Stay Inspired, 2/3/16

As I discussed in this post, I believe in the power of staying inspired. In fact, I believe in it so much that I’ve started a “Stay Inspired” series as a regular part of this blog.

Today’s dose of inspiration is brought to you by Pinterest. What can I say? I love it! Sure, if I’m not careful, I can easily be sucked into it for 2-3 hours at a time. But in my my experience – unlike other social media sites (ahem, Facebook) – this time is not usually wasted. Pinterest adds real value to my life, and I visit my pages there over and over again. Whether I need a new recipe, I’m planning my family’s next vacation, or I just need a good laugh, it never disappoints.

I often find myself visiting Pinterest when I need the motivation to get off my butt and accomplish something. Here are a few of my favorite inspirational pins (I hope one of them resonates with you!):

 

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Do you find Pinterest to be more useful than other social media sites?

What has inspired you lately?

What small step have you taken today to reach one of your goals?

I ran 4 easy miles as part of my marathon training plan!

(I also set up a Twitter account for this site! But I have no idea how to use it yet, so please stay tuned. 😀 )

 

Stay Inspired, 10/27/15

As I discussed in this post, I believe in the power of staying inspired. In fact, I believe in it so much that I’ve started a “Stay Inspired” series as a regular part of this blog.

This week’s videos feature a story that was spotlighted on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Let me just say that I love Ellen! I love her brand of humor, and think she is one of the most courageous and uplifting people on television – it’s as though she was put on this earth to spread joy and laughter. I don’t watch her talk show very often, but when I do, my mood immediately brightens. My 7-year-old daughter picks up on the tone of her show, and loves it for the same reason!

Below you will find two videos: the first is the original story, and the second is a follow up. The videos tell the story of Brian and Jackson – two men with an incredible and inspiring friendship.

Here is my favorite part from the first video (a quote from Brian):

I broke my C3, which is the third vertebra in my neck…which caused me to be almost complete paralyzed from about the chest down. It wasn’t five minutes in the dirt before I thought, ‘There’s really no point in getting upset about what I’ve lost, you know, this is my new norm.’

Please take a few minutes to watch both videos – they are so heartwarming, and I guarantee you’ll find yourself with a huge smile on your face at the end!

The original video:

The follow up video:

AWESOME!

What has inspired you lately?

What small step have you taken today to reach one of your goals?

I did some free writing on two future blog posts!

Stay Inspired, 10/13/15

As I discussed in this post, I believe in the power of staying inspired. In fact, I believe in it so much that I’m starting a “Stay Inspired” series as a regular part of this blog.

There’s a chance you’ve already seen this video since it’s been viewed more than 13 million times on youtube, but that’s okay – it never gets old. If you haven’t seen it…you must watch it. Now. I don’t want to say anything else about it because you just need to experience the magic for yourself.

I dare anyone to watch this video and not feel their heart race in anticipation and excitement. Check it out:

What has inspired you lately?

What small step have you taken today to reach one of your goals?

I listened to a podcast on how to improve my writing!

The Value Of Podcasts (And What I’m Listening To)

I have recently become obsessed with podcasts. They are pretty much the greatest thing since sliced bread.

I’ve only been listening to them for a few short weeks, but I can already tell that they are changing my life for the better. If you haven’t jumped on this bandwagon yet, I advise you to do so immediately. (Hint: Google “best podcasts about _____” and you will get a million ideas on where to start.)

The two podcasts I am currently listening to are The Jillian Michaels Show and Stacking Benjamins. I love them both for different reasons.

The Jillian Michaels Show gives me great material to listen to during my runs. True, I could just listen to music – I’ve done that for years, and still do on occasion. (Sometimes there is no substitute for rocking out to old school jams that get the adrenaline pumping.) For me though, listening to music tends to be mindless, and that’s not always a good thing. I usually program songs that I’ve heard 300,000 times, and can sing the lyrics without any conscious thought. Of course there is more academic music out there, but it just doesn’t have the same effect as “Eye of the Tiger” when you’re at the end of a  9-mile run.

Jillian Michaels’ podcast covers a variety of topics relating to health, wellness, and physical fitness. Jillian has a dynamic personality, and I believe she gives listeners the perfect combination of sympathy and tough love. When I listen to her, she not only inspires me to keep working on whatever my goal is for that run, but she also keeps my mind engaged. When my mind is engaged in something – anything, really – it helps me forget that my body is working hard and/or in pain. All of a sudden I can look down at my Garmin and realize that two miles have gone by in the span of what seemed like five minutes. That’s awesome!

I have also been listening to Stacking Benjamins a lot lately. This podcast brings a simplistic, common-sense approach to the topics of personal finance and investing. I love that it’s aimed an intermediate-level audience – it’s not necessarily for beginners, but it also doesn’t go way over my head. The guys that run the show are funny, engaging, and relatable. They are extremely knowledgeable, but don’t profess to be authorities on every financial topic out there. They employ a panel of experts and special guests to share different perspectives on a wide range of subjects.  Many of their guests have eschewed conventional financial advice in favor being trailblazers, and this is something I find highly motivating.

In my opinion, the best reason to listen to podcasts is that they add value to your day without adding a time commitment. Unless you are doing something that requires brainpower, you can easily play podcasts anytime you would normally listen to music. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shut off my radio on the drive to work because I was sick of the same music and advertisements over and over. Podcasts have provided me with the perfect solution to this – I now listen to them anytime I’m driving by myself for longer than ten minutes or so.

Podcasts also make time-consuming household chores more enjoyable and profitable. I now walk around my house doing mundane tasks while educating myself on whatever topic I’m interested in at the moment. I listen while I’m cooking, doing laundry, packing, or even showering. Sometimes I get so focused on whatever I’m listening to that I forget I’m doing a dreaded task at the same time. I don’t know about you, but anything that makes cleaning the shower more tolerable is a major win for me!

Here’s the bottom line with podcasts: they provide me with another way to hustle. I am a terrible multi-tasker, and therefore don’t believe in doing it – except in this case. We all have a certain number of brainless tasks to complete each week…why not seize this time to learn about something we’re passionate about?

What small step have you taken today to reach one of your goals?

I put $1500 into an investment account!

 

 

Stay Inspired, 10/7/15

As I discussed in this post, I believe in the power of staying inspired. In fact, I believe in it so much that I’m starting a “Stay Inspired” series as a regular part of this blog.

My inspiration today comes from Steve Jobs – a man who needs no introduction. There’s a good chance you’ve already heard about his 2005 Stanford commencement speech, as it has been widely circulated and quoted over the past decade. Let me tell you, it’s worth watching again and again.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from his speech:

  • Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.
  • Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
  • Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. 
  • …for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. 

Here is the entire speech:

 

What small step have you taken today to reach one of your goals?

P90X – Yoga + 5-mile run (in place of Plyometrics)

 

 

 

Stay Inspired, 9/28/15

As I discussed in this post, I believe in the power of staying inspired. In fact, I believe in it so much that I’m starting a “Stay Inspired” series as a regular part of this blog.

Today’s inspiration is brought to you by Van Halen. If you haven’t really listened to “Right Now,” please take 5 minutes and 23 seconds and do it today. And I don’t mean just turning it on in the background while mindlessly yelling “Right Now” every so often – let the music and the message sink in.

Music is such a powerful force when we don’t cheapen its purpose to simple background noise. Some of my most introspective moments occur when I’m laying in bed, alone, listening on repeat to a song that moves me to the core. (I’ve got music running through my veins, so maybe I’ll expand on this in another post. For now, I digress.)

Here is the video (lyrics below):

Don’t wanna wait til tomorrow,
Why put it off another day?
One more walk through problems,
Built up, and stand in our way, ah
One step ahead, one step behind me
Now you gotta run to get even
Make future plans, don’t dream about yesterday, hey
C’mon turn, turn this thing around

Right now, hey
It’s your tomorrow
Right now,
C’mon, it’s everything
Right now,
Catch a magic moment, do it
Right here and now
It means everything

Miss the beat, you lose the rhythm,
And nothing falls into place, no
Only missed by a fraction,
Slipped a little off your pace, oh,
The more things you get, the more you want,
Just trade in one for the other,
Workin so hard, to make it easier, whoa,
Got to turn, c’mon turn this thing around

Right now, hey
It’s your tomorrow
Right now,
C’mon, it’s everything
Right now,
Catch that magic moment, do it
Right here and now
It means everything

It’s enlightened me, right now
What are you waitin for
Oh, yeah, right now

Right now, hey
It’s your tomorrow
Right now,
C’mon, it’s everything
Right now,
Catch that magic moment, and do it right,
Right now
Right now, oh, Right now
It’s what’s happening?
Right here and now
Right now
It’s right now
Oh,
Tell me, what are you waiting for
Turn this thing around

What small step have you taken today to reach one of your goals?

P90X – Plyometrics, Chest/Shoulders/Triceps, Ab Ripper, & half of Yoga (I’m playing catch up right now.)

 

 

Stay Inspired, 9/21/15

As I discussed in this post last week, I believe in the power of staying inspired. In fact, I believe in it so much that I want to include a “Stay Inspired” series as a regular part of this blog.

Today’s dose of inspiration is short and sweet. (I’m giving you the abridged version of the story, but if you want to read more, feel free to click here.)

Watch 2-year-old Kayden below as he learns to walk with his new prosthetics. Kayden had his right foot and left leg amputated as the result of a rare birth defect called omphalocele. Be sure to watch all the way to the end – it just keeps getting better!

 

Ummm…what was my excuse again for skipping my workout today? I’m off to the basement for my daily session with Tony Horton and the P90X crew.

What has inspired you recently?

What small step have you taken today to reach one of your goals?

P90X Chest & Back + Ab Ripper

Stay Inspired

I truly believe in the power of staying inspired. Inspiration is ubiquitous, and can easily be found with a few clicks of the mouse.

Note that staying inspired is different from getting inspired. We all get inspired to do something awesome once in a while, but the excitement is fleeting, and inevitably fades away. We then fall back into our old, boring routines and abandon our pursuits of awesomeness.

At the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious, I think I’ve found the solution to this: Work harder at staying inspired! Doing so helps us keep our eye on the prize rather than succumbing to laziness and procrastination. It’s really not that difficult, and yet so many of us – me included – fail to do it. Instead we choose to retreat to the couch and watch a Netflix marathon with a family-size bag of Doritos.

From here on out, I’m going to fight against that. There are many reasons to be exhausted, frustrated, and angry…but there is no excuse to be uninspired.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to be motivated by different things depending on my mood. One day I can read about Guy Gertsch running the Boston marathon with a broken leg and think, “Well that must have hurt,” and immediately forget about his incredible story. The next day I can watch The Lion King for the 38th time and bawl my eyes out as Mufasa dies, vowing to let go of all my unhappiness and never take life for granted.

I’m pretty ridiculous sometimes.

My point is that different things “click” with me depending on my state of mind. Here is something that resonated with me today:

Please take 2 minutes and 2 seconds out of your day to watch this video. If you want to read the full background story, check it out here. Amy’s message is powerful, and is just what I needed to hear today.

What has inspired you recently?

What small step have you taken today to reach one of your goals?

P90X Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps + Yoga