How to Stay Motivated, by Denis Waitley


Be willing to say to yourself, “I’m on the right road. I’m doing OK. I’m succeeding.” We too frequently become adept at pointing out our flaws and identifying failures. Become equally adept at citing your achievements. Identify things you are doing now that you weren’t doing one month ago… six months ago… a year ago. What habits have changed? Chart your progress.

Doing well once or twice is relatively easy. Continuously moving ahead is tough, in part, because we so easily revert to old habits and former lifestyles. Over the long run, you need to give yourself regular feedback to monitor your performance and reinforce yourself positively. Don’t wait for an award ceremony, promotion, friend or mentor to show appreciation for your work. Take pride in your own efforts on a daily basis.

Keep the end result in sight. Always see the big picture of the ultimate goal you’re working for and the benefits that come with it. During World War II, parachutes were constructed by the thousands. From the workers’ point of view, the job was tedious and repetitive. It involved crouching over a sewing machine eight to ten hours a day, stitching endless lengths of colorless fabric. The result was a seamless heap of cloth. But every morning the workers were reminded that each stitch was part of a life-saving operation. As they sewed, they were asked to think that this might be the parachute used by their husband, brother or son. Although the work was hard and the hours long, the women and men on the assembly line understood their contribution to the larger picture. The same should be true with your work. Each thing you do benefits the health and well-being of adults and children throughout the world, not just generally, but specifically. These are the visions that drive us through the tedious details to reach the top.

Set up a dynamic daily routine. Getting into a positive routine or groove, instead of a negative rut, will help you become more effective. Why is the subway the most energy-efficient means of transportation? Because it runs on a track.

Think of the order in your day, instead of the routine. Order is not sameness, neatness or everything exactly in its place. Order is not taking on more than you can manage, without still being able to do what you really choose. Order is the opposite of complication; it’s simplification. Order is not wasting a lot of time trying to find things. Order is avoiding a lot of recriminations because you didn’t do something you promised. Order is setting an effective agenda with others, so neither of you is disappointed. Order is doing in a day what you set out to do.

Order frees you up. Get into the swing of a healthy, daily routine and discover how much more control you’ll gain in your life.

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