Picture yourself in a completely white, open space. What do you see? Nothing. Now, imagine some mild winds swirling in that space. What do you see? Still nothing, but you feel it. Okay, throw in a handful of leaves. Now? You can see the wind’s movements.
As humans, we have six senses. We can smell, taste, hear, see, touch, and spider. Among my five favorites is sight. There are so many neat things to look at! There are also a few things that are not so neat to look at, but that is why we have eyelids; also besides the point. –A reason why I like this sense is we can use it to apply a helpful, new perspective to things; to bring on the motivation. Remember way back in the beginning when we saw the wind by adding leaves? This is the idea behind the Inキュbator, to give a tangible presence to something without. It may not literally help advance your specific goals, but it does seem to boost the busts of one’s effort behind the goal. It definitely has helped get my お尻 [butt] in gear.
To further support the idea of the importance in using a visual motivational strategy, here’s a new experience I’d like to share:
I have a friend in college who, like me, is a bit of a perfectionist. He strives so hard to be on top of everything he does. In fact, so much so, it earned him the opportunity to attend college free of charge. Actually, he gets paid to go. As we all know [well, you; not me] college’s expectations are a small step above high school’s, resulting in a slight elevation in stress levels.
During my friend’s second year, the workload seemed unbearable. Classes and labs ranged from 7 AM to 9:30 at night, massive piles of homework were due the next day everyday, even “volunteer” hours were required which pretty much filled any free time he would have had on the weekends. As you can imagine, this burden had him strongly considering throwing in the towel and throwing away all that he had worked so hard to acquire.
It came to that point where he decided he was done. Friends and family tried to convince him it would get better and be worth the troubles, but to no avail. He had his heart set on getting out.
The day before he was gonna get the withdrawal process officially in the works, I presented him with a simple visual chart. The chart displayed four horizontal bars, one for each college year. Each bar was divided into the number of weeks for the school year and a sunny area shown at the end of each length representing the freedom of summer, a time for recharging. The idea was each week he completed he could fill in a week’s segment. And since he had already completed a year, one entire bar was already filled in.
Just seeing that one bar full and that it was one fourth of the whole journey already completed seemed to immediately lift his spirits, giving him a sense of accomplishment. Ever since, he doesn’t seem so defeated. That’s not to say he doesn’t feel the pressures of school anymore, but he knows that there is sun at the end of the tunnel.
They are usually used for kids, but, just because we are grown-up, does not mean we can no longer benefit from these simple games. If you’ve got a big project on your hands, I suggest creating a chart of some sort. It’s fun, simple, and it works!
Seeing is believing! Get visual!