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Inspiration and Motivation for YOU!

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle.

The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

~Albert Einstein

Story – Friendship Quiz

Mike —  August 12, 2012 — Leave a comment

Friendship Quiz
Author Unknown

You don’t actually have to take the quiz. Just read straight through, and you’ll get the point.

Inspiration and Motivation for YOU!

Take this quiz:

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the top five news stories five years ago.
3. Name ten presidents or leaders of the biggest countries in the world.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor or actress.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:

Inspiration and Motivation for YOU!1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel, appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

The people who make a difference in your life are not the most powerful ones, nor have the most money or awards. They are the ones that care.



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Inspiration and Motivation for YOU!

We have a tradition of great stories for the weekend. Well, this next one I stumbled across on the internet. . . and bonus, it comes from a great author with a cool website full of encouragement. So you can be sure I latched onto that! Check out the great story below from Michael D. Hargrove and then swing by his site and look around for a while, you WILL be encouraged!


Don’t Hope, Friend…. Decide!
(As published in the book “A 5th Portion of Chicken Soup for the Soul”)

by Michael D. Hargrove
used with permission from author

While waiting to pick up a friend at the airport in Portland, Oregon, I had one of those life changing experiences that you hear other people talk about. You know, the kind that sneaks up on you unexpectedly? Well, this one occurred a mere two feet away from me!

Straining to locate my friend among the passengers deplaning through the jetway, I noticed a man coming toward me carrying two light bags. He stopped right next to me to greet his family.

First, he motioned to his youngest son (maybe six years old) as he laid down his bags. They gave each other a long, and movingly loving hug. As they separated enough to look in each other’s face, I heard the father say, “It’s so good to see you, son. I missed you so much!” His son smiled somewhat shyly, diverted his eyes, and replied softly, “Me too, Dad!”

Then the man stood up, gazed in the eyes of his oldest son (maybe 9 or 10) and while cupping his son’s face in his hands he said, “You’re already quite the young man. I love you very much Zach!” They too hugged a most loving, tender hug. His son said nothing. No reply was necessary.

While this was happening, a baby girl (perhaps one or one and a half) was squirming excitedly in her mother’s arms, never once taking her little eyes off the wonderful sight of her returning father. The man said, “Hi babygirl!” as he gently took the child from her mother. He quickly kissed her face all over and then held her close to his chest while rocking her from side to side. The little girl instantly relaxed and simply laid her head on his shoulder and remained motionless in total pure contentment.

After several moments, he handed his daughter to his oldest son and declared, “I’ve saved the best for last!” and proceeded to give his wife the Inspiration and Motivation for YOU!longest, most passionate kiss I ever remember seeing. He gazed into her eyes for several seconds and then silently mouthed, “I love you so much!.” They stared into each other’s eyes, beaming big smiles at one another, while holding both hands. For an instant, they reminded me of newlyweds but I knew by the age of their kids that they couldn’t be. I puzzled about it for a moment, then realized how totally engrossed I was in the wonderful display of unconditional love not more than an arm’s length away from me. I suddenly felt uncomfortable, as if I were invading something sacred, but was amazed to hear my own voice nervously ask, “Wow! How long have you two been married?”

“Been together fourteen years total, married twelve of those.” he replied without breaking his gaze from his lovely wife’s face. “Well then, how long have you been away?” I asked. The man finally looked at me, still beaming his joyous smile and told me, “Two whole days!”

Two days?! I was stunned! I was certain by the intensity of the greeting I just witnessed that he’d been gone for at least several weeks, if not months, and I know my expression betrayed me. So I said almost offhandedly, hoping to end my intrusion with some semblance of grace (and to get back to searching for my friend), “I hope my marriage is still that passionate after twelve years!”

The man suddenly stopped smiling. He looked me straight in the eye, and with an intensity that burned right into my soul, he told me something that left me a different person. He told me, “Don’t hope friend…decide.” Then he flashed me his wonderful smile again, shook my hand and said, “God bless!.” With that, he and his family turned and energetically strode away together.

I was still watching that exceptional man and his special family walk just out of sight when my friend came up to me and asked, “What’cha looking at?” Without hesitating, and with a curious sense of certainty, I replied, “My future!”

© Copyright 1997 by Michael D. Hargrove and Bottom Line Underwriters, Inc. All rights reserved.  (used with permission from author)


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What’s Most Important to You?

Most of the time I am very clear about the answer to this question. I particularly like the times in my life that I dare to ask myself again what’s Most Important . . . and re-examine the answers that I get.  Sometimes, for many years they don’t change.  I am most surprised when something does for a season.

Inspiration and Motivation for YOU!What about you? Do you know what’s most important to you? Have you thought about it lately?

Here’s a couple more good questions. . .
Do you give the things that you say are most important to you, the priority in your life they deserve?
Would other people know what’s most important to you by the way you live your life?
Or maybe better, what would other people say is most important to you based on how they observe you living your life?

What’s Most Important to Me?

Today, my answers are very consistent with most of my life. . .

My Faith, My Family, My Friends

Impacting Others, Travel and Health

In the interest of transparency, I can feel that I have lost a bit of balance in these for the moment.  Great notice for me.

What about you?   What is it that is Most Important to YOU?


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Story – Mount Everest

Mike —  June 24, 2012 — Leave a comment

Mount Everest
Brian Cavanaugh

Inspiration and Motivation for YOU!Sir Edmund Hillary was the first man to climb Mount Everest. On May 29, 1953 he scaled the highest mountain then known to man-29,000 feet straight up. He was knighted for his efforts.

He even made American Express card commercials because of it! However, until we read his book, High Adventure, we don’t understand that Hillary had to grow into this success.

You see, in 1952 he attempted to climb Mount Everest, but failed. A few weeks later a group in England asked him to address its members.

Hillary walked onstage to a thunderous applause. The audience was recognizing an attempt at greatness, but Edmund Hillary saw himself as a failure. He moved away from the microphone and walked to the edge of the platform.

He made a fist and pointed at a picture of the mountain. He said in a loud voice, “Mount Everest, you beat me the first time, but I’ll beat you the next time because you’ve grown all you are going to grow…but I’m still growing!”

It’s What’s Inside
Author Unknown

Inspiration and Motivation for YOU!Several years ago, an elderly gentleman tried to make ends meet by selling balloons on a Chicago street corner. His business had its ups and downs.

Whenever business got a little slow, the salesman would release a few of his helium balloons.

First, a pink one, then a blue one and later a red one. Children would notice the colorful array of balloons andbusiness would pick up.

One day, a little boy sat across the street watching the balloon salesman. He was intrigued by the flying balloons. Towards the end of the day, the little boy walked over and tugged on the man’s coat sleeve.

Looking the balloons salesman in the eye, he asked, “Mister, if you let go of the orange balloon, would it go up?”

Touched by the boy’s sincerity, the balloon salesman looked at the little boy and responded with compassion and understanding. “Son, it’s what’s inside that makes these balloons go up.”

How do you define Success? Four ways to get Fired Up!

Have you ever thought about how our definition of success changes over time?

Inspiration and Motivation for YOU!

An example would be the difference between a six year old hoping to ride his bike by himself, a 17 year old passing his finals to graduate high school and a 22 year old landing his first “real” job out of college. The differences are obvious and each of these things hopefully get celebrated.

Later in life these “successes” may get missed, in fact, even ignored. No,no, I’m not talking about milestones like marriage, births, graduations. I’m talking about earning a certain amount of money, hiking a certain trail, running 5 miles, etc.

I find that we easily reset to the next goal, sometimes just before we reach what we are after. I can remember running 5 miles and thinking it wasn’t good enough. Then I wanted to run 7 miles. Just a few weeks before, 5 miles seemed like a gigantic accomplishment

Here are four ways to RADICALLY FIRE UP your life and start creating in life what you really want!  Don’t get me wrong. It is great, even necessary, that we push ourselves to the next big goal to move our life forward. You probably know me well enough to know that’s what I am all about. I’m just asking you not to gloss over your accomplishments – use them.

1. DEFINE SUCCESS FOR YOU TODAY! Allow yourself to journal on what is important to you today! Sit down and start writing, no punctuation, no rules. Just write. See what you come up with.

2. WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS! Don’t skip this step! In fact, over do this step. Studies have shown over and over that people who write down their goals accomplish much more than people who don’t . And make sure you have a time frame for completion too!

  • Bonus tip one: Don’t type them, WRITE them. You will be more connected to them and you might even be surprised what you write. So WRITE them down.
  • Bonus tip two: Want to be in overdrive? Write them down Every Morning and Every Evening! Watch how you become super focused and power through them.
  • Bonus tip three: If it is written down, it’s hard to ignore that you accomplished it.

3. CELEBRATE YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS! Savoring the moment, celebrating the victory and patting yourself on the back are great ways to enjoy the accomplishment of completing a goal. The added benefit is, you can use that celebration to propel you to the next goal that you set

Because you wrote it down first, you didn’t reset the goal and miss the celebration! You made a goal, accomplished the goal, celebrated the accomplishment and now you are onto the next great goal for your life!

4. HERE’S HELP WHEN YOU ARE STRUGGLING! Maybe you set big goals and don’t accomplish them or give up? Is that you? And when you read things about goal setting you always think it works for other people but not you. Well, that simply isn’t the truth.

Here’s a tip that works for me EVERY TIME.
Set smaller goals that will get accomplished easier.
Then use the MOMENTUM of accomplishing the easier tasks to move up steadily to those bigger accomplishment.

Here’s an example.
You want to clean out the garage. You have had the goal for a few weeks and nothing seems to be happening. PERFECT. . . let’s tear this down.

  • Sweep the garage and replace burned out lights.
  • Take on that big shelf in the back of the garage.
  • Clean up the work bench so it is functional again.
  • Up in the rafters now, let’s get rid of three boxes from up there.

Hopefully you get the picture. Maybe you do one of those each weekend, or one a day or all in one day. Whatever works for you, when you start marking off those goals and celebrating them, you will be done before you know it.

What is Success to you today?   (related post on Success!)

What goal will you write down to move you toward that?



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