Monday, May 7, 2012

One Day at a Time - Tell Me About It

I gave a motivational talk last weekend at the New York City RWA Annual Brunch. I had obviously heard the words before. Yet a few sentences in I realized I needed to hear them again. I suspect you might need to hear them too. So here is just a piece of that speech.
The strongest strategy for success in pretty much anything is to get yourself on an I Can and I Will path. And the first thing you must do on that path is fight back fear.
You must struggle against fear as relentlessly as the heroine of your story struggles against the obstacles in her path – in order to survive and then go on to thrive in the end.

Fight back fear by changing your thinking about now and the future – especially in terms of your goals for yourself. Stop thinking of your goal as far away. Stop thinking of your progress as painfully slow.

That kind of thinking ends in discouragement. That kind of thinking drains your hope. You lose what Ralph Waldo Emerson called the Power of Enthusiasm. Never relinquish your Powerful Enthusiasm. It is the energy you need to fuel you through testing times.

See your goal as right here with you now. See yourself as progressing toward that goal today. If you manage any forward movement at all – even a small step or two – this is a successful day.

One day at a time – know what you need to accomplish that day. Make sure it is a realistic goal. Do not defeat yourself before you start by filling your plate impossibly full. Beware the tyranny of the To Do List. It is the monster you create for yourself all by yourself.

Set a reasonable realistic self-sensitive goal. Pursue that goal each day deliberately – with intention – without anxiety – without rushing. Haste really does make waste. Haste wastes your ability to experience your achievements and your ability to savor them as they happen.

At the end of the day if you don’t think you achieved your goal – Look again. What did you achieve? How are you not in the same place as yesterday?

Measure that achievement by asking yourself this question. Have I done what I undertook today as well as I could? Be sure to factor in your circumstances – the obstacles you had to overcome.

If you can answer – “Yes, I have done what I could as well as I could do it.” Then you have succeeded. You have reached your goal.

Think of each day as a jewel on the thread of your life – a jewel on the thread of your career. Place it artfully. Never underestimate its worth. And – Never forget to admire its beauty.

I cannot seem to stop needing to tell myself these things. Probably because I cannot seem to stop forgetting them. How about you?


Christi Krug said...


What a wonderfully inspiring, motivating post! Thanks for the reminder about the power of enthusiasm. Good luck to you in all you're doing this summer.

Alice Orr said...

Thank you Christi for your generous words which mean so much.. especially coming from you. I do believe in the power of enthusiasm and how crucial it is to maintain that quality in both life and work. Even more important is the ability to turn enthusiasm back on when day to day experience makes us feel depleted of the energy it requires. The effect of that re-energizing effort is akin to whistling a happy tune and super worth the result.