Deep Motivation Strategy for 2001
 Become An Expert On You
 By KRS Edstrom 


Third in a series of “Resolution Keeper” articles to help you achieve and maintain your goals all year long.  Track your progress and report your success stories to KRS.  If your story is one of those chosen, you will receive a free copy of KRS Edstrom’s inspiring all-in-one guide to healthful living “Healthy, Wealthy & Wise.”  If you missed the first article  (how to define your motivation profile and set specific strategies) or second article (how to communicate with yourself), search for KRS in: 

The endless search for the program, book or guru that will “fix” us seems to be an American way of life.  The good news would seem to be that we have plenty to choose from whether our goal is spirituality, weight loss or any other area of personal growth.  The bad news is twofold:  1) as a nation we have short attention spans and 2) many of our self-improvement vehicles are inadequate at best.  You hear success stories from friends, magazines or television and join the mad rush of lemmings to the sea of promises, promises, promises.  You try something, get disillusioned or bored and jump to another and then another.  The list of possible “fixes” goes on as long as your patience and self-esteem will bear. 

Mastery in spirituality, weight management, wellness or anything else is not formulaic nor is it the result of a “just do it” mentality.  While there are generally basic guidelines or skills to hone in mastering most anything, long-lasting breakthroughs come when one realizes the path to personal growth and goal fulfillment is intimately individual. 

If one-size-fits-all solutions worked in regards to fitness, Americans should be in great shape, given the billions we pour into diet program, health clubs, exercise equipment and clothing.  Instead we weigh more and exercise less than in previous years! 

Generic solutions aren’t the answer for career success either. One would think, by all the books you see on foolproof plans for success, that there must be some pretty scientific formulas for climbing the ladder and becoming successful.  If you plot and plan according to the “8 financial secrets in such and so book,” you will most assuredly rise to fame and fortune. The fallacy of the “plot and plan your way to success” tenet is demonstrated in a study I conducted on the CEOs of America’s top 100 publicly-owned corporations. Included in my study were the heads of J.C. Penney, Coca-Cola, GTE, 3M, Xerox and Texaco, to name a few.  I chose to study this group as, by standard American definition, they are representative of career accomplishment. I specifically selected public companies versus private as I wanted to study those who had worked their way to the top versus those who might have inherited their positions or other such variables. 

I wondered if there was anything to learn from these accomplished leaders about motivation and accomplishing what you set out to do, whether it be spiritual, emotional, physical or fiscal. Did they know something we didn’t?  Was there a common thread that could be shared with others? It was a fascinating study with results that extend beyond this article (fully outlined in my book Healthy, Wealthy & Wise). For the purposes of this article you should know that my results revealed most of these men and women did not plot and plan their way to the top. In fact, most of them “loved” their way to the top (read on before you jump to conclusions).  They simply love what they do and always have, in every position along the way. 

One CEO summarized the sentiment saying, “I didn’t plan to be CEO ? I was just involved in my work at every stage, enjoyed it and looked up one day to see I was the CEO!” In fact, an astounding 43% of my CEOs told me they would perform their jobs for free, compared to less than 5% of the American population (monetary need aside for both groups).  The love-what-you-do philosophy follows my Not Fun, Not Done motivational tool described in the January/February issue of Awareness. 

Another satisfying result of the study was that these successful men and women prioritized their health habits long before it was “hip” and long before they became successful.  In fact, they attribute their success to taking care of themselves. (I must admit it would have been heart wrenching to publish my results had I found that these CEOs calculated their way up the ladder over 3 martini lunches and cigars.)

 The point to remember is the men and women in my study didn’t follow a book or someone else’s formula.  They took a little advice here and there and gradually evolved a lifestyle as per their own individual likes, dislikes and needs.  I call it a HealthStyle.  Their reward? Aside from achieving success, I found these men and women ranked better than the general population from their cholesterol, blood pressure and stress levels to their sense of satisfaction and personal fulfillment.  

How can you become an expert on YOU?
1) Give up the idea of one-size-fits-all quick fixes.
  Think “forever” and become intent on designing your own personal HealthStyle.  Get excited about freeing yourself from someone else’s list of “shoulds.” Be confident that you can ultimately be your own best guide. 

2) Take responsibility for yourself.  I tell clients to act as if they are parenting a most precious child when caring for themselves. Assume the role of leadership in your journey.  Get ideas from various sources but don’t relinquish your power and judgment to any one source. For example, in regards to diet new clients will often tell me, “I lead a busy life so I find it easier to just go on [such-and-so popular weight loss program]. Then I don’t have to make any decisions. I just eat what I’m told.  It works, except I always gain it back.”  Would you force your child or even your pet to eat the same thing day after day whether they liked it or not?  Then don’t do that to yourself.  You deserve better than that and ? it doesn’t work.  Take responsibility for yourself. 

3) Get informed.  Educate yourself on all aspects of your “care and feeding” and all other areas of personal growth.  I’m not talking about studying hours a day.  Read articles in the paper, subscribe to a personal growth-oriented magazine that interests you, check out the internet for specific issues, take a class now and then.  You don’t need to be a fanatic, but you do need to know a bit about this person you’re walking around in.  Want a few resource suggestions? 
- Diet & Nutrition by Rudolf Ballentine, M.D.  Perhaps my favorite book on the individual nature of diet and nutritional needs.  The wisdom of this book (and his follow up book Radical Healing) extends to all of life. 
-  — “Meditation in Action.” A wonderful website by one of the most profound and forward-thinking meditation teachers of our time, Shinzen Young.  Customizes the wisdom of Buddhism to Americans in a way that can be utilized as per individual need.  Includes audio dharma talks, a wonderful library of tapes and more. 
-  —  This site offers an interesting course on the human body. Whether you have back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome or anything else, Liam Keever’s free online Heal Thyself Series will help you become an expert on your body and give you valuable tips on self-healing. 
-  — I must invite you to visit my site. Includes “Ask KRS” advice column, a Serenity & Meditation Corner (guided meditations for insomnia, stress and more), tips on tailoring a HealthStyle that works for you. 

4) Tune in.  Become self-discerning.  Know when something resonates with you and when it doesn’t, whether it’s a meditation practice or an exercise class.  Be willing to move on immediately when something isn’t right but be equally willing to stay with something through thick and thin when you know it’s right for you. In 1984 I named my business Get Motivated because I learned that deep motivation was the core of behavioral change and development.  If we understand our unique motivational nuances, needs and shortcomings we can become masters of our destiny in all areas of our lives.  Just “wanting” something doesn’t make it happen.  You must dig deep into your inner workings in order to invoke significant and meaningful change. While this may seem an inconvenient obstacle at the time, your “digging” will prove to be a reward that far outshines your original goals. 

Derived from KRS Edstrom’s book Healthy, Wealthy & Wise.  For more on her books, her advice column and audio samples of her popular Inner Mastery Series meditation audios, visit her Web site:  KRS Edstrom, M.S. is a lecturer, syndicated columnist and author.  She is available for private sessions (by phone or in person) and classes on meditation, motivation, stress, pain, diet and weight and other personal growth issues.  Call (323) 851-8623 or E-mail   

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