Helplessness imprints can be described by phrases like: "No one wants me"; "They never wanted me"; "What's the use of trying"; "I'm all alone"; "Nobody loves me"; "Trying to get love is useless"; "I don't want to work anymore"; "I've done enough"; "I am not going to do it"; "I don't get any help"; "Nothing I do is worth anything"; "There is something wrong with me"; "Nothing can save me"; "I'm not worth s_ _t for anything"; etc. However, these are shallow descriptions of the tips of icebergs. The imprints include feelings, emotions, and pain stored as deep memories in the "whole human system."
Deep imprints, including those related to helplessness, impact the whole human system: mind, brain, and body. Quotes from Primal Healing:
From our own perusal of "success and self-improvement books," "self-improvement seminars and workshops," "meditation, think-and-grow-rich, think-right-now, law-of-attraction, motivational-speaking, personal-coaching, permission-to-succeed, deep-breathing, sensory-deprivation, trauma-clearing, psychotherapy, brain-entrainment practices," etc., we've concluded that everything I've gotten involved with or come across so far contributes very little, if anything, to the greater success of the "98% of people who typically fail." The main reason, I contend, is that, generally, these approaches don't provide people with the means to identify and handle their Make-or-Break Issues (MBIs).
So the sad situation is that practically nobody provides the means for the 98%ers to improve and become significantly more successful. A revealing book that supports this contention is SHAM: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless by Steve Salerno. Salerno suggests that much of the "Self-Help and Actualization Movement" (SHAM) tends to make people worse.
Maybe, in the absence of tackling and overcoming MBIs, "98%ers" tend to be impervious to self-improvement and becoming significantly more successful. Maybe the "Self-Help and Actualization Movement" (SHAM) is so big and profitable, enabling some of its "top gurus" to rake in millions, because practically nothing works for the 98%ers. So the demand remains huge and insatiable.
It may be similar to the "gurus" selling information online on how to make millions online. Some "gurus" make millions selling their "secrets." But practically nothing works for the 98%ers. So the demand remains huge and insatiable.
Nevertheless, there may be at least a little hope for 98%ers. Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D. author of What You Can Change and What You Can't writes: "Traditionally, most people in the West have believed that human character is fixed and unalterable, that people do not and cannot improve, advance, or perfect themselves. The change from a deep belief in the unchangeability of character to an equally deep belief in the capacity to improve is recent, and it represents one of the most fundamental and important revolutions in modern thought... The Maximal Self believes that it can change and improve, and this very belief allows change and improvement. The dogma of human plasticity tends to fulfill itself."
In our opinion, Primal Therapy (if it's at all workable) is much too slow. It seems to take years for patients to make significant progress. It's quite possible that Janov's ifentification of "primal imprints" is valid, but that his methods are not the best ways to overcome them. See also The Seven Stages of Primal Therapy and Debunking Primal Therapy.
It's quite possible that the "negative love syndrome" and the "addiction to unhappiness" can both be overcome by applying "Emotional Freedom Techniques" (EFT) and/or Idenics.
Basic Technique #26A:
The first thing to realize about self-motivation is that there may be one or more "negatives" that tend to prevent you from motivating yourself. A "low mood level" could be an example -- see THE MOOD TABLE.
Such "negatives" may be Make-or-Break Issues (MBIs) you need to handle first.
A "SWOT Analysis" (Google "personal swot analysis" for more details) may help you identify any weaknesses you may want to handle first:
Internal -- under Your Control
External -- Not under Your Control
See also Identify Your Most Important MBIs (or Personal Constraints) and Focus on Getting Unstuck from Those that Harm You Most.
There used to be a program called "Retire Quickly" founded by Kelly Reese. Among other things, he provided a "lesson on motivation" from which the following has been extracted and adapted, with comments by Frederick Mann (FM):
One of the saddest misconceptions existing in our society is that it takes someone else to motivate us. The truth is NO ONE can motivate you, but you, yourself!
Frequently, it will be some outside influence that prompts us to pick ourselves up and really get serious about a goal. It may be losing weight, reaching an income goal or achieving some higher level of achievement in a favorite sport.
However, that outside influence is just the spark to get you started on a goal or project. Whatever or whoever it was that triggered that spark within you is almost never around when you need them two weeks later.
Outside forces can provide the spark, but you must turn that spark into a burning flame that will endure until you achieve your goal or complete your project.
MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT, THE MOTIVATION TO REALLY STICK WITH SOMETHING MUST COME FROM YOU!
Don't let that discourage you. Even though I can't give you sustained motivation, what I very definitely CAN DO is teach you how successful people are able to keep themselves motivated, without an excessive number of motivational tapes and books.
First, recognize that motivation is a science, not some mystical feeling that somehow overpowers someone and drives them to special limits.
NOTHING in life changes for better or worse, unless it is under pressure. Some pressures push things and some pressures pull things.
Gravity is an example of pulling. If you were to jump out of an airplane, the pulling pressure of gravity would pull you to the ground. If you were shot out of a cannon like a circus performer, the explosion would push you against gravity into the air.
What would happen if there was no gravity and no explosion? Well, you would not move down or up. Without pressure that either pulls on us or pushes on us, we don't MOVE.
Our personal lives are no different. The only way for you to stay motivated... moving in the direction you want to go... is to learn how to apply PRESSURE to yourself. YOU must discover what PUSHES you and what PULLS you toward your goals.
In our personal lives, just as in physics, there are two forces available to us. One repels or pushes you and the other attracts or pulls you. This is frequently referred to as the carrot and the stick, or reward and punishment. The simplest example is the desire for heaven and the fear of hell. Those may not be concepts you personally believe in, but you certainly understand the principle.
Well, how do we apply these two types of pressure to motivate ourselves? How do we PUSH and PULL ourselves toward our goals? It begins with TRUTH.
Recently,a famous news reporter, Ted Koppel, was quoted to have said, "America has reached the point where it can't handle total truth. It has to have it watered down first."
The single most important thing I have ever learned in business and in life is that complete truth really is the most powerful force known to man. Not partial truth, or mostly truth, but absolute and total truth...
[FM Comment: The notions of "absolute truth" and "total truth" are dangerous and can even be lethal -- check out "Plato Truth Virus (PTV)" in Software For Your Brain.]
Let's take a look at how truth applies to helping you and I to motivate ourselves to achieve success.
What if you aren't honest with yourself? What if you have chosen to be blind to the incredible weight of evidence that shows that smoking will not just kill you before your time, but it will also make you old before your time? This blindness to truth can rob you of any reasonable quality of life and leave you in a miserable state for many years.
If you truly want to quit smoking, then open up your mind to the TRUTH concerning the negatives. Go on the Internet and do research about the devastation that smoking can cause. Make yourself go to the hospital and ask to see some patients suffering from smoking-induced emphysema.
Let the power of truth REPEL you to a better life. Make yourself deal with reality. It will give you the power to change. It will PUSH you toward your goal of a healthier life without smoking.
The other force that can help you is a positive one. It is dealing with the TRUTH about how much better you will feel. How much more vibrant you will look and feel. Think about all the people and things you will be able to enjoy and how much longer you will be able to enjoy them.
Some people have such a burning desire for a particular goal, and they are PULLED so strongly toward their goal, that they don't need additional help from the PUSHING power of negative consequences.
However, that isn't descriptive of all of us. Most of us need to be keenly aware of the positive and we also need to frequently give sober consideration to the negative consequences of our not applying ourselves to reaching our objectives.
Well... I know you get the point, but I want to make it one more time to reinforce it so that you won't let it slip away from you.
Have you ever known someone or known of someone who was very overweight and out of shape? Frequently they will have been that way for years. What happens when they have a heart attack and are fortunate enough to survive? NOW they are motivated. Why... because the truth IS the most powerful force for changing our lives.
They may have ignored the truth of the negative consequences of their lifestyle, but when they almost died, they were forced to stare the FRIGHTENING truth right square in the face. The STICK, the NEGATIVE, the REPELLING, the PUSHING fear of a situation can create massive power to motivate you to become more than you ever imagined.
Practically speaking, what should you do with this information? In addition to motivating yourself to your goal of Retiring Quickly, the following guidelines can be used to overcome smoking, overeating, improving your golf game and a host of other things that require motivation to improve.
STEP 1: WRITE down your goal or goals!
EXAMPLE: Retiring Quickly
STEP 2: Create a list of every single significant benefit you and your spouse (if married) can think of, if you achieve your goal. Make absolutely certain that EVERY SINGLE item on your list is something of very special significance to you.
EXAMPLES: Travel, play more golf, learn how to paint, take photography classes, volunteer to help those less fortunate, visit your children more often, have money to give to the poor and needy.
STEP 3: Create a list of every single negative consequence if you don't make a serious commitment to improving your financial condition.
EXAMPLES: Becoming a burden to your children, low quality of life, embarrassment because of failure, instead of helping others you need to be helped by others.
STEP 4: Create a list of all major obstacles standing between you and your goal of retiring quickly.
EXAMPLES: Too much TV, too many outside interests, too lazy, not decisive enough, resistant to getting a little uncomfortable for a few months to change your life FOREVER.
Dumbed Down by "Education!"
Your ability to motivate yourself may have been compromised or even severely damaged by your "schooling." John Taylor Gatto was named New York City Teacher Of The Year, each year from 1989 to 1991. In 1991 the New York Senate named him State Teacher Of The Year. Gatto confesses to being "the 7-lesson schoolteacher." You can read more about Gatto and his "7 lessons" in "ARE OUR SCHOOLS CONCENTRATION CAMPUSES FOR MIND DESTRUCTION?" Following are the seven lessons (aspects particularly important to the ability to motivate yourself highlighted):
- Confusion. Gatto admits that everything he teaches is out of context.
- Class position. Children must know their place and stay in the class where they belong. "The children are numbered so that if any get away they can be returned to the right class."
- Indifference. "Nothing important is ever finished in my class nor in any class I know of."
- Emotional dependency. Gatto says that he teaches children to surrender their will to the chain of command, using "stars and red checks, smiles and frowns, prizes, honors and disgraces."
- Intellectual dependency. The most important lesson. Children must wait for the expert authority to make all the important decisions, to tell them what to study. There is no place for curiosity, only conformity.
- Provisional self-esteem. Because it is so difficult to make self-confident spirits conform, children must be taught that their self-respect depends on expert opinion. They must be constantly tested, evaluated, judged, graded, and reported on by certified officials. Self-evaluation is irrelevant - "people must be told what they are worth."
- You can't hide. Children are always watched. No privacy. People can't be trusted.
According to Gatto, these are the consequences of the seven lessons:
- The private Self is almost non-existent; children develop a superficial personality borrowed from TV shows.
- Desperate dependence.
- Unease with intimacy or candor; dislike for parents; no real close friends; lust replaces love.
- Indifference to the adult world; very little curiosity about anything; boredom.
- A poor sense of the future; consciousness limited to the present.
- Cruelty to each other.
- Striking materialism.
- The expectation to fail; the idea that success has to be stolen.
Maybe one of the purposes of "compulsory education" is to reduce individuals' ability to motivate themselves and to prepare them to become "obedient workers" in factories and offices. When you work in a job, it may be in an environment where you just have to do what you're told to "succeed" (i.e., get paid at the end of the week or month, without getting fired). Your job may never involve any critical decisions on your part, and you may never experience the power of your positive decisions. You may operate in a structure or system where your decisions are largely irrelevant and unwanted.
The following is based on notes taken from some of Gatto's videos on how the minds of victims of "schooling" get damaged:
- Victims are drained away from their families and society, and confined for long hours in an artificial environment not conducive to learning. They become alienated from their families and from themselves.
- They are forced to conform so they will fit into civil society -- deviation is squashed out of them -- and they are forced to adopt attitudes and habits, very few will deviate from for the rest of their lives. They become predictable.
- They develop warped ways of seeing others and themselves.
- They are prevented from developing their innate genius and talents; they grow up to be incomplete humans; it's as if part of their brain has been removed. Typically, their spirits are broken. They become bored easily and don't reflect or contemplate.
- They are imbued with a negative attitude of low-level dissatisfaction so that nothing they buy will satisfy them for very long -- they become ideal customers for big business.
- Many of them acquire a parasitic nature -- they become consumers rather than producers.
- Their minds are colonized by "authorities that must be obeyed" and they become their own police. They lose the ability to balk authority. Fear is instilled into them with examples of people whose lives were destroyed becuase they didn't obey and conform. They are brainwashed into believing that the state and other authorities know better. Their personal knowledge is negated.
- Frequent tests are used to instill in them the habit of learning unrelated packets of information like a parrot and regurgitating them on demand. This makes reflection "unneccesary." The grading of tests is used for stratification -- locking them into "levels where they belong."
- They are presented with artificial problems not related to reality, causing a disconnect or alienation from reality. Their lives are stripped of significant experiences.
- They are conditioned to work for others, and to follow orders -- so they can become ideal factory workers.
- Their internal motivation is extinguished.
In trying to make money on the Internet, YOU'RE RESPONSIBLE! It's up to you to make decisions, take actions, and produce results. Although there may a kind of support system or structure, there's no boss standing over you to ensure that you do your work. It's an environment very different from a job. Working in a job can result in getting out of touch with your ability to motivate yourself.
What if outside their jobs, most people actually DECIDE TO FAIL. So, their personal finances and relationships tend to be a mess. Typically, they DON'T KNOW that they decide to fail. But the fact remains: THEY DECIDE TO FAIL. The percentage of people "trying" to make money on the Internet, who decide to fail, is very high -- almost certainly well above 90%!
If there is a way to recover from such "dumbing down," you may find it at Accelerate Your Learning!
Find Out Where You Are!
For an explanation of "Your Win-Lose Switch," see
"Personal Competence and Power Shift (PCAPS)."
If you're someone who has tried to make money online, and haven't succeeded so far, consider that you may have decided to fail... you decided to turn your "win-lose switch" to a low level... or even "zero!" This could be part of the "TRUTH" Kelly Reese writes about. It could have been an unconscious decision. The following email may represent such an instance:
"I joined a number of BigBooster programs some years ago and pursued them perhaps not as intelligently or diligently as I should have. Ended up losing my entire investment without making a dime. Discouraging.
I decided I lacked the necessary know-how, drive, persistence or something to make these sorts of programs work. I keep telling myself that I'm no salesman, but every time I "admit" that, it makes me cringe because I realize that I've sold THAT to myself, so I'm a pretty good salesman after all!
I'm a failure at this stuff. I invested and lost enough to sell myself well on my own failure. I suppose what I was looking for was wage slavery. I sold myself on the thought that this is what I needed, this is all I deserved, or this is all I was capable of achieving. It was a good sale. I bought it from somebody I can't really help but trust unconditionally, myself.
So, here I am standing at a diverging road. One path seems more secure, the other I've convinced myself I can't navigate. I think, in this regard, I have to trust you more than I trust myself because I believe I've sold myself on a lie."
Finding out where you are has to do with "getting real" --
see Discover & Confront Where You Are. Once you realistically know where you are, you can make a realistic plan on how to move forward. If your plan and expectations are realistic, you'll be more likely to keep yourself motivated to Persist with Realistic Actions that Have a Chance of Working!
If your assessment of where you are is unrealistic, your plan to move forward may also be unrealistic, making it difficult to keep yourself motivated.
Comprachicos of the Mind
Stewart Emery is author of the book Actualizations: You Don't Have to Rehearse to Be Yourself. He says [emphases added]:
"In our society, when we talk about raising children, we are really talking about driving them crazy. What education is about is conditioning people to be irresponsible and stupid. It teaches them to be skillful technologists and useless people... At the end of the "educational" process we have become technically semi-competent human machines, and as creative human beings we have turned into morons."
Ayn Rand was a novelist and philosopher, best known for her books, Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, The Virtue of Selfishness, and Capitlism: The Unknown Ideal. Among other books, she also wrote The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, with a chapter, "The Comprachicos."
Comprachico is a Spanish word meaning "child-buyer." The comprachicos were a nomadic association, notorious in the seventeenth century. They bought and sold children -- special children, children turned into deformed freaks, used in freak
shows to amuse the public. At an early age they placed a young child in a porcelain pot with a grotesque form. As the child's body grew, it had to assume the shape of the pot. The result was a conditioning people to be irresponsible and stupiddeformed freak for people to laugh at.
Rand uses the practice of the comprachicos as an analogy to describe American "education." She refers to our "educators" as "the comprachicos of the mind." Children's minds are forced to assume the shape of a grotesque "intellectual pot." Rand describes the
"The students' development is arrested, their minds are set to respond to slogans, as animals respond to to a trainer's whistle, their brains are embalmed in the syrup of altruism as an automatic substitute for self-esteem... They would obey anyone,
they need a master, they need to be told what to do. They are ready now to be used as cannon fodder -- to attack, to bomb, to burn, to murder, to fight in the streets and die in the gutters. They are a trained pack of miserably impotent freaks, ready to be unleashed against anyone."
Programmed for Mediocrity
"Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them." -- Joseph Heller
Many people use their own brains more to sabotage than to aid their success. Most of us emerged from school with minds PROGRAMMED FOR MEDIOCRITY! The same may apply to you. Just check out the book Simple Steps to Impossible Dreams: The Fifteen Power Secrets of the World's Most Successful People by Steven K. Scott. Here are some points from Scott's book:
- "...[A] good friend of mine participated in a study in which rats received electric shocks every time they tried to take food from a food tray... As time went on, the rats chose to starve to death rather than take the risk of approaching the tray and being shocked... Oh, the awesome power of negative programming!"
- "...[A]s sad as that story is, it can't begin to compare to the tragedy that has been inflicted upon the hundreds of millions of American school children who have passed through our educational system since the 1940s, including you and me. ...[W]e were programmed by our teachers, coaches, fellow students, and even our parents to believe that we were average or ordinary kids. And as average, ordinary kids, we began to believe we were only capable of accomplishing average, ordinary achievements. Now, even though our programming was totally unintentional on the part of those who programmed us, it was still devastatingly powerful."
- "By the time most of us graduated from high school, we had been fully programmed for mediocrity, and from that point on we had a nearly unalterable tendency to accept mediocrity as the best we can do in nearly every area of our lives."
- "More than half of the students that start college never graduate... because they've been programmed to believe they don't have what it takes to achieve their ultimate dream."
- "...85 percent of the workforce has a job or career that they wish they could change, but... they are locked into place by their past programming."
- "We place our destiny in the hands of others, whether it's our employer, our banker, or our mate."
- "You were designed and created to accomplish extraordinary things in every area of your life that's important to you."
- "You must begin to gain the attitude of one who has been given the greatest computer in the universe and committed to using it to achieve your dreams and to help others to achieve theirs."
The "greatest computer in the universe" is, of course, your brain -- or "necktop computer" as Dr. Hewitt-Gleeson calls it. Hopefully your brain hasn't been damaged beyond hope of recovery. The best way to find out is to do your best to upgrade it! A good place for many to start may be by applying the Why-Can-Do Booster.
See also DENIAL OF INCOMPETENCE (and/or STUPIDITY).
[FM Comment: In addition to the forces of "PULL" and "PUSH," OBSTACLES can be regarded as the third force: the PARALYZING FORCE. There could be obstacles in your life in the form of "Make-or-Break Issues (MBIs) you need to handle before anything else will work. PROCRASTINATION may be such a paralyzing force for many people.]
STEP 5: WRITE down realistic steps you (and spouse) will take to eliminate the obstacles. DATE it and BOTH SIGN IT. READ it at least once a week... every day is better.
We will limit TV to only certain programs, or we will not watch TV on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
STEP 6: Write down a couple of goals that are reachable within a month or so. Also, decide upon a reasonable reward for reaching those two goals.
EXAMPLES: If you own a business, then set a couple of reasonable, but challenging goals that you can achieve in 30 to 60 days; or... if you don't own a business but desire to take control of your personal finances, set your goals for that. REWARD: A steak dinner at your favorite restaurant. A weekend at a bed and breakfast at the beach or mountains.
If you jump out of a plane, you are going to fall because the laws of gravity are immutable. Unlike many scientific theories that are NOT fact, gravity is fact.
Well, the principles of reward or punishment, fear or fun and carrot or stick are equally proven. If you will do as I have instructed, then you will CHANGE, GROW & IMPROVE. It is pure science. It is a FACT.
[FM Comment: Negative obstacles can be regarded as the FORCE OF INERTIA -- inertia can paralyze you and prevent any "push" or "pull" from working.
It can also be worse: FORCES OF SELF-INTERFERENCE can push or pull you in negative, even self-destructive, directions -- see How to Overcome Self-Interference.]
However, we are not quite done. There is another critical step that remains to be covered. This step is called "creating BELIEF." You can create a beautiful picture in your mind of all the wonderful reasons to achieve a certain goal. And... you can create an equally clear picture of all the negative things associated with failing to achieve that goal; but if you aren't at least reasonably optimistic that you CAN achieve the goal, then you won't.
Why do you think weight loss programs on TV show you example after example of folks who were in worse shape than most of the TV viewers, but were able to lose more weight than you need to lose?
They know before you can be successful you must first believe it is possible for you. And, by the way, they also know that like many overweight people, the TV viewers have probably stopped thinking they can do it. So, they know if they are the ones to get us to believe we can lose weight, then we will probably buy their program.
You must do the same thing when it comes to achieving financial freedom. If you are convinced that it can't happen for you, then you will quit just as soon as you hit a temporary roadblock.
We want to teach you the critical principles that will turn on your BELIEF switch.
Consider why a refugee can come to America, or any other country, and, in spite of all his disadvantages, actually achieve financial independence within a short period of time. At the same time, many Americans who have lived in this land of opportunity all of their lives sit around as life rushes past them. How can that happen? The refugee believes in the American Dream... the dream of the entrepreneur, with all his being. He hasn't let our negative news and pessimistic culture take his eyes off his target.
I invite you to become just like the refugee. Control the things that influence your attitude. Shut out the negative people and their sad pessimistic outlook on life.
I promise... if you will faithfully practice the principles from this lesson, perhaps for the first time in your life you can really catch a glimpse of the American Dream in your own life... or whatever country you're from, the entrepreneur's dream, I also promise you will find it much easier to keep yourself motivated.
STEP 7: Really study this Course. It will not only teach you very important things to do, it will also give you the confidence to succeed. It is easy reading, and because many of the critical principles come from real life, I believe you will find it exciting and enjoyable.
Don't leave a single step out of the process I just went through with you, and don't overlook the details, such as WRITING down your goals. After you have completed the first Seven steps, then click on the box below and take your last step.
FINAL STEP: Complete YOUR "Abundant Living Dream Sheet." This is a fun and powerful step. If you are married, then develop this Action List together. Don't put anything on your list unless you are really excited about it.
This could be anything... from finishing that college degree you started -- to world travel. It could be moving to the mountains or to the seashore. It could be any number of things that are really special and exciting to you and your spouse. Have fun with this critical step and let your imagination run free. Keep this list where you both can look at it frequently. It will help you generate and sustain passion to do great things.
I wish you could know just how excited I am for you. My life has never been the same since I discovered how to "Motivate Myself." It was my FIRST step toward financial wellness and financial freedom, and it will really improve YOUR life, too.
Remember: "The things that come to a man who waits seldom turn out to be the things he's waiting for." TAKE ACTION NOW!
[FM Comment: I suspect that Kelly Reese's lesson in its original form worked for very few people, mainly because it failed to address "Make-or-Break Issues (MBIs) you need to handle before anything else will work.]
SELF-MOTIVATION (Part 1) by Thomas D. Yarnell, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist
Copyright 1999 Thomas D. Yarnell, Ph.D. All rights reserved
Successful performance at just about anything requires that you be able to keep yourself motivated. Discouragement and lack
of motivation hits everyone at some time or another. The more techniques we have to help us restart our engine or to keep it
going when things get tough or boring, the more successful we will be.
Technique To Build Self-Motivation: VISUAL GOALS
Everyone expects to get something for the time and effort they put in doing whatever job they do. Maybe your goal is a new
house, a car, a vacation or just a new piece of clothing. Whatever it is that you are working for, make it visual. Cut out
pictures that show your goal or that represent your goal in some way.
Tape these pictures to a sheet of poster board and hang it in your home or at work or anyplace you can so you will see it
often. Carry a picture with you so you can look at what you are working towards every time you become discouraged or feel like
This technique works well for goals that are things we want and also goals that represent physical changes such as losing
weight. You can post and carry pictures of the car you want or pictures of Hawaii to represent the vacation you want. You can
also post and carry pictures of you when you were slim or at least slimmer than you are. Some of my clients who don't remember
ever being slim found that they could cut out pictures from a magazine of someone else who was slim and then paste their face
over the face in the picture. After the initial laugh about how silly that looked, they became used to it and found that it
worked just as well as the others who had slim pictures of themself.
The more visual and more real you can make the goal, the better it will work at keeping you motivated. One person I know was
saving money for a very specific and expensive sports car. He knew it would take awhile before he had the money and he became
discouraged often even though he had pictures of the car scattered all over his house and in the car he drove then. To make it
more real to him, he and his wife went to the car dealer and took his picture sitting behind the wheel, looking in the trunk
and standing next to the car. After posting these pictures, he related that it made it so much more real and much easier to
stay on task when he became discouraged.
Technique To Build Self-Motivation: WRITTEN CONTRACTS
Motivational research shows that people who write out what they are going to do are far more successful than people who only
tell themselves they will do something. Putting something in writing makes it psychologically more powerful. This is one reason
why making written lists helps us stay more organized than just having a mental list. Our society favors written contracts and
most of us have grown up knowing that you are supposed to honor written contracts. We can take advantage of this psychological
conditioning to help us stay motivated. We can make a contract with ourself.
In the contract, state what you will do, when you will complete the task and what your reward will be once the contract is
fulfilled. Read your contract over every morning and every evening before going to bed. If your goals are too small or too
large, revise them. You can rewrite your contract as needed but don't make it so easy that it becomes useless as a motivator.
SELF-MOTIVATION (Part 2)
In SELF-MOTIVATION (Part 1) I talked about using "Visual Goals" and "Written Contracts" to help you keep yourself motivated.
I know, life should be fun so you wouldn't have to play mind games with yourself to keep yourself motivated. Unfortunately, it
just isn't that way much or even most of the time. Here are two more techniques you can use to help keep your battery charged.
Technique To Build Self-Motivation: REWARDS
Everyone likes to be rewarded for doing a good job. We also like being rewarded for just completing something we needed or
wanted to do. Unfortunately, there are many times when there is no one else around to pat us on the back for the job we completed.
Pats on the back, "good job," "nice work," "thank you" are all essential to being a motivated, productive person. There are many
people in positions of authority who do not realize this or who don't care. If this is what's happening to you, you probably
already feel discouraged. While rewarding yourself is not as potent as having the reward come from someone else, it can still
help you stay motivated, productive and happier than if you received no reinforcement at all.
To make the reward system really work, you must pick rewards that you really want. Large or small, expensive or cheap, if it
isn't something you want, it isn't a reward. The size of the reward should also fit the size of the project. Buying a new car
because you cleaned the garage is out of the question -- if you know what I mean. Taking an hour to sit and read your favorite
mystery novel after completing the task seems more in line.
Technique To Build Self-Motivation: PUT IT IN WRITING
Review the section on written contracts in Part 1. Make a contract with yourself to reward yourself with "X" when you
complete whatever project you are working on. How often you reward yourself will depend on how unmotivated you are. If you are
feeling unmotivated to do a project, you may contract with yourself to give yourself a reward after each step of the project or
after every hour you've worked. If you are motivated to do something, you may wait until it's totally completed before rewarding
Finally, if you promise yourself a reward, you must give it to yourself and you must take it. Our mind is a fascinating
device and it has a huge memory. Make a contract with yourself for a special reward, complete the task but then, don't take
the reward. The next time, your mind will recall the broken promise and the contract for a reward will not have the same
motivating results as if you had taken and received the reward the last time.
This technique also holds true when you are trying to motivate someone else (spouse, child, friend, employee). Use all the
same procedures and you will be able to produce some motivation for the other person. Just make sure the reward is something
they want and not something you want.
Technique To Build Self-Motivation: ACT "AS IF"
Many of us have heard the phrase "Smile and things will get better." The psychological truth is that this is true. If you
wake up feeling rotten, hating the world, put a smile on your face and some bounce in your step and pretty soon, you will start
feeling better. Most people know that our body language tells a lot about our mood. What most people don't know is that, because
of this relationship, you can use your body language to change your mood and how you feel about yourself. If you start acting
confident (stand straight, head high, shoulders back, a smile on your face and walk crisply) even though you feel discouraged,
your discouragement will begin to disolve. You will begin to feel more confident and sure of yourself. As this begins to happen,
you will become more energized and motivated which, in turn, will make you feel even better about yourself.
In the beginning, you will be aware that you are just "faking it." With practice, it will become more natural and will become
a genuine part of your personality. You can now start to transform your personality so you will be the type of person you want
to be. It will take time and persistence but it does work.
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