As I was walking home in the glorious Australian sunshine today I passed a second hand bookstore and saw Jack Canfields “Success Principles” for $2. I know very little about Canfield other than he authored “Chicken Soup For the Soul” and is one of the main motivational speakers. It was worth the money alone for this idea that Canfield shares at the beginning of the book, wow.
We think limiting thoughts and engage in self-defeating behaviours. We defend our self-destructive habits (such as drinking and smoking) with indefensible logic. We ignore useful feedback, fail to continuously educate ourselves and learn new skills, waste time on the trivial aspects of our lives, engage in idle gossip, eat unhealthy food, fail to exercise, spend more money than we make, fail to invest in our future, avoid necessary conflict, fail to tell the truth, don’t ask for what we want – and then wonder why our lives don’t work.
If you’ve ever read a self-help book along the lines of Tony Robbins, Dale Carnegie, Eckhart Tolle, Ronda Byrne, Elizabeth Gilbert etc. These trains of thought are common. As a result of this, it can be very easy to read passages such as this and be both sceptical and irritated by the repetitive nature. When I was younger, these passages really fired me up, gave me a 48 hours of hyper-productivity before I slipped back into lazy habits. Now, maybe it’s an age thing or because I’m in a different place in my life but this paragraph really hits home.
Ignoring useful feedback, avoiding necessary conflict and defending self-destructive habits stood out especially. These are areas that I continually try to improve on but I find that I need a lot of reminding to keep working at it. Especially getting out of my head to be able to recognise useful feedback. Hopefully something in this paragraph will resonate with you too, not to spotlight weakness but to act as a catalyst for improvement.
I went through a stage of finding “motivational speakers” to be in the same category as the pastors of American super churches. Using sales techniques to heighten emotions along with NLP to take advantage of these states. This was my own scepticism (relating to certain motivational speakers anyway.)
I didn’t realise then that motivational advice isn’t a one time fix all. Firstly, after reading it you need to apply it. Reading about a diet isn’t going to do shit unless you follow the diet, strictly. Plus you will plateau at some stage and need to once again go back to the drawing board and draw inspiration. The main problem with motivation alone is that it’s a short term pump. It needs to be combined with discipline for full effect. Discipline will create these long term habits that will produce the change you want to see.
15% of the price of a pint of beer for some wisdom that will change the direction of one day at least. Seems like a bargain.