Tag Archives: Motivation

3 Tips to Stay Fired Up Instead of Fizzling Out

fired upLife comes at us fast. We choose whether it fires us up or fizzles us out. Here are two stories to make the point and then to share some comments in how to stay fired up – passionate – energized in life.

Story one. Fizzled out.

A friend of mine tries to do it all. Someplace in her thinking she feels she is supposed to be supermom, super-employee, super-friend, super-problemsolver, super-cook and super-spouse. She has a personal requirement to be all these – her choice. She comes from a family of high performers where they constantly assess and judge each other based on the things they do. Huge pressure. Lately I have seen the normally fire-filled eyes with gray shadows – she is fizzling out – losing her inner passion, fire and energy. Instead of showing up big to any of these roles, she is now just barely keeping up, disappointed with herself, with others and with the world. Fizzled out.

Story two. Fired Up.

Another friend of mine is a talented speaker who has a high-activity life. It is not unusual for him to be in two or three cities in a week. Between his writing and speaking, he is on the go all the time. He is fired up, passionate, excited and energized by what he does for work. But to keep this pace and to keep the internal fire burning, he has built some effective and practical “stay fired up” habits.

  1. Gratitude. Always start each day or event with a thought of gratitude. Each moment of each day has blessings in them if we choose to see them. By taking the time to appreciate the greatness and “amazingness” of each moment, we fuel our internal fire. Gratitude is a fire builder.
  2. Breathe. Take a breath anytime we feel too busy, confusing or chaotic. In this moment, we improve our clarity about our situation. This creates the ability for our next moment to be wiser, saner and more effective. Stop things even for a fraction of a second to see more clearly. This can help us pace ourselves to feel more in control, less defeated and therefore more fired up.
  3. Self-talk. Have positive self-talk. Most of the chatter in our minds is critical, non-supportive and judgmental. Noticing that chatter and realigning it to be kind, gentle and supportive is the way to rekindle our passion for what we are doing. That critical “committee” in our head is a fizzle maker. Tell the noisy voices in your head to sit down and shut up (I know that sound severe but sometimes our committees only respond. Then, without the noise, you can take a breath, be grateful and reconnect to your inner fire.

A single dad friend of mine used to say to his kids as he got them into bed (and help them to stay there instead of wanting this and that and making the bedtime process take hours), “When you stay in bed it gives me time to be ready to be a great dad to you tomorrow.” We all need to develop our personal habits to allow the time to plug back into our power source – to have greatness habits that fire up the passion for life, the passion for people and the passion for our work.

Our world can wear us out. Actually, we allow our world to wear us out. Since we choose how we respond to the things that life sends us, we could also choose to stay fired up. We could choose to feed our internal fire by connecting to our passions, being more present in what we choose to do and to appreciate what is instead of noticing what is missing. It takes awareness. It takes practice. It requires building some fired up habits.

What feeds your soul and energizes you to love life and feel connected to it? What can you do each day to do more of this? What makes you feel empty, tired and disconnected? What can you change to do less of this? Fired up or fizzled out. It’s always a choice – our choice.

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If you like Jay’s post check out these similar intents on Intent.com

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photo by: matthewvenn

Overcome Your Procrastination with 7 Go-Getter Quotes

It’s been said that procrastination is the assassinator of opportunity – and that’s probably true. Yet, we’re all guilty of putting things off at least every now and then. There’s always time to do the laundry later or pressing the trash down so you don’t have to take it out just yet. Have you ever pushed off a big assignment or work thing until the last minute? Red Bull wasn’t invented for people with great time management skills.

We’ve all been there so that means we also know that procrastination gets in the way of goals. There are several things you can arm yourself with to combat it though. Make yourself a to-do list of the things you have to get done. The physical representation helps you focus and checking the items off can empower you to keep going. Hide the distractions! If you are prone to breaking your concentration for a round of Candy Crush then put your phone in a drawer or a separate room until the task you need to complete is done. Organize yourself – it is AMAZING how empowering a clean desk can make you feel and motivate you. However, if those tips don’t help try to get yourself back on track with a few of these inspirational quotes. Procrastination may be damaging to progress but we can definitely overcome it.

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Empower Your Intents with These Motivational Social Media Accounts

motivational social mediaBy Elizabeth Eckhart

The holidays are long gone and the rush of the New Year is steadily drifting by, which means that the motivation to accomplish all of our new goals for 2014 might be declining. If the weather hasn’t brought you down, perhaps it’s the stress of work and school, or family concerns that have got you worried. Luckily, social media has become an excellent tool for spreading inspiration left and right, just when you need it most. No matter what your goals are, whether fitness, meditation, scoring that new job or graduating with straight A’s, we’ve found the most popular, and appreciated, motivational social media accounts, as well as the most discussed tools that will encourage you daily. So when you’re feeling down, check out some of the motivational sources we found using social media tool ViralHeat below, and continue paving your way through your good intentions!

Twitter Accounts to Follow

Fitness Motivation (@BeFitMotivation)

fitness motivationWith over a million followers, Fitness Motivation must be doing something right. The account encourages healthy eating, clean living, and constantly shares pictures of success stories. Better yet, they even include quick, on-the-go and at-home workouts for the busy bees out there. Their motivational quotes are also positive messages, no body-shaming allowed there. After a thorough search, it seems that the main message is to aim to be your best self, and that the short-cuts (such as unhealthy fad diets and questionable supplements) are NOT appreciated. Bonus, they have an Instagram account, too: @BeFitPhotos

Daily Motivation (@wisdomsquote)

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Daily motivation is exactly what it claims to be — a Twitter account that aggregates as many motivational quotes as it can find. Some are familiar sayings, and some are new, but all of them will integrate themselves into your feed to keep you pushing through your day. The account tweets at least a few pictures a day as well of inspiration role models from Buddha to Albert Einstein and Bruce Lee. Trending topics on the page are mental strength, determination, and courage. Warning: following this account might give you the bravery to achieve everything you put your mind to (as well as a few nifty pictures to pin up by your desk).

Inspirational Book

59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot by Richard Wiseman

If Alfred A. Knopf, who published both Julia Child and John Cheever, once promoted the work, then this book deserves to be called phenomenal. A self-help book to decode all previous self-help books, this inspirational guide is written by an actual psychologist and professor, which sounds much more promising and helpful than someone who found success through their own personal path and hopes others can do the same. Professor Wiseman helps you promote change in minutes, to create habits that will last years, based on knowledge of the human behavior and brain power all of us possess. The best part? It’s a quick read, so convincing yourself to give a try won’t take that much motivation at all. Click here for his book talk. 

Pinterest

These Pinterest accounts will knock out any connotations that this site is primarily used for wedding planning and DIY crafts. In fact, these accounts are all dedicated to achieving goals on a larger scale, with helpful pictures, quotes, and videos to achieve them.

Inspiration {Video}: Inspiration video is exactly what it claims to be — a collection of videos from Youtube and other sources that will leave you itching to accomplish your goals. Pin it on your own board, or simply sift through the page and watch them all, it’s up to you! The wildly popular “Move” video, inspiration for any traveler out there, is one of the quickest and best!

Career Inspiration: Hoping to achieve your dream job, or know you need to make moves at your current position and show just how great you really are? This page is for you! Pin it to your Pinterest board, but better yet pin it to your bulletin board, your mirror in the morning, your desktop at the office.. the possibilities are endless! A personal favorite is this quote: Dreams don’t work, unless YOU do!

Ideas: Ideas is the help-all, inspire-all Pinterest page that addresses everything from physical health to soul and spiritual well-being. You never know exactly what you’ll find as you scour the page, but chances are at least one image or video will give you exactly the kick in the butt you need to move forward, move on, and start achieving.

Of course, at the end of the day, one of the most inspiring places to be is right here on Intent.com and Intent Blog! Use these motivational tools to set your own intents and inspire others!

Elizabeth Eckhart is a Chicago born and bred blogger who is passionate about keeping the environment clean. Some of her favorite writing topics include new renewable energy technology and various ways to live a healthy lifestyle. 

4 Reasons to Find a Great Work Out Partner

work out partnerWe know that motivating yourself to get out there and work out can be tough. So don’t do it alone! One of the greatest assets you can have is a great work out partner who pushes you to reach your own goals and doesn’t let you give up when you’re having a rough time. It can be a tough road to making a healthier lifestyle change, but when you have the right person beside you it can make all the difference. Follow these tips to create a successful work out partnership.

1. Choosing the Right Partner – The most important quality in a work out partner is that they are reliable. If you agree to go out or meet at the gym at a certain time you want to make sure they will be there. This also means that you have to be equally accountable to them. There are going to be days when neither of you want to get out there, but you have to push yourselves to do it! Having a reliable partner will remind you of your important goals when you want to give up. You have to be willing to be there for them in the same way.

2. Partners Help Create Variety - Having a partner in crime when you’re working out also helps to keep you from falling into a boring routine. When you’re working out with someone else you can trade ideas and create new routines that are interesting and challenging for both of you.

3. Compete but Don’t Compare - The other type of motivation a partner brings to your work out naturally is competition. Who can run a little father? Maybe do a few more push ups? Perhaps you can make your warrior-2 pose more aligned. Having someone there to push you a bit further is a great way to get yourself to do more than you thought you could.

However, it’s important to remember that everyone has a different body type that burns fat and changes in different ways. So while you and your partner may compete in healthy ways, don’t compare weight goals or size. Comparing yourself to someone else in that way will only lead to disaster. Everyone’s lifestyle goals should be independent and created on their own body type and hopes.

4. The Strength in Numbers - Are you one of those really social types? No one said you had to stick to just one partner! Mallika herself has written about the great support of having a group of people that hold you accountable. Start a walking group with people at your office or take a fitness class. The people there already share an interest and you can band together to make your work outs even more effective!

10 Ways to Make 2014 Your Best Year Yet

Fireworks Say it again, “I AM a powerful creator!!!”  Yes, you are.  The super cool thing about this new year, is that we are also starting off with a new moon on January 1t!  The last time this happened was 19 years ago.  New moons bring powerful energy for change and fresh starts.  Combine that with the energy of a new calendar year turning over, and you have super manifesting powers!

With that in mind, here are 10 tips to help you make 2014 your most amazing year yet!

  1. Ditch the resolutions and create real change that lasts by writing goals with soul!  Instead of the typical, boring goal list that you feel obligated to write because everybody else is, dig really deep and listen to the calling of your soul.  What is your big intention for the new year? How do you want to feel? What impact do you want to have in the world?  By aligning with the feelings you desire, your deep-rooted intentions, and the impact you want to have in the world, there is a much greater likelihood of you staying interested, motivated, and totally engaged.  For example, instead of saying, “I want to lose 10 pounds (and this year I’m really going to do it), a goal with soul would sound more like this: “I want to feel more alive and more energized!  I want to feel divinely feminine and sexy in my own skin.  I want the sense of accomplishment and rush of self-confidence knowing I finally did it.  I want tons of energy to enjoy chasing after my kids and still have enough left over to start that really amazing project.”  See the difference?  Which do you think has more staying power?

  2. Follow your bliss.  Whatever you have going on in your life, make sure you are doing something that makes you happy every single day!  Passion is the internal fire that lights us up and keep us going through the tough times.  Don’t put yours on the back burner. Instead, make sure your flame is kept healthy and strong by spending time nourishing it each day.

  3. Show up!  Often, the most difficult part of creating a new habit or practice is having the discipline to show up each day.  But, on the flip side of that, if you can just commit to showing up for it, the rest will happen naturally.  In other words, get your booty to the gym, the classroom, the meeting, in front of the computer typing feverishly, or wherever else it needs to be to make good things happen in your life!  In doing so, you’ve already covered the tough part.  Next, make sure you are showing up mindfully and without distractions so that you can be fully engaged in the activity.  Stay committed and you are pretty much guaranteed to see progress and success over time.  So, no excuses or compromise.  Show up!

  4. Make self-care a priority.  If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anybody else very well either.  And, the world needs you!  So, make sure you are loving and nurturing yourself regularly.  This includes your physical fitness, health, mental well-being, spirituality, relationships, finances, career, personal goals, and anything else that needs attention to ensure you are healthy, happy, peaceful and fulfilled in your life.

  5. Say “no” to anything that doesn’t totally excite your soul.  Our most valuable resource is our time.  We only have so many hours in each day and we can never go backwards to get it back.  Spend yours wisely!  Often, this means saying no, and possibly even disappointing others along this way.  But, this is your life and these are your dreams.  If your time is filled up doing stuff that you don’t absolutely love, than there isn’t going to be enough space for your true love and calling to seep in.  So, before saying ‘yes’ to something, ask yourself if it lines up with your vision and your goals with soul.  Sit on it for at least 24 hours. If the answer is not an excited “Hell yes!!” than consider taking a pass on it.

  6. Help others.  When your goals and dreams include more than just helping yourself, they seem to come alive that much quicker and more vibrantly.  It’s just one of those unexplained laws of the Universe. Bonus: it feels good.  Whether it’s sharing knowledge and wisdom, your time, or allocating a percentage of sales or income to giving back, consider some ways you can help impact the world with your gifts in a positive way.  It all comes back around.

  7. Practice humility and grace. When you achieve some amount of success in your life, always remember where you came from and how hard you worked to get there.  Also, be mindful that there is an ebb and flow to these sorts of things.  Be grateful and enjoy your achievements in the moment, but be ready and willing to continue to work hard to keep them up.  Success also has a way of sometimes bringing up adversity.  Make it your policy to embrace the positive, disregard the negative (with the exception of any valuable lessons you can extract), and handle any difficult situations or people with dignity and grace.  You will go far if you can master the art of this!

  8. Savor and celebrate.  Sometimes in our day-to-day routines, we don’t realize how far we’ve come.  Any progress is good progress!  Check in with your goals often and be sure to celebrate all of the big and small accomplishments along the way.  You deserve it!  It feels good to treat yourself and also serves as a reminder of the hard work you’ve put in to make steps in the direction of your dreams.  Life is about the journey more so than the destination. So, enjoy the ride!

  9. Don’t give up! When the going gets tough, so many people want to throw in the towel. This is when you’re passion and devotion is put to the test as you will need to dig even deeper to keep pushing along.  You wouldn’t train for a marathon and give up a mile before the finish line because you are tired. No way!  You push through it.  A spectator sign that I’ve seen in a couple marathons that I’ve ran is “Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.”  So true! Change out a couple of words and apply it to chasing your dreams, and keep trying.

  10. Have fun!!!  Don’t take life so serious.  Nobody gets out alive, anyway.  Laugh. Be silly.  Dance.  Forgive.  Let go.  Embrace. Smile. Enjoy.  With two businesses, two young children, and a beautifully chaotic life of my own, embracing an abundance of unbridled joy is one of my biggest intentions for next year.  I hope you will join me, let loose a little, and let the corners of your mouth turn up more too!  Let’s change the world with smiles on our faces.

I hope these 10 tips will leave you feeling inspired at the start of this new year!  Revisit them any time you need a little extra boost.

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If you are looking for a little more help, visit the Dawnsense.com page and sign up for the email list to learn about the upcoming group coaching programs that will help you dig in and make 2014 your best year yet.  And, please also join us on the inspiring Dawnsense Facebook page.  I’ll be  cheering for you!
xo, Dawn

photo by: Amani Hasan

Staying Strong: Our Favorite Quotes from Demi Lovato’s New Book

Demi TattooMost people know Demi Lovato from her stint as a Disney Channel princess (no really, she did play a princess in one of their Disney Channel original movies – Princess Protection Program) or you recognize her as a judge on FOX’s X-Factor. What you might not know is that a couple of years ago the pop singer entered a rehabilitation clinic to battle her issues with self-harm and an eating disorder. When she emerged from treatment she had the words “Stay Strong” tattooed on her wrists to help remind her of the strength she has to overcome the personal demons she was battling.

Demi has been vocal about her struggles, sharing quotes and advice to her 20 million Twitter and Facebook followers. She’s an advocate against bullying and works constantly to provide support services and positive outlooks for young people that struggle with the same issues that she has had to face. Her latest effort to bring support and positivity into the lives of teens dealing with depression and eating disorders is a new book “Staying Strong” which is a collection of 365 quotes and meditations that Demi has personally used to help motivate herself and bring her out of dark places. We are giving out five copies of the book this week from Intent Blog and Intent.com so make sure you comment below for your chance to get one!

In celebration of Demi’s recovery and in honor of her work in trying to provide a bright light for those struggling with the same things we have compiled a few of our favorite quotes from “Staying Strong.” We hope that if you are dealing with any darkness that they empower you to seek help and your own light to find your inner strength.

On sharing and communityListen to other people’s stories and find the strength and beauty in their actions

Demi: I love to hear my fans’ stories because they are so inspiring. They tell me how they have overcome bullying, eating disorders, addictions, cutting and it’s amazing how much strength we each have inside us. I also believe that when you share your story the strength in you grows and the inspirational effect you have on others multiplies. It takes courage to open up to others.

On positive influences: “You’re only as strong as your weakest member; you’re only as positive as your most negative friend” – Kelly Rowland

Demi: It’s important to remember how our friends have such a powerful influence on us and vice versa. This can be a great thing as long as your friends surround you with love, loyalty, respect and positivity.

On jealousy“Don’t torment yourself with jealousy. It’s a silly illusion that someone’s life is better than yours when the truth is that each one of us is on a different path.”

Demi: There are times in my life when I let myself get consumed with jealously for someone else’s life, their body, their wardrobe, their talent. They call it the green-eyed monster for a reason. It’s a self destructive and when it’s in the room, it consumes you. Be strong and don’t focus on what other people have.

On giving: “Give what you want to receive. If you want happiness, make others happy.” – Russell Simmons

Demi: It’s a simple law of attraction that you get back what you put out into the universe. The more love you give, the more love you attract. The more love you attract, the more love you receive. WHen we put good energy into the world, we feel good. We make those around us feel good.

On peace: “If you and I are having a single thought of violence or hatred against anyone in the world at this moment, we are contributing to the wounding of the world” – Deepak Chopra

Demi: Violence is the easy way out and it only leads to more violence. We need people in this world who are willing to find solutions through peace, through communication, honesty and diplomacy. World peace may seem impossible, but it’s worth aiming for.

On creativity: “And all the colors I am inside have not been invented yet.” – Shel Silverstein

Creativity is so much more than just producing art. It also allows you to purge toxic emotions and thoughts in a positive, healthy way. For me, it’s singing and playing music. When I perform I’m able to express my emotions without engaging in self-destructive behaviors.

On fear“I am not fearless. I get scared plenty. But I have also learned how to channel that emotion to sharpen me” – Bear Grylls

Demi: All fear has ever done is hold me back. I have so many things I want to accomplish in my life. For myself and for the world. Fear is useless; it just gets in the way of accomplishing everything Overcome fear today and and confront one of your phobias.

If you have a favorite quote share it in the comments below!

Demi Lovato’s “Staying Strong” was published via Macmillan Publishers on Nov. 19, 2013. Comment below to win a copy or purchase from any major book retailers. 

Why Wait: Create Your Intentional Collage to Reach Your Goals

By Linda Lauren

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I define a dream as a wish that is powered by a positive intention until it becomes a reality.  We make our own reality each day and that is through our thoughts and convictions.

People who know me know that I take it upon myself to gather my friends together to create personal collages of what we intend to achieve in our lives in the coming year.  These collages help us to define our present so that we can create our future. They keep us focused on our goals and they dare us to fulfill our dreams. The reality is that each year, with each collage is a step closer to making your life positively unfold.

This collage does not have to be about obtaining material things, but can help foster a message of hope, love, and help you out of depression through healing. I once made a personal collage for a surgical procedure and hung it in my hospital room. Each time I looked at it I was spurred on to heal and that was my collage’s intention: healing.

It’s very easy to get caught up in the angst of the world and not realize how deeply global events can affect us in the negative. The signs are: depression, anger, jealousy, impatience, and the growing threat of intolerance. Everything from social media to social connections is threatened simply because it is easier to ride the wave of a bad vibe then it is to work at a positive one.  I remind myself of how important it is for me to be positive if I want to live a long and happy life, and that my every single thought has a profound affect on my entire life.  So, I reprogram my personal intentions through my collage, adding to it as the year progresses.

Though you can also do this on a computer, I have found that it’s more fun in a group to do it the following way.  You will need a few essentials and suggestions to get you started:

Get a piece of cardboard or poster board, scissors, glue and a lot of different and/favorite magazines, newspapers, and photos. Make sure you have a photo of yourself, and the year.  The size of the collage is up to you. If you are doing this as a project with family, friends or business partners, you might want a larger board so everyone can participate.

Cut out the images and words that best represent what you wish to manifest. Arrange them on the board, glue down when you’re satisfied with your work, and take a photo of the final results. Put the original collage in a room at home where you will always see it and use the photo as a screen saver or wallpaper on your computer, tablet and/or phone.

I have seen these collages become a source of motivation, comfort and peace. A collage with intention empowers us and helps us to go with the flow by directing the current so that we arrive at our destination!  The New Year is around the corner and there’s no better time to start!

6 Quotes to Help You Find Your Motivation

We are quickly approaching the new year which means that people are beginning to make their list of resolutions. The beginning of January is always a fun period of people getting inspired to make big changes in their life. At Intent and on the Blog we want to ask - why wait? Who says you need the beginning of the year to get to work on the things you want? Fun fact: you don’t have to. So get your list of goals out now. Let’s start making a game plan and get started. Here are a few quotes to help you get motivated. Write them on your fridge or in your planner or wherever you have to see them every day to push you to reach for the things you want.

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Don’t see your favorite motivational quote here? Share it in the comments below! 

Fan Girl Lament: Will There Ever Be a Harry Potter 8?

Screen shot 2013-11-21 at 5.25.25 PMIt was a normal day on my Facebook feed yesterday until I saw that an old acquaintance from high school had posted this article quoting JK Rowling saying that she was 75% done with an eighth Harry Potter novel.

Begin instant fan-girl freak out immediately.

I scrolled right past the April 1, 2013 date at the top of the story. Began clapping my hands eagerly at “more details to come during Rowling’s press conference in Scotland” and was already tweeting “PLEASE LET IT BE MARAUDERS! #HP8 #LETITBETRUE” before I got to Daniel Radcliffe’s alleged statement that he was itching to get back into the Potter world. Honestly, that’s when I should have known something was up. I have basically been cyber stalking Dan since I saw Kill Your Darlings. I’ve seen every interview he’s done over the past three months and if one thing has been clear it has been his desire to establish himself as an actor outside of the Potter universe. (However, there is so much to be explored in the wizarding world outside of Harry. Like I said, MARAUDERS. NOW. PLEASE.)

I was in the middle of leaving my mother a voicemail that I would need my Hufflepuff (and proud) scarf express mailed to Los Angeles – not to worry that it was 91 degrees last week, fandom trumps comfort in every instance – when my friend and trusted Potter expert Terri Schwartz tweeted this helpful (and soul crushing) article from MuggleNet (the internet’s most trusted HP source). Their points were so accurate. I finally noticed that date. Daniel would never be interested in reclaiming his Potter title. Why would such an obscure website have such a hot story? More importantly, why would they be so cruel to play with our emotions that way? It’s November, not April! How dare they!

Begrudgingly, I closed my make-your-own-wand tutorial and began to sulk.

The Intent theme this week has been fantasies, and to be invited back to the Wizarding World for one more adventure probably tops the list of mine. Every birthday I still naively wish for my letter for Hogwarts to arrive. You know, maybe they have a late bloomer night-college for adults campus or something. I started reading these books when I was 10 years old – I am now 24. What is it about Hogwarts that still has me (and millions of others) still captivated  a decade and a half later?

It’s more than the fact that magic and flying broomsticks are awesome. Harry Potter taught kids like me, and people the world over, that under dogs can surmount any obstacle as long as they have integrity, faith in their friends, and the belief in themselves and their own intelligence over shortcuts and darkness. Harry Potter taught us to reach for the light. For seven books and eight movies we were able to travel to a magical world where we could all be heroes. Two professors from the University of Vermont published a book earlier this year on the political impact the Harry Potter series has had on millennials. In a national survey they found that young people that grew up reading the books tend be more open to diversity; politically tolerant; less authoritarian; less likely to support the use of deadly force or torture; and more politically active. Harry Potter has fulfilled its role as the ultimate fantasy for the current generation – it provides us with an encompassing escape and returns us to the real world with a desire and motivation to be better than we already are.

“The stories we love the most will always live within us,” JK Rowling said at the premiere of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, “so whether you return by page or by screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” You may not be writing another book right now, Jo, but we’ll eagerly accept the invitation back any time.

Why Not You?

magnificent-sunset-79998“Oh, I could never do that, be that, win that…”

That is what you say. You watch people on the X-factor, the Voice or game shows and say how amazing, talented or smart they are. You are convinced that greatness is given to only a few, and those few are now doing amazing things in life. Not you.

Well, why not you? You are born with the same possibility for greatness that everyone else is. You are born with unique talents, strengths and passions – all just for you. These unique abilities provide your roadmap in how to show up great to your world. So it could be you – not in everything but the things that you have great abilities and interests in.

Greatness isn’t unique – it is actually common – because we all have it and are it. Most of us treat our greatness like a wrapped gift that we hide and never open. Either we fear our greatness or we doubt it. Neither however, allows us to connect with it to show up big to our world. We have to claim it and that is part of asking, ‘why not you?’

Today’s world is built by those who are right here, right now. If you choose to show up to your life disconnected from what makes you great, then the world does not benefit from you. You may be just the person to end the conflict in the Middle East, find a solution to terrorism, develop a way to end poverty, change how the world views and treats women, or any other thing that troubles us today. You could also be just the one to be an amazing teacher, parent, writer, singer or brother. Why not you? There is greatness in all of this – you just have to see that it could be you to help, fix, improve, change or solve.

I regularly share what I think to be the rhodium rule – more important than the golden or platinum rules – “Know yourself. Be yourself. Let others be themselves.” This is the key to acknowledging and living our greatness – know your (great) self – self-knowledge. And with this knowledge comes information about ourselves and our world. We then have the ability to be our (great) selves – meaning we find the places in our world that need what we do best. Or as my favorite quote by Frederick Buechner says, “Our vocation in life (I read it to say our role or purpose) is where our greatest joy meets the world’s greatest need.”

When we see our impact, we then see the power of supporting all of us in discovering and living our greatness. Why not you? Why not him? Why not her? Well, it can’t be if we don’t encourage others to discover and live their greatness. It can’t be if we don’t openly support people to find their fit, make their difference and show up large to life.

Many times we think it isn’t us is because we have let the world tell us how small and incapable we are. We allow the voices of others to keep us doubting and from developing our true abilities – our personal definition of greatness. Until we trust in our own voice and in our own greatness, we will continue to believe that greatness is for others, not for us, not for you. But you know differently. You know it could be you if you just had the wisdom to know yourself and the courage to be yourself. With that, you could change your piece of the world – whatever it is.

Some feel staying out of things is the way to “make it through” life. But we weren’t born to just make it through anything. We were born great  – and to find out how to bring that greatness to our world – not to go through life as bystander and spectator. We are a player – or at least we have that choice. We are equipped to be amazing. We have a world that needs our version of amazing. It is indeed time to know your (great) self, be your (great) self and let others be their (great) selves.

The next time you see an opportunity to step out of your normal “average” and into a greatness response, go for it. Some may ask why are you doing something like giving to the poor, volunteering, running for office, being a great teacher, inspiring our youth, advocating for animals, or kids, or for a life without war. Why not you? It may be just the thing that you are here to do.

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photo by: TroyMason