Tuesday, March 5, 2013
How to Hook Up to Positive Energy - Mark J Holland NLP Mind Coach
“No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.”
- Helen Keller
Enthusiasm is the sunshine of your mind’s garden. Possessing enthusiasm for all that you do is essential to the process of positive thinking. Just as plants require sunlight to develop and grow, utilizing the power of positive thinking requires enthusiasm to energize your potential and ensure an endless supply of fuel.
You will discover that the more enthusiasm you generate, the more energy you’ll have to put in. There are some things it will be easy to generate enthusiasm over, and others where you’ll have to stretch yourself to find what will spark your enjoyment. For example, no one has trouble generating enthusiasm for spending an unexpected bonus from work or taking a night out. However, you may find it hard to get excited about washing dishes or filling out your tax return forms. But part of the magic of positive thinking is developing the ability to find the good things in any situation and use them to get through the difficult parts.
Like developing a positive mindset, enthusiasm must be cultivated and sheltered from potentially damaging emotional storms. There are several methods you can use to put a dose of passion into everything you do, whether it’s finally taking that dream holiday or cleaning out the garage. You can choose the method that best fits whatever situation you’re facing and ensure yourself the energy to tackle anything life happens to throw at you.
What’s In It for Me?
One of the most elemental solutions for finding enthusiasm is to focus on the benefit you will derive from completing a particular task. In some situations it’s easy to discover the benefit. For instance, you may hate wrapping presents, but you know the person you’re giving the present to will be overjoyed when presented with this lovely paper-wrapped gift, and so you derive happiness from envisioning the recipient opening the present. This is an especially useful tactic when you’re still up at 2 a.m. on Christmas morning trying to figure out how to wrap the bicycle you’ve just spent three hours putting together.
Other circumstances will not have such obvious benefits. If you were to find yourself trying to change a flat tire on the side of the road in the middle of a rainstorm it would undoubtedly be difficult to find your silver lining. Under stressful circumstances, give yourself permission to think of the wildest benefit you can come up with. Perhaps you were on your way to a party you would rather not have gone to. In that case, your flat tire would give you the perfect excuse to turn around and go back home.
There is some good in every situation, whether it’s in the form of a benefit or a lesson to be learned (Lesson One: Never drive with questionable tires through a thunderstorm to a party you didn’t want to attend in the first place). You can harness the power of positive thinking by finding that good and exploiting it, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.
The Buddy System
If you’re having trouble summoning enthusiasm for a particular task, try to seek out someone who enjoys doing that sort of thing and ask them to partner up with you. Like smiling, enthusiasm is contagious. If you spend some time observing another person’s enthusiasm, some of it is bound to rub off on you.
If you don’t know anyone who might be enthusiastic about what you’re trying to accomplish, try going online to look up articles or blogs (web logs, which are usually personal, regularly updated online journals) pertaining to the subject. Sometimes merely reading about someone else’s enthusiasm can help you find some aspect of the task to enjoy, and get you through it with a minimal amount of stress, anxiety and dread. (Be warned: it may be difficult to discover anyone who enjoys scrubbing toilets or emptying cat litter boxes. In these cases, you might be on your own!)
Knowledge is Power
Muddling through a particular task or project can be daunting if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you’re the type of person who never asks for directions or reads the instructions, you may be tempted to take on challenges in areas where your knowledge is limited. Even if you’re not, you may find yourself faced with taking on a task you don’t feel qualified to handle, whether it’s filling in for someone in a different department at work or changing an baby’s nappy for the first time.
The more you know about what you’re doing, the easier it will be to accomplish. This may seem self-explanatory, but many people don’t realize that you can always find out more information. It only takes a few minutes to look up something on the internet, consult a reference book, or call up someone you know has experience with the issue you’re facing.
Gaining knowledge has other benefits as well. The more you know about a given subject, the better you will be able to focus on your goal and work toward it. You cannot reach your destination if you cannot find the path. Look upon knowledge as the pruning shears of your mental garden, clearing the way for enthusiasm to grow and spread. With the right set of tools, you can accomplish any task easily.
Sign on the Dotted Line
Being committed to achieving your aim is essential to generating a sense of enthusiasm. Whether you want to have gleaming white teeth or flash your pearly whites at crowds of thousands as you accept your Academy Award or Gold Logie, you should be completely committed to what you’re trying to accomplish.
One way to cement your personal commitment is to outline a step-by-step plan for reaching your goals. You can do this with any task, no matter how great or small (though you might save time to generate a mental plan for things like washing the dinner dishes, as it might take you more time to write it all down than it would to actually wash them). On a sheet of paper- or for monumental tasks such as changing careers, at the beginning of a notebook- note your starting point: where you are now. Leave yourself some space, and then jot down where you want to be and how long you plan on taking to get there. Then go back and break down the process of getting from point A to point B in detailed steps. This not only helps you to visualize reaching your goal, it also allows you to cross steps off as you complete them. Your enthusiasm will be sustained as you move further toward your goal.
While you’re writing things down, consider creating a contract with yourself to reach your objective. You can even ask a friend or family member to act as a witness, which will further solidify your intentions to follow through. Your contract can be a simple document stating your promise to yourself, or a detailed map of the things you will do to help yourself reach your aims, with deadline dates for additional motivation and bursts of enthusiasm. Keep your contract posted visibly to remind yourself of your intentions. Every time you see it, you will find yourself eager to achieve your goal and fulfill your contract.
Dangle Your Own Carrot
Ask any business owner and you’ll find out that rewards are one of the most powerful motivators. People are more willing to work toward a goal when they know they will get something out of it at the end. Since your boss probably won’t reward you for losing weight or remodeling your bathroom, you can plan to give yourself a reward when you meet a given goal.
When selecting self-rewards, be sure to match them to your goals. This will not only ensure you don’t get tired of the same reward, but will also help you when you’re planning the strategies you’ll use to accomplish your aims. For example, if you’d like to spend less time watching television and more time outside or with your family, you can reward yourself with a trip to the theater to see a great movie. If you’re planning to quit smoking, part of your strategy could be to set aside some of the money you’ll save by not buying cigarettes and get yourself a new outfit, or something you’ve had your eye on for a while but haven’t been able to afford.
Some goals come with intrinsic rewards already built in, yours for the claiming when you reach your objective. For example, if you’re going to start your own business, you already know you’ll be rewarded by working for yourself, possibly even by working out of your home. Whether you’re working for an intrinsic reward or providing yourself with an incentive, treating yourself is a great way to generate enthusiasm for the task at hand.
That’s right. Sometimes, you should just give up.
This may not be the type of advice you’d expect to find in an article about positive thinking. However, there is a specific time when you should surrender- and that is when you hate doing what you’re doing.
“Like what you do. If you don’t like it, do something else.”
- Paul Harvey
Too many people end up settling for the life they think they ought to have, the life others have told them to expect, or the life they believe they’re stuck with. You must realize that there is room on this planet for everyone, and if you’re feeling trapped in a job you despise or a living space you can’t stand, you need to make a change- not down the road, when you have time, or as soon as you get whatever it is you’ve been waiting for; but right now. That elusive “someday” is always going to be in the future, and you can’t catch up to the future. Now is the only time you have.
This doesn’t mean you should drop everything and throw caution to the wind- at least, not in most cases. If you’re like most people, you have responsibilities that must be taken care of. However, there is always something you can do right now to cast out your net and catch “someday,” and start pulling it toward you. Do you hate your job, but lack the experience to get a different one? Start taking night classes or sign up for an online course. There are hundreds of accredited universities offering distance learning classes over the internet. Is your house or apartment located in a neighbourhood that started out great, but is becoming worse every day- and you haven’t found the time or the money to move? Take a close look at your budget and see if there’s anything you can do without for a few months, or ask your landlord or bank if they have any other properties you could look into.
Waiting fuels the fires of apathy. Doing something about your situation, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, can start a chain reaction of enthusiasm that will energize you to reach your goals. You deserve to get what you want out of life while you’re still here to enjoy it. Don’t put it off another day, because your “someday” is right now!