Self motivation inspired by granddad’s rocking chair

My granddad once told me you can tell you’re becoming older when:

Your back goes out more than you do.

You turn out the lights for economic rather than romantic reasons.

You sink your teeth in a steak and… they stay there.

He also told me, you can tell when you’re really really getting on when you sit in a rocking chair and can’t get it going. I’m delighted to report I’m not at that stage… yet, and I hope I never get there either. But, there are times when we just can’t get ourselves going. Or at least it’s a big effort to do so.

Recently I’ve been going through a few challenges and it would have been so easy to give in and not bother. Don’t panic, I’m not giving in just yet, nor am I looking for sympathy. I’ve learnt that challenges are an opportunity to learn and grow.

I wouldn’t wish ill on anyone and going through hardship is not nice and can be very painful, and I’ve learnt that we always get through it somehow. Besides, if we didn’t have any bad times how could we appreciate the good times?

So here are 5.5 things, when you’re feeling down, to help you motivate yourself so you can step up and step onward.

1) Be solution-focussed not problem-focussed. What’s been done, has been done; now focus on your options and the best way to solve the issue or get done whatever needs to be done.

2) Don’t be afraid of making mistakes; wisdom comes from making mistakes and will help us to avoid making mistakes in the future.

3) Do your best to eliminate unsupportive people from your life. You know the ones, they keep telling you you’re an idiot or that you’re not good enough. Boy, have I had a few of those in my life. If you can’t get rid of them (e.g. they may be a spouse), when they say something you don’t like ask them, ‘how helpful do you think you’re being?’ Or, ‘how helpful do you think the statement you’re making is?’ Then ask them, ‘What’s the most helpful thing you could do or say right now to help me?’

4) Seek out helpful supportive people. One way of doing that is by being helpful and supportive to others yourself.

5) Remind yourself of past successes and be grateful for what you have in your life that you like, love and that’s going well. Usually, when we’re upset about something, it’s about one aspect, not every aspect of our lives. Granted, that one thing can affect everything else, but stay focussed.

5.5) Remind yourself you’re just doing the best you can with what you have. You are responsible for your life and you might not be able to control what happens to you but you can control what you do and how you feel about it.

And when you do reach that certain age in life, may you continue to have a gleam in your eye. Unlike my granddad, where that gleam was actually the sun hitting his bifocals :O

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