100 Ways to Motivate Yourself : Change Your Life Forever by Steve Chandler, chapter name 9. Build a track record

9. Build a track record

It's not what we do that makes us tired—it's what we don't do. The tasks we don't complete cause the most fatigue.

I was giving a motivational seminar to a utility company recently, and during one of the breaks a small man who looked to be in his 60s came up to me.

"My problem," he said, "is that I never seem to finish anything. I'm always starting things—this project and that, but I never finish. I'm always off on to something else before anything is completed." He then asked whether I could give him some affirmations that might alter his belief system. He correctly saw the problem as being one of belief. Because he did not believe he was a good finisher, he did not finish anything. So he wanted a magical word or phrase to repeat to himself that would brainwash him into being different.

"Do you think affirmations are what you need?" I asked him. "If you had to learn how to use a computer, could you do it by sitting on your bed and repeating the affirmations, 'I know how to use a computer. I am great at using computers. I am a wizard on a computer'?"

He admitted that affirmations would probably have no effect on his ability to use a computer.

"The best way to change your belief system is to change the truth about you," I said. "We believe the truth  faster than we believe false affirmations. To believe that you are a good finisher, you must begin by building a track record of finished tasks." He followed my suggestions with great enthusiasm. He bought a notebook and at the top of the first page he wrote, "Things I've

Finished." Each day, he made a point of setting small goals and finishing them. Whereas in the past he would be sweeping his front walk and leave it unfinished when the phone rang, now he'd let the phone ring so he could finish the job and record it in his notebook. The more things he wrote down, the more confident he became that he was truly becoming a finisher. And he had a notebook to prove it.

Consider how much more permanent his new belief was than if he had tried to do it with affirmations. He could have whispered to himself all night long, "I am a great finisher," but the right side of his brain would have known better. It would have said to him, "No you're not." Stop worrying about what you think of yourself and start building a track record that proves that you can motivate yourself to do whatever you want to do.