FIFO means first in, first out. It’s a term I learned way back in my accounting courses. Oldest inventory is sold first, according to the books (not necessarily reality). What does it have to do with motivation and positivity? Well, first of all, reading about GIGO on this post made me think of FIFO. Second of all, it has to do with how you start your day and the question of its impact. Can the first inputs into our day be the thing that guides our day and sets its tone?
How do I start off my morning? I generally cruise the internet, looking at forums or reddit or Google+. While this isn’t bad, what happens if I shift that to something more positive? Like reading or listening to something motivational or improving? Or what if I change that to setting goals and priorities for the day?
I’m going to experiment on this for a while and see what difference the first input of the day makes. Starting, well, tomorrow 🙂
Blog Note: I just recently finished As a Man Thinketh by James Allen. As part of my program to use what I learn, I decided to write down some of my strongest reflections on this work, some of what I have been doing or getting out of it. I share that content as a blog post below, but I also have created a “prettified version,” a PDF, as well. If you prefer the PDF, you can find it here or on my Books Page on this Scholar for Life blog. I welcome any thoughts you have on Thinketh or my booklet.
J. Lynn Ralston
This is not the first time I read As a Man Thinketh, nor will it be the last. The first time I read it, years ago, I wasn’t ready for it. The second time I was laying the ground work without realizing it: I had already been changing myself and seeing and feeling the differences. This book helped me understand why my efforts were working and encouraged me to stay on the right track.
That is why I want to share with you what I learned. I hope this blog post (or booklet) will inspire you to read the original work (which can be found here on Project Gutenberg), and hearten you if you do not see immediate impact. Instead, keep working on yourself and return to Thinketh again, and like me, you may be surprised to see what wakes up inside you.
Let me know how it, and this booklet, works for you by commenting on this blog post!
Central Idea of Thinketh
So here is the main point of the book: Your conscious and unconscious thoughts shape your character, circumstances, and even physical health. By working on your thoughts, you can change yourself; you can become what you want to be and have what you want to have.
This is not an easy process. It involves controlling your thoughts and paying attention to their impact on your life and on the lives of others. After all, as the book points out, you get out of life what your efforts earn.
Here are few efforts, pulled from the book and reflected upon, to reap positive results from your life:
- Input positive things into your life.
- Think good, positive things, and your life will change because of them, for they influence your actions and your circumstances.
- Have visions for different areas of your life, and focus on them so they guide your life.
These three points will be explored in separate sections below.
Quote: “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” (Theodore Roosevelt)
Thought: Belief is the first step that makes the rest easier. Take it.
Quote: “Change your thoughts and you change your world.” (Norman Vincent Peale)
Thought: What you see is what you get. Face the world with a positive attitude, and you will find positive things in life, even in problems. Face it with a negative attitude, and the world will confirm your perspective.
In wake of my decision to make November my Motivational Month, not a Novel Writing Month, I’ve decided to try to reduce the pressure I put on myself.
Some lessons learned from around the web about this topic.
“8 Powerful Ways to Release Pressure from Your Life” suggests you “focus on the process, not the outcome.” Being ADD, this appeals to me. Long-term goals are incredibly hard for me to follow through. I need results fast. But then again, I dislike “no gains”; I like closure. I think the trick will be two-fold: first, finding out where my interest flags even for projects I’m passionate about, and second, making sure some kind of important closure (and reward) occurs at that point in time.
“14 Things That Happen When You Put Way Too Much Pressure on Yourself” (warning: language) – This one shows me I’m not alone. I don’t resonate with every reason on this list, but I resonate with the emotion beneath them. Pressure on yourself has to be reasonable. But what is reasonable? Probably I should keep exercise in mind. Instead of trying to be an American Ninja Warrior, I need to be able to commit to walking a mile a day first.
“How to Relinquish Unrealistic Expectations” talks about unrealistic expectations. Better than that, it gives tips on how to let go of them. I’m not so good at asking myself if I would hold others to the same standards. I usually try to find excuses for others, and that’s a bad habit to fall into: being excuse-centric. But I do like the idea of considering whether or not you have control over the situation. Once you take on a more realistic view of that, I think it’s easier to regain your footing when you see too-much-to-do or failure dead-ahead; stopping to consider what is under your control let’s you see what you can do.
So what did I learn from these three articles?
One, consider what you have control over and what is outside your control. Then figure out what you can do to change where you are.
Two, goals are like physical fitness: they are built on a lot of steps and reps.
Three, reward the steps and reps to keep motivation going. You have to have the long-term goal in mind, but it can also be discouraging. To fend off impatience, you have to have short-term goals, real ones that are entire within themselves, complete with closure and rewards.
Huffington Post had an interesting article on traits of positive people. The tip that sticks with me is being busy with fulfilling activities. This does help, because it makes me feel like I’m going somewhere and that I can handle where I am going. It boosts confidence, and high confidence improves not only the work you are doing but your attitude toward work.
And related to the above, this post from The Psychology of Wellbeing had some ways to increase your energy levels so you can tackle more. I know my ADD/ADHD is better when I get more sleep (though I like to curl up like a Shih-Tzu or cat for 10 hours or more, lol.), but I think the best tip is about working more with your strengths. Doing something you enjoy, doing these fulfilling activities, gives you more energy and leaves you feeling better and accomplished afterward.
So today’s positivity on the web is about doing fulfilling work and how to find ways to have more energy to do it.
The question is, can it help with the idea doldrums, too? It won’t directly alleviate the doubts that surge in the day after a good idea strikes, but keeping at the idea, working to make it reality, can create its own energy that will make it easier to keep going.