Zen Motivation: A Student’s Perspecitve

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This is a guest post by iNLP Student Kelli Cooper

There is always a reason why we do the things we do and want the things we want. Sometimes though, as we all know, those reasons are not enough to push us to do what we need to do, even when doing those things will bring really great stuff into our lives…us humans are a funny bunch are we not?

We have a lot of nefarious influences standing in our way, such as negative self-talk, fear and junky subconscious programming that directs the course of our life without us even realizing it.

My personal development is my number one priority and in throwing myself into this work, I have come to realize one of my biggest issues – I am kind of lazy, really lazy sometimes.

As much as I have certain activities I enjoy and certain things that get my engine running, I love relaxing and doing nothing. There is nothing inherently wrong with this and I think we should be able to do this more without feeling guilty about it. But, I know for me, my love of nothingness can get in my way and hold me back from doing the things I need to go to get where I want to be.

This post came to me after taking the Zen Motivation course. It talked about motivation and the two main ways we do it…the stick, or thinking of all the bad things that will happen if we do not do this thing we should be doing. and the carrot, or the good things that will come to us if we complete the task.

What was so interesting to me is that I normally would have thought the second mode of operating would be good as it is usually good to focus on the things we want with a good energy.

But, in seeing how it was explained and thinking of the ‘’carrots’’ in terms of motivating ourselves to do a specific task right at that moment, it actually does not feel good a lot of the time. Often times, operating in this mode makes us feel a lot of pressure.

It might activate a whole stream of mental chatter that touches on things that make us feel anxious and discouraged such as how far we are from reaching that goal, worrying we will never reach that goal, thinking of all the other things we need to do in addition to this task to reach that goal. It is interesting how thinking about things we want and that would make us happy often can evoke a lot of negative feelings.

The idea of zen motivation was brilliant to me and builds on a central tenet of efficiency and mental peace….just focusing on the moment and what is without the internal commentary.

Closing down that part of our brain where all this crappy stuff takes place by focusing on something outside of us, like the sound of a fan or some other mundane sound, we can quell that part of our mind and just do what we need to do. After going through this lesson and the exercises, I have found a whole new way of approaching tasks that bring up resistance in me and I look forward to applying the technique…. I am sure it is something I will need to practice and I am sure I will be presented with plenty of opportunities to do so!

About Mike Bundrant

Mike Bundrant is a retired psychotherapist, Master NLP trainer, and practicing life coach. He and his wife, Hope, founded iNLP Center in 2011. For information on coaching with Mike, please visit his coaching website AHA System.

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