Monday, May 18, 2015

Monday Motivation | Removing the obstacles the stop you from taking action.

Are you one of those people who have big dreams and ideas, but seem to have difficulty in moving from intention to action?  If you find yourself making commitments to change your current situations but stop short when it's time to take consistent action, then you've come to the right place.  Today we'll discuss a few of the barriers and how to eliminate them.

Old Programming 
How many of us received a spark of motivation to start something new.  A new diet, a new project, business, a 30 day challenge.  We're full of adrenaline as we think about the possibilities that lay ahead.  We're ready to take on the world.  Then, the next day rolls around and that spark of inspiration seems to fade a little.  I'm reminded of a scene from the movie Limitless when Eddie Mora wakes us the next morning after consuming the "Limitless pill." The day before, he decluttered his entire home and completed a novel for his publisher in one afternoon.  The next morning, he was back to his old self.  The old habits, once again, took over his life.

That is exactly what happens to us.  It's silly for us to think that a feeling of inspiration is enough to move us into action day after day.  Even if you take massive action when inspiration first strikes (like Eddie did) you still have to wake up the next morning and do it all over again.  The only problem is, you probably won't feel like doing it again.  Chances are, you'll default back to your old self.  Eddie, had to take a pill each day to reenergize.  Like Eddie, we need something to break us out of our old habits on a daily basis.  That's why it's important to create a morning routine that gets you in that right state of mind day after day.  Otherwise, your subconscious mind takes over and brings you back to the dreaded comfort zone.

When we've decided to take on something new, we tell ourselves that our ideas are genius, our goals are worth it, our new life will be amazing!  But, at time moves forward, our self talk changes.  Now we start to talk about the obstacles, the things that can/will go wrong, the reasons why not...... And of course, when we focus our attention on the reasons why not, our actions will follow accordingly.   That process of allowing fear to set in doesn't have to be all dramatic. It could be as simple as you convincing yourself that there isn't enough time to work out.  Heck, I did that last week.  On Sunday, I vowed to get a certain number of daily steps in each day.  The first couple of days went really well. Then I allowed a tiny little excuse to change everything.  But, in reality, I could have kept the promise to myself if I valued my promise more than I value the excuses.

When Eddie returned home after consuming the Limitless pill, the first thing he did was to completely declutter his home.  He didn't just clean it, he also threw out a bunch of stuff.  By the time he finished, his home was clear and free of distractions.  Steve Jobs requested that his office environment be all white so there would be nothing to distract his creative process.  When we first commit to something new, everything seems so clear and simple. Then suddenly we're surrounded by a world of distractions.  You have to do whatever it takes to eliminate distractions from your life (even if it's for short bursts of time). This includes both physical and mental obstacles.  Another way of saying it is increasing your focus.   When you're focused, there's nothing else but the goal in front of you.  Nothing stands in your way.

If there's anything that's helped me achieve my goals it's focusing on my focus.  Naturally, I'm a bit of a scatter brain.  I jump from task to task and always have a bunch of thoughts running through my mind at once.  I can never sit still and often start things without finishing.  But.......when I invest time in meditation (focusing on my breath as a daily practice), I turn into a ninja.  My mind is clear and still. I latch onto a task and work diligently until it's completed.  Everything is different.  It's like I have superpowers.  If going to the gym strengthens the body, then meditation is like exercising the mind.  It gets rid of the "excess fat" aka mental blockage.  You end up feeling like you can do anything and nothing is going to stand in your way.

When the mind is focused and clear, there are no obstacles.

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