PPMT President’s Message- May, 2017
View from the Top
By Donna M. Butler, PPMT President
I hope you have enjoyed the first quarter of 2017! The excitement at PPMT continues to build as our membership grows and we continue to work toward our goals. I am excited about our new committees and encourage each of you to serve in some capacity on a PPMT committee. We rely heavily on volunteers to keep PPMT going and anything you can do to help the organization is good for everyone. You can fill out our volunteer form and let us know about which opportunities you are interested in. The Board of Directors is working hard on some great ideas and events for the rest of the year but even with all these great ideas, we REALLY need your help to make them come to life!
Our next opportunity to mingle and learn this month is our regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 9th. We will be learn about “Bold Business Strategies”, presented by Trish Logan. We will meet at Golden Corral at 315 Old Lebanon Dirt Rd, Hermitage, TN 37076
Additionally, I want to say congratulations to the winner of last month’s Peers’ Choice competition: Dorma Tabisz. You can read more about the story behind her winning image “Ruffle My Feathers” on our website blog. All the images were fantastic and I want to encourage you to get your images prepared for our next Peers’ Choice Competition at our next monthly meeting on May 9th.
Now let’s talk about motivation. We all want more of it. But just what exactly is it? A mystical force that some people naturally possess and others can only hope for? A mix of discipline and desire where we must create the necessary impetus? A light-bulb moment we wait for or draw upon whenever needed? Motivation is defined as the general desire or willingness of someone to do something. It’s what compels us to take action. It’s energy for motion that propels us forward. It is a commitment to doing what is worthwhile and keeps us out of a spiral of procrastination. We know what we “need” to do but we often don’t “want” to do it. Nearly anything worthwhile in life is uphill and requires work on our part to attain it. We just have to put in the effort to get what to where we want to go. But how if you lack motivation?
Motivation waxes and wane. Some days we have more and other days, it seems we’re on the struggle-bus without a single spark in sight. Everything seems like an arduous climb up a mountain with unforgiving turns, steep inclines and fierce, unpredictable weather. Life is often like that: unpredictable…fierce…up-hill. It is an easy deterrent to motivation, for sure. It’s easy to get discouraged and tired…and, well, UN-motivated. In fact, many people are so discouraged, they don’t want to climb the mountain at all. They don’t care about the view from the top. They choose to wait at the bottom and let whatever is at the top roll down on them! Maybe they are afraid of the climb. Maybe they don’t think they can make it to the top. Maybe they don’t have the energy or stamina necessary to go up the hill. Maybe they lack the discipline. Or maybe they are unsure if what’s the at the top is worth the climb? Does it ever get easier? Oh, what is life, if not the sum of a thousand daily battles and a thousand more tiny decisions to either gut it out or give up? And, just when it looks like a breakthrough is near, another challenge presents itself; another setback, another brutal, rocky path. How do you scale that mountain of doubt, hardship and struggle and get motivated? Obviously, it makes sense to plan ahead and be as prepared for obstacles as you can in advance. Sometimes it’s difficult to overcome some of the biggest boulders you’ll find along the way and you need to get help from others. Sometimes a helping hand is all you need to get going. Or perhaps you just need to remove smaller things that are blocking your path…Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or whatever other social procrastination network you’re part of. Take one step at a time. Re-evaluate and adapt, if need be. You simply do what you are able to do and keep in mind what the view from the top will look like. There is no need to over-do it and risk injury. Keep everything in perspective and in balance. And don’t look back…it’s counter-productive. Dwelling on the past or the “woulda, coulda, shoulda’s” only fuels fear and will never get you to the top. Focus on the next destination, then the next. A series of “nexts” along your journey…not the summit…not the final destination. Get your next foothold or set up the next base camp…enjoy it, celebrate it, rest up and then get going again. It’s discipline; it’s hard work and consistency. And, you will need rest stops along the way; time to catch your breath, refuel and recover.
The key is to be specific about how much time you will take to rest. Scheduling tasks and breaks is a great way to automate motivation and get things done. It puts your decision-making on auto-pilot.
Another way to muster motivation is to work on tasks that are achievable yet challenging; not too hard and not too easy. This is known as the “The Goldilocks Rule”, a phenomenon James Clear named after the fairy tale, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”. It states that “humans experience peak motivation and happiness when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities. Not too hard. Not too easy. Just right”. If you’re feeling unmotivated to work, it is often because the task has drifted into an area of boredom or into an area of great difficulty. Work on tasks that follow the Goldilocks Rule to maintain motivation. Outsource when necessary.
Write stuff down and make a plan that will help you navigate the mountainous terrain. Try the “The Ivy Lee Method” Charles M. Schwab used to increase productivity at his company. At the end of each day, write down the six most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow. Do not write down more than six tasks. Prioritize those six items in order of their true importance. When tomorrow arrives, concentrate only on the first task. Work until the first task is finished before moving on to the second task. Approach the rest of your list in the same fashion. At the end of the day, move any unfinished items to a new list of six tasks for the following day. Repeat this process every day. It helps you stay focused, prevents indecision and removes the friction of starting, which is just as important as succeeding at all.
I always say, though, if you are in a real funk, feeling under the weather and completely unmotivated to do anything, do something productive for 10 minutes. Give yourself 10 minutes. This is often enough of a start to get you “in the zone” and generate even more motivation. The idea is to make it as easy as possible to get started and then trust that momentum will carry you further into the task after you begin. Once you start doing something, it’s easier to continue doing it. On particularly challenging days, sometimes the simple act of just showing up itself is a victory. So, show up for 10 minutes if that is all you can muster. If you have the ability to finish one small 10-minute task, even when you don’t feel like, you have the victory. Chances are you will feel better about yourself for the accomplishment and, well…motivated.
Thanks for your continued support and hard work. Here’s to a great second quarter, to an extraordinary view from the top and to motivation!!!
Donna Butler, President
Professional Photographers of Middle Tennessee