Happy New Year!!! Welcome to 2012 everyone! Well this year should be interesting right? It’s a new year and if you believe the popular culture and myth surrounding the year 2012, it’s the last year we all have here on Earth! Yikes!! Wow…that came quickly. I haven’t even finished the front yard landscaping!
Actually, I’m not here to debate whether or not the world will, in fact, meet it’s demise, nor do I want to get started down that path. But the fact that it is 2012 and we are now inundated with so many prophecies, movies, songs, images, etc… about 2012 being the end, caused me to think…
…what IF this were my last year on Earth and I knew it? What if? Would I do anything differently? Would I act differently? What kinds of experiences would I seek out? Would I be open to new ideas and experiences? In other words, how would I live my last days? I could get specific here and list all of the things I would want to do, but I don’t want to bore you so suffice it to say that I would definitely LIVE! In fact, I would do those things that I’ve always wanted to do but have been putting off. I would be the person I always wanted to be. I wouldn’t be fearful of some things and/or waste time on others.
Ok…so this got me thinking further… why would I do those things that I mentioned above only if I knew this would be my last year? Why aren’t I doing those things anyway?? Why aren’t I pursuing my dreams, my passions, and being the person that I truly want to be? Why aren’t I doing it NOW? What am I waiting for?
So what does this all mean to you? It simply means that you should enjoy the moment…be IN the moment and let it take you…define you…be part of you. What you experience today you should embrace, take in as much as possible and be the person you truly want to be using what you experience. Don’t be afraid to learn new and, perhaps different view-points and knowledge. Don’t be afraid to seek out new and, perhaps heretofore, unthinkable experiences. Take what you want/need from those differing opinions and experiences and mold them into something that uniquely serves you. That is uniquely yours. It’s important in life to be both living in the moment and planning for one’s future…to do one or the other will not completely serve you. To do both will help you live a happy and prosperous life. Regardless of what others tell us, we truly don’t know when the end will be. When our own, individual end will be. Because life is a crap shoot, we must live life to the fullest…suck everything you can out of life and enjoy it…be it…consume it…contribute to it…and in the words of the famous Nike slogan – just do it!!! What are you waiting for? Live!!!
Like I’ve talked about in previous posts, in life we all have mosaics to build…build yours any way you want to using what you have learned and experienced. Who knows when the world will end but until then, you might as well live!
My best for the new year,
I’m a big music buff. I love music of all genres and as a pop-culture & communication professor, I know that music is a very personal thing. The listener hears what they want to hear…they take what they want to take from it and make it their own. Internalize it. Use it. People, in a sense, “own” the song. One person’s favorite song might be another person’s white noise but what matters is that everyone’s interpretation is unique.
The other day I was driving down the road and heard a Craig Morgan song entitled “This Ain’t Nothing” (Songwriters: Kerry Kurt Phillips and Chris DuBois). I immediately took to the song and as I listened I got goose-bumps because something deep inside me related to the words. The song is about a man who just had a tornado tear down his home. He’s asked by a reporter what he’s going to do and the old man says “This ain’t nothing” and begins to recount how he’s lost everyone that was dear to him. Father, brother, wife, etc… and how a stupid tornado wasn’t anything compared to the loss he’s suffered throughout his many years.
One way to interpret this song is to think that this old man is jaded. That he’s ready to give up and throw in the towel and that he’s cynical having lost every person that is dear to him. You could interpret this as a “who-cares-I’m-bitter-and-giving-up kind of attitude.” This would be a sad way of looking at things though wouldn’t it?
The way that I evidently internalized the song (as seemingly indicated by my goosebumps) was one of – “some things just aren’t worth getting upset about.” What I heard was the old man saying, in effect, that there are more important things in life. I heard him saying “It’s the people…the humanity…your loved ones” that are what matter. This got me thinking that perhaps in this song filled with tales of loss and woe, there is a motivational message.
The simple words tell the message…
“He said I learned at an early age,
There’s things that matter and there’s things that don’t
So if you’re waiting here for me to cry,
I hate to disappoint you boy, but I won’t”
Put another way- life is short, bad things will happen, we will lose at times, we do bad things sometimes, and people do bad things to us sometimes. But no matter what we move forward. The man in the song is old. The song wouldn’t work with a young guy telling the story because unfortunately many of us don’t realize these lessons until we are older. Experience takes time and by the time that we realize that “This ain’t nothing” we have spent way too much time worrying that “this is something.”
My challenge to you is to heed the old man’s advice in this song now and realize that most of the things we fret over in life “aren’t nothing.” Embrace those that you love and hold them dear because they are what matter and those relationships are what’s important. You don’t know when, for whatever reason, they will go away. Enjoy life and live life to the fullest and make your life and the lives around you SOMETHING!
“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!
Ok…so it’s been awhile since I have posted. You wouldn’t believe what has been happening in my personal life. So many things…some good but a lot that have been bad. Yes that’s right even a motivational guy like me has a lot of crap happen to him. Like I’ve said in my previous posts…it’s inevitable that from time to time we are all going to feel like the world has come crashing down. Well guess what – my world crashed a bit but I’m still here to tell about it. Actually, I’m not going to talk about it specifically because who wants to hear my sob story. What I will do though is to talk about how to handle things when you get crapped on.
One of my favorite quotes is one where I don’t even know the original author! I wish I did because I would (1) attribute the quote to him/her every time I use it, and (2) thank them for such a plain and simple and deeply important quotation. Suffice it to say that if anyone knows who originally wrote this quotation, please let me know!
Gee…I built this quotation up quite a bit here so I guess I better talk about it huh? The quote is about crap. Yes…that little word that is usually known by it’s other more profane term. Ya’ll know what I mean. Here is the quote:
“When someone throws a bucket of crap at you, step aside and let the crap hit the wall. If you don’t then the crap will hit you and you’ll feel crappy.”
WHAT A GREAT QUOTATION!! This makes so much sense! When you read this little ditty, you realize how profound the term crap can really be. You realize the truth to this quote and how you can relate to it! Let’s dissect this quote shall we.. .
(1) “When someone throws a bucket of crap at you…” How many times in life have you had people dump their problems on you? People come up to us everyday and try to dump their problems, bad-attitudes, and headaches onto us. It’s a part of life. “I’m feeling bad so I’m going to make everyone else feel bad” is what many people think. Or “I forgot to do this so now it’s your problem that I’m rushed and we’re late.” Many times people transpose their issues onto us.
The funny thing is though that a lot of times we stand there and take it! We let the crap get thrown right onto us without doing anything! We take on others’ problems and we absorb them into us like we’re some sort of huge crap-absorbing sponge. We then turn around and rationalize to our selves that it’s good to “be there” for our friends or that we are a “good friend” because we help others with their issues. “My friends all love me because I listen to their problems” we say. These are all admirable traits, however, I will ask you to think about whether or not you help friends deal with their issues or whether or not you actually TAKE ON their problems and in turn get more stressed and wigged out because of it. Many times we think we are helping our friends or loved ones but we end up taking on their issues/problems…or crap and internalizing it and being part of their drama. We do this without even realizing it. One minute we are being a concerned friend – the next minute we are feeling lousy because WE now have internalized our friend’s problem. We shouldn’t let people dump on us. Listening is good. Empathizing with a friend about their problems is appropriate, however, fully taking on their problem is never a good thing. In many ways this throwing a bucket of crap on you is like passing the buck (the problem) onto you so that the “thrower” doesn’t have to worry about it anymore while you now have all the drama and they are drama free.
So what do you do…well that’s where the next part of the quotations comes in –
(2) “Step aside and let the crap hit the wall!” – This is self explanatory really. When someone dumps on you it’s ok to listen, to empathize, and to “be there” for them, however, as they dump their problems on you or try to pass the buck – DO NOT let those problems or dramas or stresses become part of you!! Reflect back to them, offer suggestions or possible solutions but don’t do it yourself. Provide help but keep perspective on whose problem it really is. Don’t volunteer to take on their problems. Don’t, don’t, don’t! Why not? Well that’s where the next part of the quotation comes in –
(3) “If you don’t then the crap will hit you and you’ll feel crappy.” – Here the sage who wrote this is saying that by taking on someone else’s problems we then have their problems PLUS our problems! Double whammy! Not good. You don’t want to feel crappy. You cannot be there for someone to help them find solutions to their problems, etc…if you are feeling crappy now can you?
I guess what I’m trying to say about all of this is that it is great to be a friend. It is great to help people but there is a time, a place, and a level at which that help can be given. Know your limits and know that you will not take on the dramas of others. Know that you can step aside and let the crap hit the wall and know that their problem is not your problem.
In the everyday workplace this happens a lot. Someone is in a bad mood and they project this onto everyone they come in contact with (ie. throwing buckets of crap). When someone does this at a store or at work or somewhere…do as the quote says…step aside and let their bad mood go right by you. If you don’t then it is guaranteed that their bad mood will rub off on you! Don’t let it!
For much more on this topic check out Episode 19 of the Motivational Mojo Show!
Today we will be turning in our hymnals to the book of Chumbawamba. Yes that’s right that famous punk band that is known the world over for their inspiring song “I get knocked down – but I get up again.” Although at first one might think that this pithy song is about drinking…there are lots of references to drinking beer and cider and things…and the video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lJIjdajBww) takes place in a bar…and the song “Danny Boy” referenced in the lyrics is a famous Irish drinking song…YES you indeed may be thinking that this song is about drinking. Well I’m here to tell you that it can be about motivation as well. Right now you are also probably wondering: “Why oh why Dr. Mike are you even babbling about this?” You may be puzzled about now. Well if you are…let me dispel that thought.
You see, I am an avid music collector and have thousands of songs on my iPod as well as hundreds of CD’s and cassette tapes and even more vinyl albums and even more 45’s! In other words, I’ve been collecting music since I was a little tiny kid way back in the – dare I say it – 1970’s! Heck, I even have some 8-tracks man…but we won’t discuss those. 8-track = bad idea! Bad idea.
Anyway, this all leads up to the other day when I was listening to my iPod on random selection and Chumbawamba came blazing through my earbuds. WOW, I thought! What an inspirational song! Well at least the chorus is. Actually all of it is when you read into it. This song sums up one of my main tenets of life – when something bad happens – get up and try again – don’t give up. For those of you who haven’t heard the Chumbwamba ditty – the main chorus of the song goes like this:
“I get knocked down but I get up again. You’re never going to keep me down.”
This is it folks! This is the message…don’t let anyone or anything get you down. We’re all faced with things in life that knock us down whether physically or emotionally, we as humans will have things throughout our lives that hit us hard and cause us to spin into a tizzy…out of control. In essence, our motivational mojos will, from time to time, be hurt, dazed and confused, and/or simply knocked down. When this happens we can react in many different ways.
The first way in which we can react is by accepting defeat. We can wallow in our pain and sorrow and let it get the best of us. Obviously too much wallowing though can be destructive to ourselves and to others. Don’t get me wrong…as I have said many times before, everyone needs to be sad and do some wallowing from time to time – it’s part of the human experience and part of our emotional coping mechanism, but if we continually wallow or refuse to “let it go” or to effectively not “get back up again” then our mojos will never again be motivated and our lives will be in a downward spiral.
The second thing we can do is to over-compensate. We can ignore the hurt and pain and not spend one second wallowing. We get out there and we do “get back up again” but we do it so fast that oftentimes we forget why we “got back up” in the first place. We forget what we’re fighting for. The problem, or issue or “thing” is effectively swept under the rug and we move quickly to ignore and forget.
The third thing we can do is become bitter. Plain and simple we become bitter and jaded and turn of.
While each of these these responses may be normal, I would contend that they are not the best way to maximize and keep your motivational mojo healthy. Taking advice from the sages of Chumbawamba is very important and, if done properly, can really keep your motivational mojo pumping! What I mean by this is that when you “get knocked down” you should take a moment (this depends on who you are and the extent of the “knock”…may be minutes, hours, days or weeks) gather your thoughts about what happened. Experience the sadness, the anger, the hurt, etc…let it become part of you and then …
GET BACK UP AGAIN! Yes…experience all the emotions and reflect on it but that experiencing and reflection needs to have a finite end! If it doesn’t then you will wallow in being knocked down forever and your motivational mojo will never be the same. You’ll never be able to operate a maximum motivational capacity! You won’t be able to motivate yourself nor will you be able to motivate others.
Chumbawamba had it right…don’t let anyone get you down! What you should take from this is what I’ve been saying many times over…YOU are the one in charge of your life. YOU are in charge of getting back up and moving on! When bad things happen, deal with them and take the time you need…then move on. Life is so short and wallowing too long is a waste of that precious time. Wallowing helps heal but too much wallowing hurts! You are in control of what you do when you get knocked for the figurative loop! It’s YOU YOU YOU! Bad situations will come and go but if you resolve to get back up again and never let anyone or any situation get you down, then you will ultimately be completely content in any situation because you will be able to live your life on your terms and with the inner peace to know that you did it your way regardless of the situation.
Listen to the Motivational Mojo Show for more on this topic as well as others and if you want someone to come in and speak to your group or company, etc…don’t hesitate to contact me!
Until next time, keep your motivational mojo pumping!
It’s 2008 and it’s time to get that motivational mojo pumping and doing some good! With the new year comes the inevitable resolutions that we all make.
“I won’t eat chocolate this year.”
“I promise not to spend 23.5 hours a day on the computer and .5 hours a day on the can.”
“I will organize the garage this year”
or the famous…
“I’m going to exercise and go on a diet this year”
This is what we say to ourselves and our loved ones. The fact is that new year’s resolutions aren’t usually worth the breath they were said in. We say them almost out of obligation and tradition. The resolutions are good and usually well-intended; however, they quickly become broken and forgotten.
With this said, I am not going to ask you to resolve that you motivate yourself and others more this year. I’m not going to ask you that you be happy this year. I’m not going to ask you that you keep a positive attitude this year.
I’m simply going to ask you to be YOU. Be true to yourself. If you like chocolate…eat it. If you don’t want to work out – don’t. If you want a messy garage then enjoy the mess. Just be you darn it!
This is the simple truth to maximizing our motivational mojo…being ourselves…not what someone else wants us to be…not what we think we should be…not what we’re obligated to be out of some tradition…but who we REALLY are. Be YOURSELF! Life is filled with times when we have to bend ourselves out of who we really are…for our kids…for our friends…for our employers…this is the cause of much misaligned motivational mojo in our lives. It causes great deals of stress when we are out of our comfort zone…when we are out of our realm…our league…or our zone. Our mojos are out of whack and we feel it. Our whole being – physical and emotional – feel it and it sucks!
This is why most new years resolutions don’t work. We make them over things that are out of our zone or are totally out of whack with who we truly are. This is a recipe for making sure our resolutions quickly fall short. When we make these resolutions that are misaligned with who we truly are we then feel badly when they don’t happen or when we fail to do what we resolved to do. When I say this I do not mean to say that we can’t reach for the stars…we should! BUT, it’s important to realize that we all have levels…kind of like steps…that we need to achieve in order for our mojos to be balanced and able to move on to the next.
So…if you really want to make that new year’s resolution… go ahead and do it…but make one that fits YOU…that really addresses who YOU are…not what some yearly tradition dictates.
Happy New Year!!!!
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!