Motivational and Inspirational Stories
Author: D Anthony, D-Rose Impressions, 03/02
few years back, after a long work week and a rain drenching
storm, I found myself stuck in heavy traffic
no where fast. Although there was a chance I would be
late for an appointment, I realized that getting irritated
wouldn't serve a purpose - or get me there sooner. It
was in that frame of mind that I saw it. It was a beautiful
rainbow, majestically stretching across the horizon. It
was a magnificent gift from above which left me feeling
extremely privileged and blessed
But I couldn't help wondering just how many of that afternoon's
commuters even paused to witness the glorious display.
My guess was the bulk of the motorists, especially those
stuck with me in the traffic jam, missed it entirely.
My guess was most were far too preoccupied with things
like the traffic
the day to day
- to be impacted by a simple gift from the Almighty. Because
I was receptive however, that rainbow set the tone for
the rest of my day. Today I don't remember what appointment
I was trying to meet, but I do warmly remember the rainbow.
What about you
would you have noticed the rainbow?
There is beauty and magnificence around us everyday
- but we often miss it. Every sunrise
every soaring bird
falling from the sky
every cool breeze
cloud formation in the horizon
the scent of newly
each and every rainbow. To be happy,
truly happy - we must surround ourselves with positive
people and thoughts, and ensure we are not so preoccupied
with living that life passes us by. Following are three
steps that should help you to get on the right path.
Step 1: Adjust Your Filters
People typically complain about how much negativity there
is in the world. But maybe it's not so much more negativity
as it is our perspective. Which information we choose
to (and not to) digest is paramount. Whether we realize
it or not, countless times each day we consciously, and
subconsciously, choose the input we are open to receive.
It's only natural that because of the massive volume of
data available we routinely establish subconscious filters
to manage the flow.
Not sold on it? Following are a couple of quick examples
to highlight both the existence and effect of these filters.
The Existence - Try to close your eyes and just listen.
Attempt to locate a sound that you didn't notice before.
Try the same with your sense of smell. See if you can
locate a fragrance that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.
While the presence of these sounds and scents are unmistakable
once identified, prior to the exercise chances are, as
far as your consciousness was concerned, some didn't exist.
The Effect - (To get the impact of this example complete
Task 1 before reading Task 2.) Task 1: Take one minute,
look around the room and make a mental note of twenty
items with blue in them. (Stop reading and complete Task
1.) Task 2: Now without taking your eyes off this article,
name twenty items in the room that have the color green
The key isn't how many items you could identify - simply
the recognition of the existence of these filters and
understanding the importance of managing them. By setting
filters to emphasize certain environmental elements we
naturally de-emphasize others. As in the case of the rainbow, our filters must be adjusted to recognize, admire and
celebrate those simple things - which are truly the
essence of life.
Step 2: Start A Positive Thoughts Collection
Surround yourself with positive thoughts and words. Collect
a few favorite passages and quotes that define the type
of person you ideally aspire to be. Post them in the areas
you frequent at home and work. Read them on a regular
basis. Get in the habit of reading them when you wake
up in the morning and quoting them as advice to friends.
Amazingly enough the more you think about them, the more
they will become a part of you.
Actively seek to enhance your collection of positive
thoughts as often as you can. Be on the lookout for
positive, inspiring messages from where ever they may
come. With your filters adjusted, you'll find positive
input can come from just about anywhere
a loved one
on the street
even a memory.
Watching 'The Last Castle' recently for example, (a terrific
movie by the way), there is a defining scene when a military
prison guard raises his arm to strike an inmate. The protagonist,
a convicted three star general and relatively recent addition
to the prisoner population, grabs his arm, looks him in
the eyes and utters a simple, yet powerful phrase - "You're
better than this." Those words would prove to be
both empowering and self-fulfilling throughout the remainder
of the movie.
And as the sentiment proved to be empowering and self-fulfilling
for the characters in the story, I began to consider the
potential impact those words could have on my own actions.
As a result, when I find myself in a mode that is less
than constructive, regardless of the preceding circumstances
- my resolve is to remind myself
I'm better than
that. This triggers an immediate mind state change
- and the implied necessity for me to live up to the sentiment.
Thus with minimal effort, even a simple movie phrase can
become immensely uplifting in our lives.
Step 3: Consider Your Sources
Last but not least, surround yourself with positive people.
Les Brown, a motivational speaker, effectively expresses
it this way - "get the toxic people out of your life."
Being around negative energy is both mentally and emotionally
While inspiring people with provoking, constructive thoughts
are often times difficult to locate, the rewards are well
worth the effort. A timely nugget of insight from an
interested, motivated confidant with a positive state
of mind can provide perspective, clarity, direction and,
most importantly, true inspiration.
With the elimination of most of the negative thoughts,
occasional doses of positivity (I know
Heritage and Microsoft both say it's not a word
but maybe it should be) from members of your newly formed
network of positive influences will offer tremendous value.
This coupled with the more inspired internal communication
that will result within will translate into a much happier,
healthier, more inspired and successful you.
What It All Means
In the end, it's important to note that typically life
is merely a collection of self-fulfilling prophecies. When you wake up in the morning and think you are going
to have either a good day or bad day - chances are you
will be correct. My theory is that the way we feel
is about 15 - 20% circumstance and 80 - 85% perspective.
Thus, change your perspective and you can't help but change
your life. Or as an incredibly inspiring motivational
speech I purchased by W. Mitchell (highly recommended
his story will touch you) proclaims - 'It's Not What Happens
To You, It's What You Do About It."
In a recent conversation with a somewhat frustrated friend,
I attempted to offer a little perspective. As much of
the problem was work related, I suggested that only she
was responsible for her perspective - that her coworkers
couldn't impact her state of mind without her concurrence.
She asked me how it was that I always seemed happy. As
an example I offered that although we were beginning a
long, typically less than productive mandatory meeting,
which my recent late work hours suggested I didn't have
time for - I'd maintain a positive perspective via occasional
outward glances to take in the rustling trees and beautiful
sky. I indicated that at those times, although I would
be at the meeting
I wouldn't be. Instead I would
be enjoying scenery that, without the meeting, I would
never have seen. Her response - "that's too simple
as a concept it makes sense but it wouldn't work in real
life." My response to her was if she wanted to
keep getting what she was getting, she should keep doing
what she was doing.
When it comes down to it being happier is simply a matter
of putting yourself in the right state of mind and surrounding
yourself with positive people and positive thoughts. Think
who are the happiest population of people
we know? Little kids
And what are little kids surrounded
by? Toys, laughter and friends interested in the same
surround them. Little kids are not just happy because
they are little kids. Like any adult their mood is reflective
of whether they have a nurturing, positive environment.
Permanently remove the toys, laughter and like-minded
friends and odds are that little kid won't remain happy
In the final analysis, life doesn't change - we have
to change it. It takes effort
but the dividends
are well worth the investment. I'm reminded of a story
of a young man passing a porch with an older man in a
rocking chair and a moaning dog. The young man asks what
is wrong with the dog. The older man responds that the
dog is only moaning because he is lying on a nail. The
young man further inquires why the dog doesn't just get
up off the nail. To which the older man offers - "well,
I guess it's not hurting him that much
What about you
Are you lying on any nails these
days? If so, how much does yours hurt?
Make the investment in yourself
collect all the positive input you can
and eliminate the negative influences in your life. It
will do wonders for your perspective and your passion
Catch you at the next rainbow...
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