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Motivation and Inspiration: Illusions 101

Q: I was wondering if you could recommend any books on motivation and change that are fun to read and that aren't all rah rah, if you know what I mean. Could there even be such a thing as a book that's like a novel or short story that's about motivation?

Your question is very well-timed. I've recently been reading, for about the hundreth time, one of my favorite books. "Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah" by Richard Bach, is the story of what happens one summer when a barnstorming bi-plane pilot meets another barnstormer who is a bit of an advanced human being.

The book is full of qoutes about change, motivation and living a life well-lived.

I thought I'd share a few of my favorite qoutes from the book, and how they can be applied in our lives.

Gotta start with my favorite:

"Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours."

This has been said in many different ways by others:

As a man thinketh, so is he - Proverbs

Whether you believe you can or believe you can't, you are right - Henry Ford

One of the many things I challenge my clients with is to spend just one day paying attention to how many of their own limitations they argue for each day. It's truly amazing to me how often we argue for our limitations. In a way, it negative advertising in our own brains. Watch out for words such as "I can't", "I could never", "I don't have what it takes", etc.

Ket strategy: Use Tony Robbins approach, "If I can't, then I MUST!" It can change your life.

"Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't."

I see so many people who seem to go through life in a kind of dazed trance. Each one of us has a unique purpose for being here. The happiest people I know are the ones who seem to have found that purpose. It gets them up early and keeps them up late and fills their days with a zest for life. Even when they are tired, it's a "good tired."

Key strategy: As Stephen Covey, aurhor of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People stresses, write your own personal mission statement. It helps you in getting clear on why you are here.

"You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however."

Somehow during the process of becoming an adult, we begin to drop our dreams and wishes for our lives. Big mistake. Dreams, wishes and goals are part of what keeps us alive and vibrant at any age. Our dreams and wishes can be our road map to a life well lived.

It does take focus, determination and just plain work. While it's not always easy, I have found that it is always worth it. Remember, faith moves mountains. And you better bring a shovel.

Key strategy: Make a goals and dreams list. At the top of a sheet of paper write "If I knew I couldn't fail, I would..............." Then let your imagination go and don't stop until you have filled up the paper.

"There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in it's hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts."

Problems. No one likes 'em, and we all have 'em. And since we all have them, we may as well learn something from them, perhaps even make them work to our advantage. Remember that success comes from good judgement, good judgement comes from experience, and experiences comes from successfully handling the problems that come our way.

Key strategy: Install the belief that the only way a problem can beat you is if you don't learn something from it.

Now that you've gotten a taste of Illusions, I highly recommend you go get a copy for yourself. And while you're at it, pick me one up too, mine's getting pretty worn out.

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