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February 5, 2010 / Mark Kerrigan

A Good Way to Keep Yourself Motivated When You’re Down


If you’ve ever tried to implement a work-out regimen, you’ve realized how difficult it is to keep pushing yourself when you start to approach the edge of your comfort zone past which you have seldom passed.

You would be hard pressed to go to a high school, college, or some gym open to the public without seeing others with earbuds blasting noise into their ears. Now that people have such items as iPods and Mp3 players, they are more able to keep a good, hard, driving beat pumping into their auditory canals allowing them to go that last half-mile, do three more reps or start to feel the burn.

Personally, I have an iPod Touch that my wife gave me two Christmases ago. And for a while I was content with listening to the songs I had downloaded. But what thrilled me was what I found yesterday afternoon:

Pandora is internet radio at it’s best.

“At Pandora, we have a single mission: To play only music you’ll love.”

“You can create up to 100 unique “stations.” And you can even refine them. If it’s not quite right you can tell it so and it will get better for you. “

You select a song or artist you enjoy listening to, and Pandora will select songs from that artist, or if none are found—which is extremely unlikely—Pandora will select songs that match the attributes of the songs by that artist.

Before yesterday, it had been a while since I had used Pandora, but because my laptop only has internal speakers, and I wanted to listen while I was working around the house, I tried Pandora on my iPod, which can only connect to the internet if there is WiFi.

After installing Pandora on my Touch, I found a station called “WORKOUT MUSIC!!!”

With the songs Pandora selected on this station, there are almost always prominent drums, extensive vamping, and electric guitar riffs. Not always what I’m in the mood for, but it makes give me the motivation to get things done.

I didn’t plan on this becoming a commercial for Pandora when I started out writing this morning, so let me circle back to my original point.

For people who have sustained head injury, a stroke, or suffer depression, keeping yourself motivated can be almost a constant struggle. “Why did this happen to me? What difference does what I do make in the world? Why don’t my friends come around me anymore?

Those are questions only you can answer. If you look into yourself and your world, you will find why what you do matters.

But when I find myself just wanting to go take a nap in the middle of the day, or mindlessly watch television, I find that if I pick up my iPod and connect to Pandora for the Workout Music station, I can get things done—whether it’s laundry, vacuuming or cleaning the kitchen.

In summary, I want to encourage others to explore their own lives and what works for them. It may not be the same thing that works for me. You may find you do better with Celtic tunes from Ireland—I don’t know.

If you have another method to keep yourself from becoming depressed or an incredible way to get incredibly motivated, let me know!

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One Comment

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  1. Tony Domenico / Feb 25 2010 10:49 pm

    I have gone to AA meetings over the years and never established much of a connection there because I could never quite interrelate to people in the group meetings. This past year though I have been blessed to pick up a group that is the needle in the haystack that I have been seeking for as it is attended by others the likes of me. In that same category is the WFS meeting that I go to. Within these two groups, I have discovered people that I am really PROUD to be a part of because the people are so intelligent, humorous, caring and full of joyfulness; not “a clump of loser drunks”. So I am not shamed to be a part of them. I find the symmetry between the 2 groups to be really positive. WFS has an emphasis on advancing empowerment in women, as well as a sacred component, and AA has so many meetings to select from that it is always simple to discover at least 1 to attend. I am too noticing a sensitive but fine equilibrium between “becoming empowered and admitting powerlessness,” whatever sense that makes!!

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