HOW I GET MY LIFE TO WORK
I love writing for Thrive Global because you keep it meaningful, you ask the questions that are good to ask.
So for this particular blog, I am just going to answer them as you’ve written them. I am going to answer them truthfully and sincerely, no hype, no trying to sound smart, good, “expert” or on top of things. Just me and how I get my life to work.
Thrive Global: We want to know: How do you motivate yourself to reach your goals during challenging times?
Tian Dayton: I dive deep, I go within, I get quiet. I remember gratitude, I talk to my husband, play with my grandchildren and I have fun. I take space for myself, sink into the moment. I look for nice receipts. I do things that make me feel easy and cozy, that let me feel close to myself and in my own skin.
Thrive Global: How do you keep track of the goals you’re trying to achieve?
Tian Dayton: Somewhat loosely. I have piles of books on subjects that catch my interest, articles, videos, I explore. I learn, I research. Sometimes I have a general sense of where I am going but otherwise I just throw it (the general goal) out there as an intention and collect data around it. I talk to people, read up on the idea/subject, google it, perk my ears up and ask questions. I don’t look for an answer; I live in the question for a while. I incubate, I let my mind just be with it. As Thich Nhat Hanh so beautifully puts it… “if I lose my direction, I have to look for the North Star, and I go to the north. That does not mean I expect to arrive at the North Star.” I set a direction which spiritually speaking includes an intention. One is in the heavens and one on earth, so to speak.
TG: Do you have a daily ritual for boosting your motivation? If so, what is it?
Tian: Well yes, I do. I was very ill for about a year and a half. According to which doctor I was seeing I had some rare disease or chronic fatigue or hypothyroidism…..in any case my body was running the show and I was knocked out for a while. Whatever I had, had a sudden onset, one moment I was fine and 24 hours later I was wearing cashmere socks and a silk scarf around my neck in 85% weather. In the course of seeing a million specialists, resting, trying to figure out what I could and couldn’t do and so forth, I went to Antigua on a family vacation, I was sort of wall paper while the rest of the family vacationed. The heat, which I normally love, was intense for me and although it was enjoyable to be there, the fatigue occasionally overcame me. At one point I realized that I had to strengthen my mind, to find a way to get my body to come up to my mind rather than the reverse. I googled around the internet and youtube looking for anything that might help me to do this, TED talks, I read up on what I had and what people did about it. But I needed something deeper, more interior and more inspiring. I came upon Abraham Hicks and the law of attraction. I was desperate and this teaching (albeit it a little woo-woo) stressed the importance of feeling better in order to be better, it used how you feel as an actual predictor of how you would become. It talked about changing the “channel” you were on, like a radio changes stations, changing your “waves” your “vibration”. As a psychologist this wasn’t too big a leap for me as over the years it has been only too clear that the clients who have the best attitude, are the ones who are able to improve and change their lives most successfully. These clients use problems as grist for the mill of increased self awareness, they turn the prism of a circumstance over and over in their minds until they can see light shining through it. So I listened each morning until I could bring (or drag) my mind into a good and higher place. I felt better very quickly, it would come and go. Today I am 100%. I still listen several mornings a week to these teachings just to stay tuned.
TG: During stressful times, how do you stay on target with your goals?
Tian: I remind myself that doing things with stress means that you work harder and get less done, and that my stress hurts me and those close to me. So I take a break. I make gratitude lists in my head. I pray and ask God for support and guidance, I ask anyone who might be listening up there, actually! I exercise, make sure I am eating well and go out and have fun or watch a funny movie. I dig deep, listen to inspiring words from anywhere I can find them and get my mind in that better place I described earlier. As George Burns said, “it’s all about the attitude, you gotta watch that attitude kid!”
TG: Do you have a particular goal in mind right now? If so, what small steps are you taking to get there?
Tian: I have written many books and had a career of writing, public speaking and a lot of travel. At 67 I am shifting ….but not radically…. my priorities. My job includes some speaking/training people to do psychodrama and writing so that is all pretty much what I have always done. I find however that writing blogs and articles is wonderfully immediate and satisfying. Writing a book is a daily schedule of many hours, a schedule that I have loved. Today that love is shifting to include this kind of writing. Although I still long to go deeply into a subject and do that sometimes through white papers on psychodrama, I am increasingly enjoying the world of the internet with its spontanaeity and sense of connection to people I may or may not ever see. I blog for Thrive Global and The Huffington Post and I am doing so more consistently than I have in the past. My routine today is that I have less lead time before I sit down and write something. I am experimenting with a more “personal” voice rather than an exclusively “expert” voice. This works for me because in my heart I have always felt that no one is a better expert about their own lives than the people living them, essentially “you are your own, best expert”. And that what really gets one’s life to work is very personal, so I like the questions that Thrive Global throws out, they are good food for this kind of thought! And the sharing I am doing feels in some way more valuable or in any case it’s a different kind of value. It’s more tried and true, it’s wisdom I have gained through trial and error in the life I am closest to or most “expert” about, my own. So this is my small step.