Tag Archives: Inspiration

Success-Driven Inner Dialogue

mind processes Fact: You are talking to yourself… all the time.
During these silent, internal conversations you tell yourself to do something, ask yourself why you did something, or ask hypothetical questions like: “Did that cheesy commercial have anything to do with insurance?”

Question: Does what you are saying to yourself matter?
According to a section in “The Now Habit at Work” by Neil Fiore, Ph.D. what you say and how you say it matters very much. The book includes an interesting look at inner dialogue and how it can very easily lead to procrastination.
How? – By causing either a “stress” or “depress” response toward the idea of working any given task or project.

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. – William James

Procrastination Begins by ‘Depressing Motivation’

Using “I should to begin a self-statement is an attempt to motivate yourself to do something to make your situation better. Instead, it actually just establishes that your current situation is not OK because you ‘should’ be doing something else. Processing a lack of well-being has a tendency to depress motivation.

Using “should do” infers a lack of self-confidence or a lack of necessity. It can also imply that the statement is optional. (E.G. ‘We should all be nice to other people.’ – And we all know this is completely unrealistic and becomes mute after a bad day in nightmare traffic when that idiot in the stinky car cuts you off!) :)

Statements beginning with “I will…” or “I plan to…” or “I will enjoy the benefits of doing…” support confidence and do not hinder your current state of well-being.

To change habitual, inner dialogue:
Try choosing alternative statements with what comes most naturally and committing to practice as often as you can remember to or write them down.

Procrastination Begins By ‘Activating Stress’ From Self Talk

Using “I have to” as the precursor for a self-statement attempts to motivate with pressure, but really just successfully activates a stress response.

As a human being it is natural for us to want to avoid stress. In this modern society, we have pressure coming at us from all directions. Thus it is an act of self-preservation to use an escape key like procrastination to avoid tasks that have already been associated with stress. Unfortunately, procrastination is no real escape at all is it.

I admit, I start thoughts with this stress activating forerunner all the time…

  • I have to remember to…!
  • I have to figure out a faster way to do this…next time!
  • I have to do better on…!

Dr. Fiore recommends replacing “I have to” with “I choose to”. Saying: “I choose to work on…” does not sound natural to myself, but it may to you. I would transition easily to use “I am going to” or even “I like to”. I would acclimate better saying something like, “I like to be as efficient as possible with my email responses to spent minimal time on non-income producing tasks.”

Like I said before, we have pressure coming at us from all directions and learning how we can learn to treat ourselves regardless of the outside influence is crucial for a balanced life. It is healthy to accept human limits and more fulfilling work with success rather than forever working toward it.

talk to yourself

Drafts, Drafts Everywhere?

And Not a Single Published Post

blogging writingI have 36 draft posts saved in my blog right now. (Plus a handful of local MS Word files with random names like “stuff they put in our food” and “the virtual assistant ‘to do’ list”.) Some drafts contain only a few words while others contain paragraph after paragraph of good information that I have picked up over the past year and yet never got around to editing or just pressing that increasingly elusive “publish” button.

Why would any blogger have so many unpublished posts!? I have a lot of reasons. The first is this: I am not actually a blogger. I am a writer who poses as a blogger. It’s almost been a year since I’ve posted to my blog, but I write everyday. I write for all kinds of reasons: business, a little fiction for fun, and sometimes it’s just non-sense in a journal. No matter what ends up on the page, it’s the act of writing that love.

Bloggers vs. Writers

Bloggers write about their passion, while a writer’s passion is simply to write. One can be a great blogger without being a great writer (and vice versa), but writers can learn a lot from bloggers.

The Writer’s Excuse The Blogger’s M. O.
“I just couldn’t find the time.” “I am not writing a novel here. I do have time to write one solid paragraph to keep my blog ‘content fresh’.”
“I have writer’s block.” Just one paragraph about the relevant stuff I am doing / learning / or hearing from other people. . .
It’s amazing the angles that some bloggers are able to come at a topic while keeping their content relevant!
“I’m too tired.” “Procrastination and the heavy cloud of unfinished business are more exhausting than just doing it.”
“I don’t know if it’s worth it.” “I never waste my subscriber’s time; I make sure it’s worth it.”
“I don’t even know if it would matter if I skipped this time.” “People notice when I skip, in fact they ask me about it. That’s just another reason to keep on!”

Why do I love writing?
As work, life experiences, and other people provide a constant stream of “input”; I feel like if I can just describe them with the right combination of words, then I can understand them better.

It really has been nearly a year now since I have posted on my blog. As I was typing out this “hello again” post, I was fully intent upon being quite critical about my poor blogging performance and apologizing for being gone etc.

While I am sorry about the extended hiatus, I think it’s better if I skip the self-critical part. I work better focusing on encouragement. :)

Why do I choose to pick up blogging again?
As my Facebook statuses and emails to everyone have been getting longer and longer lately. I have no choice but to get back to blogging again. It is a small but important outlet for one of my greatest passions: writing.

~ Till next week.

Susan Who?

Remember Susan Boyle?
I know this is old news, but the message of it is timeless and it felt sort of “right” to post about it this week. :)

Back in 2009 her courage to follow her dream inspired millions.

If you don’t know who Susan Boyle is then take 5 minutes to watch: Susan Boyle – Britain’s Got Talent ’09.

Too many of us would have clammed up under the skepticism and undisguised ridicule she faced from the moment she walked out on that stage up until she started to sing her song “I dreamed a dream”.

Who would have believed that it was even possible that this 47 year old woman from some village somewhere had what it takes to be a star?And yet she did and she took the chance to prove that she could shine as brightly as any of them.

If you don’t agree that she was outstanding during her performance that’s OK. The point of it is that scads of others who watched her were changed a little after watching her – and there precious few who can say that they have been able to give that kind of genuine inspiration during their 15 minutes of fame.

So, what is your gift?

You know what it is. It is probably even definable in a single word like: William Shakespeare: story-telling, Albert Einstein: intelligence, and Martin Luther King Jr: leadership.

However, the gift/word itself had very little significance.

It was the mindfully strategic use of those gifts that actually changed the world.

If it wasn’t too late for Susan Boyle to show off her talent, then it certainly isn’t too late for you either.

“What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” – Robert H. Schuller

Plant Therapy

How much plant life do you keep in your home or office environment?

There was a time that I had resigned myself to accept that I am terrible at taking care of plants and flowers.

I would have sworn that I was simply not able to keep them alive. I’d either forget about them or drown them. Plus, I never really had much of a yard to work with in attempt to have any kind of garden outside my home that’s for sure. The closest I ever came to being successful at growing anything was on Farmville. (Heh, yeah seriously.)

Then one day I was reading an article about herbs and their health improving properties, and I remembered that I had bought a few of those tiny herb kits at the dollar spot in Target.

I really have no idea why I purchased them other than the fact that I liked the adorable tiny pots that they came in. I know, it’s bad to do this. I actually avoid the dollar spot these days because I would always find something that would end up sitting in a box in a closet forgotten but taking up space.

Anyways, back to the point, I decided to dig out the little herb garden starter kits and try to grow them. To my surprise, they actually started growing! (See my photo of them above.)

I found nurturing the tiny little seeds to grow to be quite relaxing and rewarding.

This is an infant liquid medicine dispenser.

I gave them each tiny drops of water to drink every day. – Just enough to get the soil completely wet and I used an infant liquid medicine dispenser. (I know it probably sounds way to over-cautious to those of you with a green thumb, but like I said, I was pretty certain that when I took care of plants before I would either over or under water them.)

Because I enjoyed this little activity so much, I decided to look up the benefits of gardening. Turns out that leisure gardening is actually a newer type of therapy called horticulture therapy. Who knew?

From John Goodman’s Health Policy Blog post about Plant Therapy:

“A number of studies have already indicated that just looking at plants or nature can help alleviate stress, perceptions of pain and improve mood among patients. More recently, studies have gone further to indicate that the act of gardening can also have dramatic and restorative effects on health.”

The Mystery of Motivation

Sometimes, I get lucky and am sent an extremely encouraging message exactly when I need it.

This time, a little bonne bouche came in my junk mail folder (which I hardly ever check by-the-way). The subject of the email was The Mystery of Motivation. (Intriguing right?)

The following is a blog post by a member at SparkPeople, username: SHAPNUP. SparkPeople liked it enough to email it out to all of their e-newsletter subscribers. Note the social media trick here. Did you notice it? It was free content for them, and they encouraged their member by sharing her message.

How does motivation work? What makes us pick up our feet and do what we gotta do? Well, for me, motivation works the same way, backwards and forwards.

It’s like this…


  • I eat one Hershey’s Kiss. I am motivated to eat more. ◄ LOL! Isn’t that sadly true!?
  • My job is mostly sedentary. I am motivated to be less active.
  • My co-workers (mostly healthy weights) like to snack (on unhealthy foods). I am motivated to do the same.
  • I find comfort in certain foods. I am motivated to drug myself with them.
  • None of this takes much effort. I am motivated to do even less.


  • I read a success-story blog on Spark. My endorphins kick in. I am motivated to want success.
  • I skip an unhealthy snack. It isn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I am motivated to do it again.
  • No pasta or pizza till I can’t breathe, and I sleep better. I am motivated to eat more healthfully and lightly.
  • Moving, even a little bit, raises my energy. I am motivated to move more.

What we feed grows.

If we feed the negative in our lives, it gets bigger. It becomes an unending cycle of drudgery and pain. And it continually gets worse. I am an EXPERT at feeding the negative. I think we all know how to do that.

If we feed the positive in our lives, it gets bigger. The cycle is now made up of health, strength, and energy. Feeding the positive, well, that’s a learning experience for me. It takes planning and effort and action. It takes overcoming LAZINESS, which I believe is a huge part of my negative cycle. I’m not so good at feeding the positive.
I’d like to get better at this myself.

This weekend I’ve been feeding both. Talk about confusion. No wonder my mind and body can’t quite get it together.

I’ve fed my negative cycle with poor food choices and poor sleep.

I’ve fed my positive cycle with lots of water and some great physical exertion. It’s a start.

My goal is to replace the negative with positive.
My goal is to replace negative with the positive… Hear hear!

Looks like my work is cut out for me.

How do you feed the positive in your life? What makes you pick up your feet and do what you gotta do?

(I put in a few things in bold, added a few bullet points, and a word or two in red; otherwise every word in black and white was hers.)

My final thoughts:
There is really not much one can add to this except that this motivational message can be applied to any aspect of our lives: business, family, friends, or our own health.

Whatever our goals are, we should surround ourselves with influences that will help us accomplish those goals. If we are always letting something or someone else discourage us, then isn’t failure practically inevitable?

Use Your Life to Serve the World

I’m not Oprah Winfrey’s #1 fan or anything, but I do believe that she is an exceptional woman. I have seen my share of of her shows over the years, but I really don’t watch any talk shows on a regular basis.

There are some people who worship Oprah and then others who believe that she is pure evil who only does anything for self-serving purposes. I think both reactions are silly.

Oprah’s success is due to the fact that she is very human and capable of great things or terrible mistakes.

Whatever your opinion of her, you cannot deny that she has changed more lives and inspired more charity than any other human being alive.

What would it be like to know that about yourself?

Oprah’s Final Words of Her Final Show Transcribed

We all are called. Everybody has a calling, and your real job in life is to figure out what that is and get about the business of doing it.

Every time we’ve seen a person on this stage who is a success in their life they spoke of the joy and of the juice they received from doing what they knew they were meant to be doing.

A calling lights you and lets you know that you are exactly where you are supposed to be and doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing. And that is what I want for all of you. Live from the heart of yourself. Know what sparks the life in you, so you in your own way can illuminate the world.

You will receive in direct proportion to however much you give. You have the power to change somebody’s life. You carry whatever you are supposed to be doing. Carry that forward and don’t waste anymore time.

Start embracing your life that is calling you, and use your life to serve the world.

- Oprah Winfrey during her final episode of the Oprah Show

Transcribed from What Oprah Knows for Sure video.

I am not really a big bible quoting person or anything, but I do always remember one particularly wise passage regarding gifts. In the middle of Luke chapter 12 verse 48 it is stated that

For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required

And isn’t that the truth?

Oprah has given a lot over the years. She has also received a lot in return. I can’t help but wonder what she has actually given up to be Oprah.

What would it be like to never go anywhere without being surrounded by masses of people who either love you or hate you.

What is it like to have millions of people expecting great things from you and millions more just waiting for you to mess up royally so that they can self-righteously judge you for all your shortcomings?