by: Michelle LaBrosse and Kristen Medina
“No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.” — Aristotle
There is a lot of talk about madness in March. For one, March Madness refers to the infamous college basketball tournament that takes over every media outlet. Upon further research, it turns out March Madness can also refer to the main breeding season of the European hare — and if you are familiar with the word “twitterpated”, I suspect it is the main breeding season for many other creatures as well.
With so much talk about madness, what do we really mean when we say “mad”? One of the more positive definitions of the word madness is of having ecstasy and enthusiasm. This positive connotation is the one that I prefer when I think about madness. And with this definition in mind, madness is an excellent condition to have at times. Madness causes a complete devotion to a subject to the point of absurdity. Madness can consume you, so that you can’t focus on anything else but what you are mad about.
As spring approaches, consider what makes you just mad about your life. For some, it is watching tall college basketball players running around in pursuit of the win. For others, it is accomplishing a challenging goal. This spring, consider: How can madness help you live a fuller life?
Get Mad About a Goal
Do you have a goal in your life that excites and energizes you? The best goals to get mad about are the ones that are challenging and yet still achievable for you. This part about being achievable is important, because if you don’t feel like you can accomplish the goal, you may just feel overwhelmed rather than excited.
In life, even if you can find a goal that is challenging and attainable, it may not always be exciting. To foster excitement and motivation for your goal, envision how you will feel when that goal is complete. Go ahead — close your eyes. Imagine that the big, hairy, audacious goal that you just set out for yourself has just been completed. How do you feel? How do others feel about you? What can you do now that your goal is complete?
The more you can envision yourself in the end point of achieving what it is that you set out to do, the easier it is to stay inspired and to see your goal through to completion.
March is also “mad” because it signifies the start of spring and new beginnings. And with anything new and exciting, there can be anxiety and a sense of urgency in March that destroys all productivity in favor of sheer exuberance and anticipation for what lies around the corner.
Don’t let unproductive madness destroy your focus. To tread this fine line between motivation and procrastination, learn to focus your excitement about your goal into specific activities and hold yourself accountable.
To get focused, create S.M.A.R.T. goals: goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Create a calendar on what exactly you will do every day to accomplish your BIG goal. Click here to download and use Cheetah’s Monthly Success Accelerator worksheet to help keep you accountable in reaching your goal (http://www.cheetahlearning.com/PMMC/download/Cheetahdownloads/success.pdf).
There is freedom in boundaries. How can you create boundaries throughout your day to help you better accomplish your goals? Maybe your boundaries are in fact blocking out some of the madness that the world can throw at you. From social engagements to personal obligations, the outside world can ask a lot of us — and if you don’t set up boundaries for yourself, no one else will.
This spring be one with the madness. Get mad about a goal, turn that madness into a laser focus, and don’t let external madness keep you from reaching your potential.