Monday, March 5, 2012

What's Your Trigger?

Every morning, like clockwork, the first thing I do is pour myself a cup of coffee. It is so much a part of my morning ritual, I don't even have to make the coffee, it's on a timer so I have a hot cup ready for me  as I come downstairs. For those of us who enjoy our morning cup, we know it is the start of the day, the launch pad, the starting block and everything takes off from there. Medically, we know about the caffeine in coffee and how it stimulates the body, but there is something in the rhythm and ritual of that first cup that really starts my day.

Similarly all of us have our "caffeine" to get us started on projects, whether they are continuing or new. We use different ways to psyche ourselves up to dive back into a task, or begin something else. Perhaps we don't realize how valuable that knowledge is and how important it is toward achieving personal greatness. But being able to stimulate energy and drive when we need it is one of the keys to success in any endeavor. First we need to know what gets us going.

For decades scientists have studied the rituals and routines that athletes, actors, speakers, etc use to prepare for their craft.They develop these rituals prior to needing the extra jolt of energy to begin a task. Whether developed consciously or unconsciously science shows us that when these individuals start their ritual the mind and body prepare for what comes next. It is a "trigger" that stimulates a holistic response and helps the person fully focus on and attack their project.

What are your triggers? What do you do to prepare for a new project, recreate the energy for a long-running piece of work, or psyche yourself up for a short burst of productivity? By identifying your triggers, or creating them you can utilize them any time you need to engage in productive  and enjoyable work. You can even use them when the task is not as fulfilling. The important step is to know how to prepare yourself to be at your best.

Personally I've found the discipline of early morning works for me. With my coffee in hand, I meditate for a while, and then turn on my computer. I've found with this ritual it triggers my desire to write and I am ready by the time the computer boots up. Find your triggers or create new ones. This is a first step toward any success you want.

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