Category: Inspiration

InspirationMotivationNudgePersonal Development

Can success wait?

I often get discouraged as I see a lot of people share some of their amazing entrepreneurial successes. Admittedly, the discouragement lasts about five minutes (and usually drives me to take an action of some sort), but it is still there.

Part of it is the desire to just have 12-15 hours a day to focus on the ideas that flow into my mind. There are a lot of other important priorities going on in life right now that really do need my focus. If I don’t take this time to focus on them, there will be failures – not just for myself, but for a lot of other people.

So, I keep asking myself the frustrating questions:

  • Why am I inspired with these ideas if I can only take a small amount of time to act on them?
  • Will I miss “my special opportunity” if I don’t fully engage it pursuing them right now?
  • What if someone else gets to it before I do?
  • Can I still make money when I finally do get to put a little more time into it?

I cannot be alone in asking these questions. Regardless of whether or not they are the right questions to ask, the mind goes there.

But, this morning I had a spiritual nudge. A nudge prompting that gave me some peace.

I’ve been through this before. I haven’t been quite ready for what was there for me, and the success was able to wait.

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p class=”impact-text”> The Contest

When I was in grade school there was a yearly publication that came out in the school district. It was a booklet filled with short stories, poems, and pictures drawn by children all over the school district. I loved the booklet and looked forward to seeing it each year and hoped to be a part of it. But, I wasn’t a big short story or poetry writer. I was, however, ok in art class. So, I started thinking of submitting an entry. It couldn’t hurt to enter the contest, right?

I was in the fifth grade and picked up the special paper that was used to submit entries into the contest. I decided to draw a picture for the cover. Yep, I was all in! I drew the picture and my classmates and teacher loved it. They were actually excited for me to enter it into the contest. Something in me said that I would win with this entry. Do you have these moments where you just know? I knew.

But, for some reason I had filled something in wrong on the special submission paper. Perhaps I had used the wrong ink pen or had made a spelling error. Regardless, it meant that I had to start over on a new piece of submission paper.  It shouldn’t have been a big deal because I had drawn it so many times. But, something in my head switched. I got nervous and knew that I would make a mistake on the next sheet and I wouldn’t have another chance. I think there was a limit on how many sheets you were allowed. It seems crazy now, but I gave up! I figured that I wouldn’t be able to make it better than it was and I dropped out. My teacher was completely surprised by my lack of enthusiasm and so were my parents.

A year later the contest came up again. I had that feeling within me that I was the person to win the cover. The same feeling that I had in the past. So, I asked my new and old teacher if it was ok for me to submit what I had drawn the year before and they said it was completely fine. I drew it again and submitted it.

A few weeks or months later (who knows at this point in life how long it actually was) they announced who had gotten entries into the coveted booklet. My entry had won the cover!

Talk about pure sixth grade joy!

Even if you know something, it is still a shock when it actually happens.

Wright Flight

This was one of the first of many life experiences where I realized that sometimes what you are supposed to do…can wait. Yes, we feel like we “miss” some opportunities along the way. But, have we really missed them? Were they intended for us? Would they lead us in the direction we fully intend on going? In my case, would there have been a selection committee that wasn’t quite ready to value my entry?

Short term, it can hurt. Seeing others gain success in something that we’d like to pursue is hard when we are chomping at the bit to get to that point. But, this “waiting” period might be invaluable to us and our idea. It may be a time to continue to build skills, learn lessons and observe others that are on the same path. We may be able to fine tune our idea. We may realize that we should apply our idea in a different setting. We may realize that the idea will mess with our personal values in a way we weren’t expecting. The idea may lose importance over time.

Does this mean we should stop the pursuit right now? NO.

This is a time to take a long term perspective on some of our goals and aspirations. If something else is taking priority in life right now, and that priority is aligned to your personal values and those we are accountable to, we most put those things first. In fact, focusing on those priorities can become invaluable experiences that make our idea more focused, more powerful and faster to implement once the idea gets front and center priority in our lives.

So, can success wait?
Yes, it can. Just use the “wait” toward preparing yourself for a bigger and better success.

AuthenticityInspiration

P.L. Travers – lessons learned from Saving Mr. Banks

We used to have a little corner in the dining room where we kept the cheap record player. My younger brothers and sisters would sit in that corner and listen to records while the rest of us became fans or foes of the music from a distance.

The corner with the Mary Poppins record player in action

The corner – with the Mary Poppins record on the record player.

One of the coolest records was Mary Poppins. It actually had a photo from the musical underneath the plastic and so it was this amazing visual effect for us at the time. Of course, the real joy came from the music. Mary Poppins songs were often heard mingled with songs from other musicals as we busied ourselves around the house with chores, homework and practicing our instruments.

I don’t remember the movie that much, but I will be checking on NetFlix to see if I can pull it up as a reminder. It seems like the necessary action after seeing Saving Mr. Banks at the theater this afternoon. It wasn’t really in our plans, but sometimes you just need to get out of the house and experience something completely different than the daily to do list and other chores that await. Plus, it is COLD outside.

Most movies kind of slip by me. Those I want to remember, I need to come home and write about before all inspiration is lost.

So, here I am on a Saturday night thinking it out by writing.

savingmrbanks

 

P.L. Travers – pursuit of excellence

P.L. Travers. She is quite the character. The author of Mary Poppins. Adamant in her idea of how her characters should be portrayed in a movie. Yes, she came off as overly picky and a bit standoffish really. She made life a bit difficult for the production team. But, we could learn a lot from her as we pursue our big hopes, dreams and ideas.

She expected authenticity and quality. It forced the people that worked with her out of their comfort zones. They had to think differently and push their personal boundaries. And, that different thinking created a masterpiece.

P.L. Travers had a picture in her mind of how this content was to be portrayed on the screen. It wasn’t just about her despising animation, hating the mustache on Mr. Banks, and keeping the color red out of the film. It was because these things detracted from all of the emotions and characters that she knew had to be portrayed.  We find out in Saving Mr. Banks that some of these things were associated with experiences in her past. But, if it is a story of her past, wouldn’t she best know how to convey it? It was real to her, not just an imaginary tale.

She expected the songwriters, scriptwriters and other team members to listen to her feedback every step of the way. Sure, it was annoying. Yes, they had to re-write songs and work late nights. Not sure if this is real, but she even threw the transcript they had written out the window. These are powerful experiences for those of us that work with people like P.L. Travers. There is this point where everyone realizes that the person isn’t going to change. Those working with them must change if anything is to be completed.  In this case, they stepped up to the challenge. Just think if they hadn’t?

Walt Disney – recognizing & supporting the excellence

It was wonderful to see how Walt Disney was portrayed in the movie. He realized, through the process of pursuing P.L. Travers, that he would have felt the same way if someone turned his dream into something less than his imagination. This positioned him well to understand her, adjust his responses, and approach the business and personal relationship with more empathy. He recognized his own weaknesses, hopes, and expectations through his desire to turn her work into an onscreen masterpiece. The struggle he went through, the additional expectations he placed on his production team, and the unapologetic push back he received from P.L. Travers ultimately improved the quality of his work and quite possibility helped him improve other products created after Mary Poppins.

Will you join the pursuit?

I left the movie with an extra bit of inspiration. To produce better products. To expect more of myself and others. To clarify my vision. To fulfill my potential and share with others. To pursue excellence.

It is a bit discouraging watching people online lately. It feels like so many people are copying each other – the same products and services and the same marketing. When I see people throwing sales pitches all over Facebook and Twitter, I cringe. Is their content that great? Will it really help me? Is it designed in a way that it will resonate with me? Have they giveN that same blood, sweat and tears to the actual product?

Saving Mr. Banks was a great reminder to expect excellence and to go through the sometimes painful process of taking something from ordinary to extraordinary. To make something worth talking about. To make something that becomes a masterpiece.

Thank goodness for P.L. Travers. We wouldn’t have the classic Mary Poppins movie and …we wouldn’t have Saving Mr. Banks.

#nudge

GoalsInspirationPersonal Development

Shutting out the Maddening Crowd – The Power of One Inner Voice

person walking by a bench on a beachIt’s always strange to me when someone makes a proclamation on Facebook that they’ve had enough and they are shutting down their account.

How does one connect with so many people from so many parts of life and then shut it all off?

I’m still not sure that is a good idea because ultimately, it is a place where many of us go to connect. I’m not even sure if we know the addresses (mailing or otherwise) of those that we are connected to and it would put us in a bit of an isolation situation.

However, over the past few weeks I have needed a break from the constant bombardment. True, it is the new year and so there is an extra amount of entrepreneurs peddling their solutions to New Year’s Resolutions. But, it may just be that it is time for a break.

There are so many voices telling us what to do – think bigger, create more goals, don’t create goals, start a business, become a consultant, get into Internet marketing, create your own blog, and accumulate Twitter followers. 

The problem is we often don’t know from what perspective the voices are coming from and if their advice will fit us.

This year I’ve had moments where I was just plain listening to the wrong voices. Voices of inexperience. Voices of hype. Voices of people creating sales pitches that really hadn’t been through some of the experiences that I’ve been through. Listening to these voices can cause confusion and sometimes the wrong focus. It can even cost you money!

So, once in a while it is time to turn off the computer (or at least the social sites), take a walk, pray, and find out what your own inner voice is telling you to do. It might be for an hour. It might take an afternoon. It might be longer.

Deep within we are entitled to know what is best for us. But, when we surround ourselves with too many voices our inner voice can’t get a word in edgewise. It has to wait and hope that we’ll take the time to calm down, separate ourselves from the world and take the time to listen.

I’ve done that over the past few weeks. It was kind of forced because I was sick and the computer monitor hurt my eyes. I was forced to listen to inspiration with no one to comment, give an opinion or sway me. I was forced to see where my actions were heading. I was forced to determine what I wanted to be known for and sought after for in the world of work. “Forced” probably isn’t the best word, but something within me was forcing me to take this time to reflect.

At the end of the day, are you doing what you were meant to do in this life? Are you adding value in the way that best utilizes your talents and enables you to serve others? Are you pursuing a sustainable path that keeps your personal values and vision intact?

To find out, it is time to take a step away from the maddening crowd. They’ll have opinions. They won’t like that you step away. But, you must.

Your inner voice must be heard if you want to keep heading in the right direction for you.

Go ahead – there is power in listening to your inner voice. We’ll welcome you back when you are ready.

 

Photo: Courtesy of Diogo Tavares (http://www.fanq.pt/) through Unsplash

finger pointing on a screen creating a ripple
Inspiration

You know not who you influence – Whoopi Goldberg moment

Sometimes we don’t think what we do matters.

Years ago Whoopi Goldberg played a role on Star Trek not knowing that years later a young man would stand up and share the impact she had made on his life.

Without knowing who we will influence, isn’t best to always be seeking, growing, learning and stepping up?

We can start today!

GoalsInspiration

To Begin, Begin

Great share on Twitter today by @CoachTanya:

“To begin, begin.” – William Wordsworth

Then she added her own twist to the quote:

“Beginnings start between our ears.”http://www.Tanyasmithonline.com

Tis true, aye? If we cannot think it, we cannot begin it. So, Friday ends the official work week, but we can begin something else this weekend. Think about it. 

…just a nudge.