Of the many mental self-motivation tools, techniques and strategies there are for building and enhancing our inner motivation levels to overcome obstacles and achieve our goals and dreams, learning to recall, re-live and celebrate personal victories should not be ignored. In fact, it is the key to replicating the successes of our past for the present and the future
By setting a few minutes aside each day from our busy schedules to reflect or take mental stock of the commendable things we’ve achieved to reach where we are in our lives today — not to mention what we continue to do to improve on our current status – we are able to identify and connect with our previously unacknowledged inner strengths.
If our personal triumphs and day by day achievements — be they big or small —were to be seeds, watering these seeds on a daily basis in the garden of our minds can see them grow from mere acorns to plants and eventually trees of strength and fortitude. What we can then safely refer to as our very own personal achievements tree.
Our personal achievements tree is a powerful self-motivation medium through which we are able to access the inner resources we need to overcome personal obstacles during the dark spells of our lives. Those times when we’ve often found ourselves trying to navigate life’s often perilous terrains with no one else to turn to. A tree whose leaves of hope, optimism and courage constantly whisper words of comfort to us when life’s winds of adverse change blows our way from every direction imaginable; a tree that reassuringly reminds us of our past accomplishments and the limitless possibilities our futures still holds… if, and only if, we choose to believe.
A personal achievements tree should be adorned with memories of all our personal victories in the face of life’s seemingly never-ending sequence of struggles; for these are the success memories that help us recall the worst places we once occupied in our lives and how, against all the odds, we managed to overcome such situations to be where we currently are today.
Our personal achievements tree (or a ‘blessings-counting’ exercise) can be decorated with the situations in our lives which we can be thankful for— from the roof over our heads, jobs, families, friends, the relationships (personal and professional) we share with others, to our spouse(s), child(ren), and even projects and businesses. And if for some reason, we still genuinely struggle to find an excuse to be thankful, then perhaps learning to appreciate ‘being alive’ and the air we breathe is an achievement in itself and serves as a reminder that there is always a place that’s worse off.
Unlike a Christmas tree which is only displayed between December and January each year, before being put away, our personal achievements tree should be at the forefront of our minds every single day and month of each passing year. Rather than treat it as yet another festive decoration created for the sole purpose of being exhibited once a year, ‘boxed-up’ and put back in the ‘store room’ of our minds until the following year, we should endeavour to mentally display and celebrate it all year round.
Our achievements tree is an embodiment of self-esteem, self-empowerment and a firm acknowledgement of our triumphs over the adversities and challenges life presents to us in different shapes and guises. Without it, all we would have to lean on in terms of positive expectations is hope, which in itself comes with some degree of uncertainty. And because it is human nature to easily recall our experiences of pain and setbacks compared to those which brings us pleasure and satisfaction, learning to record our victories is a habit worth preserving.
Regularly writing down the things that have gone well for us each day, week, or month serves as our personal reference points when our optimism and the courage to persevere in the face of difficulties begin to diminish. And for every thought of regret that intrudes our stream of consciousness, we can, courtesy of our personal achievements tree, tune into at least two or three personal victories worth celebrating within the sanctuary of our hearts and minds. Another benefit of creating and celebrating our own personal achievements tree is our direct and immediate access to positive memories and experiences of past victories if and when we need them to tackle daily challenges; as this, in itself, enhances our confidence and self-belief when it comes to achieving whatever it is we set our minds to.
As we wake up this morning to embrace the challenges that come with yet another brand new day, let us remind ourselves that it is the memories and experiences of the mountains of adversity we once scaled; not to mention the shark-infested waters we successfully swam and survived with all our limbs intact. That gives us that currency of conviction to face an increasingly uncertain world and future with a high degree of certainty.
Jamal Lanre Shashore is an author, motivational coach and founder of Born Motivated Training Project which is a self-motivation training and education initiative aimed at empowering people of diverse backgrounds and circumstances with the mental tools, techniques to overcome personal struggles and achieve their goals, dreams and aspirations. His latest book, ‘Self-Motivation Diary of a Born Optimist: Inner Conversations of Hope, Optimism and the Courage to Achieve the Impossible’ is now available.