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November 2011

Inspiring….just because

by mikemack on November 28, 2011


How many people do you know that inspire you….just because?

They do, say and act just a little differently than everyone else.

If you told them that they inspire you, they may be somewhat surprised.

I believe that nothing happens or gets done without some form of inspiration. Our need to discover how to motivate ourselves and others lies in finding out what inspires us.

Inspire is not the same as motivate!

Over the years I have reflected on how people actually inspire me.

Many things come to mind.

How they may interact with their kids and family.
The discipline that they have in their workout routine.
Their unwavering kind demeamor, regardless of the circumstance.
The drive that they have to accomplish something in their life.
The sweet relationship that they have with their life partner. (Thanks for this Harvey and Minnie!)

I have inspired others at times, but what I discovered is that it was not about the rah rah speech to get them to take action but rather subtle inspirational influence that moved them in a direction that they wanted to go in the first place.

Inspire simply means “to breathe life into.”

If we can help others “breathe life in” then we have inspired others to do act and live the way they ideally want to.

Sounds simple doesn’t it?

Here’s the catch. We must be consistent and patient. You can’t ramp inspiration down someone’s throat. They will be inspired at their own pace.

A great friend of mine commented to me last week that his “moral compass is pointing in the right direction.” This simple line was inspirational to me.
My interpretation of his line……Sometimes we get lost and your compass needs to be recalibrated. If you are aware of it, you can get it pointing in the right direction.

Try not to become a man of success but a man of value. -Albert Einstein

I welcome your comments on this week’s Blog in the section below.

p.s….I am excited to share that next week’s Blog post (Dec. 5th) will be my 100th post. Time flies when you are having fun! 🙂

“Helping you to the next level”

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Cautious Optimism…..

by mikemack on November 21, 2011


Have you ever experienced something very exciting, enjoyable and amazing all at the same time?
Did you truly embrace the experience or did you steadily look over your shoulder and think, is this real? Will it last or be taken away from me?

We all have done it a time or two, I am sure. Something may feel too good to be true or it’s so amazing that you keep the “red flag” up and validate your caution. It feels so great and right that you want someone to pinch you to validate it is real.

This can occur in our business life or personal life.

Living in the great province of Alberta, Canada, this comes up alot in terms of the economy. Business leaders are getting busier, and generating more revenue but are still “cautiously optimistic.” A line that I heard from a friend and business associate of mine last week was an aha moment for me. He stated, “I can’t celebrate because I am so unsure!” While business is going great, he is still operating in a cautious state.

In our personal world we may enter relationships and suddenly realize that they are pretty awesome, yet we somehow decide to be cautious. Can “this” really be so awesome? Do I deserve awesome?

From my perspective there are two sides to the above business and personal scenarios.

Sometimes we can be “too” cautious and miss the enjoyment of something that is great. We hold back and don’t take full advantage of the experience. We aren’t fully engaged and present to appreciate what we are experiencing.
On the reserve side, cautious optimism can be a good thing at times. When we are cautious we are more aware of the challenges, downside or pitfalls of a particular opportunity. We simply need to calculate the risk vs. reward and overall feeling to validate what we may actually have.

To put a bit of a spin on an old line for the purposes of this week’s blog.

It is better to have “lived” and lost, than to never have “lived” at all.

This doesn’t suggest that you throw caution to the wind.
When you throw caution to the wind, you are tossing it away, and letting the wind take it. So if you throw caution to the wind, you are abandoning it completely, knowing that from now on you will have to act boldly – you can’t go back to a cautious place.

Here’s a thought…….try throwing caution to the wind in moderation at first and see how you feel. Remember, throwing caution to the wind does not always have to be “all or nothing”. You may throw caution to the wind in one situation (personally or professionally).

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

-Jimmy Dean

I welcome your comments on this week’s Blog in the section below.

“Helping you to the next level”

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This too shall pass

by mikemack on November 14, 2011


Life can be like a tsunami at times. The big wall can hit you when you least expect it. Sometimes you brace for it and it still hits you hard.

But you persevere and get thru it. Whatever “it” may be.

We all have experienced something tough/challenging in our life at one point, and while at the time it seems like an impossible feat to get beyond the challenge or pain, it does happen.

“This too shall pass” is a proverb indicating that all material conditions, positive or negative, are temporary.”

Some people are amazing at getting through “it”. I know and respect many amazing people in my life and they have had their share of challenges.

They somehow manage to “keep on, keeping on.”

So, what sets these individuals apart from other people?

Coping mechanisms?
Circle of family and friends?
Optimistic nature?
Belief in something beyond the current challenge?
Grasp of what they are experiencing?

I believe the answer may be any and all of the above.

What I have observed and learned through my own personal experience of challenge is that it actually gets easier. You realize that you have been through something before and managed to get through, so your frame of mind is set to get through “it”.
In addition, you draw from others, who have faced a similar challenge. They become a guide and support like no other, simply because they can relate to your situation.

I am a big fan of the work of Andy Andrews and his book. “The Seven Decisions for Success.” He speaks of challenging times.

“In the future, when I am tempted to ask the question “Why me?”, I will immediately counter with
the answer: “Why not me?” Challenges are a gift, an opportunity to learn. Problems are the common
thread running through the lives of great men and women. In times of adversity, I will not
have a problem to deal with, I will have a choice to make. My thoughts will be clear. I will make
the right choice. Adversity is preparation for greatness. I will accept the preparation. Why me?
Why not me? I will be prepared for something great!”

If you are going through a challenge in your life, “this too shall pass.”

On the flipside, when times are awesome and amazing, they sometimes don’t last forever. Appreciate the good fortune or bliss for as long as it lasts.

I am not suggesting that you remain guarded and apprehensive when something amazing happens to you….Simply learn from the journey.
Whether the situation is bad or awesome, learn and grow from the experience.

I welcome your comments on this week’s Blog in the section below.

“Helping you to the next level”

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by mikemack on November 7, 2011


In life we are faced with many conditions.

The Weather
Our Health
Business contracts
What we say or can’t say
….and more

Conditional is defined as: “imposing, depending on, or containing a condition.”

In effect, it is a restriction. In most cases we honour and respect the conditions. There are usually consequences if we do not follow conditions.

If we are travelling too fast for the road conditions after the first snow fall we may be negatively impacted.

Sometimes in business, one party may not comply with the rules or conditions of a contract and legal action may be a result of their actions.

A friend of mine commented the other day that he still loves to do the many active things that he used to do, including working hard and exercising, but the reality is that he just can’t do what he used to do. There are conditions!

“The test of friendship is assistance in adversity, and that too, unconditional assistance. Co-operation which needs consideration is a commercial contract and not friendship. Conditional co-operation is like adulterated cement which does not bind.” -Mohandas Gandhi

Have you ever operated in a place without conditions? When you get to a place where something is unconditional, it can be pretty amazing.

Unconditional is defined as: “without conditions or limitations.”

It is open sesame, so-to-speak.

In today’s busy world it is not as common that we get to operate in that space too often, but when we do, it is really awesome.

Young kids do it more than adults. They act silly and dream big and don’t put any conditions on what they want. While it is not always practical, it does put a smile on your face when you see it in action.

The challenge for all of us is to discover when we can enjoy a moment or two in our lives that are unconditional. The obvious one for many parents would be the unconditional love towards our kids. No matter what happens, you will love them unconditionally. It’s just the way it is.

Another great and real example is the love we have for a pet and how they in turn love us unconditionally.

I dedicate this week’s Blog to our family pet “Tess” who gave us 10 years of unconditional love before she passed away on November 1st.

I welcome your comments on this week’s Blog in the section below.

“Helping you to the next level”

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