Here we are, four weeks out from ringing in another New Year. Many of us can’t wait to put 2020 in the rearview mirror. These last 11 months are difficult to describe in one word, it’s even hard to describe them in just a few words without finding something negative, sad, or troubling to say, so yes, the rearview mirror analogy could be an excellent way to try and put it all behind us.

However, it’s only a good strategy if we make sure that we can shift our focus on what is in front of us, not only on what’s behind us.

“See, when you drive home today, you’ve got a big windshield on the front of your car. And you’ve got a little bitty rearview mirror. And the reason the windshield is so large and the rearview mirror is so small is because what’s happened in your past is not near as important as what’s in your future.” – Joel Osteen

Success is a funny thing as we can see others succeeding where we feel like we have not.

Whatever they touch turns to gold. They simply have a knack for being successful at whatever they endeavor to do. Even in a difficult COVID year, they were still able to meet with success. What’s the difference? The difference is in the way we see ourselves…

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One question that I seem to be getting more of these days is around motivation. Not only are people asking how to get motivated, but they are also asking how they can stay motivated.

People often say that motivation doesn’t really last. Well, neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend it daily. – Zig Ziglar

Ziglar certainly knew a lot about how to motivate us and more importantly how to keep us motivated. And he would also be the first one to remind us that motivation is temporary unless it is coupled with action. It is one thing to be motivated about setting a goal or getting inspired by the thought of a new project, and it is something completely different in taking the actions necessary to achieve our goals or complete our projects.

Sometimes we can use a motivated mindset as the spark that leads us to take the actions necessary for our productivity or success.

For some of us, this is how we are wired. When we are feeling good and life is better than good, finding sources of motivation is easy, our creativity is inspired, we are filled with hope, and we end up crushing our tasks and to-do lists. When we are feeling motivated, we may exercise a little longer and push a little harder.

When we are feeling motivated, we may make better choices in what we do, what we eat, and how we treat our bodies.

But what happens when we aren’t feeling so good, or when life isn’t going quite the way we want it to be going? What happens when we really don’t feel like exercising, going to work, or staying on our eating plan?

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Hope may not be a strategy, but then again it just might be, especially when we tie it to encouragement.

Although I have personally limited the amount of time I spend reading or watching the news, and have scaled back on the time I spend on certain social media platforms, it seems like I still find news and posts that focus on what seems hopeless instead of what is possible. We all see how some choose to tear others down instead of putting their energy into the encouragement of a better and positive outcome.

Perhaps hope and encouragement are not top of mind for everyone. And if that’s you, it’s OK. We are living in unprecedented times that may have eroded our once hopeful disposition. And if you find yourself feeling this way, one of the best ways we can regain our hope is to find a way to encourage others around us.

With a little spark of hope and with the encouragement of others, the possibilities of what we can do become endless. Some of us have tremendous hope, but that may have not always been the case. Those who are filled with hope today may have been feeling hopeless yesterday. And then one day someone showed them a little encouragement, and with a little encouragement and a little hope, who knows what we can accomplish?…

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“You were designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, and endowed with the seeds of greatness,” — Zig Ziglar.

Imagine waking up every day, reminding ourselves of Zig’s quote above. How would it change our morning? How would it shape our tasks, our job, and the way we engage with others? And what would happen if we revisited the quote when we end our workday and enjoy our time with family and friends? And how about remembering the quote and repeating it to ourselves right before we go to bed, what would our state of mind be as we drift off to sleep?

Well, when I started incorporating this quote and the meaning behind it in my daily routine, it made all the difference in the world. I found myself being more creative and innovative. As I reviewed my projects for the day, I felt empowered and only saw myself as achieving success.

This quote and others that are similar in meaning have been around for decades. Some of us choose to lean on motivational quotes like Zig’s, and believe every word of it, drawing inspiration from the powerful words to fuel our day. Others may appreciate motivational quotes initially and remember a few of their favorites word for word. Sooner or later, that sensation of appreciation for the motivating words wears off over time, never going deep enough to become part of their belief system…

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