Light that Motivates

I’m a big believer in the value of personality profiling, especially when it comes to how we relate to others in the workplace and in social settings.

A few years back I took a battery of tests that would help me understand myself better so that I could relate to my clients in the coaching industry. One of the things I discovered is that I’m a visual learner, and moreover, visually inspired.

The things I see (as the light depicts them) motivate me and compel me to give my best. So a few months back when I committed myself to beginning the manuscript for my first book I took action.

There was a total makeover of my home office. Three different colors on four walls. The color combination of pepper red, chocolate brown and sky blue give me a sense of balance. But the highlight of the makeover was the visual prompts that were hung on those walls.

There is a simple iron cross to my left; family photos of my wife and kids, photos and medals from a few of my past marathons, movie posters from Lonesome Dove, Gladiator and Braveheart; a historical sports photo of Muhammad Ali standing over a floored Sonny Liston after a KO in the first minute of the first round; a large photo of Nelson Mandela, perhaps the greatest champion of democracy that ever lived; a victory photo of the US hockey team after they defeated the Russians in the 1980 Winter Olympics; photos of Jack Nicklaus, Andre Agassi;  a space shuttle launch I witnessed in 1988; and the great Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics.

These visual prompts remind me of great times. Great moments. And they inspire me to give my best, especially in my writing.

Directly in front of me is a list of seven life priorities. A copy also hangs on my bathroom mirror. This is intentional to remind me to keep focused on what’s important and eliminate distractions.

And there are some strange parallels I take from knowing that I’m visually inspired. I’ve committed myself to become an author. Over the years I’ve published hundreds, if not thousands, of newspaper and magazine articles, but no books – YET.

Much as I hate stereotypes, I suppose I have one for the way an author should look. So when I made this commitment, I changed the way I dress. I began dressing in the way that I see an author would dress. I started collecting hats, one of which I wear almost every day. And I take a lot of good ribbing from friends about the hats I wear, but it’s part of the fun.

And I now speak a little differently than before. On the things about which I dream, I speak as if they are so. As surely as I type these words I know there is a another home that awaits me in South America where my family and I will spend regular time improving the cause of humanity and spreading the love of Jesus. It awaits…

As I sit here writing at 4 a.m., I’m also reminded of two important things on my desk. There is a lit candle and a small globe. The candle reminds me of the power and purity of the Light, and the globe helps me to recall the world is a small place, and that as a group of committed people we can make a difference in that world.

I couldn’t see these things if it weren’t for the Light, and even if I flipped the light switch off, there’s a candle that still burns and it’s right by my side.

Visual Focus (Part 2)

 

Some 65 percent of the world’s population are visual learners.

I’m certainly among them, except I consider myself to be more visually INSPIRED.

If you’re motivated to cast a vision, strategically plan and execute certain things, your environment is critical.

My approach to visual inspiration takes on several aspects:

  • Depending on what’s going on any given day, I dress a particular way. It’s semi-stereotypical, but it works for me.
  • Everything you see on the walls in my house is locally produced art created by some fine artists. Each piece speaks to me in a certain voice.
  • My home office is even more specific. The four-walled room is painted in three distinct colors and I have a collection of framed art from the most significant sports events during my lifetime. There’s Mohammed Ali standing over Sonny Liston after a knockout in the first minute of the first round in their 1965 classic bout. Ali seems to be saying “just try getting up. Liston.” There’s the 1984 Miracle on Ice when the Americans beat the Russian Hockey team in perhaps the greatest sports moment of all time. I have photos of Jack Nicklaus, Larry Bird, Andre Agassi and others. Outside of sports I have huge inspirational posters of Nelson Mandela, the movie Gladiator and Braveheart. On my desk is a small globe helping me remember that it’s a small world where I can have a huge impact. And directly in front of my chair is my continually updated list of 7 focused priorities. I need to see them daily to avoid my tendency for distractions.
  • In my back yard there are a few pieces of small farm memorabilia to honor my dad and help me remember my roots.

If you’re in a sterile environment – GET OUT. We all learn and get inspiration in different ways. I suggest taking time to reflect on what inspires you to be at your very best and get busy gettin’ busy.

Visual Focus (Part 1)

Distractions are easy for me to come by.

Every so often (being the visual learner that I am) it’s a necessity for me to put my priorities down on paper and keep them prominently placed where I can see them on a daily basis.

Recently, I found myself, thinking it was time to buy a motorcycle and take guitar lessons … diversify myself culturally, if you will. But in early morning quiet time I realized I was falling into the same old cycle of getting involved in too many things and not making a difference in the areas that count. So I’ve streamlined my priorities, put them down on paper and hope to use them to achieve some significant goals in the next six months.

This is how it goes for me:

1. Study the Word.

2. Engage my gifts into my personal ministry projects.

3. Family – attend to their personal well-being and love them.

4. My health … make time to sweat five days a week and eat better.

5. Business – build a strategic plan for additional income.

6. Personal – make some time just for me each week.

7. Invest and create a diversified portfolio for the short and long term.