Never Give Up Maintaining Motivation in Rocky Times
Visitors to Paris, France are often drawn to visit Notre Dame Cathedral. One of the adventures of visiting the cathedral is to climb to the top of one of the towers and look out over the city. The staircase in the tower is excruciatingly narrow and steep; the people of the Middle Ages were considerably smaller than are moderns, and medieval architects weren’t constrained by pesky building codes.
It isn’t unusual for a visitor to have to pause a few times on his or her journey to the top. The slope of the stairs would test even the most aerobically fit individual, and being surrounded by nothing but endless brick and stone make the climb fairly tedious. However, visitors inevitably climb on, and once at the top, enjoy a view of Paris that is breathtakingly beautiful.
It’s possible that a few people have quit halfway to the top. It would certainly be understandable, especially if the person begins the journey with mobility problems. Most of the time, however, there is more than one visitor ascending the staircase, so those behind tend to prod (or nag) gently in order to keep the queue moving.
The amazing part of the climb is that when an individual nears the top of the stairs, he or she sees light beaming down from one of several openings in the upper wall. Inevitably, the person begins climbing faster and more ferociously, secure in the knowledge that the end of the staircase is near.
The parallel between climbing to the top of Notre Dame’s tower and the manifestation of a goal is fairly clear. The path to the manifestation of a huge goal is often composed of mundane, and sometimes boring, steps. Many times it feels as though one step is just like the last, and no there is no progress. Quitting instead of climbing may feel like the more intelligent choice. However, once a glimpse of the goal comes into sight, it reinforces the choice to climb one more step.
There are two key principles that help to maintain motivation. The first is to visualize the goal daily. More importantly, visualize being part of the goal. If the goal is having a better job, for example, imagine and feel what it would be like to be working in the perfect job, in the perfect location and enjoying all of the positive feedback from clients. Of course, also include seeing yourself receiving the perfect amount of money for serving the clients well! Engage every sense if possible; the reason auto dealers make sure their cars have that “new car smell” is because browsers are motivated to become buyers once they encounter that aroma. Incorporating sound, taste, touch and smell into a visualization session makes a distant goal feel more tangible and therefor, reachable.
The second is to have an accountability buddy. It can be fairly easy to use self-talk to avoid making the next, possibly scary, step toward a goal. It’s not so easy when there is another person gently coaxing (or nagging). Reciprocal, friendly prodding accelerates manifestation for both people. It also makes the process a lot more fun.
Manifesting what authors James Collins and Jerry Porres refer to as a “Big, Hairy Audacious Goal” may take weeks, months or even years. Maintaining the motivation to continue the journey toward that goal is crucial to success. It may be necessary to pause along the way, but take just one more step, and remember to relish the view at the end of the staircase.