Motivational Minute: Utilization Principle

This is March 20, 2020, and stress over the COVID-19 virus is beginning to crescendo for many people. They’re trying to concentrate, to do work from home or create something – or to home-school their kids – and the constant press conferences and counts, and communications about the virus – or about dealing with the changes it’s bringing – can really make that difficult.

If you’re like most people, you might have one of two responses. You might try to “discipline” yourself – to grit your teeth and force yourself to concentrate; sit still; and “get something done”. Or, you might try escaping or distracting yourself from an unpleasant emotion like anxiety, fear, panic, or just boredom – maybe through some activity that’s not great for you.

Another option is to use an emotion like anxiety to drive an activity you need – or even want to do anyway, but maybe just wasn’t scheduled for right that minute. It’s a powerful technique to harness USE an emotional state that presents itself, while it’s right there. Use it all up – and then come back to the original plan. Parents who have ever intentionally let their kids wear themselves out so they’ll go to bed know what I’m talking about…

We don’t want to do this ALL the time, because we do want to build the ability to conjure the best emotional state for a given task. On a given day, it can be fun to “let the dogs hunt” – and today was one of those for me. Here’s a short video from the “upstairs office” – and it includes some information useful for parents trying to home-school during the crazy we have right now. Hope you enjoy.

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