Inspiration is Power

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The third Monday of January is the observance of the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., an American minister, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and civil rights leader dedicated to non-violence. This is a day to honor King’s principles and visions, perhaps best exemplified by his “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963.

When I look at the essence of his words, I see why his speech had and is of such significant influence. His “I Have a Dream Speech” serves as a powerful example of how we can inspire ourselves and others to effect profound change and be our highest vision of ourselves as individuals and as organizations.

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 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 investors, 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, your work, and every role you play.

See what happens.

© 2015 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

Guest Blogger Kris Taylor Asks: What Word Should (Might) You Want to Remove from Your Vocabulary?

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No ShouldingToday’s guest blogger is Kris Taylor, the founder of Evergreen Leadership. Kris is a respected colleague and friend with a proven track record of promoting, leading, and implementing positive change.

________________________________________________________

I had the opportunity to meet a brilliant young man this week. His list of accomplishments was long, his skill-set was broad, and his impact on others was positive and deep. Yet it was clear that he was struggling with a bad case of the “shoulds” – and the second-guessing that came with it. He should have gone to college sooner, should have had a better idea of where he was headed, should have stuck with his business venture longer, should be in a better job…

We all carry around some “shoulds” – both past and present. The list of past ”shoulds” is long and may include: I should have gone to different school, followed a different major, pursued a different career, tried harder, risked more, married differently, taken that opportunity, stayed with it longer.  And we all have an equally long list of present ”shoulds”.  They might include: I should make more money, have a better house, be a better boss, be a better parent, spend more time at work, spend more time at home, go back to school, exercise more, eat less, be kinder, make more money, work harder, relax more.

I’d like to suggest that you banish the word should (and even need to) from your vocabulary. The words connote an obligation or duty, rather than a choice or free will. “I should get a new job.” is heavy and onerous,  and conveys inaction and guilt. The “shoulds” wear us out – make our load heavy. Our past “shoulds” have us looking in the rear view mirror and beating ourselves up for missed opportunities or perceived missteps. Our future “shoulds” burden us with obligations that may or may not serve us well.

Contrast the thought “I should get a new job.” to these:

  • “I am choosing to stick with this job for the next year.”
  • “I am committed to making the best of this job, even if it is not where I want to be forever.”
  •  “It’s time for me to find a job that is a fit for me.”
  • “I wonder what steps I might take to find a job that is a fit for me.”
  • “I am curious about what I would like in a different job.”

Mary Lore, whose work on Managing Thought inspires me, provides a list of substitute words – that are accountable, freeing and focused. Instead of using the words need to, have to or should – try these substitutes:

  • I am choosing…
  • I am committed to…
  • It’s important to me that I…
  • I could…
  • Based on where I was, I chose to… Today, I am choosing…
  • I wonder how I can…
  • It could be great if…

When I began to substitute these words for my “shoulds” – there was a little jolt. This was followed by a sense of freedom – and letting go of some guilt and pressure I put on myself. I began to forgive myself and let go of past decisions and actions – and make conscious choices in the present. And I began to own the choices I was making – and make them with intention based on what I really wanted, rather than an amorphous obligation weighing on me from some other source.

So see if you can shed some “shoulds” and see what happens.

© 2014 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

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Kris Taylor has brought together her keen insights about organizations, change and leadership to create Evergreen Leadership.  Over the past 9 years, hundreds of leaders from 50 companies across the country have worked with Kris and her talented associates for help in successfully implementing large scale, mission critical change initiatives. Evergreen Leadership reflects Kris’s signature talent of creating high impact learning programs where leaders emerge with deep insights about their own personal leadership and learn how to lead others in today’s fast paced and uncertain environment.

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 Seeds Could You Plant? What Intentions Could You Cultivate?

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PrioriTree-Spring-Equinox-New-MoonToday is the first new moon since the spring equinox.

Contrary to common practice, THIS IS THE TIME to make our resolutions. This is the time to plant the seeds of our future–what we truly wish to create this year.

During the 90’s, I worked on the start-up of companies and the turnaround (fresh start) of companies in crisis. AND I owned a garden center and nursery and taught gardening classes for kids.

To me – growing plants, growing companies, growing ourselves and our children – it’s  the same process and I am passionate about growth!

That’s the reason I use so many gardening analogies when I talk about cultivating self-awareness and creating the highest vision of ourselves.

I approach Managing Thought® as if I were pruning a tree. When I prune a tree, the first thing I do is decide what I want to accomplish. What’s my purpose? What difference do I want to make?

Do I want to remove the dead wood? Create a certain shape? Bring in more light? More fruit or flowers? Growth upward or outward?

Once I have my purpose, I begin to prune, first removing the dead and diseased branches. I then prune the branches that are crossing other branches, sticking straight up, or shooting from the base of the tree. These are appropriately called suckers because they suck up the water, nutrients, and sunlight from the viable branches.

Once these branches are removed, I then prune and shape the tree to fulfill my purpose. After completing the process, I turn my attention to the daily culti­vation of the tree–how it is fed and watered and its exposure to the environment.

This helps the tree resist stress and develop a strong root and trunk system. With less stress, the tree resists insects, disease, and damage. It thrives in its full glory.

As we practice self-awareness and managing our thoughts, we can follow the same process.

As we plant the trees of our lives, our work, our marriages, our retirement, ourselves in every role we play in work or life, education for ourselves or our children, our retirement, our health, and prosperity, a corporate initiative–we can decide what we truly want.

Before we say or do anything, such as interact with our family, children, or signifi­cant others, or converse with a customer or coworker, we can decide our purpose. We decide what is of significance. We decide what we wish truly wish to create.

Then we watch our thoughts. We prune those that are destructive and diseased -the thoughts that don’t bring us peace or inspire us.

We notice and prune the thoughts that are at cross-purposes, focused on what we don’t want –sucking up our time, energy, and money, blocking our light, our true reality.

We practice choosing and shaping our thoughts, creating our intentions, and focusing our thoughts, and ultimately our actions, on what truly matters, what we truly wish to create.

We pay attention to our environment, the culture we are creating, the people with whom we choose to surround ourselves.

In doing so, we accomplish our purpose and fulfill our intention in each moment. We cultivate ourselves daily and develop a strong mind, body, and spirit. We resist stress, disease, and damage. We thrive in our full glory.

Take some time today to reflect and wonder. 

What seeds could you plant? What intentions could you cultivate? What is the future you truly wish to create?  

I  invite you to check out these quick links to resources on creating your life well-lived How to Make Resolutions You Can Keep, Reflection is a Powerful Action, and Resolutions, Intentions & Affirmations for a Life Well-Lived.

To learn more about my PrioriTreeTM process, you can order the book Managing Thought or subscribe to read a Page A Day of the book for free.

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

To cultivate your thoughts one thought at a time, sign up for the Mindfulness Monday online program.

Please join me in helping others learn how to manage their thoughts and contribute to the production of my PBS Pledge Special.

 

© 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.