Five Lessons On Motivation From A Visit To The Dentist

Nothing gets done without motivation. Goals would not be achieved. Great achievements would be out of the question. We need motivation like we need air to breathe. We need regular motivation to keep us going when our inspiration and enthusiasm dwindle.

On the Tuesday before Christmas 2005, I learned five lessons about kick butt motivation from a visit to the dentist.

In the first place, I needed motivation to get to the surgery as my teeth were currently pain free. The motivation came from my sister who had developed a gap in her front teeth. I had to give her a lift there and could not, with honor, turn down a session with the hygienist and a check up with the dentist while I was there.

The first motivational lesson was, therefore, to put oneself in a situation where it would appear cowardly to turn down a challenge however painful it might be!

I saw the hygienist first while my sister had her teeth fixed. The hygienist does not believe in using the latest pain free lazer treatment for the removal of plaque.

Instead she uses the ancient instruments of torture that might have extracted the names of his fellow conspirators from Guy Fawkes. However, he was much tougher than me and they had to use the rack on him in the end.

I asked her if she had sent off all her Christmas cards. She had. Had she bought all her presents? She had not only bought them; she had wrapped them up! I, on the other hand, had not. What had motivated her to get all this done? Lists.

She loved making lists for everything. Here ends the second lesson. Make lists for everything you have to do and you are much more likely to be motivated to get them done. Your subconscious mind will also aid you in getting them done.

Enlightened, I moved on the dentist who was having a cup of black coffee. I asked if this was to remove his stress. He agreed that it was. While he sipped his coffee we went on to discuss my website on motivation.

I said that I had written some motivational books which could be found on my website mainly to motivate myself. He pointed out that his patients kept him motivated. He had to sort out their problems on a daily basis. Lesson three: deal with other living beings. They will keep you motivated by their needs and demands. Do not become a recluse.

He mentioned that he went to some kind of a fitness class to improve his fitness. He found gyms a waste of time. Training on his own did not work. He needed an environment in which other human beings would help him stay on track. Lesson four: become a member of a group of people who will encourage you to train properly and regularly.

I confessed that I had not done the flossing which I should have done to keep my gums in peak condition. Suddenly he thumped me on my right arm and said in a loud voice "DO IT". We both laughed. He explained that we all need another human being at times to tell us forcefully what we must do.

Lesson five, then, is to hire a mentor or life coach to give you clear and powerful guidance. A metaphorical or even literal punch or kick might just get you to take the action necessary to make progress in your life.

Failing that, as mentors can be expensive, give yourself a good kick up the butt every now and then by telling yourself things like: DO IT NOW! JUST DO IT! GET ON WITH IT! If necessary, bang your head against a wall.

My visit to the dentist then was well worth the pain and effort. My teeth are in good shape for all that food coming my way this Christmas and my knowledge of what motivates human beings has been confirmed by both the dentist and the hygienist. The five lessons that came up are well worth a second look.

Firstly, put yourself in a situation where you will be embarrassed not to meet the challenge. I once attended a seminar where attendees had to break an arrow with their throats. The sharp end was in our throats and the tail end was against a piece of wood. We had to take a bold step forward and break the arrow.

I was amazed to see my fellow attendees embrace the task even though some of them looked terrified. Some were young women who weighed little. I weighed about 18 stone and had been a martial artist for years. I thought the whole exercise was stupid as the arrow might well have killed someone.

However, I was shamed into going ahead with the exercise by the courage of these young women. I didn't really care too much at the time as my mother had died recently and I felt like joining her in the next life. The arrow broke easily. I asked if it was a real arrow. Apparently it was. The others were shocked by my scepticism!

Secondly, motivate yourself like my hygienist by making lists of what you have to do. These allow your subconscious mind to go to work on what you must do. Some would even argue that making lists links your mind with the energies of the universe which can help you perform miracles. You can also have fun ticking off the items on your list when you have completed them.

Thirdly, keep in touch with other human beings. They will motivate by their needs and problems. Even animals, like a cat, provide constant motivation to get up and feed them or let them out to take a leak.

Our neighbors 'cat, Lizzie, has taken up squatters' rights in our house and is the one creature on earth who can get my sister out of bed on a regular basis both night and day. Her miaows are ear piercing and highly motivating!

When I retired from teaching religious studies, I still kept on teaching my martial arts students. I realized, intuitively, that I still needed regular contact with other human beings.

They would keep me focused on teaching and improving my martial arts knowledge. They would help me take a break from my computer. People who retire and then lose contact with the world of work and regular contact with other human beings often die soon after their retirement.

Fourthly, join a class rather than trying to work on your own. My former girlfriend and I once joined a cartoon class. We rapidly made progress and were amazed at how easy it was to copy cartoons accurately.

However, we became arrogant and dropped out of the class thinking we no longer needed it. Our cartooning skill lapsed at once and we made no further progress. We could have progressed by working on our own but now lacked the motivation of the class environment.

Fifthly, hire a mentor to give you regular guidance. I have a web designer who sees me once a week at least. Without him, I would have given up on my dream of making money on the internet long ago.

However, if you cannot afford a mentor or teacher, get tough with yourself and demand regular daily effort from yourself. As you begin to succeed, your motivation will increase.


Source by John Watson

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