How to Stay Inspired When You Feel Hopeless
An Interview with Tom Nix
Author, Motivational Speaker, Inspirational Business Leader and Philanthropist
AHA Many families today, especially those with children with Special Needs often feel defeated and have nothing left to give, as they are exhausted living day to day. What advice can you give to families that can help them stay motivated?
TN It’s natural to feel depressed and sorry for yourself when you face difficult challenges in life but there is no benefit from this attitude. It’s okay to throw yourself a short pity party occasionally but set a deadline then get back to managing your mindset. Keeping a positive enthusiastic can-do attitude takes practice, discipline and commitment but can be done regardless of life’s challenges. You can manage your mind with affirmations, visualization, positive mental self talks, pictures and reading a list of everything you have to be happy about when you are down in the dumps. Your readers can get a free copy of what I call “Life’s Key Concepts” on my website listed below which will explain how to implement these concepts. I’ve used these change your mind change your life concepts for 40 years to overcome challenges and dramatically improve my life.
AHA What gave you the strength to turn your life around and become the person you are today?
TN I had a defining moment when a friend encouraged me to listen to a book on tape called Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. This book launched me on a crusade for about 10 years of listening to self-help books on tape and going to seminars trying to figure out how to be happy and successful. I realized I could be, do and have more than I’ve ever dreamed possible by implementing the concepts I’ve outlined on my paper Life’s Key Concepts.
AHA Often families can fall into the “victim” role and it is easier to blame others or the world around them for all the problems they might be facing. How does someone get out of the “victim” mentality and become empowered again?
TN Feeling like you’re a victim is debilitating, keeps you stuck in a bad place and prevents you from creating a better future for yourself and your family. Take the attitude that this is the hand I’ve been dealt and I am going to make the most of it. Never look at what you’ve lost, avoid running your misfortune over and over in your mind, stay calm and create a plan to move your life forward in a positive manner. Employ the serenity prayer “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference”
AHA Often as a parent it seems impossible to balance and juggle work, family and “me” time. What would you say to those parents?
TN There’s a lot of information available regarding time management that is usually designed for business people but can be used in our personal lives as well. Pigeonholing is one of the techniques you can use to feel less overwhelmed. You focus your attention and thoughts on a few things and put everything else aside until later. It is important to have a follow-up note or other document to be sure nothing falls through the cracks then stick everything in a drawer so it is out of sight and out of mind. Review the contents of this drawer regularly and determine the next things you want to focus your attention on.
AHA You have been married to the same amazing woman Pam for 46 years and went through ups and downs just like many of those out there. What is your secret to a happy marriage?
It takes a lot to maintain a happy marriage for decades and it starts with picking the right partner, trust and the commitment that no matter what it takes, we are going to work things out. This will help you get through really challenging times that are
inevitable in most marriages. We try to accept each other just the way we are and set realistic expectations. We talk issues out and sometimes negotiate a reasonable position that we can both accept which requires compromise. We learned to postpone emotional discussions until the next day, which is very hard to do, but letting things settle before addressing them is a huge benefit. We’ve had date night almost once a week for 46 years. We believe setting aside time to have fun together and intimacy is important for the relationship and the entire family. We look for ways to make the other person happy and look for the good in each other.
TN Let’s shift gears a bit… You have been quite successful in the business world. What were some things you did to overcome fear of failure?
I overcame fear by defining why I was afraid and then putting it in perspective. Was it really that bad? Could I live with the consequences if my worst fear became reality? I would have positive self talks telling myself I can handle this and I can handle more. I would walk through my fears by doing the thing I was afraid of until it was comfortable. I would also use visualization techniques to see myself handling situations in a brave and appropriate way. I would act brave until I actually was brave. However, sometimes fear is justified and represents a stop sign you should pay attention to. I tried to determine whether the fear I felt was in fact an appropriate warning sign not to take a certain course of action.
TN What are 3 things you would suggest to those reading that can help a parent take the first steps to happiness?
- Learn ways to change your mind and consequently your life by reading Life’s Key Concepts and watching the film ”The Secret” at www.thesecret.tv
- Choose a healthy lifestyle. Exercise regularly, eat right, maintain a healthy weight, moderate alcohol use and completely avoid cigarette smoking and hard drugs. Good health is the cornerstone of all good things in life and crucial to being the best you can be for your family.
- Join a support group. Stay on the lookout for new and different ways to help your child experience the best life possible. Be sure to arrange personal time, which is important for you and your family. Count your blessings.
AHA After all you have achieved, what do you think is your greatest achievement?
TN Creating a happy healthy prosperous life in spite of the fact that I was very unhappy as a young man and encountered numerous serious challenges in my life’s journey.
AHA Where can people find out more about you and continued to be inspired?
TN People can get a free copy of Life’s Key Concepts on my website http://www.nixland.net by clicking on the “about the book” tab and selecting the Life’s Key Concepts icon.
This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. We always recommend consulting with your doctor with any questions or beginning a new protocol.