Staying Inspired

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“Nothing GREAT was ever achieved without ENTHUSIASM.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

By Jaime Willis

Photo Credit: My adorable nephew, Tate, by Jamie Geysbeek
Some days, we just aren’t feeling it. That was me on Saturday morning. I got to bed later than I wanted to Friday night, and the morning came way too early for me. Matt and I were meeting at 7:45am to prepare for our third goal-setting workshop — where I was supposed to spend five hours encouraging others to find their passion and make it happen.
I knew I needed an attitude adjustment, but my normal priming just wasn’t working. I decided to dress up (typically, Matt and I teach in jeans) in the hopes that looking nice would impact my attitude. Matt noticed right away that I was low energy and we both just hoped that I would pop out of it before the course began.
When we got our course site, I was still not feeling ready to inspire. My mood was further darkened by an overzealous security guard who insisted on arguing with me, even though we agreed! (“Good morning! I came up to sign in, as your colleague requested.” “WHAT? You have to sign in!!” “Ok, that’s fine. I am here to sign in.” “Well, you have to. How did you get in without signing in??” and so on…)
I went to Starbucks to pick up our coffee and tea travelers for the morning breakfast spread, and, in a flash, I got inspired! Starbucks has innovated their cardboard coffee travelers by adding these awesome ‘saddle bags’ to help customers carry all the accessories that come with a gallon of coffee. Seeing that neat little innovation made me smile and turned my mood around. I tipped the staff (another great way to improve your mood–do something nice for someone else) and walked back to our classroom in a much lighter mood.
Our class this weekend was the best one we’ve ever had. All the participants were engaged, Matt and I brought our “A” game, and the course itself was well-designed after several big tweaks based on our previous courses’ feedback. I’d hate to think how the course would have gone if I had not been able to get into a positive frame of mind.
Sometimes, it takes such a little thing to get inspired. To stay positive. To turn that frown upside down. If you find yourself needing a little inspiration, here are a few places to go to get your own mood back on track:
Tess Marshall writes a great blog, The Bold Life, that I discovered when her daughters, my high school classmates, linked to it on their facebook page. She has lots of great content, so if you liked that post, consider subscribing to her RSS feed to get a regular dose of the Bold Life.
TED started as a “Technology, Entertainment, and Design” conference, but has since spread to cover any and all interesting topics in 20 minute (or less) presentations. Search for a specific topic or just click on a random talk–you won’t be disappointed.
Seriously, try to be in a bad mood while scrolling through this photo set.
Just like the Starbucks saddle bag, this site is full of really neat stuff that could serve as a jumping off point for your new, amazing invention. Or, you could just buy a squishy gel magnet because it’s cool.
5. Set the Mood!
Open these three links in separate tabs, turn up your speakers, and just chill. A perfect way to relax at the end of a stressful day, or to start your day on a calming note. (HT to
6. Inspiring True Stories
Read about the amazing accomplishments of others here or just browse through our TGIF posts.
Have a great day!

2 thoughts on “Staying Inspired

  1. very well said! Lots of ideas I do already without realizing it and others I never thought about. Even a stay at home wife with grown children can benefit from this. My busy weekend is done and other than going to see about adopting a friend for Lilly, I had no plans. That's not a good thing after several productive and satisfyingly busy days. I feel the lack of enthusiasm. I will be inspired to add a few upbeat ideas here to my day. Every little mood lifter makes my day more successful and helps others feel good too.

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