I believe my purpose in life, or at least part of it, is to inspire others to live a more positive rewarding life. In this field I don’t think there is a lot of competition. That may sound strange as motivational speakers and life coaches seem to be every where you turn. I honestly do not view them as my competition. Each one of us shares similar messages, but we do so in our own unique way. We all come from different backgrounds and have had different life experiences. You may hear the exact same message from me, Tony Robbins, Les Brown or any other person involved in the field of self-improvement. Depending on the day or how we word it that message may resonate with you or it may not. Personally, I listen to many different people with what may seem like many different messages. Some days it is TD Jakes, some days it is Greg Plitt or the two mentioned above.
That is why in 2019 I want to encourage you to take my job. No, I am not going anywhere, but I want you to join me. You do not have to write a book, start a blog, Facebook page and YouTube channel or give live seminars. What I would like everyone to consider is what gifts do you have that can inspire and motivate others? Maybe you are thinking “I am just a server.” Or “I am not very positive myself, how could I inspire others?” My answer to all of these statements is this – It is what makes you you that makes you special. Maybe that career you think is not so special provides that exact story someone needs to relate to? The fact that you may struggle with positivity can provide you the patience, understanding and compassion to relate to others who feel the same.
Each one of us has something to offer that the world needs, even if we are unable to see it. So join me today. Whether it is becoming an encouraging voice at your place of employment or just being friendlier to those in the service industry that you encounter, let us all become sources for good. I am going to let you in on a little secret I have learned in my 20 plus years in the self-improvement field. The more you help others, the better you feel. It may be difficult in the beginning, trying to be a positive influence. Oddly, one of the things you may experience initially is doubt, skepticism, and sarcasm. People are so used to being surrounded by negativity that they often resist a positive influence. Remember this when your first few attempts may be met with phrases like, “You’re being so nice. What do you want?” or “Just leave me alone.” You would think people would welcome more positivity in their lives, but remember we are changing something that has been what they have been used to up to this point. That is why more agents of positive change like you are needed.
As you go through your journey, refer back to this website to find more tips you can share with others. If you ever have questions or comments feel free to post them here and we can all work together to solve them. All of us can make the world a better place in 2019.
I work a lot to help bring joy and happiness to others and to the world at large. It can sometimes be a rather large task. One of the things that really keeps me going is the love and support of the beautiful woman in the pictures above. That is the love of my life, Margie. Today is her birthday. I celebrate this day with a great deal of joy because if it were not for this wonderful woman, I would face a far greater challenge doing what it is I do.
Whether it is reassuring me when some negative soul reports my writing as offensive, when not as many people show up to a seminar as I had hoped or when books sales or views on my website are not going as I hoped, she is always there to remind me of the good I do and how many lives I touch. This has been the greatest gift she can give me is to love me in an encouraging and supportive way.
It is her birthday, but I am the one who is celebrating. Her being born means that I am the one who received the most amazing gift. This beautiful, wonderful and loving woman I am blessed to call my own.
I love you baby and I am going to celebrate your birthday right along side you because I know the miracle it brought me, you, my little miracle.
Today’s post is going to look at one of the more hotly debated places to make friends. In fact, this is not actually a geographical location at all. The place we are talking about is online. I have heard people say that online friends are not real friends. Perhaps this stems from the fact that people can be less than truthful about who they are. Profile pictures can photo shopped, facts can be embellished, even names can be changed. I can understand all of these concerns. Even in the ‘real world’ people can be dishonest and deceiving.
With over 7 billion people on the planet I feel it would be doing ourselves a great disservice to only count those among our physical location as friends. There are people who live halfway across the world that might hold the information we need. The person that could relate to your situation the best and offer you some insight and encouragement may not only be outside your city, but might be outside your country. Personally, I work with an amazing publisher in Los Angeles, Aura, who has helped my writing to grow. I speak with an author in Romania, Andrada, who is going to interview me in the future and who understands the struggles of being a hard-working author.
This website you are now reading has allowed me to interact with people on 6 different continents and over 100 different countries. By remaining open to learning and becoming friends with these wonderful souls my life has improved by leaps and bounds! I look forward to traveling to Fiji in the near future and have already made some connections there through my writing. I have learned about different cultures, food, music and holidays. Being a self-improvement author and speaker, I have also seen how much we all have in common. Everyone has the desire to feel important. Whether you are a farmer in Greenland or a prince in the UAE, we all wish to be loved.
Today, the love of my life reminded me of something even better than all you can receive by being friends with those halfway around the world. That is being able to give. While having dinner with Margie and my mother, my love stated that I have no idea how many lives I have touched without even knowing it. My mother brought up the ripple effect. How every life we touch can end up touching another. Through this giving we can improve the lives of an entire community clear across the world. Seldom does it matter where an inspiring word comes from if sent with love and good intentions.
Are online friends real friends? I say absolutely. Some of my greatest advice and most wonderful inspiration has come from afar. We must remember to maintain a sense of balance with friends online and friends in the physical world. I encourage you to reach out to people in different countries and cultures. Join online communities dedicated to your interests.
In my upcoming book Living the Dream there is a special section I have included towards the back of the book. This section is called ‘In the company of angels’ and for good reason. It includes stories of people that I know who have faced life challenges that would make most of us bitter at best, or throw in the towel and quit on life at worse. These wonderful people have not only avoided both, but have went on to be positive forces in their own right.
The stories range from having one of their parents killed in a mining accident and having to move clear across the country to being abused on several levels as both children and adults. Writing these stories was a bit of a struggle for me as I am used to writing material that uplifts and inspires. As I wrote and recalled all the situations my friends had relayed to me I felt their pain. I cannot imagine facing what some of them have.
Writing my way through them brought several positive things to me, however. First, I was grateful for all of the struggles that I didn’t have to face growing up. We were not rich and I came from a single-parent home, but we always had trips to the library, played games with other children in the neighborhood and always had enough to eat. After reading the stories I share in my book, growing up without a lot of money and only one parent seemed like paradise. I guess you could say it not only supplied me with a great deal of gratitude, but a new perspective as well.
Another thing it did for me was only serve to increase my respect for those brave individuals that shared their stories. The idea for including them in my book was to show real life examples of how people could face the worst situation and still manage to maintain a positive disposition. This was the reason I approached the people I did. What I didn’t expect was the details and amount of struggle they had went through. Learning how someone could overcome everything they did was worth its weight in gold. I am pretty sure most of us would not escape with such a healthy outlook as they had.
Knowing these people personally I can tell you that they genuine love life. That is not to say they do not have a bad day as we all do, but as a general rule they seem to appreciate the beauty of what surrounds them on a daily basis. The bravery they showed in coming forth and sharing their stories so that others may benefit from them was also not lost on me. They did so with no promise of any future reward other than the knowledge in their heart that their stories have helped others who are also struggling.
My suggestion to you is to learn the stories of your friends. Ask about their struggles. If you are blessed enough like I am to have brave friends who do not mind sharing what they have been through, do yourself a favor and listen. Understand how much courage it takes to be able to recall the pain of the past again. Admire their ability to stand strong in the face of a past that may haunt them or weigh them down. Appreciate their ability to shine even after all the storms they have been through. These to me are the true warriors.
Don’t forget to look for the book Living the Dream coming to bookstores next February.
I love this picture. Two innocent children sharing an umbrella in a storm. As an adult we have an opportunity to share an umbrella every day. To take that thought further, we have a chance to be an umbrella. At this point you may be wondering if I know exactly what an umbrella is for or if I even know what an umbrella is. Why would anyone share an umbrella if it wasn’t raining? Even more absurd, how can a human being turn into an umbrella? Fair questions if I were the one reading this post and not the one writing it.
In its simplest terms an umbrella is an instrument for protecting us in a storm. It is the definition not of umbrella that should concern us here, but that of storm. In life there are many storms. Yes, there are thunderstorms when the winds are blowing fierce and the rain can seem unrelenting. It can be scary to be out in it. We may not want to risk driving if we don’t have to. We may want to stay inside our homes where we are safe.
What we may forget is there are many storms we face every day. There are health storms where the thunder of pain is louder than anyone can imagine. There are financial storms where the debt continues to rain down on us no matter how hard we work. There are the painful emotional storms when the winds of struggle and strife blow us off our path. There are many storms my friends. Storms of addiction, storms of loneliness, storms of depression. They say in life you are either on your way into a storm, in the middle of a storm, or coming out of a storm. As Eric Thomas said, “Storms are a part of life, but storms are not life.” All of us face storms each and every day.
As you can imagine, the umbrella for all of these storms can be a little different. It can be an umbrella of compassion for someone who has just been hurt or defeated. It can be the umbrella of encouragement for someone who has lost their way. It can be the umbrella of motivation and inspiration for those lost in a storm of negativity and pessimism. There are some umbrellas like love, friendship and listening that seem to work in every storm.
Just like you can walk with a smile on your face through the most intense storm, so can others. Daily, there are those of us who wake up and put a smile on our faces even when we are in the middle of a storm. Just because someone is smiling does not mean the rain is still not falling. Offer everyone you know an umbrella. When given the chance, be the umbrella they do not have. We are all going through storms and we can all use an umbrella.
Last post we talked about encouraging others. We hopefully came to an understanding of how important that is. I think by doing so others are also more inclined to do the same for us. Still it is very important to make the conscious effort to include encouraging people in our inner circle. Sometimes the critics will often get the best of us. It could be a demanding boss with unreal expectations. It could be a condescending parent or spouse. It could be a jealous coworker. It could even be the worst critic we all have – the inner critic -. Let me give you two examples of how important having someone who believes in you can be.
First, I want to talk about Les Brown. For those of you who do not know Les Brown he is one of my favorite motivational speakers. He has spoke to over 100,000 people in Atlanta. He has spoke to several corporations and celebrities. What does any of this have to do with us and having people believe in us? A lot. Les Brown said the hardest thing he has had to do in his life is believe he could do what he is now doing. He was born in a poor part of Miami on a floor and given up for adoption at 6 weeks old. He was adopted by a single mother who could barely support herself much less her children. In school he was labeled mentally challenged and failed 2 grades. So how did he succeed? Two very important people came into his life. A high school teacher who told him something I love – “Never let someone’s opinion of you become your reality” – think about that for a moment. Also he had a friend named Mike Williams who kept encouraging him to become a speaker. Les kept arguing the reasons he could not. He had no college education. He had never worked for a major corporation, and so on. One day Mr. Williams hung up on his friend Les. When Les called him back to inquire if they had accidentally become disconnected, Mike Williams told him indeed he had hung up on him and explained as long as he argued for his limitations he might as well keep them. After that Les thought about it and tried his hand at speaking. Today he gets paid more for one speech than most of us get paid in a year thanks to a principle he describes this way, “Sometimes you have to believe in someone’s belief in you until you can believe in yourself”.
The second example is a little closer to home. I knew a man who worked 2 jobs both in the retail and bar business. He had a genuine desire to make people happy and did just that with the jobs he had. It was then suggested to this young man that if he could perhaps write down and share his ideas on either say a blog site or in a book he could touch a lot more lives. Although the idea of helping people beyond the scope of his immediate influence really appealed to him he told himself that a simple postal worker and bartender could never write a book that would influence people in a positive fashion or that any of the online content he could come up with would interest anyone around the corner much less around the globe. Still with the belief and pushing from a few close friends that man has a book published and available on amazon called A Happy Life for Busy People and his blog is followed in over 60 countries at last count. In addition that young man met a supportive and encouraging young lady who was creative in her own right and recognized this man’s talent and continued to push and encourage him to start his own YouTube Channel and begin teaching seminars and public speaking? What happened to those two? As you read this I am attending the best of Milwaukee awards to hopefully collect the award for best Milwaukee Author for which I am nominated. I am doing so with my lovely lady who next year will assuredly take home the award for best wedding cake designer.
There is no doubt in my mind neither Les Brown or myself would not have shared any of what we had inside of us if it were not for the wonderful souls who pushed and encouraged us along the way. So make sure you include several folks who believe in the best in you and will push and encourage you to bring it out.
This picture pretty much sums up what this post is about, but I am including a challenge for all of us. Don’t worry, it is a fun challenge. We closed last week with a post on including things that can make us happy. This challenge will add something that will do that automatically – find as many people as you can to genuinely encourage – . Please note I said genuinely. Sometimes even the greatest of us need encouragement. Thomas Edison was failed out of school, fired from every job he had before trying his hand at inventing things. Can you imagine how many critics he had? How many people told him he was ‘stupid’ or to give up? How important do you think those people who did believe in him were?
How do you find people to encourage? They are everywhere! It doesn’t have to be someone chasing a dream, it can be someone who is doing a really good job. Perhaps you know someone who is a really caring and special friend. Letting them know this would be encouraging. Maybe you even see a talent in people that they don’t see in themselves? There are quite a few people I know who have amazing stories inside them I encourage them to share. My girlfriend brings so much joy to people with her creative creations that I always encourage her to do more. Speaking of her, She also does an amazing job keeping up our house. I can’t count the homemakers who would love to hear an encouraging thank you for all of their hard work.
So this week be on the look out for someone you can encourage. Is it someone who is struggling and needs someone to believe in them? Maybe it is someone who consistently does a great job and would love to be recognized for their efforts? Either way the chance to balance out the critics and do something truly amazing for someone lies around each and every corner.
Here is a parting thought. You never know what the world might lose if certain people do not pursue their dreams. You could be the one to give them the faith and hope to do so. The power to change the world for someone lies in the hands of all of us.