soon enough. Life has a way of teaching you whether you want it to or not.
|"What big eyes you have, my dear!"|
|I don't know what this critter is, but he was fascinating to watch.|
|He kept on bending in the middle like this doing some sort of "buggy calisthenics."|
|This spiderweb was built overnight. Such workmanship!|
2. Understand What Makes You Bored... and avoid it. Boredom is a nasty place to be. But as any other state of your being can be understood and you can identify the triggers. Once you understand that, you can safely go away from the gray zone. Takes some time but it really worth the effort.
3. Laugh More Often. Watch comedies, read comics. Throw away that ugly seriousness from your face. Laughing is a safety valve for your stress relief mechanism. It actually let it out from your body in bursts. And while you’re laughing you can still learn new stuff, like personal development lessons from Dumbo.
4. Log your breakthroughs. Do you remember when you had the first major success of your life? No? I thought so. We tend to overlook this simple habit of writing down our feelings every time we have a major breakthrough in our lives. If you want the shortest path to motivation, just keep a log of your successes. And get inspired by it.
6. Create A Custom Environment. You can’t be motivated if you work in an environment which does not represent you. Make changes, adjust, improve. Doesn’t matter if it’s about your job office or your home. Whatever the space you work in, make it yours somehow, that will lower your unconscious adaptation efforts and you’ll have more time dedicated to the actual tasks.
7. Read Success Stories. Like in other people success stories. Get inspired. Admire them (with caution, but do admire them). Reading about success will make it more available to you and will fuel your efforts towards its achievement. And of course, you can learn how to be successful too.
8. Switch Tasks. You will get bored if you work on the same projects for too long. Boredom kills motivation. Try having several small projects that you can land on whenever you feel you’re on the verge of a burn out. Not to mention that switching tasks will instantly create fresh perspectives, helping you solve problems faster.
9. Assess Your Progress. If you work constantly you will make some progress, that’s a rule. You may have the impression that you’re not going anywhere but that’s because you’re skipping all those little milestones you go through every day. Watching back with satisfaction at what you created will surely boost your energy.
10. Talk About Your Projects... with your friends or family. Let the people know you’re doing stuff. That will often make yourself aware of the fact that you’re actually doing stuff and enjoy doing it. It will also create a certain level of accountability that will most likely push you forward.
11. Avoid Energy Vampires. Naysayers, pessimists, braggers they all are sucking up your energy. Don’t get caught in such power games, avoid at all costs those energy leaks. Even if that means you’ll isolate more often. It’s better to do work in your own secluded realm than to try to resist to a diminishing environment.
12. Write Clear Goals. Most of the time that translates to actually write down your goals, you already have them clear in your mind. But take them out of your mind, put them in a trusted system and move on. Your mind works better when it knows what it has to do not when it spends time figuring what it has to do.
13. Exercise Satisfaction. Once you finished some task, reward yourself. Give yourself a prize. No need to be a huge one, but just enough to create the habit. Look forward to it while you’re working, wait for it, praise for it. In time you’ll become addicted to this fulfillment satisfaction and you won’t stop until you reach it.
14. Accept Failure... as part of the game. Failure, like success, is just a result of your actions, nothing more. One of the biggest motivation enemies is fear of failure. Fear that your outcome will turn bad. Accept it. It may turn bad, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop doing what you’re doing. Give your best and hope for the best.
15. Use Affirmations. Like writing down your intentions, your goals, your current status. Affirmations are a very powerful tool, hugely underrated. People find it awkward to write self-directed messages and read them out loud. News flash: you’re doing this all the time, unconsciously. So why not doing it consciously? Start with a morning phrase.
17. Say “No”. Say “no” to distractions, to trolls, to depression. Exercising no's is liberating. Too often too many commitments are making your life a continuous chore. Limit your promises and only get into things you really want to finish. Once you do that, go to a mirror, smile and start to politely exercise your no's.
18. Look For Positive People. Sadness, whining and complaining doesn’t play well with motivation. On the contrary. But positive, optimistic, energetic people will always shift your vibration in the right direction. Search them, find them and become their friend. Sometimes all you need to get motivated is to be surrounded by shiny happy people.
19. Difficulty Is Part Of The Game. Learn to work under pressure. Some things are more difficult than others. Accept that fact and focus on doing what you have to do not on your feelings of dissatisfaction. Difficulty is often what makes things worth doing. No sweat, no glory. Whenever I feel something is going to be tough, I’m usually more motivated to do it. The reward will be higher.
20. Create Personal Challenges. Personal challenges are short term goals, usually from 15 to 90 days. Like starting to exercise, or creating a habit from scratch in 15 days. Using personal challenges strengthen your inner power the same way exercising is strengthening your muscles. The more you do, the more motivated you feel to do even more.
21. Choose Positive Motivation. Whenever you lock in your motivation, do your best to keep it on the positive side, which is rooted in service. As opposed to the negative motivation, which is basically rooted in fear. Negative motivation works just the same, only it lasts significantly less than positive motivation.
22. Release Your Guardians. You do have guardians and some of them are pretty nasty. They won’t let you do your stuff. The bad thing about your guardians is that most of the time they’re working at the unconscious level, really difficult to interact with. Just accept, acknowledge and let them go. You will be much better off.
23. Enforce Your Personal Mission. You gotta have a personal mission. If you don’t, go find one fast. Reinforcing your personal mission at certain intervals is surely one of the greatest motivators of all. It’s like looking on a map and seeing at any moment where you are, how much do you have to go and which path you have to chose.
25. Keep A Clean Inbox. That’s one of the few GTD (Getting Things Done) concepts I still use and it proves to be a great motivator. A clean inbox helps a smooth thoughts flow. A smooth thoughts flow let me be in the moment without any hidden burdens. Being in the moment is usually all I need to actually start doing things.
26. Don’t Aim For Perfection. It will soon drain you out. Aiming to be better is the real game. Perfection is a dead end, nothing really happens after you reached to it. Accepting that you can be better instead of perfect leaves some room for growth. And that means you have a reason to do more. And that’s what we usually call motivation, right?
27. Do One Thing At A Time. Multitasking is a myth. Even computers processors aren’t really doing multi-tasking, that’s what we perceive. Instead they have a single frequency and several parallel buses managing information, faking a multi-tasking activity. Multitasking is creating internal conflicts, both in humans and in computers. You end up spending more time solving those conflicts than actually working.
29. Put On Some Good Music. Just let it there, floating around, don’t turn the volume knob. Just enough to recreate a pleasant atmosphere. Music speaks to areas you can’t control with logical tools, yet is so powerful that can completely shift your mood in a second. The only thing better than silence is good music.
30. Don’t Fall Into The Productivity Trap. It’s not how much you do, but how much of it really matters. Doing stuff just for filling up notebooks with tasks won’t make you feel motivated. On the other side, whenever you’re doing something that matters, your planning and organizing activities will just flow.
31. Keep Your Life Lenses Clean. Your camera objective may be blurred but you don’t know. This is why you get the same picture again and again, this is why feel stuck and can’t seem to see any progress. Sometimes all you have to do is to clean up your lenses. It takes a little bit of courage but it’s worth the trouble.