Charging the human battery

Self-motivation...what does it mean? There's a simple definition for a complex subject: "Self-motivation is an inner drive that compels behaviour." What makes it complex, however, is that little word "inner," because what works for me may not work for you, and vice-versa.



Charging the Human Battery is one of my all-time favourite projects because it's a little book from which everyone can benefit. Who do you know that doesn't need a little help staying positive; or a little "shot of inspiration" from time to time? I know I do!

This book has 50 short chapters about ways to motivate yourself. Today, I'd like to share the chapter on dealing with important topic for our times!


Stress, and how we deal with it, is a big factor in staying motivated. I read a great article recently in Men's Health magazine titled: Break the Stress Cycle... Separate the Stressors from the Energizers. It offers some simple, great advice on dealing with stress.

Some stress is unavoidable. Some is not. "The trick is learning to distinguish between the two," says Paul Rosch, M.D., president of the American Institute of Stress. He can't identify your sources of stress for you, because one man's stress is another man's joy. So you'll have to do that part yourself. Divide your stresses into two lists: "accept" and "change."

As you draw up your lists, you'll naturally pay attention to what your brain knows about your sources of stress, but make sure you listen to your body's complaints as well. When are you experiencing those headaches? Or back pain? Is there a pattern to your heartburn, or a particular stretch of your commute that provokes road rage? "Learn how your body responds so you can detect early warning signs of stress," says Dr. Rosch.

In evaluating your stressors, do sweat the small stuff. It's the petty problems that cause serious stress in the long run, says Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert, Ph.D. Having to listen to your girlfriend's Jimmy Buffet CDs night after night really could push you over the edge. (But not into Margaritaville.)

Your activities during these first 7 days are not merely a prelude. Simply sitting down to identify all the things that stress you out, and deciding to do something about them, is powerful stress buster in itself. It's been known since the 1950s that stress is exacerbated if a person has no sense of control and no hope that things will get better.

Having goals, and reaching those goals, is the healthy opposite of that. "Too often, we are adrift on the sea of life," says Dr. Rosch.

Drop anchor.


To learn more, or to see inside Charging the Human Battery and read a few chapters, just click here.

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