Archive for the ‘motivation’ Category

Have you ever wondered if you’re a person of integrity? I’ve got good news for you: yes, you are. Always have been. Only it is likely not what you thought integrity was.

Integrity is consistency of actions and values. But despite of what you think your values are, real values are those that get manifested in actions, not the ones manifested in thoughts. If you wish to be strong, but act as a weakling, your true value is not strength, no matter how much you like to think of it. Your true value is weakness. You always stay true to your values. You may just not like them — the same way you can dislike your height, voice or color of your eyes. Yet, they are always there, defining everything you do.

But here’s the catch. Once you truly realize that your actions are the only manifestation of your values you have a choice. You can continue acting the same way you’ve always acted or start acting in accordance to the values you thought were yours. In the first case, you will continue longing for imaginary integrity based on phantom values, while slowly hating yourself and making endless Monday resolutions. In the second case, you will eventually get to the point where you’re proud of your true values — and yourself. That choice — and consistent non-stop adherence to it — is the only true test of your true values.

You always have integrity. But it can be either automatic mindless integrity by submission or conscious integrity by choice. And that choice is the foundation of every other choice you make in life.

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Nothing worthy can be achieved overnight. There’s a long road to walk. And to walk that road you need fuel. Something to keep you brain and soul committed. A good option is obsession — it’ll get you far. Unfortunately you can be obsessed over anything only for so long. At some point obsession wears off. That’s how our brains are wired — we seek novelty. On the other hand, pure cold logic won’t get you far either. It lacks fire. It lacks passion. It’s simply too cold too keep you going for too long.

The trick is in the alternation. Set your eyes on the goal. Be sure it’s the right one. Make sure you have passion — better yet feel that you’re obsessed. Then go. But once you feel that your passion is no longer as strong as it used to be, let your cold logic kick in. Forget emotions. Just go. Just keep going, step after step, mile after mile, even if you’re completely numb. And then, as you get closer and closer to your goal, your passion will come back. Your cold calculated monotonous movement toward the goal will get you to the results that will refuel your obsession — and it will come back ten time stronger.

Alternation. Has it ever worked for you?


When a year ago I posted my letter from a swamp, many of my readers assured me that procrastination is a very natural thing. You know, some of them said, maybe there’s a good reason for it. Maybe you actually need it. Back then I didn’t agree with that point of view, finding it too convenient and relaxing. But today, a year later, it seems rather attractive. Because seeing it this way would mean that I’ve just done something natural, maybe even necessary, as opposed to just wasting a couple of hours of my life. It would also mean that I didn’t shy away from a challenge, which is what it suspiciously feels like.

About a month ago I set a pretty challenging goal for myself. I was generous and gave myself plenty of time to accomplish it. The deadline is September, 28th — a date that means a lot to me. The goal came with a twist. It was set as a “make it or break it” deal, meaning that if I fail to accomplish it by the deadline, I would never accomplish it. While the deadline was somewhat arbitrary, the “make it or break it” part wasn’t. In the past I’ve made deals like this with myself and the only reason they really worked was that down to the bottom of my heart I knew that it was serious. But this time I maybe a bit over my head. As I get closer and closer to the deadline, it becomes harder and harder to fight the “natural” and “needed” procrastination.

My guess is that by succumbing to it, I’m subconsciously trying to avoid a failure. There would be a internal excuse that would leave some room for “hey, I could’ve done it, had I not been weak” reasoning. But deep inside I know better. Just a few days from now I will either accomplish that goal — or fail. Whether I fail because I’m not capable enough or because I’m not strong enough, the reason won’t matter. A failure will be a failure, no matter how I choose to decorate it. The only thing that matters is the result.

Stay tuned…

Unmaskd Manifesto

Posted: September 7, 2011 in motivation, what makes us tick

Some of you may remember this post. I’m not a big fan of remixes, but recently I came across the most inspirational piece of music I’ve ever heard. Now it all fits together perfectly.

 

While making this video I realized that it’s been almost a year since I came up with these words. I wish I could say that I had strength to live every one of these 355 days the way I wanted. But at least now I’m stronger than I was a year ago.

A Simple Truth

Posted: May 2, 2011 in motivation, what makes us tick

This has occurred to me just recently even though the theme of failing and getting up has been a big part of my life for many years. It is so simple that it surely would sound like a “Well, duh!” statement for most people. But to me it has a much deeper meaning. It feels like I’ve found the right words to express what I’ve been trying to grasp for a while:

You don’t know how weak you are until you fall. You don’t know how strong you are until you get up.

I’ve been pondering over the future directions of Unmaskd Inc and will post the results here this week. In the meanwhile here’s a video version of Accept/Refuse. Kudos to Animoto.com for creating a very useful and simple to use service and to Mike Gallagher for his The Party’s On instrumental, which made a great intense soundtrack for the video.

[tweetmeme source= “unmaskd” only_single=false]

As I have recently mentioned in my rather spontaneous Tumblr post, my approach to everything in life can be described in three simple words: Feel. Think. Do. I’ve also mentioned that occasionally I skip a step or two before getting to  step 3. Which is why I’m writing this post. At first, I felt like writing it, and without giving it much of a thought, jumped to the final step. Then the thinking part of me woke up and yelled, Whoa!! Are you nuts?? And so the writing process got stopped before it had a chance to begin.

Why? Because unlike other posts it wasn’t going to paint a pretty picture of me. Pretty ugly, maybe, but certainly not pretty. I’m hardly a narcissist, but usuallyI prefer to project an image of someone strong, smart and decisive. This post would do exactly the opposite. So I almost decided to label the whole idea as stupid, when it suddenly hit me. Wait a second, I thought, have I just turned writing as Unmaskd into a PR exercise? Have I just decided not to write a post just because it would make me look bad? The very point of going Unmaskd was to be completely open. Plus, something useful may come out of it. Actually, that’s I wanted to write it in the first place. So here I am, writing this post.

We are all familiar with the dreaded P-word. Procrastination is like sex: even if you have never had it, you have heard about it. So let me share another secret of mine: when it comes to procrastination, I’m not an expert. I’m The Expert. There are so many people who would procrastinate over little things, clean up their desks frantically every time they need to write something simple, postpone chores and do other stuff like that. Amateurs. The real procrastinator is above these petty attempts. I can go on for weeks or months plowing through unpleasant tasks like a bulldozer. The real procrastination is about something else. It’s about hitting the bottom. And a rock bottom it is. I can go on for a very long time. But then one day, one moment I face something I just don’t want to do. It could be the same task I’ve done before, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that I just don’t feel like doing it. And then it happens. All it takes is a single moment of weakness. A single let-me-do-this-thing-first action. And the next moment I’m gliding down the slippery path to hell.

One by one useless accomplishments fill the time. They take the same time it would’ve taken me to accomplish that task I didn’t feel like doing. Then they take more. Then much more. But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is with every minute I feel my will being taking away from me. It’s like watching sand flowing down the hourglass hole. I can feel it. That sensation is almost physical. It’s almost like feeling your brain being slowly wrapped in soft cotton wool. Round and round. Layer by layer. Until even thinking itself becomes a serious effort. And I although I know I can stop this, in fact I really can’t. It just goes on and on, leaving me with less and less willpower.

Of course, as it happens I’m still functioning. Of course, I can have a conversation and I appear to others just like my normal self. But deep inside I know that my will is almost gone. There’s just small part of it left somewhere in a dark corner of my brain, while it goes on its autopilot. And I let it go. Sometimes for hours. Sometimes for days. And I tell you, I hate these moments.

You already know when happens next. Yes, I find strength to stop this. I always find enough will to get me out of that mental swamp. And I get out it, and I accomplish that stupid task that had sent me into that procrasti-state, and I do whatever I decide to do. Once I hit the bottom and I actually jump pretty high out of the water. But I know that one day, it will hit me again.

The saddest part of all this is that once I find strength to fight off the p-bug, I am really good at whatever I do. I accomplish things that are pretty much off limits for many less fortunate people. And people look at my accomplishments and go, “Wow! This is great, how did you do that?” But I’m hardly proud. I know that had it not been for these moments I could have accomplished things that would make whole world go “Wow!” I’ve known this for a fact since I was a kid. But this doesn’t change anything. Because one way or another I always find way to that swamp. It’s like trying to become the running champion of the world while having concrete blocks chained to your feet.

So that’s my procrastination story. Now if you excuse me I have to get back to a little task I have to accomplish…

Oh, and one last thing. In case you have ever experienced procrastination yourself, here’s a question for you. A question that probably will send an icy chill down your spine, especially if you really think about. When you find yourself procrastinating it’s not you anymore who controls your actions. Right? At least it’s not your consciousness, not what you associate yourself with. Yet, you still take some actions.

So if it’s not you who is in control, then who is it?