Some pleasantly surprising side effects can come with this approach. As you take more responsibility for your actions (or inactions), you start to feel more in control of your life. As a result, you experience fewer instances of overwhelm -- or being pushed around by other people.
The choices we make for our thinking either motivate us or they don't. I'm all in favor of feeling our feelings and staying with them long enough to process them and let them flow through us. But the trick is not to let negative thoughts take over because we all know they can -- and will.
Because of current life circumstances, some of you may feel too discouraged to start on a new course of personal motivation. Or too angry. Or too upset about certain problems or people.
However, author Napoleon Hill (my husband John's favorite mentor) insists this is the perfect time. "There is one unbeatable rule for the mastery of sorrows and disappointments, and that is the transmutation of those emotional frustrations through definitely planned work. It is a rule which has no equal."
Once we start to focus on creating our lives -- rather than reacting to them -- "definitely planned work" becomes the next step on the path, according to Chandler in his book "100 Ways to Motivate Yourself." (I would add a note of caution that it's healthy to build in some bandwidth for spontaneity. If not, we could wind up being too regimented.)
One hour of planning saves three hours of execution, Chandler notes. Most of us, though, think we don't have time for planning. We're too busy reacting to yesterday's messes -- and cleaning them up -- that we enter the workplace or home setting and wander around aimlessly.
Deliberately creating our lives inspires the energy of purpose. Without it, we can suffer from a type of "intention deficit disorder."
A carefully planned day can take a third of the time than an unplanned free-for-all day takes, Chandler says, while relating a story about a sales manager whose success in life was moderate until he discovered the principle of definitely planned work. Now he spends two hours each weekend on his computer planning the week ahead.
"It's made all the difference in the world," the sales manager says. "Not only do I get three times the amount of work done, but I feel so in control. The week feels like my week. The work feels like my work. My life feels like my life."
Talk about creating your life, rather than reacting to it! It doesn't get much better than this.
Linda Arnold, MBA, is a certified wellness instructor and chairwoman/CEO of The Arnold Agency, a marketing communications company specializing in advertising, public relations, government relations and interactive marketing. Reader comments may be directed to Linda Arnold, The Arnold Agency, 117 Summers St., Charleston, WV 25301, or e-mailed to livelifefu...@arnoldagency.com.