Last week, I had the honour of being interviewed on Jim Toth‘s show on GlobalNews CJOB 680 Radio. When setting it up, he said he wanted to talk about motivation; people are getting tired of ‘the longest winter ever’ and to top it off, our beloved hockey team, the Winnipeg Jets were not performing as many wished they were.
In the 11 minutes I was on air (click here to listen), I was able to share a few tips. Here’s a bit of a recap, and a little extra.
- Take a deep breath and give yourself a break. We have been through a very trying time in the last two years; a global pandemic, the emotional discovery of hundreds of children’s graves at former residential schools, and the war waged by Russia in Ukraine (to name just a few events). Just sit with it for a minute, breath, and congratulate yourself for getting through it – day by day.
- Focus on ‘what’s good’. Look around, what’s present in your life that is ‘good’ for you. The sunshine glistening on the snow, a great conversation with a loved one, a brisk workout, a warm shower, your favourite cozy socks. Notice those things and put your attention on them. Allow yourself to be energized by the good vibe they provide.
- Move ‘toward’ what you want. Jim mentioned that there were comments being made about the Winnipeg Jets’ performance; some fans commented that they seemed to have lost their ‘mojo’ (my word, not Jim’s). The Winnipeg Jets’ players are human beings, like all of us. If you experience an extended period of poor (or less than desired) performance, you likely begin to lose your energy. Part of that is because you are focused on the past; rehashing past poor performance can be very fatiguing (woulda, coulda, shoulda). So, instead, begin by just ‘allowing’ yourself to be where you are. Just allow whatever you are experiencing to settle. Then begin to move ‘toward’ what you want. While there is value in looking back and asking yourself what you might be able to do differently in the future, the key is to do that quickly and then to begin to MOVE TOWARD THE DESIRED OUTCOME IN THE FUTURE.
- Nourish your unit. Motivation is all about energy, and you need nutrition in order to have energy. You know the drill; eat, move, sleep. You don’t need me to remind you of what you already know. I like to snack on junk food like anyone else, but remember the old adage (I am not sure where it started, but heard it in frist year computer science 30 years ago) ‘garbage in, garbage out’. That is true for not only what food, exercise and sleep you put into (invest in) your body, but also what thoughts you allow to take up residence in your mind.
- Pay attention. Consider adding a practice of meditation to your daily routine. You won’t believe me about how powerful this can be until your try it. Start with just a few minutes of quiet, connecting to your breath. You will be amazed at the energy surge that can come from a few minutes of ‘presence’, when you disengage from the internal chatter, and engage with what ‘is’. Learn to regularly ‘be where you are’. Even if you do not meditate, per se, just pause regularly to tune in and ask yourself how you are doing. If you are surfing social media, watching a movie, chatting with a friend, or walking around the neighborhood, stop and ask (or pause after you are done and ask) ‘How am I feeling right now? Did that add to, or detract from, my energy?’ Then, adjust accordingly. If what you are doing is not adding energy, try something else. And, move toward that!