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The Afternoon ShowRTÉ One, Weekdays, 4.00pm

The Afternoon Show Brain Academy - Motivation

Monday, 14 January 2008

Last week we launched The Afternoon Show Brain Academy 2008. Over an 8 week period we aim to improve our 10 students (and viewers) learning potential, enhance their concentration, their memory and their attention to detail. This will be done by changing their diet, exercise and the way our 10 pupils use their brains.

All through the week we looked at different areas.
Monday was our launch. We met the experts and 10 students who were given the results of the memory test they had taken.
On Tuesday we looked at Nutrition and brain foods with Aveen Bannon.
On Wednesday, our team leader Brian Colbert was dishing out the new tasks and challenges and our 10 students received their consoles.
On Thursday, Charles Garavan our memory expert, taught us new techniques and
On Friday, Padraig King from Brain Gym introduced exercise for the brain.


As well as being our head coach, Brian Colbert will also take on the task of teaching our students and viewers about Motivation, How to Learn, Concentration, Relaxation and Sleep.
Today he is here to focus on Motivation.

If someone is well motivated to improve their memory, their chance of actually achieving this is much greater. Motivation is the fuel that gets things done. That fuel is activated by desire.
Brian is here to show the viewer's and students at home how to motivate themselves.

Brian's 10 Point Plan

1) Know what works for you: Pain or pleasure
There are two basic motivational directions with human beings each of us has a 'preference'. You need to know if you are motivated by pleasure or if you are motivated by pain.

Do you do something because of what it will give you , what you will get, what you will achieve or do you do something because of what you need to avoid , or don't want to have happen or can't tolerate putting off any longer?

Here's how you test it
Question: What gets you up for work in the morning?
Pleasure: The thoughts of all the stuff I can get done in the day.
Pain: The dread of the trouble you will get into if you are late for work.
Once you know what gets you moving you can begin to use it in your favour.

2) Know what keeps your interest: Sameness or Difference
Again each of us have preferences for the way we do things. Some people prefer to have options and some people prefer to follow set guidelines. Some people like doing the same thing over and over again and some people get bored with that quickly. People fall of the bandwagon because of these preferences. The likely hood is that if you have never stuck to a diet plan in your life, you never will unless you change it constantly throughout the duration of it. For this and for you, variety is the spice of life. So to keep motivated keep your mind focused on all of the different ways to get to the same goal. 

3) Know how to break through the Barriers: Crystal Ball Gazing.
Most of us know that you get what you focus on. If you focus on the problem, the problem gets bigger. If you focus on the solution you draw the results closer. So when faced with the dilemma as to whether you can or can't do something or will or won't get there or think that it is not possible.whatever the obstacle -  Begin to ask yourself the questions: What would happen if you could only succeed? What could happen if you do? This allows you to engage your imagination, bypass the problem, feel and experience what the solution will be like and work form the benefit of mental hindsight! 

4) Do less than you can.
Most of us go once we have the motivation running, try to get the most out of it by going the extra mile. All this does is make it harder and less desirable the next time. So, to keep your motivation going, stop before you are fed up or tired or have maxed out, do less than you can which will make it more attractive to do the next time because you are not building negative associations to the task. 

5) Mentally rehearse it using all your senses: If you are not in you can win.
When you are faced with a task that you want to achieve say for example your new year's resolution is to get healthy.
It is not enough to visualize yourself being healthy, fit, strong and happy.

You must also 'live' the experience. This is a two part process.
First you see yourself completing the task successfully.
Second you mentally step into the image of your self doing the task successfully so that you in effect 'live it'

Do this incessantly as this will activate the feelings that you will achieve once you have accomplished your goal and likewise build your motivation towards making it happen for you. This is the difference that makes the difference.

6) Dress up your Attitude
When you get up in the morning you have your shower, brush your teeth and get dressed. That's the physical ..the mental is even more important. Pay attention to how you are talking to yourself, to the images that you are running through your mind and the feelings that they are generating. and if they are not up to scratch change them immediately.

Try singing your favorite upbeat song - I use James Brown I feel good, some mornings and U2's what a beautiful day ..sometimes I even use a song that I heard on holidays called Good Morning Good Morning!

How you see and speak to yourself determines how you feel!

7) Recall past successes
Before you set out on your journey, go through your mind or your journal and review as many things that you have done that you are proud of; the things that inspire you and that you have accomplished. Run it through your mind in as vivid detail as possible, re-living the experiences.this will give you the desire to achieve and accomplish even more! (If you haven't got a journal.start today!)  

8) Censor Self Criticism
The biggest drain on your motivation is your self criticism. This won't work; I am no good at this type of thing. This won't last .adopt the Mantra - Shut the hell up! Speak to yourself as you would do to your best friend.

9) Anchor yourself for the future: Spin that feeling
When you are feeling motivated always capture the feeling so that you can call on it at another time. You can do this by a process called anchoring. Once the feeling is running you can connect that feeling to something unique by imagining yourself being surrounded by your favorite colour, by taking an extra deep breath, by saying a key word or phrase like: I can do this. By standing in a particular way straightening your body to be more upright .there are a million things to get this happening. The rule here is associative conditioning. Neurons that fire together wire together!  

10) Keep thinking of who you will become and what you will have achieved once you get this done.

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