"My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." President John F. Kennedy’s moving 1961 inaugural address still inspires Americans today, from boomers to millennials. My son, born nearly 40 years later, likes to recite these words, complete with a Boston accent. (He even made it his ringtone- what better way to share your mantra?
If you are searching for a few words to serve as a goal or mission statement, an affirmation, or a mantra, use these simple guidelines:
Don't do something that someone else could do. You have unique gifts, talents and interests. Listen to that small voice inside of you that knows where you belong, and then say "no" to distractions and the need-to-please disease.
In a blog post Mary DeMuth, author of Not Marked: Finding Hope and Healing after Sexual Abuse, wrote about the negative inner voice and how to turn it into an asset: "Even with focus, I’ve run into a wall—and it looks oddly like myself. In the midst of launching a highly vulnerable book, I’ve invited the naysayers, and they’ve robbed me of productivity and joy. To escape, I am learning to marry focus with positivity."
Make it action-packed!
Last week, I was working on a grant application to help unemployed people find jobs in healthcare. If you have ever sought government funding, you know it can be frustrating. A friend, not a wolf but definitely a Wall Street-type, gave me the mantra I needed: "Kill it." This might sound like a violent message (because it is). But I liked it immediately, because it allowed me to picture myself bludgeoning the bureaucracy. I find the take-no-prisoners approach very motivational.
My mantra, at least until I win the grant, is "Kill it." Not many words, but it gets the job done. What’s your mantra?