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    January 2011

    Video Inspiration: How to make walking up the stairs fun

    January 25, 2011 2199 Views

    "If you cannot do do great things, do small things in a great way." -Napoleon Hill

    Do you ever feel like you're stuck in a rut? I sometimes feel like that, especially in winter. After the holidays, I always feel like I'm stuck going from home to work and back again, with a few regular activities in the mix. I like work and my home...but, it's easy to think of those warm summertime vacations and feel a little cabin fever about the present situation.

    So, how do I bring the inspiration? Well, I can't exactly take a vacation to a tropical island, so my other option is to make little things in my ordinary life extraordinary. Here's a little example that gave me some motivation. Coincidentally, Michael McMillan also blogged about this same video in relation to our Pink Bat book:

    While I don't think I'll be building a piano staircase anytime soon, I feel inspired to take a mundane, boring task and turn it into something amazing. Here are a few little things that I'll be doing this week to break out of my rut: Trying a new recipe, taking my wife on a different kind of date, and taking notes in brightly colored pens. Now, you might be thinking that last one is small...and you're right. Honestly, though, sometimes it's the small things in life that make a big difference.

    How to light your inner fire

    January 21, 2011 3825 Views

    Here's a little motivation to get your weekend started!

    Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?

    January 19, 2011 3883 Views

    Here's a short story about how your choices determine who you are:

    The two wolves

    A Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson about how he felt. He said, "I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is the vengeful, angry, violent one. The other wolf is the loving, compassionate one." The grandson asked him, "Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?" The grandfather answered: "The one I feed."

    Earl Nightingale summarized it best when he said, "We are what we think about." Make a decision today to feed the right wolf.

    Martin Luther King Jr.'s Speech, a Guest Post by Michael McMillan

    January 17, 2011 1976 Views

    Today, we're happy to share our guest blogger, Michael McMillan. Michael has authored and co-authored four books published by Simple Truths, including Paper Airplane and The Power of Teamwork. Michael recently visited Washington D.C. and was reminded about the gravity of Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech 48 years ago. Please enjoy Michael's post:

    "We must use time creatively," MLK, Jr.

    Last week I was in DC delivering a keynote to a group of educators—superintendents, principals and vice principals. The event theme, Turning Problems Into Solutions, is the subtitle of my book, Pink Bat. My challenge was to inspire the audience to embrace creative thinking, look at "problems" in a new light, and to provide tools they could use to motivate the many teachers they influence. The client had great expectations… and I had only 45 minutes to make it happen. I'm happy to report the audience was wonderful, and based on the feedback, the event was a success. It seems I made my 45 minutes count.

    Since Anne was able to join me, we decided to stay an extra day and explore our nation's capital. We walked a good ten miles, taking in the many sites DC has to offer. At some point we found ourselves climbing the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. And then, unintentionally, we both stopped short of reaching the massive marble statue and bowed our heads… eighteen steps short to be exact. With heads bowed, we read the inscription engraved in the step, "I HAVE A DREAM. Martin Luther King, Jr., The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, August 28, 1963." My mind raced and I became overwhelmed with emotions. Without thinking about it, we found ourselves standing on the very step from which Dr. King delivered his historic speech.

    After a moment… I honestly don't know how long we stood there… we eventually made our way up the remaining steps and listened to the National Park Ranger's presentation. While his presentation was informative and the monument was inspiring, I couldn't stop thinking about Dr. King. I returned to the step and stood directly on it. Looking out over the National Mall, I closed my eyes and traveled back to 1963. I was five years old when Dr. King shared his dream, but I remember it vividly… watching it on a black and white TV screen, hearing it repeated on the radio, listening to adults and kids discuss it as I tried to reconcile his words, their words, and my thoughts about the turbulent times. Dr. King was then… and remains… one of my heroes.

    I opened my eyes briefly to take in the entire scene before closing them again and trying to remember the words spoken here some 48 years ago. He conveyed so much in such a profoundly eloquent and compelling way. But it was the end of his speech—the part where Dr. King departed from his prepared notes and improvised—when his vision became known to the world. Apparently, Mahalia Jackson, an African-American gospel singer, prompted him by shouting, "Tell them about the dream, Martin!" And tell us he did.

    When we returned to our hotel that evening, I looked up the transcript of the "I Have a Dream" speech and read the words several times. Then something profound struck me. In this iconic speech, this brilliant man masterfully referenced numerous biblical allusions, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Declaration of Independence, Shakespeare's "Richard III," an old Negro spiritual, and so much more… all in seventeen minutes! What more can be said?


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