This guest post was written by Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®, CVPOTM of Oh, So Organized.
One of my favorite things to do is walk along the lovely path next to the Hudson River. Especially in the summer, the area is filled with people jogging, conversing, reading, picnicking, bicycling, kite flying, fishing, and dog walking. On one recent walk, I noticed a man at the river’s edge playing fetch with his four-legged friend. It was such a joyful sight that I stopped to watch as the pup hyper-focused on the stick, waiting for his person to throw it into the water.
The pooch’s intense gaze and motivation as he anticipated the branch being released were clearly visible. He dove enthusiastically into the water to retrieve it. The game continued. Repeatedly, the dog waited, focused, swam, and fetched. I’m not sure who was having more fun- the dog, his person, or me.
My mouth ached from smiling so much. Finally, I pulled myself away and continued walking. Here’s the thing, though. What I saw connected some thoughts about motivation. When the goal is clear, motivation becomes almost effortless. And the more straightforward and well defined the goal is, the more accessible motivation will be.
Think about the stick-fetching example. The pup had one clear goal- retrieve the stick. Nothing else mattered. Birds, fish, other people, or dogs didn’t distract him. Talk about hyper-focus! His mission was to get and return the stick to his friend- over and over again. The pup’s motivation was apparent with his singular focus on getting the stick!
A Motivation Lesson
Have you struggled with motivation? At times, have you found it challenging to activate?
This happens for many reasons, including:
- Having too many goals
- Having a lack of clarity around your purpose
- Feeling conflicted with competing priorities
- Being overwhelmed by too many steps
- Feeling unsure of where to begin
- Being unclear about what to do next
- Lacking information needed to continue
- Being exhausted
- Lacking confidence
Recommended Reading: The Best of the Best Habits of Highly Effective Organizers
The next time you’re struggling with motivation, think about the stick-fetching story. How can you simplify your goal, and reduce it to that one thing? After you clarify the goal, your motivation will quickly bubble up from within and propel you forward. If you feel challenged by getting organized, planning your next vacation, or hosting a big event, get clearer. Think simply. Break that big thing into a tiny, more manageable goal. Observe what happens.
What helps you unleash your motivation?
Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®, CVPOTM,is a compassionate, enthusiastic Professional Organizer, Coach, founder of Oh, So Organized! (1993) and author of The Other Side of Organized. In addition to virtual organizing, Linda presents seminars, writes articles, blogs, and mentors other Professional Organizers. She has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Woman’s Day, and Westchester Magazine. She is a frequent guest on Smead’s “Keeping You Organized” podcast series. Linda lives 30 miles north of New York City in the Hudson Valley between two rivers with her husband, Steve. They are empty-nesters as their two daughters are out in the world, building their post-college lives. Linda enjoys watching the seasons change from their small, colorful home in the woods with a purple front door.
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