Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

Going with the Flow


This whole idea of change is founded on a single principle: CHANGE IS ALL IN YOUR MIND.

First comes a desire or need to change. Then comes an attitude that permits it. Then come behaviors that lead to it and support it. And finally, change happens - or at least you realize that it has happened!

The substance or result of the change process becomes clear at the moment you realize that something has changed - that you're getting BETTER, or that the situation is becoming DIFFERENT. And the notion of fundamental change ultimately leads to the possibility that you can actually be the BEST you that you can be.

All you need to do is take the change process all the way. All it takes, really, is the desire to grow, to change - and the realization that the process never really ends.

By acknowledging that your development is an ongoing process - a work in progress - you'll keep discouragement and frustration at relatively low levels when you suffer a setback or reach a plateau that could make you believe that you can't go on. You'll immediately realize that the situation is temporary and that you'll move on just as soon as you're ready.For just a few moments let's look at an "ideal state" scenario for change, one in which you truly "go with the flow."

The concept of "flow" isn't new, although recent books and articles seem to give it a lot of emphasis. "Flow" is what every one of us has experienced when, as children, we got really deep into our playing. Can you remember pretending to be Superman or Wonder Woman? How did that feel? Wasn't it exciting? Didn't you really believe that you could do all those superhuman things? Of course, that was imaginary, but the feeling is what I want you to remember. What words describe it?

One word is "joy." When your activity is going along without a hitch you may feel joyous. Moreover, you're likely to lose yourself in the activity, to become "one" with it. Your sense of time evaporates. Sometimes you go into "slow motion." This happens to me when I reach a deep state of concentration.

On the other hand, sometimes an hour will pass in what you feel is just a minute or two. For me, this can happen when I'm in front of my computer, especially when I'm surfing the Internet or working on a particularly interesting copy writing assignment.

When I reach this state, I often get a feeling of effortless achievement. One of the best examples of this for me is when I am skiing. Usually, at some point during the day, I begin a run and I just know that it's going to be perfect. All fear disappears; my brain and my body mesh in perfect synchronization; and my spirit soars! What a feeling!!

The way one gets to this remarkable state depends on a certain conditioning, one that involves a deep commitment to improvement and a conscientious planning process that outlines exactly what it is you want to achieve at this stage of your development. Mindful of that, the actions you take must be highly focussed, specifically located in the present, in the NOW. Whenever your mind leaves the NOW, your sense of flow will be disturbed and your effortless progress will dissolve into a confusion of ideas and time frames. When you're looking for flow, concentrate on NOW and on the single idea you're pursuing at this moment.

This ability to reach a "flow" state requires consistent practice. One way to motivate yourself toward this is to work on developing some talent not necessarily related to new experiences or skill-sets. You can profit from going back to some talent you already possess - sports, playing a musical instrument, gardening, crafts - whatever. Almost every one of us has some skill or interest that was very important years ago but has been lost in the process of being a responsible adult.

Take some time to inventory your talents and commit to activating at least one of them again. Not only will you likely discover that you get up to speed very quickly, but you'll also find that you can improve that already-acquired skill quite easily. That'll make you feel pretty good about yourself. Now translate the improvement process to the life change you want to make, and see what happens.

Next, pick a workable strategy, a way of approaching the task of conscious change that uses skills and inclinations you already know and use. Some people, for instance, prepare for change by reading every relevant book and magazine article they can get their hands on. Is this you? If so, go for it.

If not, well maybe you're a Nike-type person, a JUST DO IT enthusiast. This kind of person is willing to be knocked about some by new experiences and feelings, but for this kind of person, that's the way that learning occurs. Another type likes to make task lists, to-do sheets, project management schedules, timetables and other quantifying devices. If that's your thing, then use it.

It's always easier to use what you know than to learn something entirely new, and there's no sin in taking the easier, softer way when one exists for you.

Whatever your talents, inclinations or methodologies, one very good way to get motivated toward a "flow" of change is to listen hard to what others see, to get feedback from peers, friends and family. I belong to a group of writers who meet regularly to review and critique each other's work. I can't tell you how much better my work has gotten thanks to the input of others who know what they're looking at. In fact, this seminar has a board of advisors that see everything we do periodically. They comment, they critique, they suggest, and I respond. Net result, the seminar keeps getting better and better!

OK...so now you're motivated. How do you stay that way throughout the change process? Here are a few things to think about, to do, to watch out for.

First, make a conscious decision about how much of your time and effort you're willing to invest in the change process. This decision will, of course, influence or determine how long it will take to change, the degree of change over time, and so forth. But by quantifying your time allocation you'll be less likely to give too much time to activities that aren't productive. You'll also more easily focus on NOT trying to over-perfect things that are OK as is. Finally, by allocating your time you'll keep your effort in this area in balance with the rest of your life Next, make only wise comparisons. As you make progress, you're going to want to measure it. Often we measure ourselves by our observations of others. Guard against comparing yourself to the top experts - those people you believe are absolutely perfect. They'll represent impossible-to-reach targets and you'll get discouraged. Measure yourself against those who are just far enough ahead of you to represent a viable challenge for you.One way to avoid that trap is to measure yourself tomorrow against yourself yesterday. The old sports clich of "personal best" holds here. This yardstick measures only how far you've come, not necessarily how far you have to go. It's easier on the ego and generally more positive.The next idea has to do with NOT getting UNmotivated. Avoid toxic people. Not everyone will share your goal of wanting to become the best you can be. In fact, many people will get jealous when you bring up that kind of subject, and they'll try to shoot you down. Identify these people as soon as you can and run as fast as possible away from them.

Finally, you absolutely MUST learn to accept setbacks. They're inevitable. Conflicting schedules, problems with the learning curve, the need to know one thing you don't know in order to learn another thing you need to know...there are many obstacles. Don't let them throw you. Find some supportive people you can vent to. That'll relieve the pressure and let you move on.

A final note about people you ask for advice. Make sure that there are as many of them as possible, and rotate the people you ask. If you hear too much from any one person, you may find yourself hearing the same messages, limiting your own growth, and perhaps antagonizing the person you're leaning on.

At the very bottom of all this are those core ideas...that change takes time and effort...that it's entirely your responsibility...that there are many ways to achieve the same outcome...and that there are people who will support you.

So it's not at all impossible to change ANYTHING that will help you to grow as a person in any dimension...physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

Copyright 2002, 2005 Optimum Performance Associates/Paul McNeese.Paul McNeese is CEO of Optimum Performance Associates, a consulting firm specializing in transitional and transformational change for individuals and institutions through publication. His publishing company, OPA Publishing, is an advocacy for self-publishing authors of informational, instructional, inspirational and insightful nonfiction. Email: pmcneese@opapublishing.comWebsites: http://www.opapublishing.com and http://www.opapresents.com


MORE RESOURCES:

MMAjunkie.com

Michael Bisping's motivation? Even BJ Penn looks to 'The Count' for inspiration
MMAjunkie.com
“It's very, very simple,” Bisping told MMAjunkie video partner Rick Lee. “B.J. is a two-time world champion in two different weight classes. I haven't achieved that, so that's what keeps me motivated. That's what keeps me hungry. I know I'm capable of ...
UFC 186: Michael Bisping motivated to still be world championSportingNews.com

all 364 news articles »


Fortune

If you're struggling to find motivation at work, this may help
Fortune
Staying motivated is hard–for everyone. Like you, my plate is overfull. Getting everything I want to do done isn't easy. And like you, I wear many hats as a business owner, an executive coach, speaker, writer, runner, wife, mother, and I'm currently ...

and more »


St. Cloud Times

Small find creates a mountain of motivation
St. Cloud Times
One Saturday when I was 12, mom woke us before sunrise. I had just dreamt of socking another home run in Yankee Stadium. "Steig oof!" she yelled downstairs. "Wake up!" After breakfast we sliced a mountain of potatoes into chunks, one eye each.



Pelicans.com

Plenty of motivation for Pelicans despite trailing 3-0 to Warriors
Pelicans.com
No team in NBA history has ever recovered to win a playoff series after trailing 3-0. In fact, only three times has a team even gotten to a Game 7 from a 3-0 deficit, the most recent instance taking place a dozen years ago. Sobering facts indeed, but ...
Plenty of motivation for the New Orleans Pelicans despite trailing 3-0 to the ...Boxscore
Pelicans came into the playoffs through the front door, showed they belonged ...NOLA.com
Game 4: Tune-Up (Warriors 109, Pelicans 98)San Jose Mercury News (blog)
Bourbon Street Shots -SB Nation
all 1,316 news articles »


Why self-motivation is key to career stability
The Standard Digital News (satire) (press release) (registration) (blog)
Kenya: Motivation is a key human behaviour that drives performance. It makes individuals show the world what they are made of. Unfortunately, motivation levels decline as a person settles in the workplace.

and more »


Remembering the importance of motivation
The Daily Nonpareil
Seldom do I participate in email chain letters. You probably know the sort I'm referring to. Generally it's some sort of letter that invites the receiver to add his or her name to the bottom of the list of names included in the email, asks the receiver ...



MLSsoccer.com

Birthday boy Kaká says pressure to lead Orlando City "is motivation for me"
MLSsoccer.com
ORLANDO, Fla. – Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite celebrated his 33rd birthday on Wednesday with virtually every major soccer honor under his belt – but with the aim of achieving even more in MLS. Ricardo, otherwise known as Kaká to fans worldwide and ...

and more »


The Inquisitr

Straight Teen Asks Gay Friend To Prom: Jacob Lescenski Explains Motivation ...
The Inquisitr
Straight teen Jacob Lescenski just created one of the most memorable promposals of all time, asking his gay friend to the prom in a gesture that has gotten a nationwide response. The Las Vegas teen decided to ask his best friend, Anthony Martinez, to ...

and more »


Gizmodo

Your Monday Morning Motivation, Graphed
Gizmodo
My Sunday motivation bar was high, so I stayed up till midnight watching Game of Thrones. Then, my daughter woke me up with a wet bed at 5 am. After taking care of that, I laid down to try to go back to sleep, and an Amber alert set my phone off a ...

and more »


Sydney Morning Herald

Seven ways to kill staff motivation
Sydney Morning Herald
Some people will never be motivated in their role. Others do what it takes to keep their job and be seen as a team player. Then there are highly motivated workers who, for myriad reasons, lose their passion for the job and become disgruntled. I thought ...

and more »

Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.