Quiet and peaceful waters can be nice…but not when you’re looking for some kind of breeze to propel you forward. The doldrums are a belt of calm and baffling winds or no wind at all. And if you’re a sailor, you hate the doldrums. They can strand you for days. Going no where.
Do you ever feel like that?
You know what you should do. You know what you need to do. But in the end you are always able to talk yourself out of it. Your motivation level is about where the breeze level is in the doldrums; hovering around zero. You put off today’s plan until tomorrow, which turns into the next day or the next until the month is gone and you haven’t moved at all. You’re stagnant.
Can you relate?
I can. I’ve been there. And here’s the way I get out of the doldrums…
First of all, at the risk of seeming trite or superficial, I think the best advice comes from Dr. Leo Marvin from the movie “What about Bob?” If you’ve seen it, you remember Dr. Marvin’s book, “Baby Steps.” His therapy stated that in order to get out of your problems you simply needed to take baby steps.
I’m saying he’s not too far off. I’m easily overwhelmed by the stuff I know I need to do; the stuff I know I need to keep up with. Working out, eating right, spending time in prayer and in the Word , writing, spending quality time with my wife and kids, and the list goes on. The amount of discipline and self control to actually pull all that stuff off every day is enormous (in my mind).
But I’ve found if I can focus on one thing at at time I do much better. In other words, if I can muster the discipline to work out every day then I find that I have the discipline to eat right. I find I’m in the Word and praying like I should. The other tasks seem to fall in line as well. It’s like the fruit of self discipline is more discipline and I’m able to do the other necessary things.
So…do one thing well and allow that success and discipline bleed over into the other areas.
And how do you get started on that one thing? I think there are a couple of ways to attack the issue.
- OLD SCHOOL: the first is the old school way. Proverbs says that as iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another. We are made sharper because of the other people in our lives. We were never created to walk through this life alone. We need others; parents, friends, coaches, teachers, and mentors who will love us unconditionally, listen to us, hold us accountable and get in our face when we want to quit or give less than our absolute best effort. It might be time for you to find that person or those people you can invite into your life and give them the right to speak into you; to be the sounding board or be the prod to get you out of bed or off the couch to do the things you know you need to do.
- NEW SCHOOL: Yep, there’s an app for that. You should try Lift. Lift is an app for your smart phone that provides you with a customizable check list for the day. Choose from hundreds of tasks already entered like “Go to the gym” or “Read the Bible” or “Tell my wife I love her” or you can make your own list. Lift will prompt you on what needs to be done and you can check it off. Lift will then congratulate you for your accomplishments and keep a running total of your days in a row. Your friends on Lift can also give you props for your accomplishments. Lift has worked as a great motivator for me.
I know it’s better to be compelled and motivated from the inside instead of goaded from the outside. But sometimes it takes a little push from the outside to get things started.
These ideas should help put wind in your sales and help get you out of the doldrums.