28 March 2010

Pep talks are Job aids

I thought I'd milk the job aid theme for a post or two.

I've recently been thinking about the ways we, individuals, get through hard times. A few people in my inner circle are dealing with bouts of mental illness and I myself am recouping from an insane, hyper-productive three years and a half years of working full time and finishing a PhD. My brain is mushy, motivation teeters, and while I'm not depressed or anxious, I feel like I could go there. [That's a version of one of these job aids. I say: Don't go there. A long time friend who's retired navy says Suck It Up.  If I can't help myself and I do go there, then there are: Get over it and Move On. I also like: Now what?]

Pep talks, like the little sayings you get at 12-step programs, work because they get you to change your behavior on demand; pep it up. No fancy gimmicks or long-winded workshops on how to do a pep talk, you just do it [Ooops, now they're going to start popping out like affirmation zits]. And you just do it even when you don't feel like it, because you know that goals are about momentum not expectations [Damn].