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Archive for Inspiration

Your Inspired Action Reaps Successful Results

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there lived a salesman. This salesman was interested in making currency he spends on his planet. In order to get currency, he had to sell objects. In order to sell objects, he had to convince others in his community they needed his objects.

In order to convince them, he had to take action. Here’s what he did to get results.

Aspiration

The first thing you need to do is find what you aspire to achieve. The basic question is . . . what do YOU want? In the past years one of my favorite expressions has been, “God intended me to live near the ocean, and here I sit landlocked in OH!”

Over the years I’ve put my needs, desires and wants below everyone else’s. Like most women and mothers, I first considered what my ex-husband wanted, what my children would love to do or what my own parents wanted.

I’ve made progress. In the past several months I’ve discovered that I can have one or two things I’d like to have, while still meeting the needs of my family. This has prompted me to set a goal of moving to Florida in the next year. That’s my aspiration in my personal life. It’s what I want and can achieve without upsetting the apple cart . . . too much.

It is important that you find the thing you want to accomplish. Before you can take action, move forward or achieve a goal, you have to know where you’re going and what you’re aiming at.

Ready, Fire, Aim is a best-selling book by Michael Masterson that essentially warns you against striving for perfection before taking action. However, before movement you must at least have a direction. Even the act of searching for what you desire is movement in the right direction.

 

Commitment

June30HopeOnce you know where you’re going, it’s time to make a commitment to achieve your goal. Commitment takes work. No matter how you slice it, success requires work.

You may love what you’re doing so much that you don’t consider it work. But expending energy on anything is the very definition of work.

Although you may be tempted to purchase the Staples Easy button for your desk, pressing it over and over again will achieve nothing. In order to get where you want to go, you must expend energy in the right direction.

Which brings us to the next step . . .

 

Target

You need a target on which to focus your commitment and energy.  Your target is not your aspiration. These are two different things.

The salesman aspired to sell more objects. From this he developed several targets. He needed to learn better sales skills, define his target audience and develop a strong marketing plan. Each of these are his targets.

Once you define the targets needed to achieve your goal, it’s time to stay FOCUSED.

Focus on the target is one of the common places people fail. It might be that you succumb to Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS). This happens when another target appears and your focus your energy on that. Soon another one pops up, and you’ve left 2 or 3 other targets to chase after something you may perceive as “easy.”

This happens a LOT in marketing. You think you’ll use social media and start a new marketing plan. A week later a new video software shows up on the market and you decide you can incorporate video marketing with social media marketing.

It’s when something new shows up on your radar and you convince yourself you can somehow make it work with what you’re already doing . . . or worse, you go off in a whole new direction.

These things happen in business, with your siblings, with your boss, parents and spouse.

Basically, it’s time you focus your attention on the targets that move you forward toward . . .

 

Improvement

While focusing on and moving toward your target is important, it is important you evaluate the results you’re getting June30Chocolateand change course if needed.

Improving your products, services, marketing plans, personal development, nutritional plan, marriage counselor, or anything else that might be your target is your first order of business once you start getting results from your actions.

In other words, once you’ve identified your target and begun moving toward it, if you aren’t getting the results you thought were reasonable, then it’s time to change the WAY you’re taking action.

Not all action is created equally. If you are distracted by the next shiny object, then the action you’re taking is definitely NOT inspired action.

Determine strategies you can use to stay focused on your target while taking time at defined intervals to evaluate the results you’re getting.

 

Offer

Ask most psychologists and wealthy individuals – the piece of the puzzle that garners you the best results is making an offer to others they can’t refuse.

And in many cases, that offer means serving them in way that HELPS them first.

People respond best when you do something for them first. In other words, you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. And, once you catch the fly, you can convince him of almost anything.

Even when that fly is YOU.

Remember, when you’re taking action toward becoming a better you, it’s easier to do and achieve the results you want, when you use honey to push yourself forward and not vinegar.

For instance, when you want to lose weight you’ll be more successful by framing your goal as a desire to become healthier, look great at the beach, be able to keep up with your children or another positive goal, than you will if you set a number in your head.  You won’t be motivated by a number on a scale, but you will be by a goal to keep up with your children more easily.

 

Normal

Persistence must then become your normal behavior. You achieve your goals through action, but the action must be consistent and persistent toward your goals. This then becomes your normal behavior.

In order for your goals and dreams to become reality, your behavior must change.  If your behavior and action don’t change then you can’t expect to experience different results from the past. You do the same things, you get the same results.

 

ACTION Always Predicts Results

Every action produces an equal reaction. There is a consequence for everything you say and do. Whether talking to your children, eating an extra cupcake, or not taking golf lessons before the company golf outing. Everything you do or say will have a consequence.

The trick is to act in a way that produces the consequences or results you’re looking for. In order to do that you’ll be following a plan much like the one outlined above. You might use different words to achieve successful results, but the ideas will be the same.

Before setting out on your next personal quest, spend some time doing your homework and preparing for success. Find your aspired results, make a commitment, aim at your target, plan for improvement, make an offer that thinks of the other person first and make consistency your norm.

 

Finding Joy in a Stressed Out World

Each of us has a mission field and each of us has a mission in life.

Your mission might be:

  • to be the best parent you can be.
  • to grow the best career you can so you can provide for your family.
  • to be the best friend you can be to the people who support you.
  • to be the best person you can be so you enjoy more of life.

Or any of a number of other goals you have for yourself. Because, realistically, your goals are also your mission. The goal which means the most to you is your mission. These are the things in life that inspire and drive you to do your best each and every day.

Without goals or motivation you’re stuck going around the same mountain day after day after day. Without a goal to drive your actions you become stagnant in your own personal development.

BUT, – and this is one great big BUT – when you’re life is consumed with caring for children, getting back and forth to work and dealing with your ex, how in the world is there room for more?

This might be exactly what you’re thinking. Getting up in the morning every day, just hoping you make it through in one piece, to get to bed again that evening. Why should you try to fit one more thing in your day?

But, without fitting this one thing in your day, every day, you’ll be stuck going around the same mountain again and again.

There can be joy in your life, but it’s up to you to find it. And, one of the best places to find that joy is outside yourself.

Again, you’re probably asking – but I do think outside myself when I care for my children and do my best at work. What else is there?

That “what else” that will feed your soul, drive your actions and provide you with more joy than you could imagine.

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Doing something for someone that’s unexpected brings you unexpected joy and boosts that thing that motivates you to get through your day.

Your mission field, should you choose to accept it, is your own backyard. You don’t have to go anywhere outside your own neighborhood to find people who need an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on or a helping hand.

Watch for the little places where you can make a big difference in someone else’s life.  Is your neighbor sick and need a meal? Is their little one sick and they need some Tylenol? Is your neighbor’s lawn mower broken? or do they need their driveway shoveled?

Is there a nursing home close by? Residents love visitors and your children will thrive on the positive reinforcement and guidance they get from an older generation.  If you don’t have parents in the city, you may want to ‘adopt’ a senior whose family is also not close by.

These connections bring you a gift you can’t reproduce any other way, and teach your children lessons they can’t learn from books, movies or lectures. It won’t matter how many times you talk about how to be good to others, your children learn how to be who they are by watching you and imitating your behavior.

A couple of weeks ago my youngest son came home from ball practice. He told me that a parent had come to the door of the coach’s office, where the team was meeting. After a brief knock, the man barged in and start yelling at the varsity coach that the junior varsity coach had kicked his son out of practice for mouthing off.

My son asked me why the man even bothered to knock because he didn’t respect the closed door enough to wait for an answer, and wondered why this father thought that yelling at one coach would change the mind of another coach about his son’s disrespectful behavior.

Children watch what we do. When we value our self and take time to grow personally, they notice. You might not think they notice, but they do. They will mimic your behavior as they grow and mature. You want more for your children than you have gotten yourself.

But, to get there, they have to learn to be the best that they can be. They have to be great people to get great results. And they will be great people when they put in the effort to become a great person.

They grow, they mature, they develop and they produce what they see in their parents. You have a chance to not only affect yourself, your own joy and happiness, but the future of your children, by choosing a mission in life to grow and become the best that you can be each and every day.

What you choose to do today, tomorrow and the next day affects your future, your children and the people you touch each day.

Consider looking outside your home for a mission field that will bless you, your children and your neighbor.

 

Queen Latifah, The Buckeye Bullet and a Shark Spend Thanksgiving

With your Thanksgiving meal just hours away, here are a couple of inspirational stories to help you stay focused on the day and your family and not on the challenges and obstacles we all face. . .

Have you ever seen the movie, “The Last Holiday” with Queen Latifah, Timothy Hutton and LL Cool J? It might be something you want to watch with your family when you’re all stuffed from a good meal and too tired to do anything else.

It’s the story of a 30-something single lady who was misdiagnosed with a brain disease. She’s given about 2 weeks to live, so she cashes in all her money and goes on an exotic vacation.

She doesn’t pull her punches with the people she meets and is surprised to find that she could be herself and still be liked.

Through some miscommunication that she doesn’t correct, the people she’s met believe she’s an up-and-coming entrepreneur who is very well to do. Toward the end of the movie Timothy Hutton finds out that she is a “nobody” [his words!] and calls her out.

She apologizes if she has offended anyone and explains that she is dying, she cashed in all her savings to go on this fabulous vacation. . .

“You know how it is. You keep your head down and you hustle and hustle. Then you look up one day and wonder, “How did I even get here?”

Is this where you are?

Have you been hustling every single day, head down, eyes on the to-do list for the day or the week and not paying attention to how quickly life seems to be passing you by?

Hustle . . . Action . . . Power . . . Application . . . Enterprise

These are all good words. They are the way toward achieving your goals.

BUT, when you do them at the exclusion of activities that balance your life, you are in danger of developing bad health habits and losing relationships.

You don’t have to make the choice between your definition of success and good health or great relationships. You can have all three.

It takes balance. It takes becoming inspired. It takes inspired action.

Don’t just put your head down and plow forward. Look up! Take a look at where you’re going and who you’re going with.

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Sometimes the journey we’re taking starts out with challenges and obstacles not of our own choosing .  .  .

Born in Oakville, Alabama, in 1913, the Buckeye Bullet was the son of a sharecropper and the grandson of slaves. He was a sickly child, often battling pneumonia. But, at the age of seven he was still expected to carry his weight in the family and was picking up to 100 pounds of cotton each day.

When he turned 9, his family moved to northern Ohio where life was faster paced and school was a challenge. Once in high school, he made a name for himself and became a nationally recognized athlete.

In college, he dominated his sport, winning all 42 events in which he competed one year, setting a world record that stood for 25 years and making the Olympic team, set to participate in Berlin, Germany, 1936.

At those Games, he won four gold medals and broke two Olympic records, one of which stood for the next 25 years. After he won the event, that now confers the title of “the fastest man,” Hitler stormed out of the stadium.

Back home in the US, Jesse Owens received a chilly reception from his own country as well. Not surprised by this country’s hypocrisy, he made this statement, “When I came back to my native country, after all the stories about Hitler, I couldn’t ride in the front of the bus. I had to go to the back door. I couldn’t live where I wanted. I wasn’t invited to shake hands with Hitler, but I wasn’t invited to the White House to shake hands with the President either.”

Jesse Owens is one of this country’s best athletes, in any sport. He overcame physical illness, injuries, hypocrisy, prejudice and discrimination. He excelled at sports and later went on to run his own successful public relations and marketing firm.

When you imagine the challenges that Mr. Jesse Owens overcame in his life, you probably won’t be able to fully appreciate the obstacles.  But if you can stop and imagine what it would be like to have the inspiration, desire, drive and commitment to achieve the goals that he did . . . .

And then understand that we are all born with the same abilities to face challenges. Our obstacles are different. Our goals are different. But we CAN achieve those goals by tapping into the ability to become inspired and do the work to achieve them.

It isn’t where you started or where you are today that matters most . . . but, the actions you are willing to take to make your tomorrows a reality.

Today is a day of giving thanks for what we have. Whether it’s a roof over your head, a hot meal on the table, running water in the bathroom or a bounty you hadn’t imagined you could achieve, we all have something to be thankful for.

But, to be thankful, grateful and fully appreciate the gifts we already have, we also have to have a positive attitude. This does NOT mean being a positive thinker, convincing yourself that something that isn’t real has already happened. But it does mean seeing your life in a positive light so you can see the opportunities and take advantage of them .  .   .

The effect that a negative stimuli in our lives has will have long term consequences on our success.

Consider the marine biologist doing a research experiment with a shark.  The shark was placed in a large holding tank where several small bait fish were released. As expected the shark attacked and ate the smaller fish.

After the shark was accustomed to getting those small fish, the scientist placed a strong piece of fiberglass into the tank, creating two partitions. The shark was on one side of the partition and the small bait fish were released in the other side.

The shark quickly attacked the small fish but slammed into the divider and bounced off. The shark repeated this behavior every few minutes. In the meantime, the bait fish kept swimming, unharmed, on the other side. After about an hour, the shark gave up.

Over the next several weeks the experiment was repeated several dozen times. Each time the shark got less aggressive in his attack on the bait fish. Eventually the shark tired of hitting the divider and just stopped attacking altogether.

At this point the divider was removed and the marine biologist discovered that the shark did not attack.

The shark had been trained by his environment to believe that the barrier existed between himself and the bait fish.

Over time, YOU are trained by the negative people in your life that you cannot achieve what you want.

Today is the day to give thanks for what you have and what is yet to come. You CAN achieve what you want when you look past the influence of the negative and focus on the positive.

So, today, while you’re sitting around the table with family, friends and the people who mean the most to you in life, remember that what you experience is only a function of how you perceive it.

Make a decision to see the positive, act on the positive and start the holiday season with heart of thankfulness and gratitude.

 

 

Where do You Find Inspiration?

Inspiration: the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

What’s more important? . . .  inspiration . . . or energy to get through the day?

Finding Inspiration Can Drive Energy and Action

Born with a rare genetic disorder which often claims the life of the sufferer, this young man has changed the lives of everyone who meets him or hears him speak.

Tetra-amelia is a rare genetic disorder in which a child is born without any arms or legs. Often times there are also other disfigurements of the pelvic area or face.

Nick is Serbian and was born in Australia. His mother had 3 ultrasounds before the birth but they were still surprised in the delivery room by deformities which were not detected in the tests.

His early days were very difficult. He was a teenage boy, going through all the normal teenage boy distress, with one significant difference. He wasn’t a normal teenage boy.

Nick’s parents supported his journey and were blessed with a young man who refused to let his physical limitations create borders in his life. In his early years, his parents decided not to send him to a school for children with special needs. He has said it was a very difficult time, but it may have been the best decision they could have made for him.

All was not easy for young Nick. At the age of eight he told his mother he wanted to kill himself and at ten he tried to drown himself in the bathtub. At 13 he read a story about a man who was disabled, but achieved great things and helped others. It was at this point he realized that God had made him to give hope to others. He was so inspired that he dedicated his life to inspiring courage in others.

He says, “If God can use a man without arms and legs to be His hands and feet, then He will certainly use any willing heart!”

He graduated from college at 21 with a Bachelor of Commerce and a double major in accounting and financial planning. But his real passion is speaking to others about the challenges he has faced.

To date Nick has accomplished more than most of us will in a lifetime. He’s a motivational speaker having traveled to over 24 countries to filled auditoriums, author, husband, father, musician and actor. He fishes, paints and swims. He’s been surfing with Bethany Hamilton, competitive surfer, whose arm was bitten off by a shark when she was a teen and who was back on a surf board three weeks later.

This is the astonishing life of Nick Vujicic (pronounced VOO-yee-cheech).

Nick’s start in life is not where he is ending. His opportunities were not limitless, but he has lived outside of the boundaries that society may have set for him.

He is willing to live out his inspiration for a life that is full of joy, health, creativity and helping others.

What About Me?

Nick’s story IS inspirational, but it isn’t the story that most of us live from day to day. In his life Nick was forced to see the world through different eyes because others saw him differently.

However, it’s the human condition to want to be just like everyone else. Our teens struggle to join groups to be just like others. Our children want to dress like people in their groups. We all shop for clothes and accessories that are pretty, but still conform to what the rest of the country is wearing.

If we look and act like the crowd, then inspiration and inspired action must come from how we see ourselves and not a reflection of how others see us.

When my now 18 year old son was just a toddler we were visiting my sister’s home. Sitting around the dinner table, in response to something his Uncle had said, my Nick announced to whoever was listening that, “It’s all about me!” with an accompanying grand gesture . . . arms up and thumbs pointed at his heart.

It’s normal for youngsters to believe that the world revolves around them. And, in some respects that gives them an advantage in finding inspiration to change their world. Granted that inspired action can come in the form of temper tantrums, but it’s the only way they know how to get things done!

Inspiration Drives Inspired Action and Success

It’s the importance of inspiration to your ultimate success in life that is critical to your actions.

Here’s an equation that drives each of us:

You thoughts develop your feelings which drive your actions and determine your results.

But you don’t want just any action, you want inspired action. And inspired action ultimately comes from inspired thought.

That inspired thought drives your success – whether it’s success in finances, relationships, health and wellness or any other way that you define success in your life.

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How do you generate the inspiration to drive inspired action?

From stories, movies, other people’s lives . . . from dreams, music and from your Creator.

The factor that makes the most difference between people who find success and those who don’t is that they keep those inspired thoughts front and center. When they falter they have systems to fall back on to fuel the fire.

Movies like Rudy, We are Marshall and McFarland, USA can inspire us to reach higher and try harder. Speakers, authors, music, and friends can speak inspiration into our lives, driving us farther than we thought possible.

Do you know what’s so great about using inspiration?

You can generate it at any time and it is NOT grounded in the past. In other words, what happened yesterday doesn’t predict your tomorrow. You can change your expected outcome by recognizing and acting on the idea that the future has not yet been written.

You have the chance to change what you expect through inspired action.

And, also remember . . .

Your Future is Firmly In Front of You!

That sounds like it’s a bit obvious . . . but, unfortunately, for many of us, that fact is not a fact at all. In fact, it’s a fallacy.

Too many times we live our lives in the past. We live out what could have been or may have been, if we had made different decisions or walked a different path.

Have you ever seen the sit-com “Frasier”?  It’s about a loveable psychiatrist who moves to Seattle after the break-up of his marriage in Boston.

Frasier hosts a daily radio call-in show. During the series he is represented by several different agents, the most aggressive of which is Bebe. During this particular episode Frasier has been with another agent for a season but is entertaining the idea of re-signing with Bebe. She has manipulated the situation to make Frasier believe that she is now representing Dr. Phil, famous talk show host, but would be willing to stay in Seattle to work with Frasier.

By the end of the episode she has slithered her way back into Frasier’s professional life. They meet at their favorite coffee house where she informs Frasier that his contract in the neighboring market was abysmal and she canceled it. After which she tells him with great enthusiasm that his future is “firmly in front of him!”

Ros, Frasier’s producer, is shocked by the news that they lost a contract and asks Frasier if this isn’t a step backward.

“Did you hear that Ros? This is wonderful news! Our future is firmly in front of us!”

“Isn’t our future always in front of us?” she asked, incredulous at the loss of income.

“Yes,” Frasier says. “But now it is FIRMLY in front of us!” as he runs out the coffee house door.

Your future is in front of you and always firmly in front of you. Your future isn’t in the past. You have control of tomorrow . . . and tomorrow is your future. Take control of every tomorrow by taking inspired action. Do NOT let the past control you – the past is in the past. Your future is firmly in front of you!