How To Motivate Yourself In Difficult Times

 Tips to motivate in hard times

Take Inspiration and Motivate Yourself

There are times when it can be difficult to motivate yourself to do pretty much anything. These times can spring from anything from tiredness to fear, and there are certainly cases where the reluctance to act can be caused by a medical condition, but what it boils down to is that a reluctance to act, which can be extensively damaging, is often the product of a combination of matters and can be hard to overcome. In these situations you need to look at the problem head-on and say “I’m not going to be broken down by this – I’m going to break it down”. Although this is generally easier said than done, managing it brings many rewards.

The ability to stick at things even when it seems difficult or pointless is something prized highly by bosses. It wouldn’t be fair to say that apathy is endemic in society, but it is troubling to see talented people laid low by a lack of confidence, especially when that lack is brought on by what amounts to an arbitrary failure. Say, for example, that a person has competed in a talent contest or an open training session for a sports team. In such cases, talent is very much in the eye of the beholder. Coaches and record execs have often made the decision to plump for one of two people based on a very subjective selection criteria. The people who have been passed over may have gone on to assume that they would never succeed, but that is not always the case.

Witness the NFL. Every year teams draft players to feature in the playing squads that will take them through a season, and they have their selection criteria set ahead of time. It is universally accepted that guys selected in the first round of seven are expected to succeed, those selected in the second and third rounds are hopefuls, and below that you may have a 50/50 chance of making it if you put everything into the game. In 2000, Tom Brady was selected in the sixth round by the New England Patriots. Nine years later he has won three Superbowls, being voted Most Valuable Player in two of them. 2000 was widely viewed pre-Draft as a thin year for quarterbacks, and five were selected before Brady. The truth is that sometimes people don’t realize what they have passed up.

There are stories like this in all categories, and every time it is the story of the individual who was passed over for an arguably less talented person because it’s just this simple – opinions differ. If you let one person’s evaluation of you be the one that sticks, and it’s a negative opinion, then you don’t give anyone else the encouragement that might be the difference between choosing you and passing you over. Keep in mind that sometimes people need to keep trying in order to succeed – take inspiration from one of the many who may not have got there first, but have stayed there longer than those who did.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Ahmed Dawn Dot Com site. This article originally published on the above website on August 8, 2009.

The Internet and Personal Development

The Internet Can Aid Personal Growth Immensely

There are an awful lot of stereotypes directed at the Internet and its users, although to some extent these stereotypes are becoming less prominent. Regardless of the changing opinions of individuals, however, there is still a hard-wired impression that those of us who choose to spend a fair portion of our life online must be socially inadequate, and in some way not equipped to live a “normal life”. It should not be ignored that the people who express this impression most vocally are rarely much of a role model for anyone – and their unfounded prejudices may well suggest that they are quite the opposite. The Internet can, in fact, work excellently as a tool for personal development.

Think about it this way. If you are growing up in a relatively small town with very clearly defined values and preferences, and happen to grow up with a mindset that is at odds with those values and preferences, life can be pretty lonely. Geography in this sense is incredibly limiting. With the advent of the Internet, however, it has become possible for like minded individuals from locations poles apart to form strong bonds of friendship. There are caveats to this process, of course – taking people at face value is inadvisable – but these caveats are no more pronounced than those which arise when interacting with someone who is physically in the same room as you. It is always important to keep an eye out for people who are keen to dissemble and distract.

Online forums are one way of getting to know people who have similar interests. There are so many forums and message boards on the Internet, devoted to such a wide range of interests, that it would be quicker to name the subjects that are not catered to than those that are. Sports, music, politics, whatever interests you there is likely to be a community or two (or a few thousand) devoted to it. On here, you may get the kind of conversation that you simply cannot have with a geographical neighbour. In addition, it is an excellent way to get a bit of debating practice – by speaking to people whose opinions on your subject of interest differ from yours, you can build a greater understanding of matters, something which aids personal growth immensely.

Social networking sites are often viewed very dimly by media commentators and everyday skeptics. There is a certain selective interpretation of the medium in this – for one thing, the media commentators are a little concerned that they will cease to be as relevant, and secondly the most scathing attitudes to social networking are based on a hugely skewed sample. Yes, there are some complete and utter fools on these sites, and when their pronouncements are frozen for posterity online it is hard not to cringe. But some real deep thinkers also use these sites simply because they have so much difficulty finding like-minded people nearby. By using the Internet wisely, you can find people who are really worth talking to. Like anything else, it is a matter of knowing how to separate the good from the bad.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Ahmed Dawn Dot Com site. This article originally published on the above website on May 19, 2009.

Friends Can Help Overcome Stress

Honesty Is The Best Policy

Picture the scene: you have been worrying yourself into a blue funk over the course of a week with one subject dominating the horizon and no idea how you are going to deal with it. This worry arises time and again, often at inopportune moments, before sinking out of sight for long enough to give you a shot at cheering up – before the worry appears again and pulls the rag from underneath your feet. As you sit there consumed by the feeling that nothing is ever going to be enjoyable again, it is a level certainty that someone will ask you: “What’s up?”. It is also a fair possibility that you will pause for a moment and then say “Oh? No, nothing, I’m fine.”

Does that sound familiar? If so, don’t worry – you’re one of a great many people who have lived that exact scenario out maybe weekly, maybe even more often than that. We have a tendency to internalize our worries, and when someone asks us what’s going on it is somehow easier to pretend that all’s well rather than burdening them with some of what is bothering us. Never mind the fact that they may be able to help, we do not want to be thought of as wasting their valuable time. It is a little bit like a dance in a lot of ways – the initial approach, the intricate steps of offer and response, the big finish (where they walk away, perhaps a tad confused).

For politeness’ sake, we are almost hard-wired to decline any offers of help even when we would really benefit from having someone else’s advice. But if they didn’t want to help, they wouldn’t have asked. Whatever the situation you are trying to deal with, there might be something they can do. Maybe they can help materially. Maybe they’ve been there themselves and can offer advice that will fix things. Maybe they know someone who can help, even if they cannot themselves. Either way, it is counter-productive to turn down an offer of help simply because you don’t want to be impolite. If nothing else the act of telling someone, and having them listen to you, can make the problem seem a bit less insurmountable.

The act of “bottling things up” is one that we are all prone to every once in a while, but it is not a good habit to get into. Stress is a major contributor to many illnesses, both physical and mental, and allowing problems to snowball to the point where you cannot see a way out is only going to hurt you in the short and long term. A good friend will want to help you. Solving a problem is a lot easier when you have a second mind working on it. Don’t think that they are only asking in order to be polite, and that by telling them anything you will be ruining their day. They want to know. They want to help. Give them that opportunity, and it will make things a whole lot more straightforward for all concerned.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Ahmed Dawn Dot Com site. This article originally published on the above website on May 30, 2009.

Is Your Job The Problem?

A Job Can Negatively Affect You

Life can be frustrating, draining and annoying. For far too many of us, every day is a struggle. Getting out of bed can be as much of a struggle as any other part of the day, and this should not be the case. It isn’t how things should be, but for too many of us it is a reality that we have to come to terms with. How many of us wake up in the morning and think “I’m looking forward to this”? Far too few. And, while there is not always an instant solution to this problem, the truth of the matter is that we have choices in life – it is about finding a way to make these choices a reality. It’s not easy – nothing that is worth doing ever is, unfortunately – but the truth is that if you work at it, you can make the future a lot better than the present.

The overwhelming majority of the time, we have difficulty getting out of bed because we know that what is lying ahead is a job that has very little about it to look forward to. Some of us have great jobs, and cannot wait to go in every day. The rest of us look at them with a mix of envy, admiration and hatred. The truth is that through one thing and another we can end up working in a job for which we have no great love from school through to retirement. And it can have an effect on our health, both mentally and physically. In order to have the life we want, we need to consider a number of factors, and our job (for what it does to our minds and bodies) is certainly one of those.

There are many ways in which a job can negatively affect a person. There is the most simple of all, which is that it is boring and repetitive. Going in every day to a job which is unchanging and which offers little prospect of variety can seem like a life sentence. As melodramatic as that sounds, getting some enjoyment out of your job is the least we should expect. Simply in order to stay sane you need to be able to smile and laugh every so often. Then there are the jobs that morally compromise us. Certain sales jobs and cold-calling can really put someone in a difficult position mentally. If you know that your job is going to involve putting an unwelcome crimp in someone’s day, it can be hard to live with yourself. As much money as some of these jobs can pay, it is usually the ones getting paid least who have the most uncomfortable duties.

Changing your job is not simple. Saying goodbye to a steady living is not something many of us can afford to even consider in the current climate. If, however, you have the freedom to look for a better job while you are doing the one that is currently giving you so much heartache, it can be highly worthwhile. It is something that can even lift the drab days when you are working at the job from hell – look at it as a way out!

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Ahmed Dawn Dot Com site. This article originally published on the above website on May 13, 2009.

How Changing Small Things Can Change Your Life

Change You Can Believe In

If you spend more time than you used to complaining and feeling frustrated, chances are that you have fallen into a rut and it is bringing you down. Although we as humans are creatures of habit to a large extent, there is no getting away from the fact that every once in a while following the same routine gets boring. However much you may instinctively dislike change, it can be the answer when things get just that bit too dull – and it broadens your horizons to allow you the chance to appreciate new things.

There is no change that is too small to influence your life in some way. Even waking up ten minutes earlier in the morning can give you a new appreciation of something. But most of us want more sleep, not less, and it is understandable that we are protective of our duvet time. It is for this reason that you should look initially for changes that will be more fun. The definition of “fun” differs for us all, of course. Some people don’t see the point in watching or playing sport; others are left unsatisfied by the cinema. Fun is anything that makes you glad to have the opportunity to do it.

When it comes to dinner time, why not try something you have never eaten before? Pretty often, even when eating in a restaurant, we will skim over the pages of stuff that we are unfamiliar with, and select the same thing we always do. Instead of this, why not stop for a while on a page that you normally flick past and give it your time? Changing something as simple as your meal rotation can give you a little bit of a boost when you need it most.

Food is just an example, of course. Sometimes change for change’s sake is a good thing, pure and simple. If you go through life never trying anything different, you will miss out on one of the most enriching parts of life – variety. I don’t know if you have heard, but it is apparently the spice of life. And it can be a very valuable thing, too. Even changing the desktop picture on your computer can make a difference on a day when you are feeling laboured and unmotivated. Buying a different breakfast cereal can also do the job. The point is not the depth of the change, the point is change itself.

However weighed down you may feel, and however weather-beaten it is making you, there is a real value in facing it down and refusing to become embittered. Changing your outlook can be as simple as deciding that you are not going to keep to the old rules, and making a bold strike for freedom. Try changing one thing every day, no matter how small it is. The difference that it will make, cumulatively, can be the difference between a positive mindset and a negative one. It’s a difference worth making.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Ahmed Dawn Dot Com site. This article originally published on the above website on May 5, 2009.