Lately I’ve heard from folks who say that this motivation stuff is all bunk! Yep…that’s right…they think that folks who espouse motivational techniques, etc…are all full of it. Well everyone has a right to their opinion so I take no offense whatsoever to those who hate the kinds of things I talk about here or in my shows.
This got me thinking though…WHY do people dislike someone that talks about positive things? WHY would they dislike something or be suspect of someone because they are trying to be happy or help others to be happy?
I think it comes from the fact that some people have preconceived notions about anything with the term “motivation” in it. What I mean by this is that there are some misconceptions of what it means to be motivated or what it means to help motivate. These misconceptions exist and keep people from listening to, heeding, or even getting near anything that is “motivational.” Additionally, these misconceptions may actually hinder someone who seeks out motivational information and inspiration because they may hold themselves to a “motivational standard” that no one can possibly achieve. Either way, these misconceptions keep folks from truly realizing the power of their motivational mojo!
After thinking about this, I thought of a couple of misconceptions that exist out there. I’ve listed a couple of them here.
“To be truly motivated one must always be happy, perky, cheery, positive, etc…”
This is simply not true. We are human beings who are equipped with a wonderful emotional capacity. Our emotions are not always happy, perky, cheery, etc… We as humans are not wired that way. We are wired to have the whole range of emotions be them good, bad, or ugly. Like it or not, even the most motivated person on earth gets sad, mad, depressed, etc… If we tell ourselves that we aren’t motivated because we get depressed once in a while or we lose our temper or what have you, then we will never feel completely fulfilled and I would contend that we’ll never feel completely motivated!
“To motivate others you must be all touchy feely and group huggy.”
This is definitely not true. Being motivated and motivating others doesn’t mean that you have to have one big group hug or that you have to be open to doing anything. We all have preferences in life and everyone has their own style. Remember when I talked about we all have things that make us tick? The same goes here. There is a huge misconception that in order to motivate people that you must have some sort of “hook” or a big-fancy-jumping-around activity. Many motivational people do this. That’s great. No harm in that. I’ve done it. We all have done it or sat through that kind of thing. By the same token, however, many motivational people don’t do a darn thing but impart their thoughts and feelings and wisdom. These people are just as motivational as the ones who get up and jump up and down.
Why? Because everyone is motivated in different ways. Motivation, like much of life, is subjective. Motivation is in the eyes or ears of the beholder! One person may need jumping up and down and group hugs to feel motivated at the physical level. Another person may simply internalize the words of wisdom spoken by someone as their motivation. It’s all good!
“There is one best way to motivate people and (whomever is doing it) knows it.”
Wow. What can I say to this misconception. It is simply not true. My great-granny as well as many others always said, “Honey, there is more than one way to skin a mule!” With motivation, Granny was right on! The previous paragraph relates so much to this misconception as well.
Well…those are some of the misconceptions that exist out there that keep people from seeking, or getting the full effects from their motivational mojos. Check out episode 17 of the Motivational Mojo Show for more on this topic!
I was out of town this weekend and happened to spend some time at the local mall. It was decorated with giant holiday bulbs hanging from the 3-story atrium, garland everywhere, and humongous boxes of presents wrapped all pretty. There were candy canes the size of trees, nut-cracker statues standing guard at every entrance, and the sounds of the holidays were playing on the PA system.
I walked into this winter wonderland and immediately felt happy and jolly! Within about 3 minutes, that feeling changed! I was headed for the food court which was at the other end of the mall. I was going with traffic and walking in pace with the flow of the crowd. I quickly noticed a group of kids fighting and yelling at each other. A small crowd had gathered around them and was cheering on the fight. A few more paces and I was bumped by a woman running out of a store at 90 Mph. I don’t know if she had just stolen something or if she had been called to an emergency or what but she darted from the storefront as if she were Flo Jo. After almost being knocked over, I continued on my way. I got to the elevator and stood well clear of the door. When it opened, a woman backed out of it pulling a stroller and continued backing and plowed down my 10 year-old daughter. After my daughter had picked herself up and I had said “excuse me ma’am someone’s behind you” the woman glared at me and my little girl and said something to the effect of “!@#$% you – get out of my !@#@#%! way.” Again, my girl and I were standing about 30 feet from the elevator at the time. I’m not sure why the woman backed all the way across the hall without looking.
Ok…so now I’m on the elevator a bit miffed. The holiday glow and the jolliness that I got when I entered the place was slowly disappearing. I go to the food court and stood in line at the counter. There was one person in line who was talking on her cell and kept asking the cashier to wait to take her order. After about 10 minutes of her breaking up with her boyfriend on the phone, the woman finally placed order and I was able to order. “I’ll have the 6.99 Chinese Special with a water” I said. “That will be 12.99” the cashier said. “I’m sorry, I only ordered 1 special” I politely said. I asked the cashier how this mathematical miracle could have happened and after about 5 minutes of her just saying “12.99” and smiling, I gave up and gave her the money and took my golden meal.
Ok…I could go on… but my experience this past weekend illustrates how easy it is to have a happy mood ruined. How easy it is to fall into the bah humbug mode around the holidays. Everyone is hurried and harried this time of year and all you have to do is step outside your door and it seems that there are reasons to hate the season. My advice however is what you’d expect – DON’T!
Don’t hate the season and don’t let the hustle of it get you down. Don’t swear off the holidays because of the commercialization or the fact that 95% of the people you encounter this time of year SEEM to have forgotten about the real reason for the holidays and instead only think of their lists, their rushing, and their lack of time. Don’t become a scrooge! Don’t let it happen. Remember, YOU control how you feel. Your feelings are YOUR OWN and you are in charge. If you want to get mad at others for plowing down your daughter, fighting, charging you a 2nd mortgage for lunch then it is YOU and YOU alone who have made yourself mad. I could have been upset the rest of the evening and let myself stew over the blatant absurdity of the mall scene but I didn’t.
Although I got upset at the moment, I quickly realized that I wanted to have fun the rest of the day so let it slide off my back and focused on other things – namely spending time with my children. That was what made me happy. That was what defined my day. Not the dumb things that happened during our lunch at the mall.
It’s sometimes difficult to take charge of your feelings when lots of bad things are happening but you can do it. You CAN do it! Focus on those things that will get you through the bad times or the unpleasant experiences. Focus on those things that you can look forward to. Refocus on those things that are positive in a situation. By continually focusing on the negative and on those things that cause you angst, you are building on a foundation of negativity and that negative foundation will surely lead to destruction and unhappiness if left unchecked.
Remember P.A.C.E. – A positive attitude cures everything. During this time of year, remember P.A.C.E. Remember what makes you happy. Think of those things that cause you great joy. If we can do these simple things, then we are well on our way to a no-bah-humbug holiday!
Just a quick note to anyone reading this blog. If you are an illustrator, know an illustrator, or if you think you can draw well, please contact me! I’m preparing to write a book based on the motivational mojo philosophies and need someone to illustrate it for me. They would be simple drawings but since I can’t draw worth a lick…I’m willing to think out of the box in terms of creative ways to compensate someone for their help. Email me: drmike AT mikeposey DOT com.