Where there’s a will there’s a way.
I’ve heard this proverb about a trillion times since I was young, but I never gave it serious thought until now. Have you ever applied the meaning to your own life?
To me it means with enough determination you can overcome any obstacle. If I am committed to making something happen, I will do it one way or another, and nothing but the cessation of my own breath will stop me. Now that my longing for improvement in every facet of my life is stronger than ever, I also bear the weight of the sense of urgency to make significant changes.
Here are some examples that for me create palpable grief:
- Summer is coming! If I don’t stop consuming empty calories there will be no room for them in my bikini bottoms.
- If I don’t learn to speak Spanish soon, I’ll be thought of as the mute sitting next to my Spanish-speaking co-author on our book tour.
- If I don’t make time for my friends, soon I’ll have no friends at all, and think of all the lost notifications my Facebook page will suffer. Gasp!
But looming even larger than these changes I’ve promised myself I’d make, is my mortality consciousness, which is triggered with each bit of hair-raising news concerning my fellow mortals closest to me. For instance, too many people I know either have had or currently have cancer. My dearest aunt is awaiting biopsy results. My mother will be biopsied this month. A beautiful but troubled young friend is struggling with an array of mental health issues and is seeking Dialectic Behavior Therapy (DBT) for her suicidal tendencies.
The point is that nearly everyone has experienced some brand of mania, or will in the future. The difference is whether or not we choose to practice self-empowerment or let the steamroller of unstoppable events flatten us. Life is for living and no matter what obstacles may be blocking the road; there are things we must do that will keep the journey interesting and worthwhile.
The need for and presence of “will” or “willpower” or “motivation” or lack thereof is all around me and I experience every day as a wit-testing event. I can either make nurturing, self-empowering choices or suffer the consequences. One of my favorite young and up-and-coming motivators, Kelsey Humphreys, host of In Pursuit, a podcast designed to inspire and empower people, has been a champion of her own career by turning self-empowerment into a wow-factor brand she shares in her Amazon best-selling book, Go Solo, her videos, motivational speaking gigs, interviews, and every day on Facebook. I’ve learned a lot watching her interviews with entrepreneurial motivators like Tony Robbins, Barbara Corcoran, and Brendon Burchard, to name a few, and her daily Quick Pep Talks. There are all different ways we get stymied by how to be more self-sufficient, self-sustaining and therefore, empowered. Her most recent interview with Burchard, author and marketing guru, was especially inspirational because while there are many ways to get a job done, there are key tactics that make it much easier to tackle. These keys to success speak to just about anything you’re aiming to accomplish whether it’s improving yourself personally or professionally.
- Get intentional. At 19, Burchard suffered from depression and had contemplated suicide, feeling as though he didn’t matter. Then he was in a serious car accident. He equated getting out of that situation alive as his “golden ticket,” a chance to start over with appreciation and a fresh perspective. It prompted the need to ask himself three daily questions. Now, he’s sure at the end of every day that he’s lived with intention, loved wholeheartedly, and mattered because he worked to make a difference in his own life and the lives of others. No longer would he take his life for granted.
- Get consistent. Doing what it takes to achieve your goals can be difficult. But starting the day with consistently good habits that promote mindfulness, physical and mental health, fitness, openness, and gratitude, you will have a greater sense of commitment.
- Get focused. Part of the practice of setting yourself up for the day is to commit to being focused. One way to do that is to avoid checking email as the first order of business. Burchard says beginning the day in reaction mode (rather than planning or production mode) is a self-sabotaging behavior. Instead of tending to what he calls the inbox of other people’s agendas, and setting ourselves up for a day of maintenance rather than production, it’s better to begin the day by strategizing about what we want to achieve. We can make a time later in the morning for input, but the day is more promising if it begins by tending to our own needs.
- Get inspired. Dream bigger. Think bigger. But don’t wait for inspiration before setting out to accomplish goals. And why limit your vision to the things you do now or know now? Sure, you can go for the low-hanging fruit, but that shouldn’t be confused with or take the place of your big-picture goals. Remember that self-empowerment is largely pushing ourselves higher than we stand right now. Our current skill set or circumstances can be modified according to our goals.
- Get committed. How badly do you want what you want? Maybe you don’t lack motivation, but do lack commitment. Burchard says it helps not to have something to fall back on. Some good old-fashioned tunnel vision is good in this case. Kelsey says, reach for the stars and hit the treetops.