Genuis Power and Magic
Are you putting off starting a project or making changes? The reasons we invent for not doing something often outweigh the motivation for getting started. When I've been in this position I've always found the words of W.H. Murray inspiring and have shared them with a number of my clients over the years -
"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.
I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:
'Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.' " (W.H. Murray 'The Scottish Himalayan Expedition' 1951)
Unfortunately many dreams and well formed plans do remain unrealised and whether or not this is due to a lack of 'boldness' these four techniques are ones that I've found helpful in a variety of contexts.
Lower the thresholdMake the first step a small one rather than a giant leap. Shawn Achor ('The Happiness Advantage' 2010) writes about reducing the 'activation energy' required to start a project by gathering all the necessary resources and removing any foreseeable hurdles before you begin. Take control of what you can control and don't worry about what you can't!
Strengthen the goalGoals that are aligned with a compelling vision and a strong sense of purpose, expressed in rich sensory language will sustain your motivation when the going gets tough.
Ditch the baggageBe aware of limiting beliefs and habitual behaviours that are no longer fit for purpose and replace them with the 'right tools for the job'. Be mindful of what you’re thinking (internal dialogue) which may reveal the undermining influence of your 'self saboteur’. Thinking like a 'hero' will counter the saboteur's arguments, especially if you can think of three positive reasons for going ahead for every one for delaying or abandoning the project.
Focus on the doingSometimes we can become so focussed on achieving the 'end' (goal) and the need for guaranteed success that we pay insufficient attention to the 'means' (actions) required to achieve it. When we actively engage in 'doing' we move into a dynamic environment which brings with it changing perspectives, emergent opportunities and even a little 'genius, power and magic!'
(Adapted from my LinkedIn article 27/09/2014)