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Category: Motivation

What Were You Thinking 3 Months Ago?

“You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.” – John Green

The future always is pleasing and attractive. Full of promise for better. However when we arrive there it’s something all too common. Challenges, frustrations and problems still abound.

We worked for that promotion believing it would bring contentment and financial gratification. We pushed for to acquire that business loan hoping to be free from a 9 to 5 that stressed us out.

It never truly works out exactly how we pictured it to be. That’s because the future tends to always be perfect without fault. And we come to realize the present is imperfect and has many flaws. Which then leads us on another pursuit for perfection.

The cure: gratitude. Only gratitude for the present will end this cycle. It involves continually taking your mind back to when you pictured the future you longed for and being aware that you’re in that place today.

In other words gratitude can be summed up by asking yourself: What were you thinking about 3 months ago?

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Embrace Failure Over and Over

Super heroes from comics and movies always seen invincible. It’s pretty obvious how the story will end every time. They will win.

But we watch anyway to catch those small moments when they’re on the ropes and at risk of losing it all to a villain who has no business being in the ‘lead’.

Beyond there brilliance, they fail. Over and over in every story. It’s significant because what they learn from the experience of failing is the very thing that sets up the dramatic ending.

How we react to our own failure will decide what our continued success, or lack there of, will look like.

When launching a business or getting a promotion to a new role, don’t be surprised when failure revisits time and time again. Begin to appreciate failure as a key part of personal and professional growth.

Failure is unavoidable on the road to success.

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Shift Your Energy from Mistakes to Skill Sharpening

50 presentations in 30 days.

That’s the test I’m currently facing in my new role. Repeating the same information to 50 different companies.

There’s bound to be mistakes made with that many meetings. Brain freezes, missed information and voice cracking like a teenager in puberty.

The good news? I can mess up on 6 of them and still have 44 chances to create excellence.

Don’t give mistakes the time of day they haven’t earned the right to get. Shift that same energy to sharpening your skills and kill the next one.

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Share Your Ideas to the World

I’m here sitting on my living room couch thinking of what to write while watching the Sonic the Hedgehog movie with my young kids.

It dawned on me that the Sonic brand has been around for over 30 years. A single video game concept idea ended up creating dozens more video game titles, for major consoles and mobile phones, several TV series, books, toys, other random merchandise and now a full length feature film.

It’s not unusual to think that the original idea of Sonic was probably rejected a few times or shunned as being ridiculous. But once given the chance to flourish, the character Sonic has been infectious for at least 2 generations of fans.

If a blue, wise-talking, cartoon like hedgehog with blazing speed can evolve into multimillion dollar merchandise empire, then our ideas shouldn’t seem so outrageous that we’re afraid to share them with the world.

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Restoring Creative Energy

Being creative is an unknown and sometimes an unspoken energy that arrives on us at moments notice and at other times is nowhere to be seen when we need it most.

When we experience creative motivation everything in life is good. Our person expression through our work or art can be felt my others. But what happens when we don’t ‘feel’ creative?

How do we re-energize that part of us so we can continue to manifest the ideas and thoughts that come to us?

Of course there’s no one answer to that question and that may be the point. Re-energizing creativity will take you through multiple trial and error activities. Reading books, watching documentaries, scrolling through social media and talking with friends.

Writing, drawing, building, updating your creative space at home will all lead to taking action for the creative staleness instead of wishing you were more creative.

So the simple answer to restoring creative energy is to just do something, anything. I know it sounds too simplistic but sometimes the simplest ideas and actions are the ones that drive the best results.

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Venturing into the Unknown

Advancement and promotion comes to those willing to venture into uncharted territory.

Taking such a step displays a willingness to fail. To look weak. To feel inadequate and ill prepared to face what’s coming.

It’s also a confirmation to the important decision makers that you’re committed to growing and increasing your value to the organization.

At a deeper more social level, venturing to the unknown can look like being open to objective conversations with those who hold an opposing point of view.

When we continually open ourselves to learn, understand and discover the world beyond the knowledge we currently have, we are saying yes to a richer life experience. Tangibly and metaphorically.

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Greatness on Dime

A few years ago I was approached by the owner for a mental health organization to create an official logo.

At the time I was operating a side business for different creative services and was confident I could pull of the job even though I didn’t have an extensive design background.

A week later I sent the final draft for the logo to the owner. He loved it and paid me according to the quoted rate we both agreed to.

A few months ago this same logo was on the owner’s t-shirt while he sat to discuss his organization during a segment on a well known television talk show.

The online software I used to create the logo only cost me only $17/month.

Creating greatness doesn’t always involve spending a lot on tools or training. There are so many valuable applications available to us in this digital age. Spend some time looking and you’ll be surprised at what you find.

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Intimidation Is Overrated

In reality intimidation is just a facade in our minds.

Take for example beginning a new role at a new company.

We either think we’re not good enough, smart enough, creative enough to make it when we look at all of the talent around us.

Or we use our imagination to believe they are all ‘flexing’ on us while disregarding the knowledge we bring to the table.

A better thought process is to approach a new opportunity from the place of learning. Be confident in the knowledge and experience you hold and wait for opportunities to utilize it.

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It’s Okay Enjoy Your Triumphs

That new career move that happens to be your dream job. A timely promotion. Opening your first business. Making your first company acquisition. Landing that tough client. Achieving the forecasted budget.

Take significant time to celebrate and enjoy those achievements. Even when others think you should move on because you’ve already taken a few victory laps. Take 10 more!

Accomplishments like the above are no easy feats. We often don’t take enough time to reflect on the hard work put into it. So don’t let anyone cap the amount of time you enjoy it.

Giving yourself time to be thankful, have gratitude and celebrate the moment provide the emotional fuel we need to move in to the next challenge with confidence.

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Don’t Be Afraid To Share Ideas

We all are afraid at times. Afraid our ideas will come across as small, not well educated or not complex enough to seem impressive.

And if someone thinks this about our ideas then what? It gets disregarded or not taken into consideration. Now the onus is on that individual to come up with something better. Your job is done until your ideas were proven to be of no effect.

This needs to be our thought process when we experience fear in offering our solutions and strategies at work, in creative groups, with business partners, etc.

There’s value in what you have to offer until someone proves otherwise. And if they happen to, you simply try again. professional growth comes with repeating this process over and over.

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