Tag: 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

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!

Man Swimming in Pool
SportsTraining and Development

Olympic Swimmer? I will never know

swimmerYep, I could have been.

The problem is that I will never really know.

This year the pool opened over Memorial Day Weekend. It was a bit cold and rainy and so I wasn’t able to swim on my designated start date. But, by May 30th I was ready to take the annual walk of shame – from the locker room to the pool edge. It’s a shame because I actually accomplish about 80% of my resolutions each year, but never quite get to the physical state I desire.

So, as I’ve started my summer lap swimming, my mind remembers a time long ago when I missed my chance to succeed in doing something with my swimming skills.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I can’t do the butterfly. I never had to learn it and so I didn’t. But, in 7th grade swim class I was the person who always had to demonstrate the stroke for the rest of the class. It was a bit traumatic for a shy girl, but did give me a sense of accomplishment.

In the 8th grade I had a friend try out for the swim team and make it. I delayed trying out until the last day. Apparently there was only one other person who had delayed as well – a boy named Scott. He wasn’t a particular “cool” guy and so I thought I would beat him. Realize, my 8th grade brain was at work, not taking in the obvious clue that he was over 6 feet tall in the 8th grade and …had feet that could self-propel him into infinity.

So, the coach told us to get into the water and she blew the start whistle. We were off and running, er swimming.

After a few laps I realized that Scott was ahead of me. How could this be? I am (was) a pretty fast swimmer. How could “un-cool” Scott be ahead of me?

At the end of the race, I couldn’t even hear my time and can’t even remember if I made the team. I was so deflated that I had lost to Scott of all people.

So, much to the dismay of my friend, and I’m sure the coach, I didn’t join the team.

Foolish?

Well, later that year I was surprised to find out that Scott won all kinds of STATE championships in swimming. Yes, not school championships, but state. The person I had been comparing myself to was the best of the best. What if I had known that when I was racing him? I might have been proud of my attempt to compete against him and perhaps would have continued to improve my game.

Or, would I?

It is easy to make comparing a way of life. There will always be those that are far worse and far better than us in any given area. We all know this, but how we use this knowledge creates drastically different results.

I can write this blogspost because I’ve chosen the right way to respond and ….the wrong approach.

Here are a few tips that may be helpful to keep in mind when you are tempted to compare yourself too much to the “Olympic champions” around us:

  • Change YOUR surroundings – It’s time to take a break from whatever is diverting you. Is it comparing yourself to neighbors? Take a little roadtrip to some small towns or just a different city. Noticing all the great accomplishments of people on Facebook? Log off the system for a few days.
  • Serve Others – Admit it, you get self-doubt and a tinge of depression when you spend too much time comparing your life, business, successes, and failures to others. Turn it around. Serve, serve, serve. Write a thank you note to a friend or customer. Offer to do and errand or task for someone. Volunteer. This gets you out there realizing you’ve got something to offer. Plus, it might give you that big idea you’ve been looking for and can’t seem to find since you are so busy comparing!
  • Personal Affirmations – No, this isn’t a joke. Sometimes you need to make a list of things that you do well or would like to do well. Perhaps repeat them during your morning exercise or while you are driving to work or business. Our brains take action on what we tell them. Our brain doesn’t know if what we are telling them is positive or negative. Why not express daily what we do well.
  • Turn to your inspirational sources – This may be scripture, coaches, favorite authors, etc. There’s always something embedded in these resources that help us press on, remind us that we are unique and just need to focus on improving ourselves.
  • Focus – Select just 1-2 areas to work on at a time. I’m BAD at this area. I love creating dozens of projects, goals, and ….expectations for myself. I need to stop it! When we do this, it is as if we are taking the best we see in dozens of people and trying to become the best at all those things even though they aren’t even all that! Better to select 1-2 areas to go focus on learning, growing and creating in than trying to scratch the surface of everything.

I just got back from my swim. I swam slower than usual, but it was a beautiful day and the next few days are going to be rainy. I just wanted to be out in the sunshine and fresh air.  I beat an older woman without trying (really?), but quickly reminded myself that it didn’t matter and ….I slowed down and worried about improving my stroke instead of how the pool crowd perceived my progress.

Perhaps my daily efforts will avail me a spot on some kind of mid-life Olympic wanna be swim team someday. So be it. I’m fine with it. I’m doing what I can with what I have right now at this point….and there is progress!

But, every once in a while I kick myself for not taking this step in the 8th grade. Coulda, woulda, shoulda, right?

Sigh…

lightbulb
Inspiration

Who are your inspirational sources?

Who is your source of information? inspiration?

Here’s an excerpt from one of our daily nudges that we hope you find valuable!

Daily Nudge #6

I’ve found that the amount of experts, coaches and authors is overwhelming! You’d never take action if you spent the time it takes to learn from them all.

So, let’s focus it down a bit. Perhaps a few tips will help.

Tips for finding inspiration sources:

Spiritual Roots – these are typically YOUR deepest sources of inspiration. Don’t forget to follow spiritual promptings either. They are there to guide you in every aspect of your life…including your idea!

Experts (follow 2-3) – you’ll find that you are consistently drawn to a few people. I’m drawn to Seth GodinTom PetersMichael Hyatt, and Dave Ramsey. I read their books, I get an RSS feed of their blogposts and someday I’ll attend one of their events. What’s great about following these gurus is that they are constantlightbulbly introducing you to other people, books and ideas. The Entreleadership Series, for example, is a podcast series that includes interviews with great people like the founder of LinkedIn and popular authors on a regular basis.

Emerging Gurus (follow 1-3) – emerging gurus are great. They are still working on creating a tribe and do have the time to respond to your questions or even coach you. These are people who you want to learn from and build a close relationship with over time. I’ve signed up for coaching from Pamela Slim, the author of “Escape from Cubicle Nation,” because I relate to her corporate background and like her style of communicating. Plus, she took the big step of leaving the cube farm and becoming a successful full-time entrepreneur. Great example that I’d like to follow!

Ask your friends – social media is great! Not just because you can reach a lot of people simply, but also because you can ask your online groups or individual contacts who they turn to for inspiration. All of the people mentioned above came to me as “nudges” from friends that thought I would enjoy the messages that these gurus share.

“Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and one is gold” 

Remember that quote? Be sure to acknowledge and keep learning from those that inspired you in the past, but regularly seek to connect to a new source of inspiration.

Do you have someone who inspires you to press forward with your ideas? 

We’d love if you’d share in our Facebook Group. If you aren’t already a member, just request to be added here.