The MONTHLY Motivator - March 2003
____________________________________________________The MONTHLY Motivator - March 2003
Moving on ahead
You've had a setback. You've been disappointed. Things haven't gone the way you intended. Things haven't gone a way you planned. What's the best thing for you to do?
Does it make sense to sit around and feel sorry for yourself? Are you going to let that one disappointment build on itself and take over your life? Or, will you quickly get back on track, back to what you were doing, and move on ahead past the disappointment?
The difference between those who consistently achieve and those who can't ever seem to make any progress is not in how many times they get knocked down, but in how quickly they recover.
Everyone gets knocked down. Even when you give it your best shot you can be defeated. Every person who is successful has also tasted defeat. Even those people whom we consider highly effective have regular and significant setbacks. In fact, the most highly accomplished people generally experience more disappointments than others, precisely because they are attempting so much. If you are not experiencing setbacks on a regular basis, you are probably not even coming close to making the most of your possibilities, and not even coming close to reaching your full potential.
The biggest winners in life are most often those who have also known the greatest number of disappointments. What makes a winner a winner is the ability to quickly get back in the game, no matter what the setback, no matter what the disappointment.
That's easy to understand. It's easy to say. Yet when you are in the midst of defeat it can indeed be difficult to imagine yourself getting back up and moving quickly and enthusiastically ahead. Disappointment can bring with it a powerful negative momentum that it is, admittedly, difficult to overcome. It hurts when you've had a setback. It's no fun. And often the last thing you want to think about is getting back in the game, and putting yourself in a position where there is the possibility for another painful disappointment. Yet getting back on track is the best thing you can do. That's what will ease the pain more quickly than anything else.
Yes, it will take some effort. It's well worth the effort, though, because what you're doing is transforming defeat into victory. What you're doing is proving to yourself that you can turn every situation into an opportunity for success. Once you realize you can do that, once you're confident in your ability to do that, the possibilities are virtually unlimited.
When you're confronted with a disappointment, the first step is to truly experience it. Things haven't gone your way and you have reason to be disappointed. Allow yourself to fully feel that disappointment, to fully feel that despair. Really experience what it's like. This will do a couple of things for you.
First, it brings your negative feelings out into the open where you can acknowledge them and deal with them. That's a lot better than keeping them hidden away where they can grow stronger and where they have the potential to pop up and take you down at any time. In many ways it can be positive to experience negative feelings. They can help to give you a firmer grasp on reality. They can be a powerful teacher. But you don't want to allow them to build up inside you. You've got to get them out and acknowledge them so you can then be free to move positively forward.
Another benefit of fully experiencing your disappointments is that they can motivate you in a more positive direction. When you really know how miserable it feels to lose, that will greatly strengthen your desire to win. Bringing your disappointments out in the open puts you in control. Those disappointments no longer control you. You have taken control, and that is an important first step in turning defeat into victory.
Once you've brought your disappointments out into the open, start looking for something positive about them. Look at every disappointment as something which opens the door for a new opportunity. Look for something to learn from your disappointments. They can be fantastic teachers.
Do you remember ever having a really great teacher in school, someone who truly inspired you to learn? If you've ever had such a teacher, you probably remember that he or she challenged you much more than your other teachers. At the time, that challenge may have seemed unfair to you. It may have even seemed mean spirited. And yet, now when you look back on the experience you can realize and understand the value of that challenge. It made you learn. It helped you to grow and to take more responsibility for yourself. The disappointments you face each day are the same way. When you're going through them they seem unfair, and yet when you gain the benefit of perspective, when you look back on the challenges and obstacles and disappointments you've endured, surprisingly you end up being grateful for them because of what they've taught you, because of how they've compelled you to grow, because of the strength you've gained from them.
So look for lessons, look for opportunities for growth, look for the positive aspects of the disappointment you just endured. Project yourself into the future and imagine that you're looking back on that particular disappointment from a distance of several months, or several years. When you do so, you will get past the immediate concerns of the moment and begin to see the positive value in what you've just experienced. Take that value, be grateful for the experience, and you'll be ready to move forward with a newfound enthusiasm.
To quickly get past your disappointments it is important that you have something to replace them with. No matter what has happened, no matter what sadness, setback or tragedy has befallen you, there is something you can do. There is some way to take positive action. To quickly get past your disappointments, be ready to replace them with a positive experience. Get busy right away.
How do you do that? By having something ready to do. And how do you have something ready and waiting to do? By keeping a clearly defined, written list of goals, and by having prepared a clearly defined plan for achieving those goals. When a disappointment comes along, it can take over your thinking. It can make you forget about the positive things you're working to achieve. It can make you forget about the plans you've made. So, the way to quickly get past that disappointment is to remind yourself of all the things you are committed to achieving. There's a good reason why people who write down their goals and their plans are much more likely to achieve them. By putting your goals in writing, you objectify them. You get them out of the realm of your mind where they can be tossed back and forth by random circumstances, and you get them down on paper where they remain a steadfast reminder of what you truly desire, even in times of disappointment and despair.
When you are able to quickly take positive action, that puts you in control. No longer are you a victim of your circumstances. When you take positive action you are able to create your own circumstances. That makes an enormous difference in your attitude, your effectiveness, your level of enthusiasm, and your ability to quickly move on past whatever disappointment may have befallen you. Any positive action, no matter how insignificant, can turn the tide of momentum in your favor. So it is vitally important that you quickly do something positive. If you've got a list of things ready and waiting, that gives you a tremendous advantage. There's something on that list you can do right now, so get busy and get it done.
An outstanding way to take positive action and to get quickly past your disappointment is by doing something to help others. One of the quickest and most effective ways to get past your own troubles is to help other people get past theirs. Every person you help becomes another advocate for moving your own life forward. There are plenty of people who would be grateful for your time, your attention, your teaching, your caring, your skills your knowledge, and your commitment.
It's often quite difficult to see your own problems as opportunities when they are your problems, when you're the one in the middle of them. Yet when you spend time sincerely addressing the problems of others, it becomes much easier to understand, to realize and to grasp the concept that in every problem is the seed of opportunity. Help enough people to overcome their disappointments and you'll become quite skilled at getting past your own disappointments.
If life has dealt you a cruel blow, rather than feeling sorry for yourself, think about channeling the energy of your frustration and disappointment into helping others. Look for ways to be of assistance. Look for ways to be a positive influence. That will truly get you back on a positive track, moving forward even faster than you were going before. Is there someone who needs your help right now? Think about it. It will help you too.
Find something to challenge yourself with. If you're trying to get past a problem that you've had, a great way to do that is to create a bigger problem. Now, that may sound a little bit strange at first. After all, why would you want to replace one difficulty with another one? The reason is control. The challenges you create for yourself, the challenges you willingly take on, are things that you have decided to do. You are not their victim. You are their master. You have chosen a challenge because you know you are strong enough to move yourself through it. You have chosen the challenge because it is something you desire to accomplish. Replace those disappointments that come your way with challenges which will move you forward. Take control.
Each challenge will energize you and bring out the best in you. Challenge will compel you to quickly forget those disappointments of the past and to develop your skills and resourcefulness so you can move forward into a positive future. Challenge will redirect your negative energy away from the frustrations of the past and into the achievements of the present and the future. Challenge will give you a clear and positive sense of direction and purpose. When you're bouncing back from a disappointment, you need somewhere to bounce. A good challenge will provide that space in which to move quickly away from your previous defeat.
Look to the future. On the other side of every problem, there is an opportunity. On the other side of discouragement, there is joy. Think of where you were going before the disappointment knocked you off track. Yes, you've had a temporary setback. So what? It's over now, and the very best thing you can do is to quickly get back in the game, get back on track, get headed positively in the direction of your goals. Look at your situation from a future-oriented perspective. You've had a learning experience, you've had a growth experience, you become stronger, and now you are even more highly motivated than before. The setbacks cannot defeat you, the obstacles cannot stand in your way. You are in control of your destiny. Nothing as trivial and insignificant as the disappointment you've recently experienced can stop you. You have committed, you have decided precisely where you want to go, what you want to accomplish, who you want to become. No fleeting negative situation can stop you.
If you are having setbacks that's great! Because it means you are making the effort to move forward. Consider the alternative. If you had no setbacks, it would mean you were not making any progress at all. It would mean that you were not even making the attempt. Be grateful for those setbacks because they are an indication of your willingness and your commitment to move forward. Be grateful for what they teach you. Be grateful for the strength they can build in you. Be grateful for the endurance, for the knowledge, for the experience you've gained.
You can't prevent every setback. You wouldn't want to. What you can do and what you must do if you are to achieve your goals is to make it your top priority to recover quickly from those setbacks and get back on track.
In every effort there will be interruptions, disappointments, even some disasters. Your recovery time depends largely on what you decide to do each time a setback comes. The time and energy you put into anger and pity will serve mainly to prolong the time it takes to get going again. So forget about feeling sorry for yourself. Forget about being angry. Make the commitment to move forward. Don't let your setback get the best of you. You are stronger than it is. You are stronger than any disappointment that can come your way.
Accept that the setbacks will come and when they do, make the decision to move quickly past them. Experience them for what they are, look for the positive in them, then move on beyond them by taking positive actions which will create value for yourself and others.
Winners and losers both stumble. Winners stumble more often, because they have learned how to quickly get back up and get going again. When you stumble enough, and get back up quickly enough, you'll surely arrive at precisely where you want to be.
-- Ralph Marston
Copyright 2003 Ralph S. Marston, Jr. All rights reserved.With Love and hugs Sianna a passion for life and love
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