Be Inspired. Inspire Others. What’s Your Dream?

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What's Your "I Have a Dream" SpeechYesterday marked the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

I remember when I first heard it. Even though I was a young girl, it had quite an impact on me.

I didn’t blink. I got the chills. I knew I was hearing something very powerful. I remember looking forward to being an adult and being able to fully grasp what I had just heard.

Today, when I look at the essence of his words, I see why his speech was of such significant influence and serves as a powerful example of how we can inspire ourselves and other to effect profound change.

He focused on what he wanted, not what he didn’t want.

What I feel and what I experience depends on what I am focused on in each moment. The direction I take and the decisions I make also depend on what I am focused on in each moment. When I am focused on what I want, on what matters, on what has meaning and purpose, I become inspired and I inspire others.

When I am focused on what I don’t want, what I did wrong, what could be better, what is irritating, angering, frustrating, sad, what holds me back, what I don’t have, can’t do, what isn’t fair, or is overwhelming, I am not inspired.

It is when we are inspired that we achieve significant results.

He inspired others vs. motivated.

We often think that when we’re leading or selling, we have to persuade, convince, and motivate others to achieve results.

Motivation does not work–not in the long run. And neither does persuading or convincing. That’s the reason we find ourselves continually needing to persuade, convince and motivate ourselves and others.

When I am trying to motivate myself or others, I am actually in a state of force; and in the long run, there is no power in force. Often, it brings about an equal and opposite reaction.

Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t tell others what they should or shouldn’t do. Or what we needed to make happen or be better.

He said, “I have a dream” and shared his highest vision — authentically, sincerely.

Inspiration is power.

Inspiration, which means to be infused with spirit, ignites a power within. When I am inspired, there is no stopping me, and remarkable things start to happen. When I am inspired, I am in touch with my highest awareness and creativity. I get all kinds of ideas on how to create and expand what I have envisioned.

And others want to help.

Vision, purpose, hope, thankfulness, wonder, and possibility all bring about inspiration.

He shared his dream.

When I work with business owners and managers, I ask them to tell me what their dream is for their organization. Nine times out of ten, they don’t have one. They wax on and on about providing value to their customers, being an employer of choice, and maximizing returns for their investors.

When they finish, I tell them I am not inspired. Because I am not inspired. They weren’t inspired, so they weren’t inspiring, and I wasn’t inspired.

When I ask them to tell me their dream for their life, they look at me with a blank stare because they don’t have one. They haven’t thought about it.

Their first assignment, then, is to write their “I have a dream” speech.

Sometimes it’s hard to get started. Once they start, they can’t stop. They write their dream for their organization, their employees, their customers, their suppliers, their investor, the community.

They see and feel the difference they are making, and they become inspired–mightily.

When they share that vision with their teams, their customers, suppliers, and investors, they too become inspired. And they write their dream speech for their role and contribution to creating that vision.

Remarkable things start to happen.

They can’t wait to get together with their partners and families and write the dream speech for their life, their career, their marriage, their family, their retirement….

What’s Your Dream?

I invite you to listen to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech again. And then write your “I Have a Dream” speech for your life and your work.

See what happens.

For more on living with intention, Check Out Mary’s  Guest Blog on Modern Practice on Living and Leading with Intention,  Read or Listen to Mary’s Forward Thinking Reminder: Focus on What You Want, or watch this inspiring video on creating Resolutions, Intentions & Affirmations for a Life Well-Lived.

© 2013 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

What is Your “I Have a Dream” Speech?

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What's Your I Have a Dream Mary J. LoreI remember when I first heard Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Even though I was a young girl, it had quite an impact on me. I didn’t blink. I got the chills. I knew I was hearing something very powerful.  I remember looking forward to being an adult and being able to fully grasp what I had just heard.

Today, when I look at the essence of his words, I see why his speech was of such significant influence.

He focused on what he wanted, not what he didn’t want. 

What we feel and what we experience depend on what we are focused on in each moment.  The direction we take and the decisions we make also depend on what we are focused on in each moment.  When we are focused on what we want, on what matters, on what has meaning and purpose, we become inspired.

When we are focused on what we don’t want, what we did wrong, what is irritating, angering, frustrating, sad, or what holds us back, what we don’t have, can’t do, what isn’t fair, or is overwhelming, we are not inspired.

It is when we are inspired that we achieve significant results.

He inspired others vs. motivated.

We often think that when we’re leading or selling, we have to persuade, convince, and motivate to achieve results. Motivation does not work–not in the long run. And neither does persuading or convincing.  That’s the reason we find ourselves continually needing to persuade, convince and motivate ourselves and others. We are actually in a state of force; and in the long run, there is no power in force. Often, it brings about an equal and opposite reaction.

Inspiration, on the other hand, is power. Inspiration, which means to be infused with spirit, ignites a power within. When we are inspired, there is no stopping us, and remarkable things start to happen. When we are inspired, we are in touch with our highest awareness and creativity. We get all kinds of ideas on how to create and expand what we have envisioned.

Vision, purpose, hope, thankfulness, wonder and possibility all bring about inspiration.

He shared his dream.

When I work with business owners and managers, I ask them to tell me what their dream is for their organization. Nine times out of ten, they don’t have one. They wax on and on about providing value to their customers, being an employer of choice, and maximizing returns for their investors. When they finish, I tell them I am not inspired. Because I am not inspired. They weren’t inspired, and so they weren’t inspiring.

When I ask them to tell me their dream for their life, they look at me with a blank stare because they don’t have one. They haven’t thought about it.

Their first assignment, then, is to write their “I have a dream” speech.

Sometimes it’s hard to get started. Once they start, they can’t stop. They write their dream for their organization, their employees, their customers, their suppliers, their investors. They see and feel the difference they are making, and they become inspired—mightily. When they share that vision with their teams, their customers, suppliers, and investors, they too become inspired. And they write their dream speech for their part in that vision. Remarkable things start to happen.

They can’t wait to get together with their partners and families and write the dream speech for their life, their career, their marriage, their family, their retirement….

I invite you to listen to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech again. And then write your “I Have a Dream” speech for your life and your work. See what happens.

 

For more on living with intention, read Mary’s Vistage Executive Street Blog Living and Leading with Intention and watch this beautiful and inspiring video on Creating a Life Well-Lived.

If you’d like to help Mary teach millions of people how to change their thoughts and their lives, go to www.managingthought.com/PBSPledgeSpecial.

© 2012 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

September is Self-Awareness Month

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September is Self Awareness MonthAre you self-aware?

When I ask this question in my workshops, and it doesn’t matter if I am with CEOs, management teams, educators, parents, medical professionals, graduate students, or teens, the answer is a resounding: I don’t know. I haven’t thought about it.

Yet, according to various studies and authorities, self-awareness is the:

  • #1 characteristic of a successful entrepreneur
  • #1 characteristic of a high performing leader
  • #1 characteristic of an authentic leader
  • #1 factor of predicting success in business

And we have been hearing in the spiritual realm for thousands of years that self-awareness is the #1 characteristic of a successful human being.

This is not surprising to me. Because everything we say and do first begins in a thought. Everything.

In my experience, most of us have not thought about our thoughts. We have no idea what we are thinking.

We don’t realize that we are making thousands of choices every day, thousands of decisions every day.

We don’t realize that most of our thoughts are rooted in fear, focused on what we don’t want –They’re not moving us in a direction that serves our true purpose.

We don’t realize that we’re not inspired.

I can’t even begin to describe how much power each and everyone of us has.

Every thought we have is creating — for better and worse — richer and poorer — sickness and health.

Individually and collectively.

We all have the ability to be self-aware, to notice what we are thinking, how we are feeling, and if we are in alignment with who we truly are and what we truly wish to create in this world.

We all have the ability to choose the thoughts we wish to hold, to create health and happiness and be creative, inspired, and impactful in everything we do.

Confucius once said: To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate ourselves.

This is true for us as individuals and as organizations, particularly in such fast-moving and volatile times.

I change the world around me by changing myself. And I change myself through self-awareness, self-mastery, and being on-purpose.

Are you self-aware?

 

For daily self-awareness thoughts and inspiration follow Managing Thought on Twitter or “like” Managing Thought on Facebook to receive them as they post.

I have dedicated my life and work to helping individuals and organizations develop self-awareness, think differently, think powerfully, and achieve significant, meaningful, and long-lasting results. If you are truly interested in practicing self-awareness and being inspired and impactful in everything you do, visit www.MindfulnessMonday.com and www.ManagingThought.com

For additional ideas on cultivating your life-well lived, check out this inspiring video: Resolutions, Intentions and Affirmations for a Life Well-Lived.

© 2012 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.