“Good, better, best
May I never rest
Until my good is better
And my better, best”
It’s a neat little verse that expresses the views of motivators and the motivated over the years.
It is however just one aspect of life. What about the reverse approach:
“Bad, awful, worst
May I never burst
Until my bad is awful
And my awful, worst”
The fact is that behaviour and attitude are all on a continuum with evil at one end and angelic at the other, with most of us hovering at some point hopefully towards the “good” end.
Indeed the philosophers would say that there can be no good without evil to counterbalance it. If there were no evil then there would still be levels of good and we would then tend to regard the bottom end as bad.
The vast majority of us, thank heavens, would go with the verse at the top with the caveat that it is easy to say but not as simple to achieve.
It is said that we need to do something on a regular basis for at least thirty days for it to become a habit and self-motivation can be and should be a habit.
In the 1920s a French psychologist, Emile Coue, propounded a simple technique that does help in building habit. He suggested that we clasp the hands tightly ad repeat:
“Every day and in every way I am getting better and better”
and regular repetition will make that into a habit.
The point is that motivation is not a “one-off” exercise. It has to be done a continuous basis so that we take adversity as it comes and handle it with a belief that it is just a hurdle that needs to be overcome.
We all enjoy the masterful expositions of motivational speakers but like a good meal the effect can wear off quickly if we don’t put some procedure in place to make sure that it doesn’t.
It is all about positivity in the end. I am constantly irritated by the moanings of the protesters, naysayers and gloom mongers who seem to populate television and who loudly express indignation at the very thought that someone can disagree with them.
Sadly they don’t often offer ideas as to how their protests can be solved; the protest becomes the only reality. They are people who can only suggest a problem for any opportunity and that is totally negative.
We should take Coue’s advice and look positively at how we look at life. If we make a real habit of being positive and taking on real opportunities positively then we can move further up that continuum towards “best”.
Perfection is not in our grasp but a great improvement certainly is. What’s more it makes us feel better and that is no bad thing.
A smile is a good start. One of the members of my Vistage CEO peer group has a notice in his large retail store that says: “If someone doesn’t give you a smile, give them one of yours” and that is a great thought for the day.
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