I’m tired. It’s that kind of exhaustion when you’ve done a ton, but are unsure of the direction your work is going. I’ve been working on updates to my coaching website and outreach. Although I’ve had great success thus far, I still feel that I’m coming up short. Not in work ethic–that I’ve got. I’ve been putting in a plethora of long hours and it’s paying off. I’ve produced stronger connections with clients. I’ve furthered the development of my START Right Resilience training tools, and have seen greater success throughout all of my work. I am truly grateful for the steady forward movement of the goals that I’m sincerely passionate about. But again…I’m exhausted.
The problem seems to be everythat e time I begin to make headway with my work, I feel like I come up five yards short of the end zone. I can’t seem to close out the game, or, more to the point, my head gets a bit fuzzy. I somehow lose focus on my goal when I start to reflect on where I’m going with all my work. And I think that’s the problem, really. It’s one thing to know your destination, and it’s another thing to have actually been there.
I know I sound a bit crazy. But just think about it like this: you can be the best driver in the world, have your maps out, know exactly where you want to go, even have the destination in your GPS. But without the motivation to actually get there, well…you may get a bit sidetracked by a lot of other things along the way. A bacon cheeseburger may sound really good to you, so you get off the highway. Maybe you take another bathroom break? Because of boredom… not because you really have to go. Maybe you stop and walk around, stretch your legs and see the world’s largest ball of yarn… Yes, that’s a thing. Without having felt the passion of actually “experiencing” our ultimate goal in our mind and having it motivate us to our very core, it’s easy to rest into our immediate successes, and go no further.
I really believe that one of the major reasons we work so hard in many areas of our lives and see only scattered results is just that. We’re working hard instead of working smart. That doesn’t mean that you’re not intelligent or that you are not doing all the right things. You may have great organization, dotting all of your ‘i’s’ and crossing your ‘t‘s’, putting out your best effort. You may very well be. What it does mean, however, is that you’re not using all the tools that are at your disposal. In fact, you may not be using the number one tool available to you at any given time to fuel your actions and help you accomplish anything in your life:
Sounds easy when you say like that, Lou, you’re probably saying…maybe with a bit of sarcasm 😊. Or, you may ask: how do I find it? I wish it were that easy. Unfortunately self-motivation is an art that requires skill and deep practice. But the good news is, anyone can acquire it if they are willing to work at it.
Motivation in and of itself means movement. What we are trying to do is simply “move” ourselves to accomplish whatever goal is most important to us. But, if we want to move closer to our goal with singular purpose and clarity we’re going to need to tap into our strongest and most abundant source of fuel…
Our energy! Which, as we know, is fueled by our emotions.
This is where visualization comes in. The ability to see, really see, what it is you would like to manifest for yourself. That kind of a visualization is chock full of energetic fuel. Your ability to visualize your goal, combined with your memories and your imagination, elicits all kinds of wonderful emotions that will ignite your passion and move you towards your goal. Your brain doesn’t distinguish between whether or not something is happening in the present moment for “real”, or whether you are just thinking about it. The energetic fuel created through visualization is there for the taking.
When we practice visualizing our goals a few things happen:
One – Our mind and body become emotionally involved in seeing our goal get achieved.
Two – We can literally feel what it’s going to feel like when we do reach our goal.
Three – We become highly motivated and focused down on what is going to get us closest to accomplishing that goal and those feelings we’ve sampled already.
Whenever we practice this way it feels like everything is working together correctly in perfect synchronicity. A lot of athletes call this “the zone”. It’s a place where you may be giving a tremendous effort, but it feels effortless. This is because your mind and your body are working together to accomplish the goal that you’ve already visited and fully emotionally committed to in your mind.
So, I took my own advice. I shut down my laptop and got out of the house. I took a walk and allowed my mind to focus on creating a rich visualization of what I wanted my work to look like. I used my imagination, incorporating all of my five senses into the visualization. I felt a well-spring of new-found energy bubble up within me. Tapping into that new-found energy, I hustled back home, grabbed my notebook, and wrote down everything in as rich and colorful detail as possible. Everything I had visualized. Not what I logically thought could happen. Instead, every detail of the vision I held in my mind’s eye was sketched out on paper through words and drawings. I felt the re-ignition of my passion and renewed love for my work… That’s all the motivation I need.