”Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can’t strike them all by ourselves.”

”Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can’t strike them all by ourselves.”

—Laura Esquivel, Mexican novelist, screenwriter and politician

Image from Unsplash by Georg Eiermann

Just like a single hand is unable to clap without another, we all need assistance from time to time to have our inner spark ignite and keep burning.

Consider your relationships with close friends, parents, teachers, mentors, coaches, and other individuals. How have they sparked ideas and helped you stay motivated and in action to see things through?

Most images of match boxes show only a limited number of matches inside, with somewhere between 20 and 32 matches. I did, however, find a jumbo box with a count of 300 and numerous multi box options!

EXERCISE:

How many matches have you used so far? How many are left? Who are the current individuals who partner with you so that you can burn brightly and perhaps shed light on others? Where and with whom are you the flint to help others spark their unique gifts and talent?

“Measure wealth not by the thing you have, but by the things you have for which you would not take money.”

“Measure wealth not by the thing you have, but by the things you have for which you would not take money.”

—Author Unknown

Image from abcnews.go.com

It was the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games that inspired me to become a coach. Here were some of the best athletes in the world, and they all worked with a coach to pursue and achieve excellence in their chosen sport.

Where are you currently pursuing personal or professional excellence?

Did you know that based on current market prices, a 2016 Gold Medal is worth about $587, given that it is composed of 494 grams of silver and 6 grams of gold?

What do you think these symbols of extraordinary effort and achievement are worth to these remarkable athletes? What would you imagine is the intrinsic value of the Olympic experience?

EXERCISE:

In what ways do you live a gold medal life?

What in your life do you consider priceless?

Take some time today to be more fully grateful for all the blessings and riches we sometimes forget.

“Don’t wait for inspiration.”

“Don’t wait for inspiration.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Alex Sheldon

Waking up this morning, I was not particularly inspired to leap out of my warm, cozy bed to meditate, take my daily walk, or for that matter, begin writing today’s Quotable Coach post.

I did all those things anyway.

Consider counting the times in the past week that you felt the urge to take on a particular task or activity.

Take this little test: On a one-to-ten scale, rate each of the activities on this list as “inspirational”:

  • Making your bed
  • Daily hygiene efforts
  • Preparing (hopefully healthy) meals
  • Household chores such as laundry
  • Mowing the lawn & other yard work
  • Paying bills
  • Daily exercise
  • Going to work

Given your responses, is it a wonder we ever get out of bed at all?

If you have children and ask them to help with some of those activities – or simply to do their homework and clean their rooms – what responses do you get? What seems to mobilize us to action is our commitments and not our comfort.

EXERCISE:

How might a shift from “I have to” to an “I get to” perspective help you achieve a more inspired life?

“I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.”

“I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.”

—Emma Goldman, 20th Century Russian-American political activist

Image from Unsplash by César Abner Martínez Aguilar

Did you know that there are planets in our universe that are made of diamond?

These rocky worlds are composed primarily of carbon and the atmospheric pressure is so great, diamonds result.

Although fascinating – and one might consider a future occupation as a space miner – the more prominent focus of planetary scientists and astronomers is the search for life.

For this group, the inspirational possibility and beauty of life takes on far greater importance than any inanimate object, no matter how much it may sparkle.

EXERCISE:

What are the roses in your world? How can and will you more fully appreciate their value and beauty, to live an even more richly rewarding life?

“People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals…”

“People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals. That is, goals that do not inspire them.”

—Tony Robbins, American self-help Author and speaker

Image of a white coffee cup inscribed "begin"

Image from Unsplash by Danielle MacInnes

Who are the lazy people you know personally or professionally? Where and on what occasions do you, too, have a lazy streak in which you prefer to disengage?

To what degree do you, and they, perk up and find energy to become fully engaged by other interests and abilities?

What are your most exciting and inspiring vocational and avocational interests—the ones where you find yourself “all in” and where time flies?

EXERCISE:

What changes can and will you make to super-charge the potency of goals for yourself and others?

Feel free to reply to this post with the inspired actions you take and the results that occur.

The thought is father to the deed

“The thought is father to the deed.”

—Sigmund Freud, 20th Century Austrian founder of psychoanalysis

Image of Sigmund Freud

Image from wisdomtoinspire.com

Sigmund Freud, who lived between 1856 and 1939, was the founder of psychoanalysis, a method used for treating mental illness, and a theory which explains human behavior.

Among his various contributions, he developed a topographical model of the mind. He proposed that the mind was analogous to an iceberg, with the conscious, subconscious, and unconscious minds representing different levels of awareness.

I suggest a bit of editing in today’s quote. Consider replacing the word “father” with “mother,” or at least adding it, given what is required for the conception and eventual birth of an idea, a person, and of course, their deeds.

EXERCISE:

How can you examine and explore your thinking on all levels to more fully conceive and give birth to your most meaningful and inspired actions, to better your world?

Always Keep Your Eyes Open

“Always keep your eyes open. Keep watching because whatever you see can inspire you.”

—Grace Coddington, Vogue Magazine Creative Director

Image of two eyes next to each other

Image from Unsplash by Soroush Karimi

Over a three day holiday, I binged-watched a Netflix series titled “Natural Curiosities,” with one of my favorite narrators, David Attenborough. I love his accent, his passion for nature, and of course, his enthusiastic curiosity for the vast diversity and miraculous aspects of the animal world.

This series took a far deeper look into many creatures I thought I knew reasonably well, given the science-buff status I’ve given myself over the years.

Looking at many creatures with new eyes and Attenborough’s expanded view and insight inspired, entertained, and educated me for hours.

EXERCISE:

Where can you discover far greater inspiration in your life by widening your perspective, and looking more deeply and carefully at the world around you?

What would have drawn a wow 15 years ago

“What would have drawn a ‘WOW’ fifteen years ago won’t draw a yawn today.”

-Steve Wynn, CEO of Wynn Resorts

Image of an old calculator

Image from ebay

My first “WOW!” experience with technology occurred about 50 years ago in a department store in the Philadelphia area. I came upon a 10’ x 8” LED calculator that added, subtracted, multiplied, and divided—that’s it!

I was completely mesmerized for almost an hour by this magic box that seemed to complete an infinite number of calculations at the speed of light.

This experience seems downright primitive compared to the technological advancements since then. Just look at the children around you, playing with phones, tablets, gaming stations, and many other magical devices.

EXERCISE:

Where and in what ways can you maintain or even expand that “WOW!“ factor in your personal and professional worlds, to experience greater success and youthful exuberance?