Inspiration and Passion for Living

What inspires you to be great? I love asking people this question. Some people think of world leaders like Nelson Mandela or even JFK. Others think of Astronauts, test pilots, or famous race car drivers like Danica Patrick. Still other people think of famous business leaders like Steve Jobs and Jack Welch or top athletes like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. And then there are celebrities like Angelina Jolie or Russell Crowe.

Notice that the question wasn’t who inspires you to be great? Instead, it is what inspires you to be great? So, what inside you inspires you to be great? The famous people that I mentioned earlier all have a fundamental passion to create, experience, and excel. Inspiration is important even if it starts from without, but eventually it must become internal to stick. Have you ever attended a personal growth seminar or retreat and found yourself all charged up for a week or so upon returning? If you have, you are like many of us. The group experience, combined with the charisma of the teacher, guru or adventurer or whatever he or she refers to himself as, only lasts so long. Just as we must internalize change for it to last, inspiration must become internalized as well.

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In December of 2006, I unhooked from a relatively conventional life in the “Burbs,” put my business on the phone, hopped in my convertible with my girlfriend and Labradoodle, headed south to Pensacola and then West to Santa Fe. The most challenging part of my journey was at the beginning when I was flooded with the anxiety that is often associated with massive change. The second hardest part was when Tuck (my Labor-doodle) and I headed on to Santa Fe alone. Again, I was faced with substantial change, accompanied by doubt and sadness. We lived and traveled out west for nearly two years.  I can boast that I have a dog that has swam in the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, as well as rivers and lakes in Colorado and New Mexico! I can also say that his master has faced significant change many times in his life.

I am not for a moment suggesting that you “unhook” from your life though there are some pretty amazing benefits to leaving a traditional structure, venturing into the unknown, and letting go of conditioning associated with the old structure. I am suggesting that each of us find a way to face our fear of change because unless we learn to do so, we will suffer. Much of our suffering as humans comes from our resistance to change and our inability to let go.

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“At a time when many laid-off workers have to take a pay cut to land a new job, members of the millennial generation are jumping ship from their companies after just two years,” as stated in an article I just read in the Los Angeles Times. What does this mean?

As many of us already know, the business climate has changed a great deal since the recession of 2008. Americans, in general, are making less money and working more, finding it harder than ever to land compelling opportunities. I have friends and clients who got “spit out” of corporate America during the recession and have had a super-challenge getting back in. This is especially true if they are older. Not long ago, a cable TV channel interviewed me regarding my perspective on the best ways help discouraged job seekers in their forties and fifties. The essence of what I said boiled down to two things: creativity and perseverance.

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