MAWMonday Motivators 06/19/2016

railroad-buildI looked out the window while driving through New Mexico and Arizona. I was engrossed with the view of rock formations and a freight train rolling by. I thought of the water that patiently built and the dynamite that quickly cleared those rocks. I thought of the railroad built to move goods to and from without incident. Then, I thought of my journey.

This week, I am motivated to create, love, power, joy, and wisdom. Twitter is on the same track. What track will you be on?

1. Creating is Purpose
What, who, and how do you want to be? It’s a question that many of us answer with an occupation or a relationship. But, occupations and relationships are meant to change and develop. Definitions based on them will shift as they should, but they also depend something outside of you. Being is a question of what is inside you. That’s why it’s not about finding. More precisely, it is about identifying. Even more intimately, it is about constructing the expression that communicates you to others. That act is explicitly creative–taking the vision of your mind and translating it.

2. Love You is First Priority
“Place the mask over your mouth and nose before assisting others.” It’s common flight instruction. It’s also wisdom about life. It covers “sweep around your own front door before you try to sweep around mine.” It also covers, “take care of yourself that you will have the ability to truly care for others.” It also covers, “you can’t show love for others if you do not know how to love yourself.” I have called it sustainable selfishness in the past. But, it is more than just putting yourself first. It is understanding your needs, and accepting the fact that they are reasonable. You are unique and strange and weird and beautiful. You deserve the best, and your best is different from theirs. “Love yourself first” is a self-awareness and self-efficacy in addition to self-esteem. It is believing that you can do something AND having the character AND developing the knowledge to do something.

3. The Beginning is in Your Thoughts
I struggle with my mind daily. It is the greatest struggle you will face. Questions about how you will spend your time. Decisions concerning your habits and seeds of habits. Daydreams about what will happen, and Reflections on choices past. The challenge is to keep all these moving in the direction of productivity and purpose. Even still, that direction must be at once gratifying AND noble AND self-perpetuating. It’s a tall order. It is a struggle.

Let’s use the analogy of a train to help you make sense of the struggle. Build a powerful locomotive. Clear the obstacles and barriers. Lay the track. Include detours, sidetracks, and refueling stations. Create appropriate signage. You are the locomotive fueled by passion and reason. Clear space by letting go of worry, draining relationships, and the unnecessary. Track is routing, habits, and rituals that work for you. Detours, sidetracks, and refueling stations are your anticipation of new opportunities and your flexibility. Signage includes affirmations, research, and consultations you receive heed from those who know.

4. Prioritize Enjoyment
You may be one of those who have trouble with this statement. You grew up with the belief that you must suffer in order to get what you want. It took the form of phrases like “work for what you get,” or “no pain, no gain.” But, these are not philosophies of life. They are motivations and encouragement when you are in the midst of struggle or when you face an obstacle. When no obstacle is immediate, and when you are structuring a life philosophy, prioritize enjoyment. It’s a phrase more akin to “eat dessert first,” or “do what you love.” You are going to eat your vegetables. You are going to do somethings that are not your favorite. But today, and every day, make sure to enjoy the enjoyable. Focus on the joy, and the other will be an also-ran.

5. Wisdom is Avoiding the Fight
I get it. We all do. You are strong, and you can handle anything. You have been through so much. AND, you have overcome. I see too many, though, bracing for the fight even before they know what the interaction is going to be. You know them all too well. This is the service industry professional at the counter that gives you a dirty look even before you arrive to state your issue. It’s the server that rolls their eyes when you pass entering the restaurant only to realize that they will be your server for the meal. Don’t be this person.

Much of your life is pleasant, supportive interaction. You can increase that percentage through your approach and demeanor. Moreover, you don’t always have to put up with environments where you have to fight…to be heard, to be respected, to be loved, to be valued, to be yourself. You have the option to change your environment. You do! Research what it will take, and get to it. The time will pass anyway. You might as well develop a way out of the fight.