Try: Telling Yourself a Pump-Up Story (with Soundtrack)


When I truly need mojo...I put on the Rocky 4 soundtrack. According to a highly unscientific poll I conducted (with friends and acquaintances born in the 70s), this Cold War Rocky made a strong impression on many people who continue even to the present day to dip into "Hearts on Fire" or "Burning Heart" as needed.

Rocky 4 was not high on subtlety.

Rocky 4 was not high on subtlety.

Listening to Eye of the Tiger -- which was originally released in Rocky 3 and then "recycled" in Rocky 4, Wikipedia notes -- doesn't only make fans like me recall a heated Man vs Machine showdown, or an unparalleled training montage (and yes, you should watch all 7 minutes of this video):

It also harkens back to the story of a young and poor Sylvester Stallone trying to sell his script. A born underdog with a paralyzed face, Stallone managed to sell the script and himself to the studio.

(The backstory is up for debate. This 1979 New York Times profile tells one story. Snopes suggests there's another.)

I use the young Stallone chutzpah as a lever to help myself out of rejections and failures. I slap an abbreviated Rocky 4 onto Spotify -- there really are only 5 songs worth listening to -- and imagine myself running through the snows of Siberia. Yeah, I can face the job search again. If Rocky can chop massive firewood with a beard, I can do this.

Feel free to use Rocky as needed, or think back to a story that pushes you back into mojo. Preferably it includes music too. Then watch your fortunes turn around.

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Try: Making a Playlist

make a playlist

I find that getting immersed in a project helps switch my mind out of the overthinking mode and into a feeling of flow.  My wish: that it were possible to attach cover art to the music I'm putting together to create a mood, the way we used to back in the 80s/90s. If that were easy to do on Spotify or Apple Music, I'd recommend that you create art on an app called LogoScopic. That's fun to do anyway, why not? It gets you creating.

If you don't feel like making a playlist, fear not. You could give this one a tryIt's the OFFICIAL Beautiful Voyager playlist. I'm psyched about it.

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Try to: Seek Out Art


Nearly every book about meditation, mindfulness, and anxiety says the same thing: Bear in mind that you're not alone. It's a hard thing to feel, though. Does reading these words on the page from me, or even knowing I've felt some of the things you have, really make you feel less alone?  This is where art like music, reading, or theater help (at least, those are the things that help me--everyone is different). In the past, I've pushed them down the priority list. Putting this on the list is a way of saying: for me, art is key to turning down the volume knob on anxiety. 

If this experiment works for you, hit the heart to let others know they should give it a try!