One-Liner Wednesday–If Only

If only, if only each and every of us knows how valuable and worthy we are, just because we have been created to be so, and that our worth is not determined by that one person’s opinion–that playground bully, the spouse who walked out, the parent who could never be pleased, that unrequited love, that mean boss, that insulting audition judge, that publisher who tears your manuscript apart.

This post is part of LindaGHill’s One-Liner Wednesday:

Focus (Part 2)

The freedom
Of a single-track mind
The narrow path
That leads to life
The excitement
Of being alone
With that dream
That only you
Can understand.

The courage
In saying ‘no’
To the popular, enticing, pleasurable
Just to say ‘yes’
To what you know is right–
The singleness of goal.

The joy
Of being in The Flow
Where at every moment
Everything you touch

The Three Fs’ That Hold Us Back

I am certain that everyone has desires, ideals, and dreams. But most would end up settling for “what I could learn to be happy with” instead of going after “what I would really love to have”. Why? Why is it that people who live their dreams are such a minority?

For the masses who are still dreaming instead of chasing and ‘doing’ their dreams, what are the things that hold them back?

I did some reflection on the human nature (as I know it), drew on the common sentiments and laments I have heard throughout my life, and concluded that these are probably the three main factors holding us back from doing what we really want to do.

1. Finances
Money – it can never be a neutral or easy topic. We are cautioned not to love money and yet it is money that makes the world go round. If we do not have a healthy relationship with money, we will end up enslaved and entrapped — in the rat race, or simply the endless marathon to keep making ends meet. Tiring.

If we do not control our finances, they will end up controlling our lives, dictating and limiting our choices. I always believe that proper money management–saving, spending below our means, and investing wisely–is a major key to a life of freedom, where one has the financial liberty to do what they really love instead of being stuck in a job just to make ends meet.

I know of people who are enjoying early retirement, pursuing their passion just because all through their lives they have been prudent financially.

2. Fear
This comes in many forms. From my observation, people hold back from running with their dreams because they fear:

– what might go wrong
– what other people would think
– what difficulties may lie ahead, and along with these the sacrifices they would have to make
– what they may not know and discover that they are not competent enough at

These are all the negative “what ifs” and they probably stem from a lack of confidence and may I suggest, a lack of humility that may render the idea of being a novice all over again unappealing. When it comes to fear, I think the best way to cope is to just calculate the risks the best we can, do whatever homework that is necessary… And then just take the plunge by faith and be prepared for the ride ahead.

3. Family
Please don’t get me wrong–this is not about family bashing. Our loved ones care about us and sometimes with their concern and opinion of what they think is best, they unwittingly clip our wings.

So we get discouraged because lacking moral and emotional support does make change a lot harder than it already is.

Or in other instances it could be family obligations holding us back from attempting something new and risky.

I guess if I were to face family as an obstacle, the best approach would be to communicate openly, and if there are obligations involved then some adjustments and compromise may be required. For example, I may have to start by taking smaller steps than I would have liked to.

What do you think of these three factors holding many of us back from pursuing our hearts’ desires, and what would your coping strategies be?

Motivation: Lasting Impact, Simple Means

Today two colleagues and I conducted a motivational program for a group of factory employees – and I use the term “motivational” rather than motivation because I am far from an expert on this subject. Therefore, it is more accurate to say that we organized something to motivate the workers to be more engaged and enthusiastic about their work, rather than to teach them about motivation.

Aside from the fact that none of us are motivation experts, I also believe that motivation can never really be taught. Like passion, genuine lasting motivation is something that has to come from within.

So how did we go about designing a program that would be fun, and most importantly, drive home a strong message that leads to lasting change? We wanted to achieve a profound impact through elegant and uncomplicated means. How?

So we put our heads together and in the end came up with a program content based on these premises:

1. That the answers (as to how to solve problems, get along with others, and be happier at work) are already in the participants themselves

2. That any motivational program must not appear to be preachy, shoving do’ s and dont’s down the throats of perfectly capable adults

So, for messages to be effective in spurring real change, they must be discovered by the participants themselves. Nothing new, actually – considering this is actually what the best counsellors, coaches/mentors and therapists do: leading their charges to discover answers for themselves, rather than telling them what to do.

So we did just that. First, we identified the priorities of this group of workers. And then, prior to the program day, we had them answer a questionnaire that sought their opinion on how things can be improved.

Then we analyzed their responses and picked the most common and also the most pertinent ones to compile into a summary. This morning, we kicked off the program by running through its objectives, and pointed out how these objectives were pretty much aligned with the feedback they had given us through the questionnaire. We believe in affirmation!

Next, we showed the summary of their responses and thanked them for their input, and informed them of what we were going to do about it. There were giggles and laughter as familiar statements flashed on the screen, and I noticed a good number of them nodding intently as I spoke.

In line with the premise that answers are often found within oneself, the next thing we did was to run a session on personalities – highlighting how we tend to approach life and relationships differently based on how we are wired. Finally we had them get into groups to brainstorm on what the different personality types could do to bridge differences and contribute to workplace harmony. They then took turns to present their results with the whole group, and in the end, out of the entire list of ‘things we can do’, we asked them to pick three things they could do over the next month or so, and then see if there is better teamwork and overall happiness by then.

What are these three things?
1. They agreed they would start saying ‘thank you’ whenever they receive feedback for improvement
2. They agreed they would smile at and greet their co workers and superiors
3. They agreed they would start to extend help to colleagues even if the task is not in their job description

And we would remind them of these three things, and follow up with them over the next few weeks to get their feedback on how things have improved with these simple behaviour modification.

Of course there were other fun things we did in today’s program, but I would not elaborate other than saying that we did play a couple of games, ate some good food (loved the hot and spicy tempe and anchovies!), had photos taken, and had a blasting karaoke session.

Granted, motivation is a lifestyle and not just a one-day program, so we will be following up with our participants and walking alongside them to discover more answers. And they will definitely not be the only ones learning and growing 🙂

Six Questions to Ask Ourselves Everyday, According to Brendon Burchard

Having seen Brendon Burchard’s Facebook ads, I clicked on the link and the positive comments on his training video led me to click the Play button. I wasn’t disappointed! I didn’t take notes so here from memory, in my own words, are the 6 questions he says we should be asking ourselves a few times a day if we want to “live, love and matter”.

1. Am I rested and well hydrated? (Physical)

2. What is my mission today? (Productivity)

3. What is the level of my presence, in terms of physical presence and emotional vibrancy with whatever I am doing? (Presence)

4. Am I living my truth today? (Psychological)

5. Am I demonstrating bold enthusiasm? (Persuasion)

6. How can I serve greatly? (Purpose)

So far I have done pretty well with question 1 – remembering to get sufficient sleep and drink more water than I usually do. Will be working on the rest for sure, and his video is definitely worth watching more than just once.