Mantras June 29 2016

I had the opportunity to watch the Disney animated film, “Zootopia”, on a recent flight to Los Angeles.  ‘Judy Hopps’ did not let anyone or anything deter her dreams from becoming the first bunny police officer.  No matter the odds, she was resolute that she could do it – she told herself she would and she did.

The power of positive thinking and speaking goes a long way, not just in movies, but in real life.  A good way to push past tough times is to create a mantra – a short phrase or set of words created to empower and encourage. A mantra is personal, so we get to choose if it is positive or negative; inspiring or discouraging.

Words such as "I am powerful" or "Focus on the finish" are positive messages that can propel you forward.   There will be missteps and maddening moments in life.  It is in those times that a mantra - the message we send to ourselves - can make all the difference.  

Before I started JWalking Designs, I was a full-time television documentary / long form producer, something I still do on a per-project basis.  In my tenure with CNBC, the NBC business network, I spent many months with the UFC, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and I had the honor of getting to know many of their athletes. 

One fighter, former UFC Champion, Randy Couture, told me about a mantra that gets him through life – “The Best Never Rest”.  He said he keeps that mantra on his mind, repeating it to himself over and over again, to fuel him to keep going when times are tough.  

While there is considerably less mayhem (knock on wood) in our everyday lives, the idea of positive reinforcement and repetition is very helpful.  At my first ever anything, the 2006 New Jersey Marathon, I kept repeating, "I said I can, so I will", interspersed with "No Excuses!" which I've been told I yelled at my best friend-turned-sister who was cheering me on.  

At a 2013 24-hour race with the New Jersey Trail Series, I met a man named Cliff who loved numbers.  He told me that, in the darkest hours of the race and the night, he repeated the number "2317" - how many steps it took him to complete one mile.  He did it mile after mile after mile, until he reached number 57.

And, bringing it back to “Zootopia” – at the end of the movie, the animated Shakira, as “Gazelle”, sings a song called, “Try Everything”.  This may be slightly longer than most mantras, but the message is the same:

“I won’t give up; I won’t give in; Til I reach the end, then I start again. I want to try everything.”

What are some of your mantras?  We'd love you to share; you will undoubtedly inspire others.