Let’s Make September Electric

I hope that you had a great summer recharging your batteries. Whether you are heading back to work or heading off to college for the very first time, I truly hope that your September will be electric!

I hope that you will make new connections in September and sparks will fly. I hope that you join a new network of friends and peers and you become a conductor of energy that flows throughout them. Sometimes having all of this energy and electricity running through you might create some tension with others. If that’s the case, act like a lighting rod and deflect all of the negative energy and electricity and bury it in the ground.

As long as you have the nourishment you need to keep your body healthy, you’ll have the energy to do whatever you want. Channel it and put it to good use.

electric, electricity, lightning rod, conductor, sparks, batteries

These 4 Words Can Help You

Networking, Connections, Mentors, Inspiration

These are some of my favorite words––words that I use a lot. What makes these four words so important is that they are linked––well, at least I consider them linked. For instance: when you are “networking”, often times you are building new “connections”. These new bonds, over time, could lead to one of your connections becoming more of a “mentor” in your life who might support and give you some “inspiration”. Some people use their networking abilities to meet more like-minded individuals who are following down a similar path. They use their connections to opens doors for themselves both in business and in life.

But a word of caution: Don’t just take, take, take from your network, connections and mentors. If you finally get to that fourth word and find “inspiration”, and you owe some of it to the people in your network, you need to flip the script and learn to give back. Become a mentor yourself, and inspire a whole new generation. Be that connector in your group. This is when life really gets interesting.

4 words, inspiration, networking, connections, mentors

Thursday’s Thoughts: Some Experiences are Humbling

When I was 13 or 14 years old, I got my first guitar. I learned a few chords and tried to play along to my favorite songs. More than 25 years later, I bought myself a new guitar, and here I am, trying to re-learn everything that I once new.

It’s a humbling feeling when the teenager in me knows the tunes, but my 42 year old fingers keep messing up the songs. Even an old dog will have to re-learn his or her tricks if they’re not used to doing them. Practicing is how you create your rhythm. Artists, athletes, and musicians, just to name a few, practice their crafts to become proficient. The ones who practiced a lot are easier to pick out of a crowd. You can see it in their presentation, their preparedness and their confidence. Once you get into a good rhythm, the things you “like” to do ultimately become the things your “love” to do. Keep practicing what you love to do every single day. You may never perfect your given craft, but if the spotlight was on you, you wouldn’t be afraid to stand up on that stage and play.

guitar, acoustic guitar, acoustic electric guitar

Illuminate like a Lightbulb

When a lightbulb is on, it illuminates a room. It helps us to see clearer and enables our eyes to focus so we don’t have to strain them.

When off, the glass of a bulb reflects the contents of its surroundings, as long as the glass isn’t frosted.

If you yourself were a lightbulb, do you think that you illuminate the people that surround you, support and care for them, congratulate and promote them, or do you reflect them, pay them no mind, toss their ideas to the side only to concentrate on yourself.

If you have just realized that the latter sounds more like you, don’t fret, you’re in luck. There is an easy fix to this: flip the switch up to the ‘on’ position. Be the filament that brightens someone else’s day!

lightbulb, light, shine

Gratitude: Stand Up and Be Counted

The time to express your gratitude towards another for their kind deed doesn’t have to be the second after or even a minute after they do something for you––as long as it eventually happens. There are a lot of giving souls in this world. Don’t you want to be counted as being one of them?

Stephen Sheffield, Time Keeper, watch, pocket watch, time, panopticon gallery

Stephen Sheffield, Time Keeper, 2010

Be the Hub of your Network

Louis Henri Pingitore, Oread, light, photograph, photography

Louis Henri Pingitore, Oread, 2012

Sometimes when we chose to befriend someone, our network grows. That’s the key, right? To converge into a large enough bunch and intermingle, share ideas, thoughts, advice, and time with others––others who have similar wants, needs, and tastes. What if we got close enough to the others but never really made a connection: we never really clicked. We might just be floating along with no ending in sight, like random lightwaves traveling through time, crisscrossing and zooming by.

Be that beam of light that shines brightest and lights up a room. You are colorful in many ways. Show everyone what you are made of and you might become the hub of the network you so desired to belong to.

Finding Inspiration

apple, globe, kevin van aelst, photographer, panopticon gallery

Kevin Van Aelst, Apple Globe, 2007

Finding Inspiration when you think all the good ideas have already been taken.

I’m not sure what to write.
I’m not sure what to photograph.
I’ve been staring at a blank canvas all day.
I feel like I’m writing the same song over and over.

I’m not sure this applies to any of you reading this, but artists sometimes get themselves in a bit of a quandary––low and behold: Artist’s Block. You know, kinda like “writer’s block”, but on a more diversified scale. You, yes you, the artist over there that looks down in the dumps. You’re getting in your own way. You’ve set up roadblocks for yourself. You’ve convinced yourself that there is nothing original to be said––that it’s “all been done before.” Come on now, you’re an ARTIST!

With a show of hands, who hasn’t felt like this? If you find yourself in one of these predicaments, try to remember that “ah-hah” moment you had a few months or days back when you actually had a moment of brilliance––that time when things were clear and your artistic mojo was working for you. Recall that moment, harness it for half a minute, then get back to work. If that doesn’t help, go for a stroll to your nearest bookstore, gallery or museum. Breathe in the art. Let it consume every morsel of your being. Don’t you feel better already. Are you ready to create?

People who define themselves as “artists” have an innate ability that others do not have. Some think that you can learn to be an artist, but I believe you are born with with an artistic genome––schooling just helps you mold and fine tune what is already there.

Artists are gifted, talented and unique individuals. If we didn’t have them in this world, life would be pretty boring. Actually, someone smarter than me once said: “Earth without art would be Eh

All the inspiration that you need is already inside you. You just have to be determined enough to let it out.

Inspiration Can Be Bite Size

“If you aren’t inspired by anything, create the inspiration yourself.” ~ Me.

You have the power to do anything you want in this lifetime. You just have to put your mind to it, show up and be present. If you are not inspired by external things, look inside you for inspiration. You just might surprise yourself.

I often find inspiration after listing to music, or reading a book, or taking a long walk. Something witty and surprising that a child might have said might trigger a moment of inspiration too, like the day that I heard this quote:

“I wish that reality was bite size.”  ~Milo

It was funny hearing this come from a nine year old. Reality and things that are real can be bite size. And so can things that inspire you. Find them or create them, then build them up. Share your inspirations with others, and soon the others will be coming to you for inspiration.

Where will you go today for inspiration?


It’s never too late

Recently, I received an email from someone who was inspired by a post I made on Facebook.  The post looked something like this: “It’s a great feeling to do what you want and do what you love. Everyone should try it sometime if you’re not doing it already.” ~ Me

I was feeling real good about life that day and I was also trying to inspire others. This person responded to the post with a rather lengthy email to me. He wanted to share a quote with me that he was very fond of.

It’s never too late to become what you could have been.” (attributed to George Eliot).
There has been a lot of mystery surrounding this exact quote, as noted (here) on Quote Investigator. His email included this interpretation by Lee Baucom:

(This is one of my favorite quotes. He reminds me that we are never finished developing into who we want to be. Who we are becoming is a constantly changing and developing piece.  We are always growing, changing, and becoming more and more of who we are. Were reading about how Michelangelo talked about his creating a sculpture.  He said that he looked at the rock,  decided what was in it, then chipped everything else away.  In other words, he was looking to see what the rock was supposed to be. That’s what we do.  We are constantly seeking to find what we are supposed to be. Then our job is to get rid of everything else. We grow up becoming who others want us to be. Then one day we look around, realize that the path we have been on has not been ours, and we have to make a decision.  We have to decide whether we will continue following someone else’s path or whether we will start our own path. Sometimes, people decide that it’s too late in life to change paths. Too bad. When we realize that we were on the wrong path, then we have a chance to take the right path. Sometimes, we just know that were not on the right path, but we don’t know what the right path is. That’s when we have to get rid of the things that are in our way of discovering a new path. That’s when we have to chip away all that doesn’t belong. Once we do that, our path becomes much more clear. In fact, what we discover is that fear has kept us off the right path. Fear has kept us from doing and being who we want to be and what we want to do. Until we face that fact, we keep ourselves from being who we could be.  More importantly, we keep ourselves from the being who we want to be. Perhaps, we even keep ourselves from being who we should be.)

You never know.  What you say or do might just inspire someone else to react in the most beautiful of ways.