What do you do when it’s all gone? What do you do when one day you wake up and you realize that many of the things that you considered to be part of your life and your identity are gone. What you have built is gone or in a much smaller form than it once was. These things have perhaps, through self-fault and/or the fault of others, been wiped away only to now be a recent memory. The things that you felt comfortable with…your comfort zone…no longer exist. What you built is not there. What you had is gone. Life is very very different. OMG! As Karl Malden used to ask on those old American Express commercials… “What WILL you do?”
In the course of our lives we have one or several of these pivotal moments where we find ourselves at a major-life-changing crossroad. This crossroad can happen all of a sudden or it may take time to come into focus. Either way the cross road in which we all find ourselves from time to time is always startling and it is never easy. When this happens, you constantly ask yourself …
How will I survive?
Who am I?
How could I have changed it?
At this point you have a flood of emotions that are difficult to telegraph and control. You don’t see them coming but a picture, a thought, a smell, situation, whatever…bring back the memories of what once was. Then the sadness, the anger, the despair, the hurt, the confusion…etc…it all comes flooding …without warning and seemingly without provocation. Again…I ask…What WILL you do?
Lately we’ve all seen things that have just “poofed” before our eyes. The world-wide financial crisis has seen markets and capital simply disappear overnight. What once were bastions of fortune and captains of industries are now simply the rabble of a system that collapsed under its own weight. The safe and secure feeling we once knew from our childhood has now been replaced by the the terms “terrorism and swine flu.” Where once we were comforted by coming home at night from our jobs to our lovely house and sitting on the back deck with those we loved has been replaced by searching for a job, alone and in a tiny, cold rented apartment.
“Wow” you say. “What a downer man.”
I paint this picture to ask you what you would do when this happens to you? It may never happen in the form that I mention, but something similar will happen. We all have cross roads that we encounter and we all have crosses to bear. that’s life. Nothing stays the same. Things change. I’ve talked about change on here many times and I’ve talked about how to deal with change on a professional level. What to do when change happens and how to maximize yourself during change. It’s nothing new. You hear this from everyone…not just me. I will not repeat all of those tips and tricks to riding out the rough waters of change, but instead I will harken back to what I learned as a boy.
The reality of today’s situation goes back to what my great-grandma always said. “When the Lord throws you lemons…make lemonade.” Obviously, Granny wasn’t the first one to say this but, as a young mom during the depression, she lived by it. She had to make due. She had to, in today’s vernacular, – suck it up – she had to adapt and she had to change. She had no choice. This isn’t to say that Granny didn’t get sad or angry or a whole host of other things; rather though she simply made the best of the situation. She played the cards she was dealt. During Granny’s time, most lost their homes…their jobs…their ways of life. I’ve heard the stories of family and friends during the depression back in the hills of West Virginia where my people lived. They weren’t pretty stories but they were stories that, even as a little boy, I cherished. Back then, those folks hurt…it sucked…they hurt bad and lost much. Not only possessions like their big houses on the hill or their huge farms, but lost things like their identity, their pride, and pieces of them that, for some, were never to return in the same form. Many back in the day as they do now, turned to other things to ease the pain and forget about the hurt. Habits were born back then that were to haunt some of them for the rest of their lives. One thing though…a lot of these people, like my Granny had an undying and unwavering spirit. They had a sense about them that life was to be lived and whatever came one’s way was just the way it was. “Accept it and move on and live life damnit” is what they would say. Might as well enjoy it because the alternative is gloom and who wants that. I was amazed how Granny and others would talk of the hard, almost impossible life that they had to bear but that they always managed to find the nuggets in the moment however small. A laugh here…a smile there…a hug over there…another laugh over here. They found these nuggets and they used them to get through. To survive…to live. A baby’s smile. The fresh smell of a spring iris growing in the flower garden. The sounds of the guys playing the banjo on the porch on a steamy summer evening. THAT is what mattered. THAT is what made them happy.
“But Granny…you lived in a shack up on cinder blocks with dirt for carpet?” I used to think to myself. But as I grew older and experienced life…I realized that the shack wasn’t what was important to Granny. It was so much more than that…so much more. Granny was no saint mind you…and she was as stern as the hickory switch that she used to whip your butt if you misbehaved, but she was still soft. She still appreciated the small things in life. She still had heart. She still loved. Sadly, Granny passed in 1979 but I will always be thankful to her and others with whom I spent many evenings sitting on the porch listening to them pick music and pontificate about life. It was there I learned to appreciate what I have instead of yearning for what I had.
So what’s a person to do now…we are faced with many of the same problems – in different form and on a different scale – but the same concepts of loss of pride, dignity, safety, etc…are the same. Banks foreclose, companies go out of business, people lose their job and everything they have worked for, people who once loved get divorced, and our standard of living goes down. What’s a person to do? What’s a society to do? Will we fold under the pressure or will we marshal all that is within us to live and think like my Granny and so many others did so many years ago and to appreciate what we have instead of what we had?
I wonder…what will we do…
The past 200 years in this country have been filled with a deep, rich history. January 20th, 2009 will go down in the history books as one of those defining moments in time. One of those defining moments in humanity. I ask you for a moment to suspend your political views and instead think as a human being. Think for a moment as being one of a HUMAN party and not a political party.
President Obama… what is the meaning…why are people acting this way? As I watched the events unfold on Jan 20th, I was struck by the awesome humanity of the whole event. The awesome scope of what this man’s election means to humanity. I know the news media had for months leading up to this day been sappy and plum crazy over Obama…that was obvious…I know that a large portion of U.S. citizens (by some counts almost 80%) were wishing him well and had hope that he would be good for our nation. I know that a large portion of the world were hoping that he would help America to be more compassionate and not be such a bully. All of these things were obvious as you watched the reporters and read the news.
I am sure I am not alone in all of this when I kept asking myself “why?” Why is everyone reacting to Obama this way? He’s one man. He’s one human being. Like my grandma used to say “He puts his pants on like anyone else” or her more flowery way of speaking… “He takes a $#!% like everyone else don’t he?” Sans his power and status and all that stuff… he’s no more a man or a human than anyone else. So why is half the world it seems so wild and crazy over this man?
Think about it. DOH! It’s simple. While President Obama is, by my estimation a very kind, thoughtful man with a loving family who has worked his butt off to get where he is…who has stories just like every one of us…he is a symbol. He represents. I’m obviously not the only person to think this as the media is saturated with articles talking about the symbolism of this Presidency but I thought I’d just “brain dump” on what I think that symbol is and how it relates to keeping one’s mojo motivated and happy.
President Obama represents the hope that humanity needs to survive. Not that he himself is “the hope.” I think he’d be the first to admit that he is but one man…but the fact that a people…a group of humanity has come together to rally behind a man who by traditional standards, should not have been elected, represents the goodness of humans. It represents the one thing that is inherent in all of humanity…the ability to hope, to dream, and to change one’s mind. Much has been written about the fact that a nation started in slavery has elected an African-American president. I won’t belabor that point, but what I will ask of you…regardless of your views…is this question:
Doesn’t the election make you realize that ANYthing is possible in this world? Regardless of your views you have to…I would think, if you are truly human and truly are honest in your heart, realize that this one event is an example that you (or in this case the collective “we”) can change and do anything?
So why do I write this on a motivational blog? Well it’s simple. In order to keep your mojo happy and healthy, you need to have hope. You need to have – somewhere deep down inside you – the hope that things will change. That things will get better (if they are bad) or that things will get even better (if they are good). This hope is inherent in all of us…it’s just that we have to bring it out and to muster it in times of sadness and depression. The adage that my mama always told me and that I live by to this very day is that “it’s never THAT bad. Things will always get better.” It’s true…even in the depths of despair, we know that humanity can change…we’ve seen it throughout history and we just witnessed it on Jan 20th too! Seriously…if humanity can change in big ways like that…don’t you think that you can change on a much smaller scale? In much smaller ways? Sure you can. Take stock of those things you want to change…have a “sit down” with yourself and find those things about you that you don’t like or that you think need changing and then plan your life and actions accordingly. Go for it and change those things that you can…that you want…and those things that can’t immediately change…accept them as they are in the moment and move toward changing them in due time.
The key is HOPE. Hope is what gives all of humanity its ability to change. Hope is that thing, inherent in all humans that has progressed us beyond the unimaginable to the unbeliveable! Keep hope within you…keep hope within others…embrace hope…use hope…and make hope work for you. You will be happier with hope…your actions will be more pronounced with hope…and your relationships will be stronger with hope.
Once again the season is upon us. It’s the season of joy, happiness, and giving. It’s a season of wonder and hope for the new year. It’s a season to show others that you love and care for them. Take time this holiday season to relfect on who you are, what you have been, where you are going, and what you want to truly be. Be true to yourself and you will naturally be true to others. Have faith in yourself and your abilities and you will naturally have faith in others. Enjoy the moment for what it is to you and not for what others try to make it be.
Happy Holidays to You and Your Loved Ones!
“Never let life interfere with living!” – Michael W. Posey, 2008
This quote is vital for keeping your motivational mojo up. The old adage – “Life happens” is one that is so true and daily life will always be frought with both good and bad. Daily life will be frought with ups and downs and obstacles that take our minds away from what is important in life. The above quote is simple, yet it states something very, very deep.
As you go through life remember to let life happen, deal with it, but ALWAYS LIVE! Always experience and get the most out of your life. Never be afraid to wonder, to wander, to question, to experience, to enjoy, to experiement, and to just…”be” If you keep this simple quote in mind, you’re life will be forever enriched!
Lately it seems as if the world (or at least the financial markets) are crashing in. There is no doubt that the financial crisis we find ourselves in is serious and that all of us are going to hurt in one way or another from the fallout. Since the majority of us cannot do anything about it in terms of adjusting the economy, we are resigned to just sitting back and watching things happen.
There are many times in life where things are just out of our control. We seem helpless to do anything about it so we just sit back and watch it happen and fret, fret, fret about it until, like my granny used to say, “we’re worked up into a tizzy.” I have always talked about how we control everything we do, how we feel, and indeed our lives. This is true in many respects, however, there are things that in reality are out of our control no matter what. But, what we do have ultimate, 100% control over is how we REACT to things. How we Deal With It – D.W.I. How we deal with things that are presented to us is vital. It’s vital because, to a large extent, the way we deal with things moves our lives in certain directions. The choices that we make in terms of moods and behaviors based on experiences at any given time effect our future! They really do!
During this financial crisis we must remind ourselves that HOW WE REACT to the crisis will, to a large extend, determine the manner in which we ride it out and how we emerge from it in the end. We can sit around watching CNBC and the stock ticker and realize how bad things are and how much money we’re all losing or we can make rational, reasonable decisions – deal with the realities of the situation and then move on to let things play out as they will. Of course you don’t want to lose one cent of money you’ve worked for and you should take steps to minimize your loss in ways that you can, but what I’m talking about here is how you react to everything as it crashes down. You can sit back and let that negative mojo work into your psyche so that you become paralyzed by worry or fret, or you can DWI and move on with your life in a positive, productive manner.
Do NOT let worry and fret paralyze you!! It’s easy to get caught up in gloom and doom. The media and everything you see and hear speaks of impending gloom and doom. It’s difficult to escape it. Remember a positive attitude cures everything. Why is this so in these crazy times? Think about it…even if the worst case scenario happened and you lost everything and had to start over…would starting over with a negative attitude help you rebuild your life? No…it wouldn’t. Negative attitudes keep us from achieving positive results. However, starting over with a positive attitude would help motivate us to excel and move to effectively better our lives. Keeping a positive attitude may be cliche, but it works – plain and simple.
Another way to keep a positive attitude in crazy financial times is to keep focused on the things that truly matter – health, loved ones, and those things that you find comfort in. Like I’ve said many times before, it’s important to keep focused on those things and persons in your life that surround you with positives. Focus on the good things in life, not the bad things. Turn the TV from the gloomy news to the Cartoon Network and have a few laughs…or watch Little House on the Prairie to be reminded of the wholesomeness inherent in people…or watch the Three Stooges…or read your favorite book…play ball with your kids…make a birdhouse to hang in the back yard…WHATEVER it is that you DO to make you happy…DO IT EVEN MORE in times of long-protracted crisis. Remember, you must first deal with the crisis situation of course but once that is dealt with to the best of your ability then it’s up to you to put the positive things in your life to work for you to drown out the negative gloom and doom that will surely overtake you when you least expect it if you are not careful and proactive.
In essence, you don’t need pills, books, or 24 hours of TV news to weather this financial crisis. You simply need YOURSELF, your WITS, and the stealthy focus to stay positive. I’ve summarized a few tips below that will keep you on track.
(1) Positive thoughts bring positive results.
(2) P.A.C.E. Positive Attitude Cures Everything
(3) D.W.I. and move on toward positive thinking.
(4) Surround yourself with positives!
(5) This too shall pass.
For one to ponder…for one to gain inspiration from…for one to heed…here is the MOJO QUOTE-OF-THE-DAY:
“As fame and fortune wane, you will truly see the importance of your personal relationships.” – Michael W. Posey, 2008
All of these terms have been used when asking this question. “How do you deal with loss?” I’ve been asked this many times and, being human, I’ve also had my share of heart-wrenching losses. Loss is never an easy thing. Whether we lose a game or a competition, a favorite or dear possession, or – the worse loss of all – a loved one… it is never easy. In fact it hurts like hell!!
Loss effects us in so many ways and each loss is different. There are obviously levels of loss depending on what is lost. Losing your favorite ball cap is obviously different than losing your grandpa. Losing the love of your life hurts much more than losing your job.
You get the point…LOSING ANYTHING SUCKS BIG TIME! The fact is that, like it or not, we live in a finite world. There are only so many things to go around and all living organisms will die. In today’s busy society, people ebb and flow constantly and come into our lives and go out of them just as fast. Loss is inevitable and will occur on a regular basis – that’s the cycle of life… how we cope with loss is extremely important in order to be a fully-functional and healthy human being.
Although, like I mentioned, losing “things” sucks and sometimes hurts when it is something near and dear to our hearts; the loss of a person in our lives is probably the worst type of loss. It’s that kind of loss that I am asked about frequently and that kind of loss that we’ve all experienced so I will talk about that kind of loss here.
One day a person is in your life…the other they are not. Perhaps it’s a loved one who has died. This is a very difficult loss in that the person’s life here on Earth has come to a close and there is nothing you can do to bring them back. Although a death of a loved one is difficult, most people realize death is inevitable in all of us and within their own time and within their own way heal their emotions and come to some sort of understanding and way to cope with the biological death of a loved one.
This is a phenomenon that happens more and more in today’s world. Given that people come in and out of our lives either in the physical realm or in the virtual realm, it is easy to see how someone can be “here” today and literally “gone” tomorrow! Our world is fast-paced and people now move around constantly for a variety of reasons. We meet people at work, at functions, or elsewhere and begin to establish friendships and bonds. Perhaps they move into the house next door…who knows…but a friendship and bond is established. Then one day, they get a job transfer, go off to school, or just up and move on. The friendship or bond is suddenly broken and without warning. They are gone. It’s over. The chances of you staying in touch with them after they have moved on are slim to none in all reality. We’ve all had this happen to us. We have a great neighbor or friend and then one day, their career, schooling, or other family obligations cause them to up and leave. There is an empty spot where they once were within us. Our mojo is less than full at that point.
The transient nature of our society today has caused friendships and bonds between people to also be transient and situation-dependent. Where once people knew each other their entire lives because they were place-bound; now people come in go in our lives faster than we can turn around a lot of times. I challenge you to name your co-workers or classmates from 15 years ago. If you can name them – great! If you can name them, then I simply ask you how many of those co-workers or classmates do you stay in regular (at least once a month) contact with? The vast majority of people would say that they do not stay in regular contact, if at all, with people from 15 years ago. It’s amazing how transient and how temporary our friendships and even deep-love interests have become as society has become increasingly mobile and online.
Additionally, our virtual-online world is vast and we get an email here or an instant message there from people all the time. Some times we form friendships, bonds, and perhaps more with that person just like we do in the physical world. Things are going well and those bonds are formed over the net…the online world…virtual bonds that are as strong as any in the physical world. Then one day we email or send our friend an instant message and POOF! they have vanished…never to be heard from again…never to return those emails or to send another instant message. In many ways, this vanishing is the worst of all. There is no reason, there is no contact, and you are forever left wondering what happened to the person. As with death and someone moving on in the physical world; in the virutal world or in online relationships, there is no closure. You are left hanging. Left to make up your own scenario as to why the other person will not answer your emails or answer your instant messages. In many ways, it’s the most hurtful and cruel.
DWI – Loss
Given the nature of our society and what was previously discussed, it’s important to know how to Deal With It concerning loss. Whether the loss is in the physical world or in the online virtual world, it’s important to try and focus on the positive aspects of the relationship you DID have with the person. In the case of death, countless volumes have been written on how to deal with death and grieving so I will not go into that here except to say that by focusing on the positive things you remember about the deceased, you will be able to get strength and energy knowing that they enriched your life in the time that you knew them. It’s age-old advice but it is so true – Don’t dwell on the fact that the person is dead, rather dwell on what wonderful things they contributed to life when they were living!
When it comes to dealing with loss in the virtual world, it behooves us to remember what I’ve said time and time again – each person that comes into our lives effects us and puts their unique stamp on our lives…for this we should be grateful! For every person we encounter, no matter how short of a time, is a piece to our puzzle…a tile in our mosaic…and a breath in our lives. If we look at it this way, the loss (or the poof) of a person in the virtual world, no matter how irrational or how blunt and sudden it may be, can be seen as a positive. When I say this it’s not so say that it doesn’t hurt…just like a death…it hurts…hurts badly…but as in anything, if you look at the wonderful moments that you had – be they real or be they in your mind, then you are more likely to get through the loss. Like I mentioned before in the virtual world so many people come and go and are here one minute then without explanation they vanish never to be seen again…it’s the non-closure that hurts…the non-closure that makes people sad…the non-closure that just seems down-right rude in many senses.
In essence, dealing with loss is difficult in any realm. No matter how you slice it, losing a friend, a loved one, or even just an aquaintence is always difficult. Many of you had mentioned the difficulty of losing someone and having them just vanish…poof from your life…so I hope this has helped somewhat to focus on the positves and the wonderful breath of fresh air the person or persons brought into your life in the time they were “there.” Learn from each and everyone that comes into your lives and your life will be enriched tenfold.
Hey everyone. If you or someone you know out there is good with photoshop and can illustrate let me know! I need to have some logos done that I can use for this blog and my podcast. At this point, I am looking for someone who is willing to work out a creative deal with me in terms of compensation for the logo work. I know what I want in terms of illustration, I just need someone to do it as I can’t even draw stick figures.
If you are interested please email me at mojo AT mikeposey DOT com.
Hi everyone! Well I hope that you are enjoying your summer and that you’ve been doing a lot of great things! My summer has been very busy but I’ve managed to take a few weeks with my family to enjoy some quality summer time. I had an excellent time with my kids these past two weeks and it is really healthy to recharge during this wonderful time of year!
Isn’t summer wonderful? Here in the Midwest, it’s a time where you don’t have to worry about wearing 8000 layers of clothing, slipping on ice, shoveling snow, nor do you have to worry about anything freezing if left outside. Yea …yea…yea…you have to mow the grass and, in many regions in the U.S., you have to stay inside in the AC during the day, but ultimately when you think about it summer is the time when the earth is at it’s peak…heat, sun, fully-flowering plants and healthy, hearty green everywhere! It’s really peak functioning time for our earth.
As we experience summertime this year think about how the earth is at its peak…its pinnacle…everything is operating at maximum capacity and then think about how YOU are operating. Are you operating at maximum capacity this summer? Are you at your peak…at your pinnacle? Is your motivational mojo where it should be for peak operation? If it is then GREAT…WONDERFUL…CONGRATULATIONS…don’t stop doing what you are doing and keep that motivational mojo alive and kicking!
If you are not operating at peak this summertime, then ask yourself the following questions:
(1) Why aren’t I Operating at peak performance?
This question seems simple enough but for most of us we fail to ask it of ourselves. Ok…maybe we ask it of ourselves but then we just answer “I don’t know why” and leave it at that! The truth is that we don’t delve into our souls enough to find the real answer. It is too difficult. It is too much work for us to dig deep into ourselves to discover the reason why we aren’t operating at full capacity. If we are to truly discover why we aren’t at our peak…we have to PEEK into our inner psyche and be honest with ourselves about our situation and what is causing us to have low motivational mojo. This peeking has to be an honest assessment of where we are at that very moment in terms of emotional level, mental level, and physical level. Maybe you are stressed…bummed…hurt…scared…or whatever, any condition that keeps you from operating at maximum levels should be identified and assessed.
(2) What conditions exist that are causing me from being at peak performance?
This is a vital question in terms of your motivational mojo assessment. You’ve identified the levels at which you are operating and moods that you are in, now you must clearly identify the conditions that are causing those levels and moods. These could be environmental…such as you are fighting with a significant other and that is what is causing you to have low motivational mojo. Or it could be internal…such as you are worried that all the bills can’t be paid. Or it could be a combo of both. You MUST make every attempt to recognize the conditions causing your lack of peak motivational mojo – your lack of motivation and energy. Look at ALL angles of your life and if you can, try to look at your life through various lenses to get a better view of your situaton. Perhaps have someone else…a friend…a loved one…significant other try and assess the conditions that you are in. Sometimes we can’t see those conditions that are closest to us and another person’s perspective often helps.
(3) How can I minimize the conditions to maximize my mojo?
This is where the rubber meets the road on your peek into your peak! Once you have identified the why (Q1) and the what (Q2) then you must develop a strategy to deal with those conditions. You must figure out a way to wipe the conditions away, put them aside for later so that you can function in the now, or confront them head-on and deal with it! (See “Dealing With It” Podcast/Blog Posting) We’ve talked about many ways to DWI – “Deal with it” here in this blog and on my podcast so I won’t go back into all of that as you can read and listen to those techniques again…
What I will say is that you must develop an action plan to deal with your lack of peak mojo that is particular to YOU and to YOUR situation. Baby steps are ok if that’s what you need, but since you’ve identified why and what is causing your lack of motivational mojo, then you might as well be very very very specific about your plan on how to increase your mojo. Don’t forget to write down your plan. All the research shows that having a list of goals or steps to increasing your motivation is much more effective than just thinking it. Build check-points where you (or a confidant) can check your progress toward your action plan in an honest and balanced manner. Give yourself rewards for increasing your mojo’s peak performance…this will help you look forward to something good and be a win-win situation in that you will be increasing your motivation while motivating yourself to do even more!
In summary, the summer time is a wonderful time to re-evaluate whether or not you are operating at your maximum (or peak) performance. By examining this now and by taking steps to increase your motivation and performance during the summer, you will go into the Fall being the best you can be and your motivational mojo will be firing on all cylinders!
Hey everyone. I just started a Twitter account! (http://www.twitter.com) For those of you who are on Twitter and want to follow me and my tid-bits of motivational mojo – my twitter account is “drmikeposey” I hope to see some of you there!
Have a GREAT DAY and keep your motivational mojo pumping!