Sometimes all we need is a little inspiration and motivation in our lives. Here you will find a collection of motivational and inspirational articles and stories for self empowerment and personal development, courage and creativity, success and inner-strength, hope and encouragment, and advice for finding peace and happiness when dealing with those every day ups-and-downs that life throws our way.
Inspiration From Other People - Is It Worth Listening To A Film Star?
Yesterday, I listened to an interview with Michael York, the film star. I listened half-heartedly at first and then with fascination. By the end of the conversation I had discovered at least one inspiring truth i.e. It is well worth listening to other people without prejudging what they can teach you.
It is amazing how much other humans can teach us. But if we don't believe that they can teach us something, we will not listen to them nor will we read their books or listen to their audios or watch their videos and DVD's. We will miss out on huge amounts of valuable information.
Michael York (D'Artagnan in The Three Musketeers) went to the USA about 30 years ago and has lived there longer than he lived in the UK.
He was not tempted to join other UK actors like Oliver Reed in alcoholic and drug excesses. He could see no sense in not being at his best. Life is too interesting.
He now lives in California with his American wife where it is easy to live a healthy lifestyle. He asks: "Why wait until you get ill and then go to a doctor to clean up the mess? Why not take preventive measures to keep you in optimum shape? We take care of our cars; why not our own bodies?"
He takes herbs and vitamins and a chiropractic treatment once a week. He does not believe in treating the head (or mind) without taking the body into account. He prefers a holistic approach.
He has a thoughtful faith. "I have a faith but not a faith that wears a label. It's an amalgamation of all sorts of influences. I was raised in the Church of England and was brought up with the beauty of the English Bible. It never leaves you but I get resentful at fundamentalist Christianity when it becomes my God and not your God."
Agnosticism is part of his amalgamation of influences: "There's nothing we can be sure of until we pass into the next dimension."
He was very impressed by a comment from his friend Peter Ustinov: "You know, we are united by our doubts and divided by our convictions." York comments: "In the world today, that is so true".
When he was asked "Do you believe in an afterlife?", he gave a fascinating and inspiring reply:
"If you get into the study of health and the body you find out that we are all energetic organisms. The whole world is a compact of different energies. It seems quite plausible that there is a different sort of energy operating after life"
"Do you meditate?" "I have tried to meditate but I am a little impatient I confess. I do listen to classical music, if I can, all day. That is an equivalent of meditating. Somehow those great rhythms do wonderful things to your mind and body."
I learned a lot from Michael York yesterday about health, meditation and life after death but the greatest lesson of all was:
Have enough faith to listen to other people, whoever they are, and to read their books. You might learn something worth learning! You might even be excited and inspired.
You don't have to agree with everything other people say but at least listen to their views and you may well hear something you have never heard before or have never heard expressed so well before.
If you have a stack of books you have not read or a stack of videos you have not watched just start reading and watching. You might be amazed at what you will learn!
Even if you have read the books before or watched the videos before, read and watch them again. It is surprising how much valuable information we forget. We all need reminding and inspiring again and again.
Catherine Elizabeth Ponder once said, “Whenever you have an idea, that is God tapping at the doorway of your mind saying, ‘Let Me in’.” How many of us, when we get an idea to do something - like start a new job or business, write a book, take better care of our customers, or work more effectively with fellow employees - dismiss the idea almost as quickly as it came? How many times do we “slam the door” shut, instead of letting ideas in?
As children in grammar school, we were taught and encouraged to be creative. Strangely enough, as we continued through the educational process (or as I like to say "the domestication" process), creativity became encouraged, yet also discouraged. We were encouraged to "think outside of the box," as long as we remained enclosed in a "larger box." (By the "larger box," I mean the box that tells us not to "rock the boat," "stay in line," "don't question the status quo," etc.)
This "box within a box" style of creativity continues into our working years. Many employers will say that they want their employees to be more creative, when it comes to selling products or services, finding solutions to customer's problems or building better teams, yet many of the ideas that employees offer are shot down, faster than you can blink.
It seems that many of the people who would prefer to do the "real" thinking for us are leery of new ideas. Oftentimes, they state that we should wait for a "better idea," without telling us what that idea may be or from whom it will come. They tell us to "wait and see what happens," then complain that they are still faced with the same problem.
On a more personal note, you may have had an idea of changing jobs, starting a business or accomplishing a goal, only to tell yourself, "That won't work" or "That is too hard to do" or "I'm too (old, young, inexperienced, unintelligent, busy) to do that now."
As Ponder stated, your ideas are God's way of getting your attention. These ideas are, in essence, gifts from God. You would not have been given the idea, if you were also not given the ability, knowledge, and power to make those ideas happen.
Additionally, your ideas are timeless and without form. Living in a time-oriented society, we have a tendency to immediately place our ideas with a timeframe. We try and place the infinite in a finite box. Ideas are infinite. By placing your ideas, immediately, into a timeframe, you lose the essence of the "spirit" of the idea.
That's not to say that you don't explore your idea and develop a plan of action that can include when you would like to see it become an accomplished fact. It means that you don't kill the idea at its birth, by setting up unrealistic timeframes or giving yourself a multitude of excuses as to why your idea can fail.
Ideas breed faster than rabbits. And one idea can give birth to multiple ideas, if you remove the self-imposed timeframes and excuses. Of course, you must be "receptive" to such ideas - for you can't attract anything, until you first open yourself. You can only find that for which you look.
Oftentimes, we take our ideas and "hope" that they will work, as opposed to "knowing" that they will work." There's a big difference, here. If you have taken your idea and thought it through, have allowed other ideas to develop, and then have developed a plan of action, "hoping" that your idea will work zaps the energy out of your idea faster than a bug zapper kills mosquitoes on a hot night in Georgia!
Your ideas are eternal and endless, just like you. They have the Infinite Power behind them to accomplish their task, if you "believe" that they do. Thoughts of negativity, fear, worry, and doubt are like pirates that capture your boat and steal your treasures. You begin to focus on "what if this doesn't work?" or "this isn't happening fast enough -what's wrong?" instead of focusing on the outcome that you desire.
Ideas don't get stale, people do. Here's a challenge: For the next month, listen to your ideas. When you get an idea or are faced with a problem and start thinking about how to solve it …listen.
Welcome all of your ideas - even the ones that you feel are a little bit crazy and weird. In fact, those that are a bit "different" are the ones to which I give attention. Primarily, because I know that the majority of people will dismiss these ideas immediately and not work out a plan to bring them to life. Therefore, others won't be doing what I'm doing and voila …that makes what I'm doing more unique and memorable - which translates into an easier journey to success!
Here's another challenge: Write your ideas down. Put them on paper where you can see them. Take each one and see - without timeframes or excuses - if you can develop a plan of action to follow. Don't be afraid. Step out of the thinking of the masses (those who adhere to the doctrines that they were taught during their domestication).
The truth is - the masses never developed or created anything. Progress happens when individuals take ideas and move on them. Take your ideas and move on them.
A good example is Ron Popeil. Do you know who Ron Popeil is? You may have seen him on television and you may have even bought his products, but you might not know who he is.
Ron Popeil took "crazy ideas" and made millions. Decades ago, he took some plastic and wire and created "The Pocket Fisherman." It was a compact fishing rod that fisherman (or should I say fisher people?) could easily take with them and go fishing. He sold these on what is now commonly referred to as "infomercials." He was the first to not only come up with this weird device, but also the first to create and use infomercials to sell such products. Popeil sold gazillions of these little fishing rods, and now you can see him on television selling a myriad of things, like "Mr. Microphone" and "The Veg-O-Matic" - all products, by the way, that he created from his ideas.
I have met Ron Popeil. He's a great guy and speaks his mind. What is his philosophy? "If you snooze, you loose," says Popeil. "If you have an idea, at least take the chance."
So, turn off your snooze button. Take a chance on your ideas. Welcome these infinite, eternal, and formless "gifts" into your life. Don't be afraid or nervous about the outcome. Just welcome and develop your ideas with care and love. The next time you get an idea, don't slam the door shut. Open the door … and let It in.
What inspires you? An exploration of the effects of inspirational music on our lives. Is it country, bluegrass, folk, gospel, hip hop, rap, Christmas carols, reggae, techno, or all of the above?
Some say that it's the musician and composer who are inspired, others say it's music that inspires. No need to debate. To me, it's like sharing the air we breathe. Isn't that the meaning of the word "in-spire"? The composer/musician inhales the inspiration of whatever muse presents itself. Then exhales the most exquisitely inspirational music, that touches everyone who listens as they in turn are in-spired.
What music is inspirational? We think first of all of what we call "spiritual" music. This can be gospel music, hymns, Christmas carols or other music with religious affiliations. It can be traditional tunes with uplifting lyrics like "Amazing Grace". But truly, isn't music medicinal, each to his own medicine? For some, it's hip hop or rap. For others, it's ethnic music, Irish, Greek, Punjab, or reggae. Still others are most inspired by country, bluegrass, or folk. Maybe its movie or tv soundtracks and themes, or classical, avant garde, or techno.It doesn't matter what kind of music inspires you, it's what it does to you that matters. Music can open your eyes, make you think, make you think more deeply. Music can energize you, fill otherwise empty moments, and keep you company.
Maybe your life has you tied up in knots. Music can help you get through your day, unwind, solve your problems, and just take that load off your mind. It can inspire you to face yet another day...Music can heal. The right music can fill you with awe and wonder, lift you out of your everyday life and send you soaring with the angels. It can give you hope, stimulate your imagination, and help you change your life and then change the world. Music expresses. Music can soothe and heal by expressing commonality, humanity, compassion, and empathy. Music can take you from where you are now and gently (or emphatically!) usher you towards where you wish to be. There is comfort to be found just in knowing that someone else understands where you are and how you feel.
The right music can energize you to move beyond procrastination, denial, or whatever blocks you have.Music holds our memories. Tv commercials show us how this happens. Its easier to remember the jingle than whatever product was being sold; I find that's true of jingles I heard as a child. Because music holds our memories, it has been found to be useful with those afflicted with neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease. A song with words like the familiar children's rhyme "one, two, buckle my shoe" can help them remember simple tasks.
Lastly, the healing power of inspirational music, to me, also comes from it's ability to open our hearts. There are songs and melodies that open our hearts to feelings that we didn't even realize we were closed to! We can listen to something that brings us to tears when we were not feeling sad. This can be through a connection to Universal sadness or to our own personal sorrow.The same is true of joy. A song can make us realize, "that's what I needed!" when we had no idea. We don't realize what we bottle up inside, until it's been set free and we feel the sense of relief, cleansing, and renewal. Music connects us to the ineffable, the sublime, the One that we long to reconnect with. With or without words. So explore your music world. Close your eyes and really listen. And then open yourself up and let the music inspire you.