We welcome you to this Becoming Your Best Podcast today wherever you might be in the world today. This is Steve Shallenberger, your host, and today we are going to talk about how to stay motivated, and you might ask for what or who is this for. Well, it’s in sales, it’s for life, it’s for marriage, a student, work, a CEO, coach, a teacher, a lawyer, doctor, caregiver. Really, we’re all included and have a need to stay motivated. This is really inspired from an email from one of our listeners, and this person indicated that, “I have a good life, a good spouse, good income, a nice home, wonderful children, but something is missing. Sometimes I just don’t feel happy. Our marriage doesn’t have the same magic that it used to have. So what can I do to get back on track?” Well first of all, congratulations to this person for wanting to get back on track, to be fully happy. And so, this really ties back into maintaining the motivation throughout our lives that gives us the capacity to stay happy, to find solutions to our challenges, to stay productive, to stay on top, and especially when we’re knocked down, and especially when things get tough, when we may not even want to try.

I like to share an experience I have recently while I was out exercising and I was listening to a talk on concentration. I love to go out and exercise and listen to TED Talks, the podcast inspirational talks. This particular speaker asked his audience and it was a large audience, “How many were formally taught concentration in school?” And he said, “Really formally taught how to concentrate?” Two hands went up in the entire group audience. And then, he said, “Okay. How many of you were told to concentrate by a parent or a teacher?” And all of the hands went up. And then, another question, “How many tell your children or employees today, ‘Well, concentrate.'” Well, again, all the hands went up.

This person went on to talk about how we really are distracted all day long and it just racks our capacity to really concentrate. And what happens is we’re frequently told to concentrate but not really taught how to concentrate. And then he went on to give some suggested ways of how to concentrate and focus. Well, today we will not just talk about motivation and focus we will talk about the things that you and I can do to stay motivated, and motivation is not just a flash in the plan or pan accomplishment, don’t get me wrong. We will all take those high water mark accomplishments that we can in life. Those high water marks can bring great satisfaction in life, but we’re talking about sustaining a high level of motivation that produces what we call an ever inclining program, always improving, always progressing, steady, solid, upward throughout life. And that type of sustaining accomplishment that far exceeds our high water marks by the end of our lives.

And so sustaining a high level of motivation is at the very heart of what we do, it’s the very heart of becoming your best. And that is why the spirit of becoming your best is a movement for people everywhere. We’ve actually been thinking about becoming your best manifesto, and I’d like to share how we see that. A manifesto to becoming your best manifesto is about a certain type of leader of becoming your best leader. It’s a new breed of leader who is no longer satisfied with mediocrity. And becoming your best leader strive daily to be their very best in each area of their life and treat others right.

Becoming your best leaders are committed to excellence in finding a way to do the impossible. Becoming your best leaders are confident optimistic and determined to make a positive difference in their home, schools, organizations and the world, and negativity passes and complaining have no part in their lives. Becoming your best leaders know they don’t have to really compromise their personal life or family life to be successful. And becoming your best leaders know that life matters and what you do matters and your organization matters. And so we are part of a becoming your best family, and we are leaders that make a difference. So there are certain things that becoming your best leaders do to help you and I stay motivated. So let’s talk about a few of them right now.

I’m going to talk about five things that you can do to stay motivated. The first one is to control the things that you can control. Take responsibility for the outcome. Refuse to spend time on things that you cannot control. So for example, you can’t control the weather, what others think, what people say about you or about your organization. You can’t control the competition out there, people being mean or nice, or if you have an accident or you forget something or something bad happens, natural disasters. None of these things can you control, but you can control serving others, being kind, what you think about, forgiving others, filling your mind with good, your speech with good. You will find great power in writing down what you can control and then being determined, discipline to focus only on those things which you can control and watch the immediate power for good that comes into your life.

Here is a second thing that you and I can do to stay motivated, and it is to focus on your vision, goals and pre-week planning. This combination of tools really and resources helps to focus your mind on positive action now. They will help you get unstuck. They help to provide direction and meaning. And as you consider and reflect on your vision, the direction, your goals, they’re far different. Goals are things that help us get to our vision, and pre-week planning they will help you stay focused on the things that matter most. And it’s helpful to think of these three things in terms of the roles of your life. So for example, wherever we go as we talk about roles, we’ll ask people to shout them out. Well, they include yourself, your personal life and this encompasses the physical aspect, mental, spiritual, emotional, and financial. And so this is one of the roles we have in life. Another key role might be a spouse or a partner. Another key role would be family, a family member, or a son or daughter, or a parent, or a brother and sister. Another key role is work, our professional aspect, the things we do professionally, or being a student, or community or church.

So, these basic roles that we have do not frequently change or something that we have in life so as we think about our vision, our goals and our pre-week planning in terms of our roles, it gives a whole different meaning and set of the dimensions of how we spend our time. And those are the things that matter most in life. By thinking of roles it gives balance. And so one tool that will help you is becoming your best planner. Now just trust me on this, really. Whether you use a paper-based tool or an electronic planner, becoming your best planner helps you to stay focused on the right things, and it is one of the most important investments that you and I can make to help us stay focused on the things that matter most, and it’s inexpensive but it’s worth its weight in gold.

So, to get more information about the becoming your best planner just go to becomingyourbest.com, go to the store and you’ll be able to see that. There’s a medium-size and a large-size, it’s very portable, but it makes such a difference. And we want to just remember, of course, the vision is the direction, the purpose and the cause and it usually just takes up one sheet. And in the planner, there’s a place to write it down from The Becoming Your Best book. The 12 principles of highly successful leaders. There’s a whole chapter dedicated just how to develop your own personal vision.

Then the course next are your annual goals. We’re really saying what will I accomplish that keeps me motivated and excited to get up each morning? And these annual goals are broken down by roles and what you’ll do. They are amazing. And you wanna stay with them until they really do create this excitement within you. And they are inspirational, and they are different than just a transactional gold. They’re transformational for you and you can fill ’em in your heart that they make a difference. And of course, pre-week planning is taking a few minutes during the weekend 20 or 30 minutes to prepare for your week. What will I do this week? And ultimately, it gets down to each day that makes a difference, and these are the things that are really power up the motivation.

They help your mind stay focused and not wander around on things that are less important, on things that you can’t control. And these are things that I do that are fun, that they’re uplifting, that they do make a difference. And so, these things by the way really are so helpful to us, and one of the parts that we wanna keep in mind with our vision, goals and pre-week planning is taking care of ourselves. And so getting adequate sleep, a healthy diet and regular exercise, these things will help keep you strong and give you the energy to maintain a consistent high level of motivation. So they become a very central part as we describe our vision. I am fit and I am healthy.

And then in my annual goals it is to exercise five times a week, to get the sleep that I need. I need seven or eight hours a night of good sleep, and to have a healthy diet. And then when I do my pre-week planning I actually sketch out when I will do it. So I conquer this battle mentally before it ever comes up physically, because all of us have so many things that are going on in life. We wanna slay this Dragon before it ever comes up, and then if something really more important comes up, it’s already really programmed into our mind, we will do it and we’ll find a way ultimately to make it happen. Okay that’s number two. First one is control the things you can control. The second, focus on your vision goals and pre-week planning. Oh my goodness. What a big impact that has on our levels of motivation.

And number three is share your dreams and goals with others, and don’t be fearful of asking for advice. I’d like to just share an experience I had with one of our daughters-in-laws. She came up, we have five boys are all married, we have a daughter, she’s married. And one of these daughter-in-laws wrote me an email a week and a half ago indicating that she wanted to get some advice. And so we had the chance to be together a few days later, and we sat down and talk. I hope it was helpful to her. It was good for me because it really became the motivation for this podcast today. It caused me to thinking how do we stay motivated even when we have the normal challenges that come to us in life.

Sometimes we get stuck and simply sharing, talking helps to get us moving in the right direction again. So I’d like to thank that daughter-in-law for taking the time to contact me. She’s a wonderful person and we all benefit by this. I reflect on my life and I’ve taken challenges, difficult challenges to my mentors, people that I care about and I’ve shared then with them and what a wonderful transforming experience this is to do that. Number four. In other words number three is, don’t be afraid to ask others and in the short and long-term it’s very helpful, to consult with others, to coach with others.

Number four is to fill your mind with positive stuff. And you all have heard this comment, this acronym which is GIGO, it stands for what? Garbage In and Garbage Out. Well, how true, we’d like to change that around a bit and say Greatness In, Produces Greatness out. And one of the ways to do that that I have really enjoyed doing and I believe every one of us can do this is to memorize good stuff. Memorize things that we can, when the things get hard, that we can hearken back to and it inspires us ourselves, and you can start small which is very simple things to memorize. And then, as you strengthen this part of the memory you can expand the type of things. For example, I actually have in some of my past organizer that had all the sheets. I called them “Steve’s prize literature and quotes,” things that I love, things that inspired me and pumped me up, but they’re genuine and powerful. They’re quotes by great people.

Here is one that when I was 23 years old I was out selling books during the summer as my summer job. And I went to church in this small community in a remote area and the speaker share this quote. It’s entitled “Just Keep On.” I memorized it and I used it day in and day out but many others I’ll share some of these, “Just keep on livin’ and keep on a givin’ and keep on tryin’ to smile, just keep on singin’ and trustin’ and clingin’ to the promise of an after while, for the sun comes up and the sun goes down and the morning follows night. There’s a place to rest like a mother’s breast and a time when things come right. Just keep on believin’ and hidin’ all your grievin’ and keep on tryin’ to cheer. Just keep on prayin’ and lovin’ and sayin’ the things we love to hear, for the tide comes in and the tide goes out, and the dark will all turn bright. There’s a rest from the load and an end to the road, and a place where things come right.”

Oh my goodness. I love that and said it many times over the years, so many others that I’ve enjoyed by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, “And one ship sails east and one ship sails west. By the selfsame wind that blows. Tis the set of the sail. And not the Gail. That determines the way it goes. And like the ships of the sea or the ways of fate, as we journey along through life. Tis the set of the soul that determines the goal, and not the calm or the strife.” And they just go on and on. You find things that will just really touch your heart and inspire you.

So, listen to podcast and TED Talks and good stuff, only good stuff, positive, upbeat. One of your annual goals can be to read at least 12 good books during the year, one per month. Okay. That’s number four of things we can do to stay motivated. Number one, control the things that you can control. Number two, is to focus on your vision, goals and pre-week planning. Number three, share your dreams and goals with others, ask for advice. Number four, fill your mind with positive stuff. And number five, is work, work, work, and never give up. Get busy carrying out your goals, trust in the future, have faith that things will work out because they will.

If there is any one lesson from history, it is as you focus on the good, doing the things that highly successful leaders have done for years, for centuries, for millenniums, you will ultimately be successful and victorious. You will find success in unexpected moments. And as you balance around what matters most, what is most important in life, your roles, doing the things we have this discussed, you will ultimately succeed. So we invite each one of our listeners to be determined, to be part of this movement of making a difference. We’re all leaders, but let us be this new breed of leaders who are no longer satisfied with mediocrity, leaders who strive daily to be your very best in each area of life and treat others right, be wide, be leaders who are committed to excellence, and defined in a way to doing the impossible.

They’re confident, optimistic and determined to make a positive difference in their homes, and their schools and organizations and the world, and negativity and complaining have no part in our lives. And we know we don’t have to compromise our personal lives or family to be successful. And we’re like everybody else, we get knocked down, we’ll have setbacks but a BYB leader keeps getting back up and will stay motivated because of what is going on inside of our head and our heart, and we know that life matters. What you do matters, your organization matters.

So this is Steve Shallenberger in this podcast today reminding each one of us that you make a difference. We wish you all the best. Thank you.

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