I remember it well: the first time someone told me that I should listen to motivational material (by Tony Robbins, as it happens), my reaction was, “Yeah, right! No way is some hokey set of tapes going to relieve my stress or make me feel any better about my life.”
At the time I was in my early twenties, trying to juggle a huge amount of responsibility in my family’s auto parts business, and I was pushing myself over the physical and mental brink. An older salesman who always seemed to be energized and positive had offered to let me borrow his Tony Robbins’ Personal Power: The Driving Force! 30-Day Program for Unlimited Success tape set, and after a hasty thank-you, I tossed them into the backseat of my car (keeping my skeptical thoughts to myself) and went on with my day.
Little did I know that when I popped the first tape into the cassette player during a moment of boredom on my morning commute the next day that I was at a turning point in my life! Tony Robbins was the first person to teach me (among other things) that I really did have a choice about how to lead my own life, that I didn’t have to stay stuck in my negative thinking, and that I could direct my mind to think more positively.
In the years since that day, I have read many, many motivational books and listened to just as many audio recordings. I have learned that what you put into your mind has a HUGE impact on your attitude and outlook—and thus on the quality of your life. If you’re exposing yourself to new, positive, and uplifting ideas, you’ll be energized and happier. But if you limit your mental intake to depressing news, violent movies, and gripes from everyone you talk to, you’ll be stuck in a negative cycle.
So, even if you think it’s cheesy (as I originally did), I encourage you to give motivational materials a try. Listening to a motivational CD during your morning commute or reading for fifteen minutes as you sip your coffee in the morning can put you in a positive place until you go to sleep in the evening. When you do this each day, you’ll find that your attitude is improved, and that you have learned new tools to eliminate your own self-doubt and self-criticism. By focusing more on all the positive aspects of who you are, what you are doing, and what is great in your life, you’ll find that the whole direction of your life can change. And if you’re not sure where to start, I have a recommended reading and listening list HERE!