My Secret Inspirations

Happy September.

How are you feeling about how your year has gone so far? Thrilled? Grumpy? Proud? Worried? Don’t worry. Just because the year is two thirds over doesn’t mean there isn’t time for you to change what your 2017 looks like.

I remind myself of this every month. What has passed already does not necessarily define my year or my life. There is always time to make changes and shift direction. As part of that, at the beginning of every month, I carve out an hour or two to listen to some of my favorite people speak about the things that matter to me most.

Yes, I’ve listened to these dozens of times, to the point that I have almost memorized them and yes, I will keep listening to them over and over, until I have genuinely incorporated the messages into the way I think and act on an every day basis.

So what are these talks? I’m so glad you asked. 😀

Most of them are TED talks so feel free to do what I’ve done and download the audio/video onto your phone or tablet via the handy app so you can listen at your leisure.

One of my all-time favorite authors and speakers is Brené Brown. I adore her and her message more than I, as a fairly articulate person, can explain. I found her through her TED talk on vulnerability and am now equally in love with her message on listening to shame. I have read all her books and happily purchased the audible version of her talks on the power of vulnerability. As someone who didn’t grown up with an understanding of shame resilience and the importance of being vulnerable and true to yourself, of being wholehearted and enough, her message has been incredibly powerful for me. I hope one day to live as she inspires me to and also to get to speak with her in person (call me if you want that to happen, Brené. I will legit fly to Texas to have coffee with you.)

Another favorite whose books I have devoured in Malcolm Gladwell. His talk on spaghetti sauce helped me understand decision making and choice and well, his books are fantastic. You can get an idea of his book David & Goliath by watching his TED talk of the same name.

Susan Cain’s TED talk on the power of introverts introduced me to her work and her book Quiet. This book gave me so much insight into who I really am (yes, an introvert, despite what you may think) and that it’s okay to give myself the quiet time I need to be my best self. Whether your’e an introvert or not, this book (or at the very least, the talk) should be something you learn from. There are so many introverts in the world and Western Society is not built for us.

The first time I watched Amy Cuddy’s talk on body language, I learned a lot.  The second time, I noticed the part of her story and thought “Yikes. Recovering from something like that seems nearly impossible.” I can now assure you it’s neither impossible nor easy and I have so much more respect for who is she and what she has accomplished. I listen to this talk at least several times a year to remind myself to open up and be confident, both physically and emotionally.

I wasn’t excited to watch Sarah Kay’s talk the first time and avoided it for months. I hadn’t been a fan of spoken word poetry until I watched her talk, but now I’ve seen it enough times I almost have B memorized.

What changed my mind forever on spoken word poetry wasn’t Sarah Kay though, it was Shane Koyczan’s for the beautiful and the bullied, which brought tears to my eyes, no matter that I’m not a crier. It still does and I’ve seen it dozens, perhaps hundreds, of times. No matter who you are, you’ve had these moments.  You’ve been the bully and the victim, nearly all of us have, and stepping out of that nasty cycle is an every day effort.

Today being the first of the month, I took the time to listen to each of these talks as I wrote about them (so yes, I totally cheated and multitasked the legit way.) .

Do you have any little rituals to motivate and inspire yourself on a regular basis?  I’d love to hear about them and try them out.


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