Posts tagged "motivation"

36,900,000 Results When Searching for “How to Stay Inspired”

February 6th, 2018 Posted by Blog Post, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Vision 2 thoughts on “36,900,000 Results When Searching for “How to Stay Inspired””

If you enter “how to stay inspired” into your search engine, it will net about 36,900,000 results.

You’d think with so many people, organizations and articles out there to help us get or stay inspired, we’d find it much easier to do so. But the hard truth about inspiration is that while finding it is comparatively easy, keeping it is relatively difficult.

We gleefully make resolutions and promises to ourselves, saying things like, “This year, I am REALLY going to get in shape!”

We go to seminars with leading gurus, buy their books and courses, then run out with our arms raised, declaring, “I’m gonna do it!”

We watch TED videos, Shark Tank, and SuperSoul Sunday and exclaim, “I’m going to make a difference!

Aaaaannnnnndddd thennnnnnnn….we don’t

Why is it so hard to remain inspired (and motivated)?

An article at Care2 entitled 5 Reasons Why Motivation is Difficult to Sustain provides an interesting list of reasons it is hard to stay motivated. Even though inspiration and motivation are two different things, they are related, so we will list the 5 here as follows:

  1. No plan
  2. Distractions
  3. Drawbacks
  4. Negative motivation
  5. Extrinsic motivation (depend on outside world to reap rewards on you)

But here is what we think is the real reason it is hard to remain inspired

As discussed in a previous post, motivation is external and compels you to do something. Inspiration is internal – something you feel.

(see Where Do You Find Inspiration?).

The real reason that inspiration can be fleeting is because it’s a feeling – and feelings are naturally fleeting. Generally speaking, feelings can hit us with great intensity. Later the intensity fades – perhaps entirely, perhaps not, but it usually fades.

Maybe it isn’t important to remain inspired

If feelings are naturally fleeting, perhaps trying hard to hold on to inspiration is futile.

Perhaps, rather than spending hundreds and thousands of dollars and hours on the inspirational products of the inspirational gurus, we spend our resources REMEMBERING what inspired us, as opposed to PRESERVING the feeling.

It isn’t as difficult as you might think

When you feel inspired, remember, it is a feeling and it will fade. Before it has faded too deeply, write it down. Capture things like:

  • What were you inspired to do?
  • How did that feel?
  • What were you doing when it hit you?
  • Who were you with?
  • What were you thinking or thinking of?
  • What were some other circumstances surrounding you at the time?

Now use that to write a purpose statement. This isn’t WHAT you are going to do. This is WHY you are going to do it.

In business, it is foundational to have a Vision Statement, a Mission Statement, and a Purpose Statement. Vision is how you see things in the future, preferably as a result of what you do. Mission is in fact what you do. But purpose is why you do it.

The same types of statements can be useful in your personal life.

Once you have a vision, mission and purpose statement, put them in reverse order (purpose, mission, and vision). This becomes your elevator pitch for whatever you are doing – and it always starts with your purpose, which is founded in your inspiration.

Say it often. Start your day with it. Start your presentations with it. Start your meetings with it.

Don’t cheapen it or make it a rote statement, but use it often enough to remind yourself and others of what you felt in that moment of inspiration, even though the intensity of the feeling itself may have faded.

This will in turn help keep you motivated, even if no longer inspired.

Where Do You Find Inspiration?

January 30th, 2018 Posted by Blog Post, Inspiration, Uncategorized 1 thought on “Where Do You Find Inspiration?”

Where Do You Find Inspiration?

Before answering that question, it’s important to note that there is a difference between inspiration and motivation. Motivation is external and compels you to do something. Inspiration is internal – something you feel.

As an example, three deaths by suicide served as the motivation behind writing the book, Business is ART and development of Plan Canvas, the strategy execution management (SEM) software that is based on the book.

Motivation isn’t inspiration

Those deaths were external events that triggered a desire to help others. It is a horrible means of motivation, but, sometimes, tragedy, or hitting rock bottom, is needed to motivate us to do something positive.

But the inspiration for creating these particular tools came from somewhere else. The book was literally conjured in a dream. The software was first envisioned as the table of contents for the book was being written, particularly when business as ART was laid out as a 12-step process (defined processes lend themselves well to being systematized).

So a more appropriate question might be….

HOW do you find inspiration?

An article at Inc. provides 25 simple ways to find inspiration. We really like this list. In fact, many of these same notions are included in Business is ART.

Find inspiration

Watch this demo to see how Plan Canvas can help you find inspiration.

Our favorite 5 from the article are listed here, along with a brief explanation of how you can actually follow them in Plan Canvas:

  1. Write it down – Plan Canvas encourages you to record everything that is important about your business in the tool.
  2. Evaluate your goals – You then produce a Progress Report to review with others to track how you are doing with all of those critically important items.
  3. Simplify – Plan Canvas is built on this key principle. Planning your business and executing to that plan should be simple, not over-bearing.
  4. Question all assumptions – Within Plan Canvas, you document all major assumptions, the risk associated with the assumption, the impact if the risk occurs, the likelihood it will occur, and, importantly, how you will mitigate against that risk.
  5. Focus on yourself – Plan Canvas includes a Personal Plan for anyone to focus on themselves, regardless of whether they are an entrepreneur, business owner, organizational leader or not.

Everyone is different

Some people find inspiration while in hurry up mode. Others need quiet, uninterrupted time. Whatever the case may be for you, the most important thing is to have an open mind. Inspiration often comes in the most unexpected ways – but we have to be open to being inspired for it to happen.

How do you stay motivated when you just don’t wanna?

April 18th, 2017 Posted by Blog Post, Inspiration 0 thoughts on “How do you stay motivated when you just don’t wanna?”

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How do you stay motivated? Do you have a few tricks?

There is an old adage that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. I’m generally an optimist, but with a heavy dose of realism and a hint of skepticism, so I tend to believe that even the most motivated of the motivated who love what they do so much they just burst from so much sun shining up their butts have days in which they’d just rather not.

Staying motivated when you’re emotionally drained from something outside of work

Work can actually be a distraction from the noise and drama surrounding your personal life. Treat it that way. Try very hard not to bring that drama in to the workplace and try very hard not to be a part of workplace drama.

If you think of work as an escape from that very personal emotional stuff, it can become a bit of a safe-haven that you want to protect. Just don’t make it such an escape that you spend all of your time there, and none of it dealing with the outside drama and emotions.

Staying motivated when you literally just don’t feel well

If you can, and you have the option, work from home. If you can’t work from home, take a day off. Your not feeling well could be emotional, but it could also be that you are carrying around some kind of bug that your co-workers and customers don’t want, so be mindful of that as well.

If you’re suffering from the brown-bottle flu, suck it up, Buttercup, and get to work.

Staying motivated when you are burned out

You might love your company/employer. You might even love your job – usually. But sometimes, you just get burned out on it and need a break.

If that happens, volunteer for special projects or to cross-train in another area. Something, anything that productively breaks the monotony of doing the same things every day.

If that is really not an option, flip your focus. Start thinking of the things you could do outside of work that excite you and then begin thinking of work as not just a way to pay the bills and eat, but a way to fund those interesting activities.

You might even have to keep telling yourself, “I’m doing THIS because I love doing THAT.” Maybe it will help take the sting out.

And remember, we all need a break now and then. It doesn’t have to be the expensive vacation you see your friends posting about on Facebook. But take a break from work. Use the vacation time you’ve earned, even if all you plan to do with it is sit in the backyard sipping on an ice cold beverage of your choice.

Set goals and write them down

All of the feel-good gurus out there will tell you to set goals for yourself – and with good reason. Science backs up the claim that if you set goals and write them down, you are much more likely to stay motivated enough to achieve them.

And that’s really what Business is ART is all about (ART = Articulate, Revise, Track). Articulate what you want (goals, objectives and actions). Revise your plans as you move along. Track your progress so that you can make better, more informed decisions – and reward yourself and your stakeholders for achieving those goals and objectives.

How do you stay motivated?

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The Secret to Freedom Is…

August 17th, 2016 Posted by Business is ART, Inspiration 0 thoughts on “The Secret to Freedom Is…”
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Photo courtesy

Have you ever seen the movie Risky Business? It’s the 1983 classic that put actor Tom Cruise on the map. It’s the one that left us, for the next 10 years, with more than one person showing up for the Halloween party dressed in white socks, boxer shorts, a button down shirt and wearing sunglasses – sliding in to one room from another as though no one else had ever done it. It put infinitely more royalty checks for “Old Time Rock and Roll” in to Bob Seger’s pocket.

But Risky Business also gave us the great business and life coach Miles Dalby, a character played by actor Curtis Armstrong. In one unforgettable scene, Miles gives us all the lesson we ever need.

Sometimes ya gotta say WTF

That is true in business as well as life. Sometimes, you just have to say, “You know what? I’m going for it.” The time is never perfect. Certainty is never a guarantee. But to move ahead with no regrets, you have to take a little bit of risk now and then, because at the end of the day it is indeed all risky business. Business is risky.

Here is some more advice from Miles:

  • WTF gives you freedom
  • Freedom brings opportunity
  • Opportunity makes your future
  • WTF – if you can’t say it, you can’t do it

So get out there. Take some calculated risks. Don’t jump off a tall building to see if you can fly or test how hard you’ll land. But take a few calculated, smart risks to move forward – because staying put is the biggest risk of all.

Go Ahead – Say It

Your turn to say WTF. Thinking of starting a business or want to improve the one you’ve already got? Let me help by clicking here.

Incentive Doesn’t Equal Paycheck

January 5th, 2016 Posted by Behavior, Business is ART, CEO, Employment, Engagement, Inspiration, Leadership, Owner, Relationships 0 thoughts on “Incentive Doesn’t Equal Paycheck”

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Incentive Doesn’t Equal Paycheck originally appeared on an earlier version of the Business is ART web site, January 25, 2015. I was reminded of it last night sitting in as a guest on Dr. Jessica Cortez’ new show at – In Sickness and Health. Click here to listen on Soundcloud and scroll down to the show segment entitled “This isn’t Our First Rodeo.”

How many times have you asked why you should incentivize people to do their job when a paycheck should be incentive enough? Taking this attitude is a huge mistake, and here is why.

Most people desire to do a good job. Doing good, quality work produces an emotional response of feeling good, feeling valued, and feeling happy. It’s pride. People want to do good work. The employer, however, wants exceptional work, and often assumes everyone knows what that means.

The Incentive Chasm

From the start, this may create a huge chasm in expectations. What one might, legitimately, see as good work, may be seen by the employer as not good enough. So it is very important to formally set expectations in order to eliminate the chasm.

Define “good enough” in your organization and then stretch it a bit to say “but this is exceptional.” Then go on to say, “And this is what I expect of you.”

You are paying people a base wage or salary for the “good enough,” however that is defined.  The intent of the incentive is to get them go beyond “good enough” and achieve “exceptional.”

Define Expectations and Incentives

However you approach it, it is important that you formally define “good enough” and “exceptional”, and critical that you communicate what that means in terms of expectations and reward. Formally define the incentive and when it is earned, give it with pleasure.

Your risk of not doing so is losing employees who truly are exceptional or have the potential to be.

Bad Day? You Know Nothing

October 22nd, 2015 Posted by Inspiration, Significance 0 thoughts on “Bad Day? You Know Nothing”
- Jon Umstead

– Jon Umstead

If the latest post in my personal blog, ‪‪#‎significance‬‬‬, doesn’t inspire you to do something, or at least make you realize that you really don’t have it so bad, then nothing will.

It isn’t because of my writing, I guarantee you. It is because of the story of the person featured in the post (and others like him).

Grab a tissue, then please, go check this out (posted 10/17/2015). Afterward, I dare you to have a bad day.

What inspires you? What makes you go for it despite the odds and critics?

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