Saturday, 15 January 2011

The sub-conscious and self-motivation

We were in a short meeting yesterday, during the second break. Motivational speaker, Callie Roos, came with 12 or 13 or 14 specific points to discuss with us.

I didn't take notes. At that specific time, I was too tired. In fact, many people didn't take notes. They just listened. He kept telling us to remember the points. He repeated them several times throughout the forty-minute talk. I walked out of that room remembering six or seven. 

You see, the conscious mind can only hold around seven pieces of information in short-term memory. The subconscious mind, however, stores all the knowledge you've ever acquired. Everything you've ever read, heard, thought, or imagined is held within its immense bank vaults. So, what he said is in my subconscious and I will be able to draw upon it when I need to.

The mind has been described as such:

The conscious mind is like a yacht. The subconscious mind is like the ocean.

When the conscious mind struggles to remember something and eventually gives up, the subconscious mind trawls through its vast database, making connections between various bits of information, and eventually retrieves the information that is needed at a given time.

When you are experiencing a problem, you shouldn't struggle with it. Pass it on to the subconscious mind. Don't focus on the problem. Focus on the solution. When you allow the subconscious mind to work, it will eventually give you a hint or a mental image of the solution. While you continually struggle to focus on the problem with the conscious mind, the subconscious is working, processing, and making connections. The only problem is, your conscious mind is not opening opportunities for any sub-conscious breakthroughs and you're stuck focusing on the problem.

Listening to Callie Roos was very interesting. I'm sure the points I have consciously forgotten will surface one day when I need them.

What is motivation? One definition is that it's the act or process of motivating. The secret lies in the word "process". After a motivational talk, the listener needs time to think about what has been said. Going back to the classroom directly after the talk is an obstacle within the definition.

One of the seven points I remember is "inspiration". We need inspiration on a daily basis and it lies within ourselves to find inspiration. I find it in my classroom when I teach. Facial expressions of amusement or wry disappointment inspire me. Moods inspire me.

In life, you should be your own personal motivational speaker. You have the capability of moving yourself on an emotional level through your normal day-to-day train of thought. 


  • Gain confidence in yourself. You are unique. No one is like you. You have to like who you are. 
  • Learn to focus on all your positive attributes. By doing this, you'll secure personal credibility
  • Maybe you want to climb a mountain, but realistically, you can't. Accept it and go out. Go and climb a tree. When you're at the height where you feel comfortable, perceive yourself in a positive light: you are a climber of small trees and be happy with it. Why be more? If climbing makes you happy then climb, but love yourself in the process. 
  • Be realistic. Accept your limitations and be happy. 
  • Strive to achieve a higher goal at a later stage when you're used to being comfortable with the attained height, but don't want too much too soon. 
  • You have to obtain trust in yourself if you want to be happy.

You don't have to find the best time of any given day to motivate yourself. Self-motivation should be like breathing: constant and with purpose. Being proactive in fighting negativity is the greatest fight of all, but it makes you tired. That's why laughter is necessary. So when all else fails, laugh. Even when there's nothing to laugh about, laugh on credit.

At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.  ~ Jean Houston.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

New Year resolutions

So many New Year resolutions, so few kept. By the end of the first week, sadly, many are just not remembered. It's not because we suffer from temporary amnesia, but rather because time waits for no man. We are so busy, there's just no time in our hectic schedule to keep focused on what we want to change or what we want to do.

Needless to say, few people have the willpower to see their resolutions through.

I think, when it comes to bad habits and good intentions, we shouldn't wait for a year to end to make any efforts. Each day should be like a new page, a new challenge. When we really want to stop a bad habit or start something good or worthwhile, we should simply do it. When we fail or stumble, we should learn to start over again as soon as possible.

A good example is dieting. How many of us want to lose weight? (I'm a member of that club!) We start dieting and by the third or fourth day, we lose the willpower to see it through. Then we indulge and the shameless guilt takes over. Soon we find a new diet to follow. We forget that eating healthy is a lifestyle. It shouldn't be a punishment. Thorough research into the perfect personal eating plan is necessary and with the gained information, it should be a pleasure to eat. Eventually, weight loss will come naturally, not because it's forced. 

I sometimes think we're just too busy trying to make a living. We forget to enjoy life. A lot of people live to eat, work or relax. Shouldn't it be the other way round? Shouldn't we eat, work or relax to live? Shouldn't there be happiness in doing that? Shouldn't it be something we strive for every day?

New Year resolutions are good, but everyday resolutions are better. Let's make 2011 a daily pleasure. It's worth a try.

When I look at myself ...

  The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that yo...