Remember being so excited about something as a kid, you couldn’t stand still? You had to jump up and down. You had to tell everyone about it. Most importantly, you couldn’t wait to do it again. Imagine looking at your Goals the same way. What happened to those days of high spirits and obvious delight? Society has done a good job of kicking it out of us after a while. Desire and drive are also squelched by inconsistent day-to-day choices, neglecting what’s important, and getting off course. We often end up following someone else’s priorities and then wonder why we’re listless and uninterested in much of the day.
But with Fire, you can live with Idealism again. You can look forward to what’s going to happen today, tomorrow and next week - instead of worrying about or dreading it. Your newfound enthusiasm can demolish any “grownup” thoughts of obstacles or problems. And if you haven’t noticed, enthusiastic people attract other high-energy people, and positive things start to happen.
Idealism makes your program more fun and can give you more practical results in the process. Without fear of the future or of problems, high performance is free to take over. After all, your Top of Mind Goal from the Focus reading - your practical vision of the future - should already have its roots in what really get your blood flowing.
Action is the only way anything is going to get done. A Goal without passionate action remains a wish. There’s no force behind the effort to see it grow to reality. The Goal limps along until, one day, it eventually turns into Regret. When you want something - really want something - you go after it with everything you’ve got. You move faster, you’re sure of your direction, others see and are inspired by your excitement. Fire is the energy that makes that happen. Take action today: choose any three Building Block recommendations or strategies that relate to your Top of Mind Goal. Do them today. Get used to taking action instead of thinking about it.
The SparkPeople System asks you to rely heavily on the power of the positive. You’re always encouraged to surround yourself with positive people and visual cues. Positive, written reminders alone are so motivating that, in one study, the 3% of participants who actually wrote their goals down amassed more wealth after 20 years than the other 97% combined.
Why is positive energy so important? Because optimism works. If you truly believe in yourself and your goals, “might” is replaced by “will”, and “can’t” is replaced by “how”. Imagine that you want to go back to college and graduate. It’s a strong vision of a motivating goal, though intimidating for the most confident person. A positive attitude fires you up with the faith that a consistent string of short-term goals will get you to your destination. As the good grades pile up and momentum builds, you become even more confident in your abilities and direction. Determination soars. You feel less strain and find more satisfaction and fulfillment in your days. Building confidence through Fire is what makes it all possible.
Plus, optimism is just plain healthy. Several studies have proven that pessimists are more subject to sickness and stress problems. In one study, older men with an upbeat outlook were half as likely to develop coronary heart disease than men who were more anxious and negative.
The power to choose your attitude is not just about looking on the bright side. How you mentally approach your program is a huge factor in how successful you’ll be. You need to hold yourself accountable and keep yourself involved. Choosing to become a positive thinker is the first brick in a foundation of focused action. With that foundation, possibilities outweigh problems and motivation builds in the right spots. It’s almost like seeing life like a kid again. And, as we like to say, the best time to act like a kid is when you’re an adult.
Try these things today, and you’ll soon develop a more energized Fire:
- Do your goal activities early in the day.
- Surround yourself with people that have qualities that you admire.
- Refuse to feel sorry for yourself or be a victim of circumstances. Don't accept situations as they’re handed to you. Row your own boat.
- Ask yourself "would my grandmother be proud of my actions?"
- Serve someone in a small way.
- Keep a Journal to record your successes and how it makes you feel.
- Try a new way of doing the same thing.
- Have others help out. Join up with someone with similar goals, so you're responsible not just to yourself, but to them as well.
- Get rid of temptations, or at least make sure they're not around when you're doing your goal activity.
- Rethink failure. If you fall off the wagon a bit, turn it around into a valuable lesson and an opportunity to keep going.