Wanna do something cool? Do it today.



Inspiration-today




On one sunny fall day, I called my best friend. “I saw the forecast. It might be raining next week. Why don’t we go for a walk today? Maybe this will be the last nice day this fall.” She agreed. We walked for hours, talked about ice cream, relationships, global warming, guys, how when you block all the crazy folks on Facebook your feed becomes boring, meaning of life and that jazz. It was one epic long walk.


Next day my best friend called me. Continue reading

Read this when you feel that “it’s all been said before”



all-been-said




I never wanted to write a blog post about procrastination, because, I mean, does the world really need another blog post about procrastination?


Yet, for some reason I wrote a Quora answer on beating procrastination and won 46 upvotes. That was my first answer with more than 3 upvotes and the first small victory on Quora.


Was my answer absolutely adorable? Nope. Did I write something revolutionary? Not really. I compiled a whole bunch of ideas from many different places into something kinda cool. It resonated with people.


And it got me thinking how often I refuse to write about “trivial”stuff. I want to write about big ideas. I want to create something original, something that the world hasn’t yet seen. Then I do some research and realize that it has all been said and done. Many times. And does the world really need another post on XYZ? It’s all been said, why even bother?


My creative practice on writing 10 ideas daily helped a lot. I created more and published more. I became more creative and I learned more about the readers. I learned how to use old, known ideas and create something worth reading. I also learned that THERE IS a point in writing about ordinary stuff and why the world needs it.


Wanna hear more? Let’s dive into it.
Continue reading

Repeat after me



Repeat-after-me-writing-exercise




I am not my fear. But I am willing to face it.


I am not my body. I am free.


I am not my work, but I’m willing to do it daily.


I am not my failures and I am willing to show up again.


I am not my inner critic. I am willing to separate us.


I am not my anxiety. I know I can do this.


I am not my job, but I’m grateful for it.


I am not my anger, but I’m willing to feel it in my body.


I am not comparable to anyone, except to myself from the past.


I am not alone. The entire Universe is supporting me.


I am opened to see better.


I am opened to receive.


I am opened to give.


I am ready.


This day is just as it should be.


I am exactly where I need to be.


Creative energy is translated through me.


I am ready.


Where would you have me go? What would you have me do? What would you have me say and to whom?


I am ready.


Show me what you’ve got.



This was my writing exercise named:


REPEAT AFTER ME.


I wrote an array of lines that I needed to hear. It looks like the preparation for the creative process. Or for the new day. It might look like the list of affirmations.


(Btw, the coolest affirmations that I’ve encountered were those from the book “May Cause Miracles”. Before that, most of the affirmations that I’ve seen were like: “I am living in ____, I am working at____, I am happily married and have two kids.” Blah! Gabby has created miraculous, inspiring, thought provoking affirmations. I brought them with me every day and I identified my subtle, tangled patterns of thoughts and behaviors. “I am not my body. I am free,” is one of those.)


Now it’s your turn to write and repeat. Open a blank document, and spill your guts. Create a list of affirmations. Good reminders. Non-automated thoughts. Write and repeat. (Don’t forget to reflect, the repetition itself may not be enough.) But it will feel good. It has to.


You don’t have to invent the metaphysical wisdom that the world hasn’t yet seen. Your affirmations can be small and ordinary. It’s not that we don’t know. It’s that we forget. ((Tweet this!)) We get distracted. We get busy. We get anxious. We need the reminders.


Try this exercise out and share a few of your lines with me in the comments below. Jim Kwik uses the acronym HHH (Head- Heart- Hands) for quick learning. If you read this post (Head) and it resonated with you (Heart), you have to do the writing exercise (Hands) so that the lesson can stick.


Enjoy and repeat.


XXX


Miss Strangelove


P. S. Cookie of Wisdom: “Man more frequently requires to be reminded than informed.” Samuel Johnson ((Tweet this!))

10 outstanding, unconventional ways to motivate yourself

What brought you to this post? Lack of motivation? In that case, I have a bad and a good news for you. Bad news is that I cannot motivate you. Sorry.

But wait. The good news is that I can teach you how to motivate yourself, which is much more useful skill. Moreover, today I ‘ll show you 10 marvelous, unconventional ways to motivate yourself. They originate from the book, 100 Ways To Motivate Yourself written by Steve Chandler. He is an awesome guy, bestselling author, inspiring speaker and exceptional coach. I am big admirer of his work and ideas. 100 Ways To Motivate Yourself is interesting and resourceful book, full of actionable and practical advice. Warm recommendation!

Here are some of my favorite ways of self motivation (believe me, it was impossibly hard to pick just 10 of them). They are all simple, applicable and unconventional, I promise you will love them. (Numbers in the brackets originate from the book.)

1. Get on your death bed (1)

Imagine yourself as 101 year-old man/woman. What do you want to see behind yourself? What do you want to have achieved? What trace do you want to leave? How do you want to influence the world? What kind of legacy would you like to leave? How do you want to feel when you review your life? I bet you would like to be able to say: “I have made world a better place. I have helped many people. My life was meaningful.” What was your personal best score on Candy Crush Saga won’t matter at that moment. Life will reduce to its essence.

This exercise will give you time perspective and a sense of evanescence. Result: immediate momentum towards meaningful actions. When people get diagnosed with threatening disease, they usually change their direction from busy work and worry to purposeful actions and self expression. You don’t need any disaster, this exercise is enough. It is not meant to scare you, rather to open your eyes. It is not meant to kill you, but rather to reborn you. As Bob Dylan claimed: “He who is not busy being born is busy dying.” ((Tweet this!))

2. Light your ‘lazy dynamite’ (15)

We were taught to make ambitious plans: PhD, marathon, successful business, web site, book and so on. Then we get caught in a trap. Our huge goal scares us. How can I possibly write a whole book? Or run 42 km? It is hell a lot. Then I get overwhelmed and I decide not to try. Or I procrastinate about it. What is the point of starting, when I can never get it done?
Mistake! Henry Ford has pointed out that each task, no matter how big, can be successfully executed if broken down into little pieces. Grab your scissors and cut your dream into the smallest shreds possible. For instance, if your goal is to run a marathon, first step would be to run for 5 minutes. (Don’t roll your eyes. Shred HAS to be ridiculously small.) Then get into the lazy mode. Go running for 5 minutes. Who wouldn’t do something that small and that easy? Do it in a slow and lazy way. (It will push you gently to actually start doing, instead of contemplating and worrying.) Before you know it, you will be on the right track. (Audio inspiration.)

3. Kill your television (22)

Wow, I love this one. It doesn’t require a lot of explanation. Tim Ferris recommends information diet, as a key to productive life. Seth Godin is one of the most creative and prolific bloggers on Earth and he doesn’t watch any TV, for it frees up a lot of time for him to create. Groucho Marx found TV very educative. “Every time someone turns TV on, I go to other room to read the book,” he said. ((Tweet this!)) I cannot agree more. Save your mental capacity, your sanity and your energy by turning the TV off. I am living without a TV set for 5 years and I am much happier, more creative and productive than most of the people I personally know.

Try to kill your TV for a week. You will be surprised to see how much distraction and worries will cease. (And you will get new energy and motivation as a bonus.)

4. Run towards your fear (26)

Fear is not a foe, but a powerful indicator of growth. If you pass through it, you will find something great at the other side. “Fear kills more people than death,” says general George Patton. Death kills us once, while fear kills us many times. ((Tweet this!)) What are you afraid of? Uncomfortable conversation? Exam? Important change in your life? Saying “I love you.”? Fear that you feel indicates that particular action is charged with emotions and thus valuable for your evolution. Fear is good and accurate. Run towards it. Embrace it.

I challenge you to do one thing you are afraid of and see what happens. Take a peek under the bed. Look behind the curtain. Be bold. Do one small scary thing and the avalanche of motivation will follow.

5. Let your whole brain play (42)

Have you heard of an idea that you could have an amazing day if you get up at the right side of the bed? (In Serbian we have an idiom “to get up at the right leg”.) Steve has upgraded this idea, saying that we actually need to get up “at the right side of the head”. What does it mean? Most of the people spend their whole life using mostly left brain hemisphere. Left hemisphere or left brain is the center of our logical reasoning, problem solving and decision making. Primary function of left brain is convergent thinking, solving algorithmic problems and processes. At contrary, right hemisphere is in the charge of creative, divergent thinking, and is often neglected. We don’t use it enough, which is a pity, for we are wasting our potential. We perform at our best when we use both hemispheres.

Recipe for success: when you find yourself being unmotivated or stuck, try to do something creative. Write, dance, paint, cook, rearrange your place. It doesn’t have to do anything with your current blocked situation and it doesn’t have to make any sense. Give it a try. It will get you unstuck from the left brain linear thinking and horizons will open to you. When two brains work together, motivation burgeons.

6. Make today a masterpiece (47)

(Carpe diem.) In other words, use the day. When we make our plans, we tend to look too far ahead. Like with marathon or any other huge goal, final outcome seems huge and it creates paralysis. Motivation is directly proportional to the importance that we attach to present. Today. If we take care of today, tomorrow will take care of itself. Get yourself out of the future, plunge into present moment.

Chandler says: Today is microcosm of your life. Tweet this It is your life in miniature. You were ‘born’ when you woke up and you will ‘die’ when you go to sleep.” How awesome is that? Every day is a new chance. Use it. make today your masterpiece. Live one day at the time.

7. Do something badly (74)

This is big one! Awesome and contra-intuitive. We are often blocked with uncertainty that we can perform our task well. That is in the core of “writer’s block”. It’s not that writer cannot write, he is afraid that he cannot write well. The cure is simple: write badly. Don’t care about the quality, just write. It can be applied to a whole range of tasks. Are you procrastinating on an important mail? Write it badly. Sloppy. Just write it. You will unblock, your mental state will alter (and you’ll eventually realize that your ‘bad’ is actually not that disastrous). Steve uses an awesome quote: “If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.” ((Tweet this!))All the awesome ventures started with terrible first efforts. No, you won’t wake up one morning, sit down and write a novel. You need to have hundreds of lame attempts before it. So why don’t you start today? Check one small, sucky trial off your list!

8. Take ‘no’ for a question (82)

This is one of my favorites. Don’t consider ‘no’ as an answer, rather as a question. When you want something badly and it’s not happening, it means that Universe is asking you: “Can’t you be more creative than that?” Wow, I don’t know what to say, words are sufficient. This is powerful question that pushes you to be creative, think of new solutions, activate your right brain and shift your perspective. (Warning: Miracle on the way!)

9. Put more enjoyment in it (87)

“If you are not enjoying it, you are probably not doing it right,” ((Tweet this!))says Chandler. So spice it up. Believe me, you truly can put enjoyment in everything that you do. Even in doing dishes and laundry. Be present, tune into your senses. Enjoyment happens in a present moment. If the thing you are struggling with is super-boring, try to challenge yourself to enjoy in doing it for 2 minutes. Play some great music, get rid of the clutter, make a nice atmosphere. And enjoy.

10. Keep walking (88)

This is another awesome way to get your right brain working. Rhythmic movement of a whole body enhances the connection between two brain hemispheres. When you feel unmotivated or stuck, go for a walk. Move. Human body is designed for moving, not for sitting in front of computer 12 hours a day. Repudiate cell phone or music, just walk without distractions. This will engage your whole brain and supply it with oxygen. New ideas on the way!

Now it’s your turn. What are your favorite ways of motivating yourself? Have you tried any of those? What do you do when you feel unmotivated? Please share in comments bellow.

XXX

MILENA stRANGELOVe

P. S. Cookie of Wisdom: “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing- that’s why we recommend it daily.” Zig Ziglar((Tweet this!))

Do you know what is the ultimate motivator? Check it out…



Motivation



Let’s talk about the motivation. What motivates us? What makes us get up from bed in the morning? What makes us persistent and consistent? The answer is: many things. We get motivated by good mark, degree, praise, money, acknowledgement, chocolate, fancy new phone etc. There are many motivators that work more or less successfully.

Last time we spoke about the emotions, as goal of all our goals. Remember, we never chase the goal itself, but the feeling or emotion in its core. Let’s go one step further. What is the purpose of our emotions? Emotion origins from the Greek word motio, which means “to move”. The word “motivation” has the precisely the same origin. The essence of emotion is to motivate us, to make us move. Isn’t that great? And let me tell you, emotion is ultimate motivator. Way better than praise, money or chocolate. Intrinsic, sustainable, powerful motivator.

In his magnificent book Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us, the author Dan Pink compares extrinsic and intrinsic motivators. Extrinsic motivators (or carrots and sticks), used in schools and business for ages, are efficient only in very short term. They kill motivation in a long run. The best motivators are intrinsic motivators: our emotions, sense of purpose, our innate curiosity, thriving for freedom and desire to do big things and make significant contribution to the world. Those motivators are sustainable, always available and extremely efficient, even in long run.

Today I want to show you an awesome writing exercise, that will help you to tap into your inexhaustible source of motivation and energy. Are you ready? Get your notebook/Evernote/whatever ready and set 15 minutes on your stopwatch. Pick one goal, dream or desire of yours. And then, for 15 minutes write on a prompt:

WHY?

Bang, bang! “Why?” is the essence. “Why” is the purpose? “Why” is ultimate motivator. We want to see the meaning of our work and the aim of our dreams. This exercise will make you calmer. It will also help you investigate you dreams and desires. Why do you want what you want? Because everyone else has it? Because you “should” have it by now? Because your parents/partner/friends/society thinks you should have it? Because it will make you “complete” or “rounded”? Or do you want it because it will make you grow and stretch? Because it will make you better human being? Because it will help you help someone else? Because it will make you feel the way you want to feel?

Question your “Why?”. It will help you stay on the track. Or kick the goal that doesn’t serve you out of your life. Give this practice a try. You will be surprised with fresh new energy.

One more goodie: Watch THIS VIDEO for extra motivation and inspiration.

Now it’s your turn. Did you like this writing prompt? Did it help you see your dreams and goals in new light? Why do you want what you want? Share your thoughts in comments bellow.

XXX

MILENA stRANGELOVe

P. S. Cookie of Wisdom: “He who has why to live for can bear almost any how.” Friedrich Nietzche Tweet this!