“First say to yourself what you would be; then do what you have to do.”
“Be so good they can’t ignore you.”
“Your life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change.”
Why do I do it? Why do I say the same thing almost every day? Why do I repeat myself? Here I go again:
· Get Started.
· Keep Going.
· Do your work.
· House on the Beach.
Can you feel the “blah, blah, blah” coming? Why is it that I seem to keep saying the same things over and over? Because you and I need reminders. There are two ways of looking at life and both are correct. One way is to just enjoy life and be thankful and peaceful. Take things as they come. Be in the present moment. The other way is to see life as a series of constant battles, struggles, and reaching for worthy goals. So I remind myself every day to Get Started and to Keep Going, because when I do my work, I feel thankful and peaceful. Every time I write a blog or move towards my goals, even in a small way, I feel good about life and about myself. I feel stronger, larger, more confident.
At the same time, I know life is also a battle. My defense against the Enemy, against depression, fear, low self-esteem, and everything else that tries to do me in, is to do my work. As I do my work, not only do I feel better, I become open to improvements, ideas, and new ways to use my work to reach my goals.
In life, and in each of us, there is room to be both Warrior and Monk. To neglect the Warrior within is to leave ourselves unprepared for and unprotected against the inevitable (and often unexpected) delays and difficulties. Life becomes nothing more than a constant series of battles and frustrations. To neglect the Monk is to leave ourselves ungrateful and unhappy. Life, and even our goal, becomes nothing more than a series of tasks and obligations.
So every day I remind myself of what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. Reminders come in the form of 3x5 cards with pictures and written statements of my goals strategically placed where I see them every day. They come in the form of encouragement to and from others. They come when I take care of myself. But mostly they come when I do my actual work. Doing our work is the best motivation possible.
But shouldn’t we need to do our work without motivation, without reminders? Shouldn’t we just do it what we’re supposed to do without being told? Perhaps, if we weren’t human, the answer would be yes. But remember, life is a battle. We get tired. We get discouraged. We even get busy and forget. At the same time, life is a gift and daily reminders help us to appreciate that gift every day. Life is not only a gift; each day it is a new gift.
There is also another truth. I don’t need to be reminded. I just need to do my work. But sometimes the reminders give me a refreshed sense of purpose. They make me glad that I have goals. They motivate me to work just a little harder, to not give up when I feel tired or apathetic or even just neutral.
This then is one more reminder to Get Started and Keep Going. Do a little or do a lot, but do something that will get you towards your goal. Then when you get there, create a new goal remind yourself, every day, why you are doing it, even if you’re repeating yourself.