Choosing Courage – Motivation Monday

Choosing Courage - Motivational Monday


Queen Elizabeth has been on the throne so long, most people don’t remember a time when she wasn’t queen of the United Kingdom. In February 2018, it will be sixty-six years since her coronation. But sixty-six years isn’t the extent of her public service. Prior to becoming Queen, Elizabeth was heir presumptive. In that capacity she was already undertaking public duties during the Second World War.


During Elizabeth’s reign, the world has seen unimaginable triumph, like a probe from earth landing on an asteroid flying through space, then sending information back home. It’s also seen unbelievable devastation resulting from destruction both natural and human-made.


The majority of us only have our own lives and those of our families to reign over. From that limited perspective, we also face difficulties and triumphs. It’s easy to accept triumph, but what do we do when courage is called for? What we do when things are difficult is what defines us and our futures. We are not only courageous in life and death situations. It takes courage to keep trying in the face of adversity. To get up again after falling down. To say yes when everyone around you is saying no.


When you feel like the winds pushing against you are too strong and you’d rather just give up and simply let your goals blow over you, remember, from the perspective of one who’s seen everything, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat. Rather, they push against that defeat with even more determination.



The Problem Is Not The Problem

The Problem Is Not The Problem


Problems get in the way of us doing things. They create stumbling blocks or insurmountable mountains. They make us feel like we can never get where we need to go.


It’s true if you wait for a problem to go away or hope it will go away or decide there’s nothing you can do about it and give up, then yes, the problem will definitely stop you from achieving your goal.


However, what if you decided to think of each problem as an opportunity. An opportunity to try a different approach. To talk to different people. To learn something new.


So often things that start out as problems turn out to be inspirations. They lead to things and situations that are better than our original plan.


Life and how you feel about it and what you get out of it are all a matter of perspective. When you run into a problem. Instead of worrying about how you’re going to get around it, search for the opportunity buried inside it. You might find buried treasure.


What I Do Defines Me – Motivation Monday

What I Do Defines Me - Motivation Monday

What impresses you when you first meet someone? The car they drive? The Neighbourhood they live in? The clothes they wear? Those are the sorts of things that might grab your attention in the first few seconds, but after you’ve known someone for a while the exteriors matter less.

You start to pay more attention to what they do, how they treat others, their work ethic, their concern for the things they believe in.

Who are the people that impress you most? Are you impressed by what they have or what they do? Do you have a boss or a co-worker who always goes out of his or her way to help others? A neighbour who shovels the walk of the elderly couple across the way? A friend who drops by with a pot of soup when you’re sick? Those are the people we respect. The people we care about. The people we should strive to be.

When Commissioner Gordon shines the bat light in the sky he’s not doing it to summon a guy in a bat suit, he’s doing it to summon the person who he knows will help his city.

The outside stuff is cool, but ultimately, it’s transient. The things that make a lasting impression, the things that define us are the things we do.

Iceberg Career Advice – Motivation Monday

Iceberg Career Advice - Motivation Monday


What you may wonder, do icebergs have to do with career advice? Well it’s all about that whole faking it to you’re making it thing.


No one can see what’s going on below the surface

As an iceberg, the only thing anyone can see of you is the tiniest tip at the top. No one can read your mind, no one saw how flustered you were on the bus this morning. All they see is you right now in the moment you are interacting with them.


Show your best face

So don’t worry about how you spilled coffee on your shirt when you were running late this morning. Change the shirt and act like you woke up with plenty of time to spare and you’re having a great morning when you get to work.


Don’t worry if you’re having a meltdown internally. It doesn’t matter if you want to cry bitterly into your desk because you’re so stressed out. So long as you are not actually crying bitterly into your desk, you are successfully faking and making it.


Ask questions when you need help and anytime you’re feeling overwhelmed, or under-qualified, take a deep breath, and remember you are an iceberg and all anyone can see is that kickass professional tip and none of the insecure beginner stuff underneath.


You’ll be great.

The Happiness of Gratitude

The Happiness of Gratitude


Sometimes we’ll see someone who looks like they have everything; enough money in the bank, people who love and admire them, a certain joie de vivre and on top of everything else they’re modest and grateful. They’re courteous and appreciative of so much. You might think they’re grateful because they’re happy, but it might just be the other way around. There’s a really good chance they’re happy because they’re grateful.


Remember there are all kinds of people who have everything a person could wish for and are still devastatingly unhappy and there are others who’ve suffered through misfortune and setbacks and still manage to find deep, abiding happiness.


Gratitude is a byproduct of recognizing the potential of every new moment, of focusing your attention on the positives, not dwelling on the negatives and recognizing that every new moment is a new opportunity to try again.


In the Ted Talk, Want To Be Happy? Be Grateful, David Steindle-Rast provides three simple steps towards achieving a gratitude leaning life. Stop. Look. Go.


By rushing through life we miss the opportunities being presented to us. By not pausing to look around, we take things that so many others could consider a luxury like clean water and electricity at the flick of a switch for granted.


Stop and Look at the abundance that’s around you, then Go. See what each moment is presenting. Either enjoy the moment for what it is or take the moment up on what it’s offering and do something. The best part about taking the time to notice what each moment is offering is, it helps you realize that even if you don’t take full advantage of that moment, another moment is coming up right behind it full of its own opportunities. If the thing being presented in a particular moment is an opportunity to help someone else there’s probably little that will make you happier.


Working from a perspective of gratefulness you’re less likely to be fearful of taking chances, you’re more likely to take the time to really appreciate what the people around you can offer. There are a multitude of benefits to being grateful. Here are a few:


Helps strengthen relationships

When someone says thank you and acknowledges what you’ve done for them, you like them and you will probably want to do more with them. It’s a no brainer. You like the person you are in their eyes and you like them for bringing that person out. Turn that around. If you want to foster strong relationships don’t forget to let the people around you know how grateful you are for their thoughts and contributions.


Improved physical and psychological health

Focusing on positives rather than negatives improves physical and psychological heath. According to Boost Your Health With a Dose of Gratitude from WebMD, Focusing on the positives rather than the negatives helps us better manage stress – which is linked to heart disease and cancer. Plus, people who are grateful are also generally more optimistic, which it turns out is an immune booster.


By focusing on the positives you’re giving less attention and thought to the negatives so gratitude takes precedence over envy, regret and anger. Happiness levels increase and levels of depression decrease.


Better sleep

Holding an attitude of gratitude during they day will continue to stay with you into the night and can actually help you sleep better. In the article How Gratitude Helps You Sleep at Night from Psychology Today they explain:


“When you cultivate gratitude throughout the day, you’re more likely to have positive thoughts as you’re drifting off to sleep. Rather than ruminating over the friend who forgot to call, you’re thinking of the coworker who stayed late to help you. Instead of obsessing over bills, you’re thinking of the new client you just landed. With positive thoughts as a lullaby, you’re more likely to drift off into peaceful slumber.”


Increased feeling of self worth

When you stop comparing yourself to others, feeling envious of their accomplishments, like life’s runner up, and start feeling grateful for what you have accomplished, your self-esteem rises accordingly.  Gratitude is an emotion that builds on itself. The more grateful you are, the more you find to be grateful for. You stop taking opportunities and other people for granted. You appreciate what you have and notice potential when its there in front of you. You feel better about yourself and your situation. Suddenly you realize you’re not grateful because you’re happy. You’re happy because you’re grateful.

Rising Glory

Rising Glory


Fall down

Sometimes you put everything you’ve got into a project or a task or a test or a relationship and you’re successful and all that effort pays off.  Other times you put in equal amounts of effort only to lose out on that job or that relationship or whatever it was you were so intent on acieving. Sometimes it feels like life just isn’t fair and you know what – it’s true.  Life isn’t fair.


Life doesn’t bend its will according to effort or the good intentions of the people living it. Sometimes, a lot of the time there’s someone else more qualified or with better connections or who just happened to be in the right place at the right time to grab away that thing you were trying so hard to get.


You can throw your hands up in the air, say life isn’t fair and walk away or you can realize there’s a competition out there for everything and if we want anything badly enough we’re going to have to throw ourselves into that competition. And sometime’s we’ll win and more often we won’t.


Get up

But that’s okay because if we’re intent on not walking away, every loss brings us closer to another opportunity to try again. To try with new insights, new perspectives, alternatives, variations, renewed determination. Wanting something isn’t enough, working really hard isn’t always enough. Life isn’t fair, but the only way you’re going to find out what you can get out of it is by coming back and trying again.


As Confucius says, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

Anything Is Possible

Anything Is Possible


For many of us the morning starts off with a stop at Starbucks. It’s become so popular we don’t even think twice about the fact that we’ve somehow morphed from a double double society to a tall, no fat, soy one.


As of Today, Howard Schultz former CEO of Starbucks is ranked one of the richest people in the United States, but he certainly didn’t start out rich. On the contrary, he started at the other end of the money spectrum.


An athletic scholarship got Howard into Northern Michigan University where he received a bachelor’s degree in communications. From there he worked as a salesman for Xerox and then general manager of a Swedish drip coffee maker manufacturer.


While working in that job Howard visited a new coffee coffee-bean store in Seattle, called Starbucks and became intrigued. A year later he joined Starbucks as Director of Marketing. It was his idea to switch from selling just regular coffee and tea to espresso beverages. The story however, doesn’t fast forward from there to Howard becoming a billionaire several years later.


The original owners of Starbucks didn’t want to go into the restaurant business. Because Howard saw such potential in his idea he left Starbucks and went to work on securing funds to open up the chain of coffee houses as he imagined they could work. After opening up his own coffee shop he was eventually able to buy the original Starbucks location from the original owners. From there the rest is, as they say, history.


Howard Shultz had an idea about how he could change the coffee chain industry. He was so passionate and sure of his idea he pushed it forward past naysayers and less forward-thinking colleagues.


Howard Schultz believes that by surrounding yourself with people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible. He was right!