With the third refreshed edition of 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself, Steve Chandler helps you create an action plan for living your vision, in business and in life. It features 100 proven methods to positively change the way you think and act--methods based on feedback from the hundreds of thousands of corporate and public seminar attendees Chandler speaks to each year. The book now also includes techniques and breakthroughs he has created for individual coaching clients.
100 Ways to Motivate Yourself will help you break through the negative barriers and banish the pessimistic thoughts that are preventing you from fulfilling your lifelong goals and dreams. This edition also contains new mental and spiritual techniques that give readers more immediate access to action and results in their lives.If you're ready to finally make a change and reach your goals, Steve Chandler challenges you to turn your defeatist attitude into energetic, optimistic, enthusiastic accomplishments.
About the Author
Since the publication of the first edition of Reinventing Yourself two decades ago, Steve Chandler has trained more than 30 Fortune 500 companies in communication, personal motivation and leadership. He has been a guest faculty member at the University of Santa Monica, teaching their Soul-Centered Professional Coaching program. Steve has authored two dozen books that have been translated into more than 30 foreign language editions, including the best-selling 100 Ways to Motivate Others and 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself. He is also the founder of the Coaching Prosperity School, which for more than a decade has taught and trained life and business coaches from around the world.
Read an Excerpt
Get on your deathbed
A number of years ago when I was working with psychotherapist Devers Branden, she put me through her "deathbed" exercise.
I was asked to clearly imagine myself lying on my own deathbed, and to fully realize the feelings connected with dying and saying good-bye. Then she asked me to mentally invite the people in my life who were important to me to visit my bedside, one at a time. As I visualized each friend and relative coming in to visit me, I had to speak to them out loud. I had to say to them what I wanted them to know as I was dying.
As I spoke to each person, I could feel my voice breaking. Somehow I couldn't help breaking down. My eyes were filled with tears. I experienced such a sense of loss. It was not my own life I was mourning; it was the love I was losing. To be more exact, it was a communication of love that had never been there.
During this difficult exercise, I really got to see how much I'd left out of my life. How many wonderful feelings I had about my children, for example, that I'd never explicitly expressed. At the end of the exercise, I was an emotional mess. I had rarely cried that hard in my life. But when those emotions cleared, a wonderful thing happened. I was clear. I knew what was really important, and who really mattered to me. I understood for the first time what George Patton meant when he said, "Death can be more exciting than life."
From that day on I vowed not to leave anything to chance. I made up my mind never to leave anything unsaid. I wanted to live as if I might die any moment. The entire experience altered the way I've related to people ever since. And the great point of the exercise wasn't lost on me: We don't have to wait until we're actually near death to receive these benefits of being mortal. We can create the experience anytime we want.
A few years later when my mother lay dying in a hospital in Tucson, I rushed to her side to hold her hand and repeat to her all the love and gratitude I felt for who she had been for me. When she finally died, my grieving was very intense, but very short. In a matter of days I felt that everything great about my mother had entered into me and would live there as a loving spirit forever.
A year and a half before my father's death, I began to send him letters and poems about his contribution to my life. He lived his last months and died in the grip of chronic illness, so communicating and getting through to him in person wasn't always easy. But I always felt good that he had those letters and poems to read. Once he called me after I'd sent him a Father's Day poem, and he said, "Hey, I guess I wasn't such a bad father after all."
Poet William Blake warned us about keeping our thoughts locked up until we die. "When thought is closed in caves," he wrote, "then love will show its roots in deepest hell."
Pretending you aren't going to die is detrimental to your enjoyment of life. It is detrimental in the same way that it would be detrimental for a basketball player to pretend there was no end to the game he was playing. That player would reduce his intensity, adopt a lazy playing style, and, of course, end up not having any fun at all. Without an end, there is no game. Without being conscious of death, you can't be fully aware of the gift of life.
Yet many of us (including myself) keep pretending that our life's game will have no end. We keep planning to do great things some day when we feel like it. We assign our goals and dreams to that imaginary island in the sea that Denis Waitley calls "Someday Isle" in his book Psychology of Winning. We find ourselves saying, "Someday I'll do this," and "Someday I'll do that."
Confronting our own death doesn't have to wait until we run out of life. In fact, being able to vividly imagine our last hours on our deathbed creates a paradoxical sensation: the feeling of being born all over again — the first step to fearless self-motivation. "People living deeply," wrote poet and diarist Anaïs Nin, "have no fear of death."
And as Bob Dylan has sung, "He who is not busy being born is busy dying."CHAPTER 2
Arnold Schwarzenegger was not famous yet in 1976 when he and I had lunch together at the Doubletree Inn in Tucson, Arizona. Not one person in the restaurant recognized him. He was in town publicizing the movie Stay Hungry, a box-office disappointment he had just made with Jeff Bridges and Sally Field. I was a sports columnist for the Tucson Citizen at the time, and my assignment was to spend a full day, one-on-one, with Arnold and write a feature story about him for our newspaper's Sunday magazine.
I, too, had no idea who he was or who he was going to become. I agreed to spend the day with him because I had to — it was an assignment. And although I took to it with an uninspired attitude, it was one I'd never forget.
Perhaps the most memorable part of that day with Schwarzenegger occurred when we took an hour for lunch. I had my reporter's notebook out and was asking questions for the story while we ate. At one point I casually asked him, "Now that you have retired from bodybuilding, what are you going to do next?"
With a voice as calm as if he were telling me about some mundane travel plans, he said, "I'm going to be the number-one box-office star in all of Hollywood."
Mind you, this was not the slim, aerobic Arnold we know today. This man was pumped up and huge. And so, for my own physical sense of well-being, I tried to appear as though I found his goal reasonable.
I tried not to show my shock and amusement at his plan. After all, his first attempt at movies didn't promise much. And his Austrian accent and awkward, monstrous build didn't suggest instant acceptance by movie audiences. I finally managed to match his calm demeanor, and I asked him just how he planned to become Hollywood's top star.
"It's the same process I used in bodybuilding," he explained. "What you do is create a vision of who you want to be, and then live into that picture as if it were already true."
It sounded ridiculously simple. Too simple to mean anything. But I wrote it down. And I never forgot it.
I'll never forget the moment when some entertainment TV show was saying that box office receipts from his second Terminator movie had made him the most popular box office draw in the world.
Over the years I've used Arnold's idea of creating a vision as a motivational tool. I've also elaborated on it in my corporate training seminars. I invite people to notice that Arnold said that you create a vision. He did not say that you wait until you receive a vision. You create one. In other words, you make it up. A major part of living a life of self-motivation is having something to wake up for in the morning — something that you are "up to" in life so that you will stay hungry.
The vision can be created right now — better now than later. You can always change it if you want, but don't live a moment longer without one. Watch what being hungry to live that vision does to your ability to motivate yourself.CHAPTER 3
Tell yourself a true lie
I remember when my then 12-year-old daughter Margery participated in a school poetry reading in which all her classmates had to write a "lie poem" about how great they were.
They were supposed to make up untruths about themselves that made them sound unbelievably wonderful. I realized as I listened to the poems that the children were doing an unintended version of what Arnold did to clarify the picture of his future. By "lying" to themselves they were creating a vision of who they wanted to be.
It's noteworthy, too, that public schools are so out of touch with the motivational sources of individual achievement and personal success that in order to invite children to express big visions for themselves they have to invite the children to "lie."
Most of us are unable to see the truth of who we could be. My daughter's school developed an unintended solution to that difficulty: If it's hard for you to imagine the potential in yourself, then you might want to begin by expressing it as a fantasy, as did the children who wrote the poems. Think up some stories about who you would like to be. Soon you will begin to create the necessary blueprint for stretching your accomplishments. Without a picture of your highest self, you can't live into that self. Fake it 'till you make it. The lie will become the truth.CHAPTER 4
Keep your eyes on the prize
Most of us never really focus. We constantly feel a kind of irritating psychic chaos because we keep trying to think of too many things at once. There's always too much up there on the screen.
There was an interesting motivational talk on this subject given by former Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson to his football players during halftime at the 1993 Super Bowl:
I told them that if I laid a two-by-four across the room, everybody there would walk across it and not fall, because our focus would be that we were going to walk that two-by-four. But if I put that same two-by-four 10 stories high between two buildings only a few would make it, because the focus would be on falling. Focus is everything. The team that is more focused today is the team that will win this game.
Johnson told his team not to be distracted by the crowd, the media, or the possibility of losing, but to focus on each play of the game itself just as if it were a good practice session. The Cowboys won the game 52–17.
There's a point to that story that goes way beyond football. Most of us tend to lose our focus in life because we're perpetually worried about so many negative possibilities. Rather than focusing on the two-by-four, we worry about all the ramifications of falling. Rather than focusing on our goals, we are distracted by our worries and fears. But when you focus on what you want, it will come into your life. When you focus on being a happy and motivated person, that is who you will be.CHAPTER 5
Learn to sweat in peace
The harder you are on yourself, the easier life is on you. Or, as they say in the Navy Seals, the more you sweat in peacetime, the less you bleed in war.
My childhood friend Rett Nichols was the first to show me this principle in action. When we were playing Little League baseball, we were always troubled by how fast the pitchers threw the ball. We were in an especially good league, and the overgrown opposing pitchers, whose birth certificates we were always demanding to see, fired the ball to us at alarming speeds during the games.
We began dreading going up to the plate to hit. It wasn't fun. Batting had become something we just tried to get through without embarrassing ourselves too much. Then Rett got an idea.
"What if the pitches we faced in games were slower than the ones we face every day in practice?" Rett asked.
"That's just the problem," I said. "We don't know anybody who can pitch that fast to us. That's why, in the games, it's so hard. The ball looks like an aspirin coming in at 200 miles an hour."
"I know we don't know anyone who can throw a baseball that fast," said Rett. "But what if it wasn't a baseball?"
"I don't know what you mean," I said.
Just then Rett pulled from his pocket a little plastic golf ball with holes in it. The kind our dads used to hit in the backyard for golf practice.
"Get a bat," Rett said.
I picked up a baseball bat and we walked out to the park near Rett's house. Rett went to the pitcher's mound but came in about 3 feet closer than usual. As I stood at the plate, he fired the little golf ball past me as I tried to swing at it.
"Ha ha!" Rett shouted. "That's faster than anybody you'll face in little league! Let's get going!"
We then took turns pitching to each other with this bizarre little ball humming in at incredible speeds. The little plastic ball was not only hilariously fast, but it curved and dropped more sharply than any little leaguer's pitch could do.
By the time Rett and I played our next league game, we were ready. The pitches looked like they were coming in slow motion. Big white balloons. I hit the first and only home run I ever hit after one of Rett's sessions. It was off a left-hander whose pitch seemed to hang in the air forever before I creamed it.
The lesson Rett taught me was one I've never forgotten. Whenever I'm afraid of something coming up, I will find a way to do something that's even harder or scarier. Once I do the harder thing, the real thing becomes fun.
The great boxer Muhammad Ali used this principle in choosing his sparring partners. He'd make sure that the sparring partners he worked with before a fight were better than the boxer he was going up against in the real fight. They might not always be better all-around, but he found sparring partners who were each better in one certain way or another than his upcoming opponent. After facing them, he knew going into each fight that he had already fought those skills and won.
You can always stage a bigger battle than the one you have to face. Watch what it does to your motivation going into the real challenge.CHAPTER 6
Simplify your life
The great Green Bay Packer's football coach Vince Lombardi was once asked why his world championship team, which had so many multi-talented players, ran such a simple set of plays. "It's hard to be aggressive when you're confused," he said. One of the benefits of creatively planning your life is that it allows you to simplify. You can weed out, delegate, and eliminate all activities that don't contribute to your projected goals. Another effective way to simplify your life is to combine your tasks. Combining allows you to achieve two or more objectives at once.
As I plan my day, I might notice that I need to shop for my family after work. That's a task I can't avoid because we're running out of everything. I also note that one of my goals is to finish reading my daughter Stephanie's book reports. I realize, too, that I've made a decision to spend more time doing things with all my kids, as I've tended lately to just come home and crash at the end of a long day.
An aggressive orientation to the day — making each day simpler and stronger than the day before — allows you to look at all of these tasks and small goals and ask yourself, "What can I combine?" (Creativity is really little more than making unexpected combinations, in music, architecture — anything, including your day.)(Continues…)
Excerpted from "100 Ways to Motivate Yourself, Third Edition"
Copyright © 2012 Steve Chandler.
Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Motivation Requires Fire 11
100 Ways to Motivate Yourself
1 Get on your deathbed 15
2 Stay hungry 17
3 Tells yourself a true lie 19
4 Keep your eyes on the prize 20
5 Learn to sweat in peace 21
6 Simplify your life 23
7 Look for the lost gold 27
8 Push all your own buttons 28
9 Build a track record 29
10 Welcome the unexpected 31
11 Find your master key 31
12 Put your library on wheels 33
13 Definitely plan your work 35
14 Bounce your thoughts 37
15 Light your lazy dynamite 38
16 Choose the happy few 39
17 Learn to play a role 41
18 Don't just do something...sit there 42
19 Use your brain chemicals 44
20 Leave high school forever 45
21 Learn to lose your cool 47
22 Kill your television 49
23 Break out of your soul cage 50
24 Run your own plays 51
25 Find your inner Einstein 52
26 Run toward your fear 54
27 Create the way you relate 56
28 Try interactive listening 58
29 Embrace your willpower 59
30 Perform your little rituals 60
31 Find a place to come from 62
32 Be your own disciple 63
33 Turn into a word processor 64
34 Program your biocomputer 65
35 Open your present 66
36 Be a good detective 67
37 Make a relation-shift 69
38 Learn to come from behind 70
39 Come to your own rescue 72
40 Find your soul purpose 75
41 Get up on the right side 80
42 Let your whole brain play 81
43 Get your stars out 83
44 Just make everything up 84
45 Put on your game face 85
46 Discover active relaxation 87
47 Make today a masterpiece 88
48 Enjoy all your problems 89
49 Remind your mind 91
50 Get down and get small 94
51 Advertise to yourself 96
52 Think outside the box 99
53 Keep thinking, keep thinking 101
54 Put on a good debate 104
55 Make trouble work for you 106
56 Storm your own brain 110
57 Keep changing your voice 112
58 Embrace the new frontier 113
59 Upgrade your old habits 115
60 Paint your masterpiece today 117
61 Swim laps underwater 118
62 Bring on a good coach 120
63 Try to sell your home 124
64 Get your soul to talk 126
65 Promise the moon 127
66 Make somebody's day 128
67 Play the circle game 129
68 Get up a game 132
69 Turn your mother down 135
70 Face the sun 136
71 Travel deep inside 137
72 Go to war 138
73 Use the 5 percent solution 140
74 Do something badly 142
75 Learn visioneering 144
76 Lighten things up 146
77 Serve and grow rich 147
78 Make a list of your life 149
79 Set a specific power goal 151
80 Change yourself first 152
81 Pin your life down 153
82 Take no for a question 155
83 Take the road to somewhere 157
84 Go on a news fast 158
85 Replace worry with action 160
86 Run with the thinkers 163
87 Put more enjoyment in 164
88 Keep walking 166
89 Read more mysteries 168
90 Think your way up 170
91 Exploit your weakness 171
92 Try becoming the problem 172
93 Enlarge your objective 174
94 Give yourself flying lessons 176
95 Hold your vision accountable 178
96 Build your power base 180
97 Connect truth to beauty 181
98 Read yourself a story 183
99 Laugh for no reason 184
100 Walk with love and death 185
101 Just roar! 193
102 Experiment with happiness 194
103 Catch life by the handle 197
104 Leave yourself messages 198
105 Try reinventing yourself 199
106 Choose responding over reacting 200
107 Apply the book you read 201
108 Do what you can do today 204
109 Create a different system! 206
110 Enjoy your resistance training 207
About the Author 219