On Monday, I posted my assertion that motivation is bulls**it and in that post, I wrote how it’s up to each of us to motivate ourselves. One of the most powerful ways I’ve found to do that is to leverage the power of an anthem.
I have a love/hate relationship with music and I admit that I don’t listen to a lot if it. I spend most of my road time listening to audiobooks or just thinking, but a great song can shift my thinking as much as anything else.
Last week, my wife and I had to make an uncomfortable decision. We had put an offer on a house that we both love and have been trying to sell ours since November. In the meantime, someone else apparently, also fell in love with our house and made an offer as well. We had 72 hours to make a decision to walk away or take the risk of possibly having to pay two mortgages. It was stressful, but in the end, we decided to take the risk because it’s where we both felt we belong.
The next day, both of us still feeling anxiety over our decision, were on the way to the grocery store in her car when an old song came on the radio. Up until this point in my life, I had always thought that Bon Jovi was just for middle-aged women at wedding receptions, but this time, when I heard Living On A Prayer, it helped relax the tension. I looked at her and she looked at me, we turned up the radio, and together we felt better about our leap of faith.
I would never call that song my anthem, but this story illustrates the power of having one.
Zig Ziglar once said that motivation isn’t permanent, but neither is bathing, that’s why we recommend doing it daily.
Finding an anthem, and using it to inspire yourself is a great way to do that.
I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve driven off somewhere early in the morning with no idea where I’m going, to give a speech to a group of people who don’t know me, for free. Because I’m striving to be the best speaker I can be, I work like hell to get in front of as many audiences as I can. On these mornings when I’m tired and cranky and wondering why I do it, it helps to listen to my anthem.
Don’t laugh, but as a farm kid, I was raised on country music. Not the crap they make today, but in time when artists were people who wrote their own songs that told the stories of their lives.
It’s why I love Alan Jackson’s Chasing The Neon Rainbow. Especially the second verse. It reminds me that my struggles can be worth it if I just put the work in. It shifts my thinking and puts me back where I need to be. That’s the power of an anthem.
Our job every day is to find what it takes to motivate ourselves to be our best. There are countless ways, but few are more powerful than finding an anthem. It doesn’t matter what it, find something person to you and chase your own neon rainbow.