When you find yourself feeling uninspired and not really bothered about doing the things you know you SHOULD be doing, what can you do about it?
I have to confess that I had the idea to write about this more than two weeks ago, but I have been ‘busy’ with other projects. So here I am -taking my own medicine!
What started me on this track was the fact that I was actually on a track when I noticed something that made me smile.
I was’ jogwalking’, mostly walking (owing to lack of training!), the Perth City to Surf Fun Run with my girlfriend, Jo and we were on the last click of the twelve kilometre event.
Despite the noise of people chatting and running, the distant sounds of bands playing, plus someone delivering very bad karaoke from a tent beside the course, I overheard some young voices from above.
We were passing through a very posh neighbourhood at City Beach and from the upstairs balcony of one of these mansions, I heard and saw two young children cheering encouragement to all of the runners, joggers and walkers.
I thought it really cool that these kids, who obviously came from a well-to-do family, would take the trouble to be so vocal in their encouragement of people whose legs were tired and who needed that last little lift of enthusiasm to help them finish the job in hand.
When I told Jo about it, she had noticed that the children actually had medals around their necks, which meant that they had already completed the course, and had gone back home, probably to show their medals excitedly to the family, where they had then assumed their lofty position from which they were doing a terrific job of lifting the spirits of us less fit individuals.
It was a bit like watching children of Roman nobles encouraging the gladiators in the arena!
I found it very uplifting though that they would take the trouble to be so supportive and enthusiastic and it was a fabulous moment among the many other human interest stories that were so wonderfully on display that day.
I’ve lost count but I think it was my ninth City to Surf, spanning about 27 years and I’ve seen it grow from about 4,000 participants to 45,000, with all of the extra categories to cater for huge fitness level differentials.
There were people with disabilities, parents carrying children, people in fancy dress, people of all ages, nationalities and body shapes.
Every single one of them had their own story of course, their own unique reason for why they had bothered to make the effort on that overcast August morning.
It’s your story that will make the difference in helping you find your OOMPH!
In my coaching and consulting work, when I come across business owners who are battling and feeling fatigued, lost or apprehensive about what they are doing, almost invariably they are taken aback when I ask them, ‘So, WHY are you doing this?’
It’s no surprise that the reason we sometimes lose our OOMPH is because we take our focus off the ‘Why?’.
When our ‘Why’ is strong and vividly imagined, our previously wavering enthusiasm can be easily reignited.
Studies done on prisoners of war showed clearly that the survivors were the ones who focused on their dreams and goals and on what they would do after the war had finished and they were free again.
The Human Race thrives on hope and optimism about the opportunities ahead of them and the perceived benefits or rewards for the effort involved. That’s perhaps why this race was such a great metaphor for understanding some of the many variables that can lift the human spirit.
If you take away hope, you take away a person’s purpose. Without purpose a person loses their motivation like Austin Powers losing his ‘mojo’.
That’s when it’s easy to become distracted and possibly even…PROCRASTINATE!
*Image shared by Amanda Templeman’s Facebook page, assumed to be public domain.
(Believed to be courtesy of Angela Liao, cartoonist)
So my message today is that if you have lost your OOMPH and you want to find it again, ask yourself again, ‘What do I want?’ and ‘WHY?’
It doesn’t all have to be about you by the way, it might be that you want something for a loved one. It could even be for a stranger?!
Those children on race day had finished their race, yet their obvious enthusiasm gave them enough OOMPH to share around to people they had never met.
The life lessons are all around us – we just have to notice them!
I’m so grateful that we live in such a fantastic place where these opportunities are available to us.
Until next time, whatever you’re doing, do it well