Pep Talks

I’m sure we can all think of a time when encouraging words from another were the impetus to drive us through a given situation. Motivation. Enthusiasm. Electricity is a word I use personally. We need these to accomplish everything we do in a day to the best of our ability.

Yoda tells Luke “Do or do not, there is no try”. In one of the most famous speeches in history, Patrick Henry said “Give me Liberty, or give me Death”. One of my all- time favorite inspirational quotes came from a director I had for a college performance who looked me straight in the eye as I walked on stage and simply said: “Don’t mess up”. All of these quotes, and many more, were in some way meant to positively affect the mindset of others. One-on- one, to a group, to a team, to a country. Inspirational speeches come in all shapes and sizes.

Merrium Webster defines Pep Talks as “a short speech designed to encourage someone to work harder, to feel more confident and enthusiastic, etc.” Point is, a lot of the inspirational speeches throughout history were little more than glorified pep talks when you break it down. Pep talks, in my opinion, come in all shapes and sizes. And if you can give them to others to encourage confidence and enthusiasm, what’s to stop us from giving them to ourselves.

This is why I start each and every day by giving myself a “pep talk”. Usually it is mental, though occasionally on the tougher days it is vocal. A lot of people would probably find it strange that I do this (I know for a fact my dog does – you should see the looks he gives me at 6am), but one of the key parts of my morning, aside from a long shower and a Vanilla Macadamia Nut Clif Bar, is the 2 minutes I spend with myself.

In these 2 minutes, I focus on the things I need to do on this individual day. Whether that is work related, personal, travel, etc., I focus on centering my thoughts on doing these things with vigor. I take the time to motivate myself and prepare in whatever way is needed. Sometimes I take deep breaths to release tension, sometimes I do some light stretching (though I’m not great at Yoga if we’re being honest), and sometimes I just think of things that make me happy. I challenge myself to accomplish new things, to think of fresh ideas, and to not settle for “good enough” in anything I do. This 2-minute period contributes to my success, I feel, more than any other 2 minutes in the day.

Some might call it a form of meditation, but to me, it’s simply a “pep talk”. This is largely because it often involves me talking in internal clichés like “One hour at a time”, or “High energy, let’s go”, or “BE AGGRESSIVE, B.-E. AGGRESSIVE” (only half kidding on the last one). As strange as it is though, it truly helps to block everything else out for a short period of time and realize that the only person with a guaranteed ability to make this day great for yourself is you. You may not be able to control the things that happen to you, but you can control your mindset and attitude as you approach them.

So I encourage you, readers, in the midst of a tough week sometime in the future to give yourself a pep talk. Find 2 minutes to be alone and remember that the only thing that can stop you from being positive – is you. Get pumped, get psyched, and help yourself to do the best that you can today.

Peter is a 25-year-old life-long New Jersey Resident. He graduated from the University of Scranton with an English and Theater double major and currently works in New York City. He has a passion for birdwatching, baseball statistics, and singing karaoke on long car rides. He is very excited to be a part of the Project Wednesday team!

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