…I will utilize this day in a more positive way…


Every day, when you get up, you can develop a sincere positive motivation: I will utilize this day in a more positive way. – Dalai Lama

What does that mean?
To me, this speaks to getting your head on straight first thing in the morning.  Get up, work on developing a motivation that is both sincere and positive.  He also says that he does this every day, endeavoring to do it better each time.  This is also stated in a way that appears to me to be a challenge to the rest of humanity to at least attempt to match him in this endeavor.

Why is motivation important?
Motivation is what puts the Mo in motion.  It is also the Mo in momentum.  Having that motivation is one thing, it’s like an airplane with a lot of thrust, but no guidance, no vector.  That’s where the sincerity and positiveness come in.  Sincerity, because the motivation comes from within, from our best possible self.  Positive, because it endeavors to move in a beneficial or positive direction.  Intent without motivation, that is to be sincere and positive, but without motivation, is nothing more than a pleasant thought.  You are pointed in the proper direction with the proper attitude, but not going anywhere.

Without the motivation, without action, without actually doing something, what have you truly accomplished?  Yes there are days when little is accomplished, all time is spent in contemplation, prayer or meditation, but (for most of us) those days are few and far between.  What else are you going to do?  How will you justify the food you eat, if not by doing something?  When I think about someone without motivation, I picture someone glued to the couch, watching TV and doing very little, if anything to help themselves, much less the rest of humanity.  What do you picture in your mind when you hear someone talking about someone having no motivation?  Doesn’t sound like a very pleasant place to be to me, what about you?

Where can I apply this in my life?
The first thing I would do to incorporate this into my daily life is to examine my morning procedures.  What do you do first thing in the morning?  What we’re looking to do is to carve five to ten minutes out of your schedule to get our heads on straight.  For most of us, that means setting the alarm ten minutes earlier than present.  Not an enthralling prospect for me, and I would imagine you’re not that fond of the idea either.  Let’s give it a week and see how it goes, shall we?

OK, the alarm went off a bit early and we’re up.  Now what?  After wiping the sleep out of our eyes, and taking care of the necessities, I would try to find some place quiet to sit and think.  If you do morning exercises that include a walk or run, perhaps there’s a bench that has a view that gives off a tranquil vibe.  Once you have a spot in mind, park yourself there.

Now that we’re there, what do we do?  Well, the quote says we’re trying to develop a “sincere positive motivation,” specifically that we “will utilize this day in a more positive way.”  OK, what does that mean?  Starting with the word sincere, we should be attempting to do this with integrity and congruence.  This should be coming from the heart, from our best possible self.  For that, I would try to clear my mind, kindly setting aside the worries about the upcoming day, and contemplate for a moment who we are and how we are a force for good in the world.  Yeah, it sounds corny, but if you try it, you’ll be surprised at how well it works at centering you on your best possible self.  You will find what you seek, so seek the best in yourself.  Simple, right?

Now that we are in a good place, and feeling sincere, let’s tackle positive.  This is a judgmental word, so not everyone is going to agree on the exact definition, nor on what falls within the realm of “positive” and what falls outside it.  I choose to define positive as being something that maximizes the help that is provided to others and minimizes the harm done to others.  What can we think of that will get our minds in the right place?

Now it’s time for the third portion of the trifecta, the motivation.  What thoughts give you positive motivation?  Helping others?  This will be a very personal journey, so you might want to jot down a couple of possibilities to consider over the next few days.  Take a few minutes to consider the thought.  Keep it with you through out the day and try to think of it each time you stop to stretch or take a break.  Recharge your motivation, too.

It might also be worth keeping the paper with the motivational thoughts handy.  That way you can refer back to it during the day, as well as to add tally marks for each time you remember to reinforce it during breaks.  You might also want to keep tally marks for the number of times you noticed that your motivation made a difference in a decision or an action you took, or would have otherwise taken.  Did you manage to decline the bait and managed to avoid an argument with a co-worker who relishes in mud slinging?  Great, give yourself a tally, and take pride in being positive instead of negative.

At the end of the week, take a look at how effective each of the different motivations were, both for motivating and for moving your mental state in a positive direction.  Consider both how well you managed to perform the program (to do the morning head-straightening) and how well you managed to stick with it during the day (both reinforcement of the attitude and elevating your behavior).  Try to come up with a couple new ideas to replace some of the poorer performers and repeat.  After a while, you should be able to tell what is and is not working, and trim the list to the most effective ideas.  Just consider revisiting the list at least twice a year, lest you grow stale or stagnate in your efforts to be more positive each day.

This won’t be the easiest thing you have done, but it will be rewarding.  Remember, life is a journey, not a destination.  You will never “arrive,” you will slowly get better.  Until you run out of time.  But better or not, we will all run out of time.  Make the most of what time you have.

From: Twitter, @DalaiLama

confirmed at: uh, dude?  it’s from his own twitter feed! 8)
@DalaiLama : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalai_Lama

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About philosiblog

I am a thinker, who is spending some time examining those short twitter quotes in greater detail on my blog.
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