Guest Pep Talk (Autumn Jernigan): Keep Moving Forward

I like to collect quotes. I actually have 9 journals full of them. I have quotes for all occasions and I really can carry on an entire conversation composed of quotes.

My favorite quotes come from my favorite person: Walt Disney.

Did you know that Walt Disney never graduated from High School? And yet he created the second most recognized symbol in the world (after Coca-Cola)? As well as the first cartoon with sound. The first cartoon movie with color. The first full length animated movie. The first theme park (not to be confused with an amusement park). The first steel roller coaster. The first audio animatronic.

He said such great things like “If you can dream it, you can do it.” And “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”

My favorite quote is this: “Around here however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things because we’re curious. And curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

My favorite part about this quote is that it was Walt Disney’s truth.

If I’m honest, I have a tendency to look back. To dwell on what was or what might have been. To base my present with what’s happened in the past. To not believe that things will get better because of what’s happened before.

It’s hard, because your life may not be what you expected, or it can totally suck, or there’s something you want to change and that’s why you’re participating in NoExNo. But you’re not alone. We’re here with you, fighting alongside you. And someday, you can look back and see that you were strong enough to endure this.

Walt Disney had his share of hard knocks too. He lived through the Great Depression, both World Wars. All the money he made he put back into his company, and for most of his life was flat broke. And yet, through it all, he really lived by what he said, he kept moving forward.

Did you know that before he created Mickey Mouse, he was making cartoons with Oswald the Lucky Rabbit? But because he didn’t have the know-how he needed, he signed a contract with a loophole. A loophole that allowed the manager to take it away, even though Walt himself had written, created and drawn all of the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit shorts. But, he didn’t give up. It was on the train from his New York meeting that he lost Oswald that he drew Mickey Mouse.

Did you know that the bank wouldn’t give Disney a loan for Disneyland? They thought it was going to fail. And on opening day it did. The toilets didn’t flush, there was no running water, ALL of the rides broke down and it was so hot that the asphalt melted and women got their high heels stuck in it. But today, it’s the second tourist destination in the world. Second only to Walt Disney World.

And I think about what one man accomplished, without a college degree, with all of the trouble that he met up with, and I think to myself that if he can do it, I can do. He had lots of reasons to give up, lots of excuses he could make, but he didn’t. And if he didn’t, then I won’t, because my excuses aren’t near as good as his would have been.

As this new week dawns, I will remember this. I will not make excuses and I will not give up, no matter how much I would like to. I will Keep Moving Forward. What about you?

Guest Pep Talk (Hilary Frasier): We Are Worth It

Hi y’all, my name is Hilary and I have something to share. I’ve REALLY been struggling with this whole NoExNo thing. My goal has been to successfully complete this quarter of graduate school, ending the first week of December. And it has proven to be quite a challenge.

Some of you know this, but due to a lot of life circumstances, I am basically doing the work of three quarters this one quarter in order to get back on track for graduating. And so far, it has not been going well. I have not been successful with this goal. In fact, instead of catching up, I’ve been falling terribly behind in my work. To the point that I’m concerned that I might be done with my attempt to attain my Masters Degree.

I’ve been full of excuses as to why it’s impossible for me to reach this feat. I’ve been blaming my current situation on all kinds of things. But tonight, while writing all of my excuses & blaming in my journal, I got fed up. And as if a light bulb went off, I had this thought come to me:

 “I am worth living my life successfully.

 I am now committing to forgetting all that has happened before; all the people, places, and things I could blame my current situation on. And instead, for the next three weeks, I will be repeating this mantra incessantly:

 “I am worth living my life with no excuses. I am worth living my life successfully. I AM WORTH BELIEVING IN ME!”

Because at the end of the day, all of my excuses are really reasons that I’m using to tell myself I’m not worth the time, effort, or energy it takes to be successful. And that crap just is not true!! I can put in the work, I can lose some sleep, and I CAN finish this quarter successfully.

I don’t know if this will help any of you, but it has sure helped me so I wanted to share. Because if I am worth reaching my goals, then SO ARE YOU!!

Guest Pep Talk (Alison Kranz): Motivational techniques for the non-motivationally inclined.

I’ve been trolling the NoExNo spreadsheet and looking at everyone’s fabulously lofty, yet achievable, goals. Mine, by comparison is slightly less lofty: to watch only one hour of non-productive TV per day. So, you may be thinking to yourself, “Who is this poser that’s offering me motivational advice?” But, I assure you, I am (at times) capable of motivation and–most importantly for the case of this email–it doesn’t have to be much. For example, I’m running a marathon this December because I think it’s funny.

Believe me now? Without further adieu, I give you five surefire motivation techniques for when you’re feeling down-and-out. Or, hell, why not even when you’re feeling great and want to feel even better?

1. Obtain unsolicited flattery

Sometimes all you need for a pick-me-up is for someone to say something nice. Wondering how you can obtain those feel-good words without fishing them out of your friends and loved ones? Well, if the Internet is great for anything, it’s great for being praised when you want to be. Feeling down? Grab an emergency compliment. If you don’t like the one you get, take another. Wondering who’s the cutest? This site knows. Unsure if you’re awesome? Here’s the answer.

2. Take a break

Believe it or not, this motivational technique was born from my college drinking days (I promise there weren’t too many of them). My friends and I, traversing back home from wherever the latest shenanigans took place, would get tired of walking and yell out “break time!”, upon which we’d plop down on the sidewalk until we’d regain the strength to move again.

While this may not be the intention the proverbial inventors-of-break-time were going for, the concept is worthwhile to apply to more wholesome activities. As for me, I don’t think I would’ve gotten to the point I am in my marathon training if I didn’t let myself stop for five seconds every-now-and-then to take a picture on a run (for future blog use).

If you find yourself attached to your computer 24/7, try out an app that forces you to pull away. I bet your computer will be relieved. There’s Time Out for Mac and EyeLeo for PC. (I can’t attest to the veracity of either, but if you give them a try let me know what you think. Both are free.)

3. Make an “I forget but it’s awesome” playlist

I have a vast collection of music in my iTunes and a tendency to listen to one song endlessly on repeat. Eventually the song will fall by the wayside, left for a different tune or a different mood. What I started doing, however, is putting all these songs into a not-very-creatively-named “I forget but it’s awesome” playlist, which is now chock full of all the songs I at one time loved and never grow tired of hearing, but don’t always stumble across on my own volition. Now, anytime I need a little musical motivation, I turn to the tunes in this playlist. Start one of your own and get the beat going. Not enough time? You can feel free to take a listen to mine.

4. Tempt yourself

This idea was brought to me by the gods of the Internet eight years too late, but it’s a genius one nonetheless:

And can be applied to non-studying situations as well, although mine would look something more like this:

5. Resort to physical violence

It’s been reported that a fellow NoExNo-er is using fear as a motivational tool this month. If they don’t complete their daily goal, their friend gets to slap them straight across the face. No holds barred. Now if that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is.