Finding Inspiration

zlHiVHW9Bw0LJX9“You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.” – Jack London

Don’t sit and wait for inspiration to come to you. It would be like wanting something exciting to happen but you just sit at home watching TV. It is like discovering a beautiful landscape or stunning scenery, you can only find it by going out into the world and going places you’ve never been.

Inspiration doesn’t come to you, you have to pursue it. You have to chase after it because it’s only going to be found by someone who wants to find it.

Photo Credit: Tio76 from reddit

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Never Tell Me the Odds

lEICESTER cITYLeicester City of the English soccer Premier League clinched the Championship this week after having 5000-1 odds of winning at the beginning of the season. In the Premier League’s 24 year history since they reorganized, 4 teams have won 21 of the 24 titles. In general, the top of the League is so powerful compared to the rest of the League, the top 4-5 teams are the only teams that have a real chance to win the League. But against all odds Leicester City, a team that is only in it’s second year in Premier League and were at risk of being relegated last year, fought all year long to become the first non top tier club to win the league since Blackburn Rovers in 1995.

5000-1 odds seem insurmountable. In sports terms, that is the oddsmakers basically saying there is no chance this is going to happen. To put in perspective these odds, the odds of the 1980 US miracle on ice against Russia was only 1000-1! And who can blame them giving these odds? With several teams in the league that have way more money, world-class talent, and deeper youth academies, history showed it was a long shot that Leicester should even be able to compete against those other teams, much less win. But they believed in themselves, played hard every day, committed to constantly improve and ended up defying the odds to go on and win the Premier League!

afc3eed9f20dd5acd8c7b250e8dc904fIf there something you should take away from this, I think it is what Han Solo replied to C3PO when he was told the odds of successfully navigating that asteroid field. “NEVER TELL ME THE ODDS”

The odds don’t matter. The odds of so many great things in our lives happening are always going to be high. But that doesn’t mean they are unattainable and even if we can’t achieve them doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. The only way you can find out what we are capable of is if we go after our dreams and try to defy the odds, no matter how big they may seem.

To-Don’t List

A lot of people keep to-do lists. Mostly to keep on track and make sure they get done what needs to get done, but what about things you need to make sure you don’t do. I think these types of things are just as important as things we need to-do. For example:

Don’t lie.
Don’t cheat.
Don’t belittle.
Don’t imitate.
Don’t pretend.
Don’t procrastinate.
Don’t make excuses.
Don’t blame others
Don’t interrupt people.
Don’t be wasteful (with your time or money)
Don’t settle for mediocracy
Don’t let your emotions rule you

Just a short list of things off the top of my head. By no means is this comprehensive or for everyone. Just a starting point for me. These might not be easy, but important for sure.

What would you add to this list? What would be on your to-don’t list?

Which way do you want to go?

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t care much care where-” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Too often this is the mentality we hold. Not necessarily on purpose, but we will aimlessly go through life wondering where to go next, despite not having any goals we expect to end up where we want. But how can you finish a race without a finish line?

If that is the case, stop for a few moments and write down some goals… or even just one. Something that you can work towards so that you don’t just go through the motions. Do it so that you can better yourself and your life. Do it so that you have a direction to go and purpose in your steps. Do it so you can actually live your life, and not just exist.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.” Don’t be one of those people. You are capable of so much more. So which way do you want to go?

Answering No for Someone Else

nope_525The fear of rejection is real. I understand this all too well. As I’m sure many of you can relate, I have lived too much of my life fearing rejection. Fear that the girl you like will say no. Fear the job you want to get will hire someone else. Fear the part you auditioned for will be given to someone else.

So what will we be prone to do? Answer no for them. “Why should I ask for that raise? They won’t give it to me.” Or “Why should I even try out for that team? They will just pick someone else.”

We’ll get to the point where instead of asking for that thing we want, we’ll just answer no for them. Then sit on our butts daydreaming of what might of been and maybe even resenting them for the no we answered for them.

This might be one of the biggest things that steals life from us! Stop it! Whether we fear it or not, life will be boring and uneventful if we don’t take any chances. If we don’t stop thinking negative and wonder for just a moment, What if they say yes? What if they give it to me? What if I get it?

Sometimes, to live a life that we want to live, we need to get off our butts, give fear the middle finger, and just go for it! Sure you might get rejected, but it’s not the end of the world (even though the fear tries to tell you that).

It may be cliche, but it’s a good mantra to live by – Live a life full of “oh well’s” instead of “what if’s”

Life List

This is not a bucket list… I have one of those. This is a Life List. What is a life list then, you may ask?

Things we should do more than once. You don’t do these things then cross them out like a checklist. Things that will exponentially increase our joy and satisfaction in life. And the more we do them, the more and more they will add to our lives. Seriously, start doing some of these things, and see how much of a difference they make to your life.

1.) Laugh more. You can always laugh more!
2.) Preemptively say “I’m sorry.”
3.) Volunteer. give your time to something bigger than yourself. Help out a cause that you believe in.
4.) Put your phone down. Just put it down. Do you realize how much of life you are missing out on?
5.) Love unconditionally. You can start with a dog or a cat. But work your way to loving someone
6.) Watch less TV. Nothing is wrong with TV. But there is something wrong with parking yourself in front of one for hours on end.
7.) Play, like you did when you were a kid. Maybe play with a kid, your own, maybe with nieces or nephews, maybe with a friend’s kid.
8.) Extend grace to others. We all need a little grace at some point.
9.) Compliment someone else. You can make someone’s day
10.) Try something new
11.) Take photos. Don’t endless take selfies. Don’t let your camera be your only window to the world. But if you see something beautiful or amazing, soak it in then take a pic. Capture those moments so you don’t forget
12.) Tell someone “Thank you.” You didn’t get to this point on your own. Someone helped you, lead you, invested in you, thank them
13.) Find pleasure in the simple things. Not everything in life is big
14.) Give. And be generous about it.
15.) Get rid of stuff you don’t need. Because that is all it is stuff. You don’t need it as badly as you think, and more than likely most of it is something that doesn’t add anything valuable to your life
16.) Pursue your goals.
17.) Stop being so busy. That absolutely doesn’t mean don’t work hard and stop being productive. What that does mean is is you don’t always have to be doing something.
18.) Travel. You don’t have to travel the world or take several days off to reap these benefits. For most people there are so many amazing thing only hours from where they live, take a day trip somewhere you haven’t been.
19.) Be kind. There are no small acts of kindness. Every compassionate act enlarges the world.