📒 What's on your wall?
...and what do you mean, 'wall,' Ian?
Think of your wall as the place you house your motivation, inspiration, and words to remember. This certainly could be on your actual wall—like it is for me—or it could live in your head, on your phone, or in a notebook beside your bed. Wherever your wall is located, I want to talk about what's proudly posted on it.
As you can see in the above picture, my wall (though admittedly ugly with the post-it notes and duck tape, sorry!) is filled with the messages I want to see every day—the messages that I believe will enable me to live my best possible life. Though just a recent addition to a small space above my desk, I've found the payoff to far exceed the white-walled real estate occupied. Consistently seeing—on paper, with my own two eyes—these reminders have proven to be one of the more pervasive and persistent motivation techniques I've come across. There's power in repetition, embracing a certain ideal, day in, day out.
✏️ Now, if I may, let me explain the writing on my wall...
Moving from left to right—because, I'm not crazy—I'll first add some context to lovely...
1️⃣ Post-it note number one. The one with the four starred statements:
⭐ Be impeccable with your word.
⭐ Don't take it personally.
⭐ Don't assume.
⭐ Always do your best.
Some of you (👏) may recognize that these four statements are better known as the four principles, from the aptly-titled work of Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements (order here for $5!). This book was gifted to me from a friend and Helium Books customer a few months ago and—if being on my wall doesn't show it—has left a lasting mark on me. It describes the four most important agreements we must make with ourselves to live a happy, content, and fulfilled life.
Without retelling the entire book, these agreements can be given some context as follows:
⭐ Be impeccable with your word: Speak with integrity, say what you mean, refrain from gossip.
⭐ Don't take it personally: People act certain ways because of their experiences and moods, don't fall victim to other's beliefs.
⭐ Don't assume: Communicate clearly, find the courage to ask questions you want answers to in an effort to avoid misunderstandings.
⭐ Always do your best: Although your best will change moment to moment, always try your hardest and you will avoid regret and self-judgement.
To me, these are all great things to constantly consider as I go about daily living—the gold standard of behavior. Okay...
2️⃣ On to post-it number two.
In BIG, BOLD LETTERS, it reads 📣 DON'T HALF-ASS IT. I got this message from one of my favorite people of Hollywood fame, Matthew McConaughey. He said it, I believe, when giving a commencement speech at the University of Texas at Austin a few years back (and likely many other times). I was entranced by its simplicity, but also its power. To me, it encapsulates so much—a reminder to always do my best (going back to agreement number four above), to not simply go through the motions, to strive for improvement and growth, to confront the potential regret of a job half-assed and say that's not for me.
Like many others I assume, I tend to struggle at times with giving my 100%, often convincing myself that 80-90% is "good enough." It's funny though. I've always kind of hated that phrase. No one achieves their dreams by just doing good enough. These four (three?) words help me remember that.
Don't half-ass it...I just love it. ❤️
3️⃣ And...last but not least, post-it number three.
Optimism is a strange thing. Have too much of it, you can become deluded to the pangs of reality and be led (although blissfully) astray. Have too little, you'll never feel worthy or capable of achieving anything good or noteworthy. I like to consider myself an optimist—typically hopeful, believing in possibility and potential. Yet, it's a fleeting feeling, coming and going like the tide.
So, how can I combat this persistent ebb and flow? A post-it on a wall, of course! The message, that something wonderful is about to happen, keeps me reminded of the power of our thoughts and actions—how we present ourselves to the world, and how the world, in response, treats us. Put out good energy, receive good energy.
And, simply put, who wants to go around moping anyways? Sure, life can get you down—it is hard. But, by keeping an eye on the future and knowing it will be wonderful, you can begin to manifest that better reality.
👉 Well...there you have it. My wall. The messages I like to keep at the forefront of my day-to-day life. Reminders. Nudges. Course-correctors. Of course, these are personal to me, but I highly encourage you to bring your very own wall into existence and into the real world if you haven't already. Get the messages that you want to hear out and in the open. See them and digest them multiple times a day.
Sometimes all we need to live the life we want to live is a simple reminder of who we want to be and how to be it. What's on your wall?
...and, don't let that be a rhetorical question. 👇 Let me know in the comments if you're comfortable sharing!