Tag Archives: Motivation

The Special Gift of Ispiration



What or who inspires you? To start, this is what I mean when I ask that question.
For now, let us work with the definition of inspiration as the a particularly wonderful flow of energy that comes about and moves through us when we are in tune with a level of our selves that is above and beyond our ‘normal’, ‘everyday’ selves. It is the energy that we ignite when we are tuned into our higher selves.

I hope that each and every one of us can relate to a time in our own lives when we experienced this ‘higher level’ of energy; a flow of a force or drive that, for a lack of other ways to describe it, put goose bumps on our insides and gives us a tingly type of feeling from the inside out.

When I am inspired, I function on a different plane or level that I am not always able to replicate or unfortunately hold onto for very extended periods of time. It is a wonderful feeling, exhilarating and exciting and sort of like a bubbling inside, that keeps me writing faster, moving faster, thinking faster and most significantly, bursting with creativity.

Some of the things that tend to inspire me most are:
• Music – I even have certain songs or tunes or artists that inspire me most at specific times
• Writing – There are times when I start out without feeling inspired, but as I continue writing, I begin to become inspired by the actual experience of creating
• Accomplishing Something Challenging – Whenever I try something I think might be difficult for me or new and achieve it successfully
• Personal Stories – Learning about obstacles and personal victories of others



I want to post some of the most inspiring stories that I find about people who are doing things in their lives that inspire other people – that accomplish things or face challenges that can help others want to do more and be more in their own lives too.

And, I can’t think of a better time to do it than toward the beginning of the time when many of us may have already stared the reality of our own humanity in the face because we’re almost two weeks into the 2014 and most likely, have already experienced some type of feelings of not being ‘good enough’ or having failed at our attempt to achieve a goal.

It seems to me that people who provide inspiration to others achieve something quite amazing because it is like providing a sense of immortality to their accomplishment. In essence, what they have done is breath new life and energy into another person so they now can do something else that inspires someone else. They have fulfilled an extremely wonderful calling, by sharing more than their accomplishments, they also share the energy and the ‘spiritual’ component that exists only through the inspiration they stirred.

Planting A Garden Photo by Samantha Appleton

Planting A Garden
Photo by Samantha Appleton

It is like planting a garden full of new potential and possibility for what might be. It is hopeful, joyful and a gift beyond words!

Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

She Yelled and Called Me Names


A look at the power of empathy and compassion. . .

People: Good, Evil or Neutral?


I’m pretty sure one of my opinions goes against what most people think about a certain issue.

This isn’t usually the case because a) I’m not an opinionated person and b) the opinions I do have don’t tend to make any ripples. I have an agreeable nature and it’s for this reason that I feel like I shouldn’t have the opinion I have or at least shouldn’t share it. I don’t like to cause rifts and I avoid conflict like the plague; they just don’t make me feel good. Plus, I am very aware I might be wrong.

So please don’t hate me for having my opinion. If I could change my opinion so we could agree, I would seriously consider it. But I can’t shake what I really think. Even if I wanted to, I know deep down this is what I believe:

I believe in the fundamental goodness of people. I know not one of us is good all the time—we have all had bad thoughts and habits, we have all said and done bad things—and I know some people seem to spend more time being bad than good, but just as no human (who wasn’t also God) is purely good, I don’t believe any human can be purely evil. Even if a person seems like they have no good in them, I don’t believe anyone is a lost cause. I believe everyone can choose to do good no matter how much bad they’ve done.

The people who don’t know the difference between good and bad, right and wrong, I don’t think this a fault of their own—not entirely anyway. I’d think genetics and things like bad influences and traumatic experiences would play a role.

How do you define “evil” anyway? Is it intentionally doing the wrong thing? Is it doing the wrong thing when you believe you’re doing the right thing? Is it the motivation for doing the wrong thing? For example, is it evil to do the wrong thing for personal gain? And is it evil to do the wrong thing for the good of others? Does context and circumstance always come into it?

I’m not sure how I define “evil” but for some reason this is my opinion: Hitler wasn’t evil. I know lots of people will disagree with me and I fully understand why. Part of me wonders why on earth I would believe he wasn’t evil. But it’s just the way it is. I believe he did a lot of horrible things that were wrong and shouldn’t have been done. I believe he did these things on such a scale that might lead people to conclude that he himself was evil. I totally get that, and like I said, part of me wishes I could agree with you.

I can’t fully explain why I have my opinion, but there it is. Especially considering I’m a naturally pessimistic person, you’d think I’d say he was evil.

So here are some questions to think about: Are people good, bad or neutral? What makes a person good or evil? Does it have to do with actions, motivations and/or the beliefs of a person?

A Second Time to Second That E-Motion

Emotion Chart

Emotion Chart

The response to my highly E-Motional post from yesterday was quite overwhelming! Enough so, it motivated me to continue with a bit more on the topic. In other words, due to popular demand, I would like to introduce I SECOND THAT E-MOTION – Part 2.

There is something you may have heard about called our EQ. Our EQ is to our feeling and emotional aspect of ourselves as the IQ is to the intellectual, cognitive aspect of ourselves. It is gaining popularity as more and more people are beginning to realize how important it actually is for people to develop maturity in their emotional skills, which help us better understand, empathize and negotiate with other people. As our economy become more global, this is becoming more and more important because we need to carry this maturity with us as we cross continents and work and live more with diverse cultures and norms.

A person’s EQ determines how well you can understand other people, how to work cooperatively with them, and what motivates them.

Self-Awareness –
This is recognizing emotions in the moment, as they happen. It is the key to EQ. It takes practice and more practice because you need to tune into your true feelings, something many of us are very much out of touch with due to all the distractions our lives contain. The only way we can evaluate our feelings is by tuning into them first. Then after we evaluate them, we can set out to manage them. Self-awareness includes:

* Emotional awareness – Recognizing our own emotions and their effects.
* Self-confidence – Be sure about our self-worth and our capabilities.

Self-regulation. Very few of us have any say over when we experience emotions. We do, however, have a lot to say over the intensity of the emotion and its duration. There are a number of techniques we can learn to help anger, anxiety or depression. Utilizing various types of sensory techniques, meditating, praying, or even walking; all are methods for self-regulating. It involves:

• Self-control. Managing disruptive impulses.
• Trustworthiness. Maintaining high levels of honesty and integrity.
• Conscientiousness. Owning full responsibility for your actions.
• Adaptability. Being flexible and bendable, open to change and growth.
• Innovation. Accepting of new methods and ideas.



Motivation. Two things are necessary to succeed. Clear goals and a positive attitude. By being able to tune into negative thoughts right in the moment of their conception, reframing becomes more possible, improving chances to achieve goals. Components of motivation are:

• Achievement drive. The desire to keep improving or reach a level of excellence.
• Commitment. Staying in line with the goals that have been set forth.
• Initiative. Being ever-ready to act on all opportunities as they appear.
• Optimism. Seeing obstacles as stepping stones rather than setbacks.

Being able to tell how others are feeling based on relating and connecting to similar feelings in ourselves – brings us closer to others. The more empathetic one is, the more they are able to excel at:

• Service orientation. Anticipating, recognizing and meeting the needs of others.
• Developing others. Tuning into the needs of others to help them reach their fullest potential.
• Leveraging diversity. Finding common ground between varying cultures and individuals despite their differences.
• Political awareness. Being able to recognize levels of power and the relationships of people within a group.
. Understanding others. Discerning the feelings behind the needs and wants of others.

Social skills. Being able to relate to people from all walks of life on various levels becomes more and more valuable. There is value in being able to connect to others, it makes whatever encounters we have with them easier and more effective. These skills are invaluable:

• Influence. The ability to persuade others.
• Communication. Sending and receiving clear messages.
• Leadership. Inspiring and guiding groups and people.
• Change catalyst. Although it is something most people fear, being able to initiate and manage change is an invaluable skill.
• Conflict management. Understanding, negotiating and resolving disagreements.
• Building bonds. Nurturing relationships.
• Collaboration and cooperation. Working with others toward common goals.
• Team capabilities. Creating good feelings and systems within groups to reach goals.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence

Harvard graduates in business demonstrate how important developing our EQ is for success in life. The more we know and learn about Emotional Intelligence, the happier we can be and more balanced of a life we can live.

Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

Getting It Done: Even when you don’t feel like it


If you’re like me, you experience days when knowing that you have to get things done doesn’t matter at all…you just don’t feel like it! Even with a “to-do list” a mile long and despite the second cup of coffee, there are those times when I can’t crank my engine.

Andmot if you’re more like me, you probably don’t have too many clients who are okay about you running a bit low on motivation, however. They don’t really care if I feel like finishing their projects or not. They just want them done in the agreed upon time frame and that is that!

I don’t want to just sit here and stare at my computer screen, but for some reason, it seems as if that’s about all I’m getting done. It’s not that I don’t have any motivation I tell myself, but if I’m going to be honest with myself and with you, that is exactly what it is.

So, what’s a girl to do?

The most I can offer up is a short list of some of the things I have found that help me kick-start myself. They may just help you, too.

1. Whistle a happy tune.

No, I’m not suggesting that you dance around the house at 6:00 a.m., but if you wake up and start complaining about how much you don’t want to have to do the things you have to do, you won’t stand a fighting chance. You’ve got to help give yourself the drive to get things done and negative thoughts and feelings do just the opposite.

By presenting your brain with some positive imagery as soon as you get up, you’re fueling your motivational tank. Imagery is unbelievably powerful. Try it. Before you get out of bed, visualize the way you want your day to go. You can imagine yourself checking item by item off your daily “to-do list.” Make your mental pictures as specific as you can and then start your day just the way you imagine.

Research show that mentally imagining that you succeed at something, actually make it more likely that you accomplish what you want. The reason for this is that our mirror-neurons respond when thinking about doing something, as well as when we watch somebody else or do it ourselves. For example, watching somebody play the piano, will activate motor areas of the brain in the person who plays, and the one just watch. That is maybe why watching people do good deeds, and looking at violent movies, might be bad for us, because watching actually activates the areas of the brain necessary for callousness, altruism or hurting someone. This is especially so if like the person we watch. Mirror-neurons have been called he basis of civilization,

2. Rub elbows with positive people.

There’s an old expression my father used to say about sleeping with dogs and waking up with fleas. (I’m a die-hard dog lover, so please, don’t think I’m being literal here.)But there is a lot to be said about surrounding yourself with the type of people who have what you want. By watching how motivated people stay motivated, you will increase your chances of staying motivated too. We are creatures of habit and attitudes are contagious. So, the more often we see positive behavior around us, the more likely we are to pick it up.

3. Get into motion.

Another way to say this is “DO IT NOW!” In this case, “it” means something….anything. One of the best antidotes to inactivity is action. So, when you get an idea about what you’d like to do, start working on achieving it.

Inspiration can flow once you start working on a project and you may find momentum you didn’t know you possessed just because you set yourself in motion. Sometimes this occurs from the smallest of actions, so don’t worry about how much you do, just get moving.

4. Eliminate your options.

People almost always choose the path of least resistance and look for things that are most comfortable and easy. Getting things accomplished is no exception. When we convince ourselves that we are in a “do or die” position, most of us try harder to “do”.

This is not about perfection or about having things turn out exactly the way we want. It is about persevering. Having a Plan B in place is motialways smart and can only help make sure we stay in motion.

Everybody’s motivation is different. Not only do different people have different things that motivate them and different levels of motivation, but there are differences in our motivations from time to time. It is not a steadfast thing. So what gets us going one time may not work the next.
In order for goals to be accomplished, we have to work toward them, and the ‘fuel’ that makes that happen is our motivation. We need to know what it is that makes our motivation strong enough to see it through to the finish line and we need to know where to recharge and get that extra motivation when we need it.

If these tips help give you that little extra push that you need, I’d love to hear from you. Let me know which work the best and how you found the experience. I’m hoping to hear all about your fully crossed off list of things to do soon.

It can also help to think of yourself accomplishing what you want in the “third perspective (trying to look at the success the way other people would ) would.because this makes us feel life has meaning, and this feeling can in turn affect your motivation.

About the guest blogger:

I’m a licensed clinical social worker and have worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. I combine professional experience in the mental health field along with my love of writing to provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. I hope my down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life is easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!



better at sports by just watching

watching somebody play the piano can make you better

Mirror-neurons: the people we sorround ourselves with have an impact on our life