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Category: Motivation

If Nothing Else, Be Consistant

Today is a big day for me. It’s my 31st post on this blog. It’s significant because it’s also the 31st day straight that I’ve written at least something.

Even though I love to write, doing it consistently has never been easy. It’s been straight up challenging.

I could blame it on my full-time work as a manager or raising a family but in reality, they’re just excuses. Aren’t they?

If we love something enough we’ll find the time to do it right? That sounds like a nice motivation quote found on a greeting card, but it rarely applies in our lives.

A big reason for that is planning. We often want to be successful but don’t really plan around the priorities of our lives to make it happen.

This has been my story for years. Until 32 days ago I finally got it right. I challenged myself to blog. Every, single, day. Whether it was 400 words or 40, I was going to write something. I was going to share my experiences in business, the corporate world, creativity, life and anything else I could think of to inspire.

My motivation was clear: I needed to grow as a writer. What better way than to write every day.

It doesn’t have to be flashy. It doesn’t have to even be that deep. But it needs to be informative, helpful and inspiring. And it needs to be written and posted daily.

Want to be an entrepreneur? An author? A speaker? Web or graphic designer? Find a small step you can take daily towards that goal and commit to it. Track your journey after 31 days and then again after 60 days, and then 90.

We undervalue the power of being consistent, but it’s the very thing that will propel us to achieving our highest potential.

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Embrace Rejection

A couple of years ago I received this email from an editor in response to my pitch application for an open freelance writer position:

“Thanks so much for your submission. Unfortunately, we had a really strong group of writers this time around, so we won’t be able to bring you on board. Good luck with everything, though.”

If you thought that was bad, check out this email response:

“After much deliberation, we have decided to move forward with other candidates whose skills more closely match our requirements at this time. This was a difficult decision and, we realize, most likely a disappointing one for you. We hope that you will look upon the selection process as a valuable experience in your on-going personal and career development.”

You’re probably wondering why I kept these messages. I do it for two reasons. It helps me remember how far I’ve come when I look back at them.

For each of these messages, I have about 20 to 30 other messages telling me how much they were inspired by a piece I wrote or how happy they were with the service the team I lead provided.

Plot twist: I don’t keep these messages. Well, the majority of them anyway.

Why?

Remembering rejection lets me know what I’m made of. Resistance can either build or break. I choose to let rejection build me up to the level that no opportunity is big enough for me to not shoot my shot.

“What if?” is a 50/50 question. At least rejection lets you know where you stand. What you do with that information will determine how successful you decide to be.

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Are You Prepared for a Zombie Apocalypse?

I’m not sure we could ever be prepared.

We weren’t prepared for a global virus to keep us home for possibly weeks at a time. But we’re working together to overcome it.

Sometimes it takes a blood thirsty zombie at our doorstep for us to finally wake up and realize what our life purpose is.

The best preparation is to prepare for the unexpected. Know that life can change any minute. We don’t control the narrative, we only control our response to it.

And with time, we’ll realize how closely our response is linked to our purpose.

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Your Own New World Order

One morning we’ll wake up and hear the reports of COVID-19 all being over. Life will slowly shift back to where it was.

But can it? Will it ever be the same again?

In a general sense yes. Schools will open. Hospitals will function at regular capacity and retailers will again make sales.

But our collective individual lives must change. There has to be something different we take away from this. I’m not talking just the hygiene side of things.

When life comes close to the edge of ending and we survive, our number one goal should be to discover our purpose.

But let’s not wait. Find it today. In this time of social distancing and self quarantine take time to think about what your life is really about when you wake up each day.

If you don’t like what you see, it may be time for a personal New World Order.

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Consumption vs Impact

My wife and I are two totally different individuals. Opposites attract they say. In our case, it couldn’t be more true.

My upbringing was in the midst of North American comfort culture. My parents immigrated to Canada in the late ’70s from Jamaica so I often enjoyed the pleasures of growing up in a land typically free of political unrest and secure health benefits.

My wife, on the other hand, survived 2 wars. The Ugandan civil war in the ’80s and the Gulf War in the early ’90s. She had political instability for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The early parts of her life were lived with no assurance she would see the next day. At the same time, I ate Footloops around the breakfast table watching Saturday morning cartoons, upset that my little brother grabbed the cereal prize before I did.

My life wasn’t perfect. I experienced financially challenging times as a kid. Just as my wife’s life had some bright spots too and enjoyed parts of her childhood (dropping water balloons on people’s heads in the Middle East as a kid with her brother. Yeah, I’d say they had some good times!).

But as we grew up our adult life focus reinforced how we were raised. I wanted to go to school, get a degree, secure a job, make money, raise a family and give them as much as I could.

She wanted only one thing: To make an impact.

Of course, she wanted a family and desired to give them whatever they needed, but her life purpose to make an impact on the lives of others trumped everything else. She was never into the ‘shiny’ goals of North American life.

I was. Tell you the truth a small part of me still is. But it’s slowly fading.

As the world still adjusts to minimize the spread of COVID-19 virus, we are all beginning to understand what our true motives are in life and what it should be.

Most of us aren’t thinking about the consumption of things more than we’re thinking about being alive.

That followed by thoughts of – What to actually do with this life? How do I impact those around me for the better? Where do I begin?

The good news is there’s currently a plethora of opportunities to have an impact today. Start by educating yourself and others about keeping each other at low risk to contract the virus. Donate to food banks and other organizations that look after individuals of the community most at risk physically and financially.

Ultimately we can all use this global occurrence as a stepping stone to a more purposeful life. A life of more intentional impact and not just consumption.

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Patience While We Build

If the current global climate has taught us anything it’s patience is needed.

Patience when building, creating. Patience in assessing your next big move.

Why? The terms of life change so quickly that making a decision in haste usually doesn’t end well.

Creating and building without patiently setting a foundation for your work leads to making something that either doesn’t last or has little impact.

So take your time. Presently around the world there’s a good chance tomorrow won’t look like today.

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Risks Are Better Calculated

Pro sports is over thanks to COVID-19

The NBA, NHL, MLB and others have either cancelled or postponed all or parts of their 2020 season. All for good reason as the coronavirus continues to spread across the globe.

Heads of pro sports don’t want to take any risks and rightfully so.

But, in actuality, they are taking risks. The risk to lose revenue in exchange for the health of the players, their families, the fans and the general public. The expectation is that there will be a brighter day for all.

So risks aren’t bad. It’s all about taking the right kind of risks. And those risks usually center around more than just ourselves.

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COVID-19: Our Excuse to Dream

COVID-19 has many in fear today. Based on the media’s consistent updates of the virus global effect, most would say the fear is warranted.

But have we stopped to ask ourselves why we fear? Is it the virus itself or is it the impact on the economy which could have a direct effect on our daily routine.

While those issues matter, our biggest fear is our own life. The fear of death.

At the risk of sounding morbid, we can count on our taxes to be paid and that we will all cease to exist one day.

So the question is if you knew this was the last month of your life how would you live? Would you take time to stock up on canned goods and toilet paper? Or would you use your creative talents to make an impact while you still can?

Yes, wash your hands thoroughly, stock up on goods if you must. But don’t allow fear to take the precious time you have left to live in purpose. Use COVID-19 as an excuse to make that business or creative project come to life.

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Don’t Fear the Light

If you’ve never heard of the book Wonder or seen the movie adaptation, its a story of a boy named August (or Auggie) who was born with a genetic disorder that caused his face to be disfigured at birth.

Numerous years, and facial surgeries later, his parents decide grade 5 would be the right time to send him to school with other kids after being home-schooled for the first early years of his life.

One of the more notable quotes from the movie comes from Auggie’s sister Via.

“You can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.” – Via

Auggie’s sister Via reminds him to see his difference is an asset and not a liability. That there could be a higher calling or purpose for his life because of his condition.

We are all unique in different ways. It just depends if we choose to allow that uniqueness to shine through and potentially open up unexpected opportunities and experiences this year.

Choose to embrace your uniqueness and don’t fear the light your fresh ideas could bring you into.

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Convince Yourself First

There’s a reason why drive-thru windows have been around for decades. It’s a magical thing to give your request only to have it granted to you seconds later.

It’s almost like you spoke it into existence.

What do you want? How does it look? When do you want it to happen?

Dream, write it down and talk about it. Make sure you say it out loud for your brain to hear.

Because the first person, you have to convince is yourself.

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