“Inspiration exists, but it has to…”

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

—Pablo Picasso

Image from worldonafork.com

Image from worldonafork.com

How often do you find yourself or others in your life waiting to be inspired by some outside source? During his 75-year career, Pablo Picasso created 13,500 paintings, 100,000 graphic prints or engravings, 34,000 book illustrations, and 300 sculptures and ceramic pieces. He was also a stage designer, poet, and playwright.

To say he was a man of action is a massive understatement. He was definitely an individual who used his propensity for action and ever-present momentum to continually inspire creative expressions of his genius.

EXERCISE:

How can you find greater inspiration through the various personal or professional work projects underway? What additional work could more fully utilize your gifts, talents, and unique abilities to inspire even more of your own genius?

“Managers light a fire…”

“Managers light a fire under people. Leaders light a fire in people.”

—Kathy Austin, Management Consultant

Photo from freehdw.com

Photo from freehdw.com

Leadership and Management are two of the most highly valued skills necessary to be truly effective in our professional and personal lives.

I feel strongly that these skills, along with masterful communications and effective supportive coaching, are the four legs of the solid foundation of soft skills that support our success.

When asked, most professionals usually view leadership as the more “evolved” and enlightened of the two, in that leadership involves the articulation of an inspired future for an individual or group. Conversely, management—particularly old-school management—is perceived as pushy, aggressive, and often domineering, in order to achieve desired results.

I’d suggest that they can actually work together in an empowered way with inspired leadership as a foundation for effective alignment and a desirable form of self-management. This involves the individual or group sharing a strong commitment with the leaders, willingly promising to give and keep their word to take the actions necessary for eventual success.

EXERCISE:

How can you develop and master inspired leadership and empowering management capacities to move yourself and others forward, professionally and personally?

“By Doing What You Love…”

“By doing what you love you inspire and awaken the hearts of others.”

—Satsuki Shibuya, painter, artist, spiritual teacher

Photo from Flickr by Chattgd

Photo from Flickr by Chattgd

Most coaches I know have their own coaches, supporting them on their professional and personal journeys. They consider striving for their own definition of success and fulfillment of great value and importance.

This behavior is one of the most important characteristics that attract clients to a particular coach. People see that their potential coach walks the talk and has made considerable progress in their own life journey. This makes them credible as a supportive partner in helping clients realize their goals.

EXERCISE:

Who do you know that truly loves what they do, and awakens your heart to pursue your own passions and purposes? How can you do more of what inspires you, to have the same influence on those around you?

Inspiration comes

“Inspiration usually comes during work, not before it.”

—Madeline L’Engle, American 20th Century Author

Photo from Flickr by Hector Alejandro

Photo from Flickr by Hector Alejandro

Consider these three definitions of the word “inspiration”:

  • Divine Intervention
  • An instance of breathing in
  • That which brings about creativity or perseverance

I suggest we blend the three together. My reasons will be more readily apparent through the following example:

Imagine you wake up one morning and you are not particularly inspired to go to your health club and work out. The exercise gods simply haven’t infused you with enough energy to leap out of bed and into your sneakers.

In spite of not “feeling it,” you garner the discipline to just do it, and minutes later you are on a bike, a treadmill, or an elliptical machine. You notice your breath growing faster and more pronounced, which increases your mental and physical state, and gives you the energy and momentum you need to gain all the good that comes from rigorous exercise.

EXERCISE:

How can you simply begin a project, motivated or not, and let the effort and engagement of the first few steps energize you so that you keep it up and finish more inspired than you ever imagined?

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

—Maya Angelou, African-American author, poet, dancer, actress and singer.

Photo from Flickr by Kinl Straf

Photo from Flickr by Kinl Straf

Have you ever visited Niagara Falls on a sunny day? If so, I guarantee you saw a rainbow, due to the combination of sunlight and the mist that rises from the falls and acts as a thousand prisms of light.

Clouds, too, are collections of water vapor that often block the light and cast a shadow on whatever is beneath them.

As we enter the fall and winter months, some people experience a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which diminishes their energy and life satisfaction, due to a lack of sunlight.

EXERCISE:

How can you shine your own internal light through the clouds of those around you, to create more rainbows and greater possibilities – and help yourself and others live a more vibrant, colorful life?

“Quiet People have the Loudest Minds”

“Quiet people have the loudest minds.”

-Stephen Hawking, English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge

Photo from Flickr by NASA HQ Photos

Photo from Flickr by NASA HQ Photos

For any of our readers who, like me, are interested in the study of the universe, black holes, and quantum mechanics, Stephen Hawking is a rock star. He is regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein.

It the early 60s he contracted Motor Neuron Disease and was given only two years to live, which thankfully was proven wrong, given his distinguished career and great contributions to science.

In spite of his almost total paralysis and inability to speak without a speech generating device, Hawking has had one of the loudest minds of our time, and resoundingly gets his message across, making a considerable dent in our understanding of the universe.

EXERCISE:

If you are a quiet individual, or if you have quiet people in your professional or personal life, how can you more fully capture and appreciate the volume and value of this quiet inner world?

“Those who are touched by an inspirational idea and allow it to take charge and dominate their thoughts find new vistas open to them.”

“Those who are touched by an inspirational idea and allow it to take charge and dominate their thoughts find new vistas open to them.”
-Author Unknown

TQC-cover-welcome

I had an inspirational thought almost three years ago. The idea was to combine my love of coaching and making a difference in people’s lives with my love of provocative and engaging quotes that provide wisdom in small and easy to digest nuggets.

As I write this post, that idea has generated over 600 Quotable Coach posts (this is #632), gained a worldwide readership of over 1,200 daily subscribers, and a new book launched in the summer of 2014.

EXERCISE

What inspirational ideas can you pursue today to mobilize your efforts and have new vistas open up for you?

Consider joining me in paying forward the nuggets of wisdom you find most helpful in any of the following ways:

  1. Share the free Quotable Coach blog with those you care about in your professional or personal life. Make sure to review the category list for those you find have the greatest impact.
  2. Consider printing out and occasionally displaying highly relevant quotes, reflections, and exercises for others within your personal or professional communities to ponder.
  3. Consider purchasing a paperback copy of The Quotable Coach for yourself, or perhaps as a gift to others for the coming holiday season. Some readers use it as a coffee table or dinner table conversation starter.

Choice Not Chance

“It’s choice – not chance – that determines your destiny.”

– Jean Nidetch, co-founder of Weight Watchers

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A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to see Lisa Nichols speak at a coaching conference. Lisa first came to the attention of the personal development world when she was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, due to her involvement in the movie “The Secret” that focused on the Law of Attraction.

Her inspirational journey from poverty to running her own public company was a result of her many courageous choices along the way.

Please check out Lisa at her website www.motivatingthemasses.com. You can see her appearance on Oprah here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zuW_tEbz1Y

Exercise:

Where can you use your own power of choice, not chance, to help determine your professional and personal destiny?

“Your greatness is measured by your horizons.”

“Your greatness is measured by your horizons.”

– Michelangelo, Renaissance sculptor and painter

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Image from Flickr by The Nick Page.

When was the last time you watched the weather report on the evening news? In addition to temperature, humidity, and chance of precipitation, they sometimes include “visibility,” which is the distance one can see clearly toward the horizon.

Consider not only how far you can see into the distance but also what you can see. The inspirational and vivid goals within your horizons, as Michelangelo suggests, can be the fuel of greatness.

Exercise:

Imagine you have the capacity to expand your vision’s clarity and distance, viewing your personal horizons through a telescope or binoculars.

What horizons do you see that will be the measure of your greatness in the days and weeks ahead?

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.”

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.”

– Plutarch, Greek historian, biographer and essayist

In his book Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell shares his unique perspective and findings in the areas of what makes people successful. Surprisingly, there appears to be no significant correlation between high intelligence (even genius) and long term success. Once someone reaches an IQ of around 120, having additional IQ points doesn’t seem to translate into a measurable real-world advantage.

I’d like to suggest that once the mind is filled sufficiently, it triggers some reaction to mobilize one’s heart and spirit to pursue a passionate quest for one’s path through life.

Exercise:

Explore your daily activities to see what experiences, people, and yes, knowledge and wisdom, light your fires of life.

Consider making more time for these by stopping what you can in order to make room for them.