October 14th, 2010 Archive

Rise, Shine and Get Moving!

October 14th, 2010 by Ric in Lifestyle, Sharing Success

 

Working from home is great. After I get out of bed and into my morning routine – stretch, wash up, eat breakfast, and whatever else I have to do to get my day started – my trip to “the office” involves just a few steps. A few weeks ago, the balcony of our rented seaside villa was my office. Today, a corner of our living room serves that purpose. Liz is also on her laptop just a few feet away, and the boys are pushing each other’s buttons in the next room. 

Of course, working from home has its perils too. The kitchen is right there, inviting me to grab a snack. Worse is my bed, which refuses to let me up in the morning and keeps me wrapped in its sheets. My whole house, it seems, is conspiring to keep me from doing anything productive. 

Fortunately, I’ve found ways to resist its charms and keep myself focused. I have my own ways of motivating myself, but I couldn’t help but smile when I read Denis Waitley’s article How to Stay Motivated on Small Business CEO Magazine. We share a number of similar ideas (it almost feels like he took the ideas right out of my head), and I’d like to share them with you. 

Focus on the positive
Denis suggests that you tell yourself, “I’m on the right road. I’m doing OK. I’m succeeding.” If you focus on your flaws and failures, you psyche yourself out – and you probably won’t want to keep going. 

This is why it’s important to focus on what you like about what you’re doing. The best thing about working from home is being able to spend more time with my family. Liz and I get to spend time together, and we both get to watch our boys Stefan and Chandler grow up. 

Getting to where we are now wasn’t easy either. When Liz and I first started our first business 15 years ago, we didn’t know what we were doing, and we fell on our faces again and again. We could have quit then, but instead, we picked ourselves up, figured out what lessons we could apply the next time around, and kept going. 

Push yourself
Denis explains that “Doing well once or twice is relatively easy. Continuously moving ahead is tough, in part, because we so easily revert to old habits and former lifestyles.” Liz and I have reached a point where we could take a step back and simply enjoy our success, but we’ve chosen not to do that. Instead, we want to share our success and how we got it. This is one of the driving ideas behind Make More, Live More, Give More! 

The main idea is to take pride in what you do. If you need praise, an award, a promotion, or some other external stimulus to keep going, you might not always have enough fuel. If you can find that fuel inside you, then you have everything you need. 

Keep your eyes on the prize
Denis shares the story of how factory workers constructed parachutes during World War II. It was a tedious, repetitive job that “involved crouching over a sewing machine eight to ten hours a day, stitching endless lengths of colorless fabric.” The end product, “a seamless heap of cloth,” didn’t help motivate the workers either. What kept them motivated was the idea that “each stitch was part of a life-saving operation.” 

In our case, the problem isn’t monotony. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. There are so many distractions around the house trying to grab our time and attention. What we have to keep in mind, though, is that we’re now trying to make a difference in other people’s lives, and we can’t do that just by laying back and enjoying the fruits of our success. Yes, we do that – we’ve made more, we live more, but we always make sure we give more too. 

Establish order
Denis puts it very succinctly: order is about “getting into a positive routine or groove, instead of a negative rut.” 

For me, part of establishing order is keeping a morning routine. Part of this routine is hitting the laptop to see how everything is going. This helps me map out the rest of my day and ensures I get started right. 

Denis also states that “order is the opposite of complication; it’s simplification.” This means learning to say “no” when your plate is full, and “doing in a day what you set out to do.” 

For me and Liz, this meant, among other things, learning to let go of the tasks that occupied much of our time but contributed little to our long term goals. We had to learn to focus on a few things at a time and delegate the rest to others. When we tried to do everything (and believe me, we did), we only managed to exhaust ourselves. 

There are times when I’m so tempted to just lay in bed, wrap the sheets around me, and hope Liz brings me some breakfast. Sometimes, I just want to play with boys all day. Sometimes living more is all I want to do. I feel like making more and giving more can wait another day, but somehow, I find reasons to do just that. These four tips help me do that, and I hope they help motivate you to make more, live more, and give more too. 

Get Moving!
Ric


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