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February 29, 2020

A powerful motivational tool

by Marc Matthews-Indovino

Have you ever needed a reason to do or give up something but just could not find the motivation to follow through or stick with it?

Well, I may just have an answer for you!

Did you know that around this time every year many Christians around the world from different denominations celebrate Lent?

You may or may not have heard of the holiday. There is quite a lot to know about the Lenten season that leads up to what we all know as Easter Sunday, but I am only going to talk about the concept of Lent where the meaning according to the United Methodist Church is to be “encouraged to find our own method of confronting our sinfulness, remembering our mortality, and giving thanks for the gift of salvation we receive through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ”.

Although many people head to church, many also honour the beginning of Lent by choosing to either give up something or give themselves to a cause, (for example volunteering), for the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness. The idea of Lent is to give up something we really like, such as alcohol, chocolate, junk food, and swearing the list is endless.

This got me thinking about how you can use the concept of Lent as a powerful motivating tool to improve your Personal Development. I practice Lent as I am Christian and I like what Lent stands for “encouraged to find our own method of confronting our sinfulness, remembering our mortality, and giving thanks for the gift of salvation we receive through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ,”. But you don’t need to be Christian to use the concept of Lent.

To use the concept as a tool, all you need to do is think about all of the stuff you currently do that is contradictory to your personal growth, such as eating bad food, drinking alcohol, smoking, swearing, make sure you include unproductive thoughts and actions such as thinking negative thoughts, procrastinating, overworking, etc. Now channel all of these into a list of things you are prepared to give up for life.

If you are Christian and you practice Lent, then this can be a rehearsal to give up or change something that is derailing your success. But like I said before you do not need to be Christian, you can practice any religion or none, the exercise is to try this for forty days and see if you can change any of those unwanted habits.

Over the many years, I have added more and more challenging things to my list, and the difference it makes to my way of life is phenomenal.

Breaking a habit takes about 28 days, so if you have a reason, such a Lent then giving up has more meaning, and you are more likely to be successful. What you give up or change should come from your subconscious mind, your know the little voice telling you to “stop eating that”, “start doing that”, “stop thinking that way”, “stop talking like that”, “Volunteer more”, “Help more people “, the chatter is endless.

Remember it is not just food and drink that should be added to your list; it can be anything you feel is not working for you in your life. Everyone is different, so you do not compare yourself to others.

Now what I am proposing here is not just doing Lent or the concept for forty days but to extending that for life. Make sure you commit yourself by telling everyone you know as it makes it easier if people are there to support you, see my blog on smart goals.

Good luck and I wish you all the success in your Personal Development Journey.

Be your Best Physically, Emotionally and Mentally

Marc Matthews-Indovino

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