Wednesday, March 18, 2009

You don't need willpower, you need results!

I have been told over the years that I have enviable willpower. I disagree. Willpower is when you WILL yourself (force yourself) to do something you do NOT feel like doing. What I've done over the years is become the type of person who NEEDS to do certain things, and therefore I get results which other people assume are the product of willpower, when they are simply a by-product of who I am.

A few examples:

- I have written and published 15 books (not self-published). Not because I have forced myself to do it, but because I am happier writing and publishing than not. It is a way of life for me. There is not much willpower involved in doing what you enjoy. I admit there are times when I have writer's block, other things to do and maybe other desires. But consistency over time is key.

- I am in rather good shape, especially for my age. Again, not because I drag myself to the gym, but because my body begs me to exercise regularly. Well, my body, mind and spirit do. I started exercising at 12 years old, and I have practised some form of exercise on a weekly basis ever since. I am not an exercise freak ... I listen to my body and act accordingly. It´s who I am. No willpower required there either.

- I never miss a deadline. Translating, writing, interpreting or giving excellent customer service in my jewelry biz. That´s also why I´ve always been a successful free-lancer. I´m self-motivated by nature. I can´t stand having someone tell me what I´ve got to do, but I am very ok with committing to something and delivering accordingy. I don´t let myself down.

- I am committed. If I want something bad enough, I am willing to go the extra mile to get it. Some people are surprised when I tell them I drive 40 miles each way for a dance class, or that I am willing to do a 4 hour drive to attend a seminar and drive back the same day. I don´t think about it, I just do it. What most people do is let themselves have a back and forth mental conversation about doing something or not, and often end up NOT doing it. Don´t argue with yourself!

I´m not trying to be smug about this ... A friend told me recently that most people are not wired the way I am ... I say, we can ALL rewire ourselves. I suppose there was a time in my life when I learned self-control and discipline. It was a question of survival. Survive, I did, and rather well

You CAN rewire yourself.
How do I know this? Because I have also taken on ventures that I never thought I would be cut out to do. When I started out selling jewelry, I thought I could not pull it off. After all, I had worked as an accounts exec. for an advertising firm at twentysomething and CRIED before every cold call or visit. However, in my forties, because of a family financial crisis, I looked into direct sales and even though I was scared, I took it on. I have had to use willpower to call potential customers, to go out and network, to accept "no" for an answer, handle cancellations for jewelry shows, and the list goes on. But my WHY is big enough to face my fears and yes, I use willpower to keep on going in this arena.

Become the person with the qualities you want to acquire, and not only will you thrive but it will become effortless. I promise!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Steps to improve your mood in difficult times.

Ok, so I've let myself fall apart at the seams as I explained in the previous entry, where I stated that I thought it´s ok to be sad, mad and bad from time to time. BUT it can´t go on for too long, lest it become a (terribly BAD) habit ...
Now, let´s dust ourselves off, stand up tall and keep on going. Life really is too short to be thinking of how nice it would be NOT to be living it sometimes. Scary thoughts maybe, but they haunt most people at some point in their life. After acknowledging that, which is rather healthy, instead of letting it all bottle up, we must move on.
Some simple things that help me shake off the blues brought on by apparently bigger-than-life issues are:

- Going for a run. This may not work for everyone, but find what makes you click and do it. Walking, going to the gym, dancing, gardening ...
- Listening to motivational audio-books. I use them when driving and I fall asleep to them when my thoughts won´t let me be at night.
- Making someone else happy by giving a compliment, sending a heartfelt e mail or smiling at them.
- Watching my kids play, and especially playing WITH them.
- Taking a shower or a bath. Sounds simple, and maybe you´ve already taken one today. But water cleanses more than the body. It also cleanses the soul.
- Mindlessly browsing through a magazine.
- Staying away, FAR away, from energy-sucking and negative people. The more evolved you become, the easier it is to detect who those people are. Also be aware that one can also have energy-sucking properties at times. But that is also easier and easier to acknowledge and steps can be taken to counteract this.
- Connecting with people who help me feel uplifted and whom I know I inspire. Inspiring another is a source of inspiration in itself!
- Doing something that scares me ... After doing it, I feel I can accomplish anything, and so empowered ...

What do you do to refuel?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Even Wonder Woman's cape snags at times ...

When I interact with the world, people see (and I know this because I get told rather frequently ... THANK YOU all!) a vibrant, smiling, positive, go-getting person. Well, most people do, anyhow.
When I come home, or interact with those who know me better, they also see someone who gets upset, frustrated and cries when she feels overwhelmed by financial pressures, wrongdoings and stressful situations. I was reading SUCCESS magazine last night, after my uplifting dance class and before falling asleep while trying to avoid thinking about all the pressing issues I’m dealing with lately. On the one hand, some of the authors writing about positivism and getting ahead in tough times sound really commonsensical. On the other hand, I feel they convey (and I've been wondering if I do too sometimes) that it is something to be ashamed of to have moments of self-doubt, of desperation and of wanting to hang out in your PJs all day and let the world do its own thing while you feel sorry for yourself.
I am the author of quite a few self-help books, and it feels ironic that I need help myself at times. But, I do go and find it, mind you! Every single day: in books, motivational CDs, pursuing my passions, listening to my children and even searching within my soul.
I am human, and my own Wonder Woman cape snags at times. I also feel hurt, alone, scared, sad and hopeless on occasion (or more than on occasion). And I’ve realized it’s ok! If I did not experience those quiet moments of desperation, I would not enjoy the fun times, the high times, and the thrill of bouncing back, dusting myself off and getting back to the task of motivating myself and others by example.
Sometimes my body and soul need to retire in solitude and feel the pain until it hurts so much that it becomes unbearable unless I do something about it. It feels like using a bow and arrow ... In order to propel the arrow forward, you have to pull it back. If you want to skate uphill, you must first skate downhill really fast, to gain momentum, and then you can take on that next slope. Hey, I’ve broken my tailbone a couple times skating, and I have strapped those rollerblades on again …
If you are feeling down and desperate, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just learn from it, know others out there, to include myself, are putting on their game face on a daily basis and that’s fine. The good thing is ... when you do it often enough, smiling and a positive attitude do become a lifestyle, and you will find ways to get back on your feet faster and faster after every fall!
Come on, we can do this!