Why do I need motivation?

Anything that you want to achieve in life comes from your strengths, in spite of your weaknesses.

Negativity has two different effects. One, it takes the wind out of your sails and makes you depressed, lazy, non-communicative, anxious worried and deflates your motivation. Second, it makes you hyperactive, reactive, irritable, angry, impatient, restless and careless. Both the above reactions are counter-productive; they stop your growth, spoil relationships, reduce trust and show you in poor light. They make you feel sorry for yourself, you feel like a victim, go into a ‘poor me’ zone. You feel unloved and unwanted and insecure. You feel the world is unfair to you and that you cannot trust anyone. So there is enough reason to deal with negative emotions. The strategies given above will surely help you deal with them.

We have dealt with weaknesses and negative emotions. Now we need to replace them with positive emotions. The strategy to be used

  • Just reducing the intensity, duration and frequency of negative emotions and makes space for positive emotions. Our heart has limited space. If that space is occupied by people whom we hate there is no space left for people whom we love. Make space for those you love and the love will start flowing
  • Nurturing the good emotions, spending more time with them, paying attention to them will give them the power to direct your thoughts, decisions, actions and speech
  • Allowing the positive emotions to direct your thoughts, decisions, actions and speech will change your body language and eventually your character
  • Inter-personal relationships will improve at home and at work
  • People in particular and the world in general will seem a better place to live in

Of course who doesn’t know this? Everyone knows it and yet we insist on continuing with our negativity. In order to empower ourselves to deal with this we need to do one more exercise (but please get a paper and pencil or open a new file and actually do it. Otherwise it does not work).

Action 

1. Write your own epitaph/obituary. This is a rather harsh exercise but definitely worth doing.

Suppose you were to suddenly die. Write down what you would like people to write about you in your obituary.

You will write this document in two parts

  1. What would you like to be remembered FOR? This includes your achievements, good deeds, love, warmth, caring, counseling, consoling, helping ……
  2. What would you like to be remembered AS? This will include your trustworthiness, compassion, commitment, reliability, integrity, values, principles and character …..

This exercise compels you to take a closer look at yourself.

  • You will notice a big gap between what you would like people to say about you and what they will say about you today.
  • The best part is that there is enough time for you to make the necessary changes.
  • Gives you a chance to see the bigger picture and your place in it; petty gains, comparisons and competition do not seem to be so important. Petty emotions lose their power over you
  • Makes you visualize a goal in life that is bigger than yourself, something that will be beneficial to others

Helps you to rearrange your priorities 

  • You can write your life mission and vision statements
  • Makes you a more purposeful and likable person
  • Goal setting for 5 -10- 15 and 20 years is possible
  • You have a chance to make subtle changes as you progress and evolve
  • Break down your goals to years, months and days
  • Start working towards making your epitaph come true
  • The only time to start is NOW
  • Every time you are in a dilemma while taking any decision or action your favorite question mark will remind you of your epitaph
  • The epitaph acts as the pole star and helps you make periodic course corrections

Next exercise

Who will cry when I die?

  • Make a list of people who will feel really bad if you die
  • Make a second list of people you are not sure about. These are the people you need to work for
  • How many people consider you as an example to be emulated
  • How many people you have taught by example
  • How many lives have you touched and made a difference to
  • Start thinking for people instead of thinking about them. Thinking about generally involves thinking about what they must be thinking about you or what you can get from them. Thinking for involves what they might be needing, feeling or going through. 
  • This will tell you what you can do for them.
  •  The biggest advantage is that you will see that ‘duniya mein bade gam hai, par mere gam kam hai’. You will notice that life has been far more difficult for others
  • It will leave you with a sense of gratitude

Next exercise

Just look around you and imagine if all the money, education, love, diseases and all the good and bad things in life were equally distributed. What would be your share? This is a good way to realize that we belong to the top 0.01 percent of the lucky people.

Main thing one realizes is that ‘life is unfair …..to others’. It helps you to get out of the clutches of ‘I, me and mine’ thinking pattern. It helps you to have a large enough heart to put others before me. This is the first step to developing empathy.

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