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Showing posts with the label goals

Happy New Year

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By Douglas Clark
-Head Writer - The Inspiration Engine


There's so much to be thankful for, even if you don't realize it. Set a goal for 2016 and do your best to meet it. For me, my goal is to get as much writing done as I can. Also, my other goal is to get something published.


Make a plan, stick to it and you should hit your mark. Believe in yourself and you can accomplish what you set out to do.


Good luck.


2016

Thanks for reading.

Where Am I Going?

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Douglas Clark
-Head writer, The Inspiration Engine


Have you ever been working on something so long you kind of lose sight of the point of it all? It’s kind of like wondering if everything you’ve done is really leading you somewhere or perhaps every choice you’ve ever made is just some random ping pong like course you’re chaotically leading through life.
I’m going to be completely honest with you. I have six months to go before I’m 40. For a long time it didn’t make any difference to me. Most of the time, age is just a number. But the more I thought about it, and the closer it approached, I realized 40 is more than my age. On May 15th, it will mark the fact that so far, I’ve had 40 years to accomplish everything I’ve ever dreamed of.
Now that’s not to say I was on a deadline and not finishing by my 40th birthday means I failed. Actually, it reminds me of all the time I’ve wasted. You see, I like to be busy, the more I have to do, the better I can do everything (up until I burn out that …

What a Disappointing Turn of Events

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By Douglas Clark
About a year ago I applied for a job and had an interview that went great. I related very well to my potential new boss and his team, the work seemed interesting and the prospects of advancing appeared good. Everything looked like a good fit. After leaving the interview, I not only expected a job offer, I knew they would extend one. 
What I didn’t anticipate was the lackluster benefits package they would ultimately offer. Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t expect a silver platter full of gold. What I got, however, amounted to only about one thousand dollars more than I made at the time, only at the new position I would be doing twice the work. Also, the healthcare and retirement package was almost nonexistent. 
Needless to say, I felt a bit perplexed. It’s a major thing to uproot yourself from a long standing position. One needs at least a bit of enticement to make such a switch. Obviously, I didn’t take the job. It led me to realize though, there’s nothing more deflating…

Think Big

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by Douglas Clark


Have you ever heard anyone say “I want to get second place”, “I’m working toward being mediocre”, or “My dream is to be average”? Probably not in a serious way you haven’t. It reminds me of a Monster.com commercial that’s pretty funny. Nobody consciously decides they want to be just another face in the crowd, not without giving up first. You see the thing is, most people try, experience difficulty, muddle through, and then find a certain amount of equilibrium with their environment, situation and circumstance, but then never really break through and excel beyond the status quo. This is where people become apathetic.
You can’t counteract apathy though. Think of this from a different perspective. I’m sure you’ve heard someone say “Aim High”, heck the Air Force used to use that as a tag line in their TV and radio commercials for years. Or maybe you’ve heard the saying ‘reach for the stars’, or ‘the sky’s the limit’. The common theme here is striving for something just ou…

Let's Focus a Bit...

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By Douglas Clark

Most people have no idea of the giant capacity we can immediately command when we focus all of our resources on mastering a single area of our lives. ~Tony Robbins
A very big challenge for me has always been focus. True at heart, I am a day dreamer. There have been and are multiple scenarios and situations where I find myself being whisked away to a dreamland conjured up from my imagination. It's just fun to get lost in a world of my own creation. 
From a young age, if I were staring out the window of my parents’ car, watching the rain come down, stuck at the dentist’s office, bored at school, etc., I would always find myself creating fantastical narratives for me and my imaginary characters to explore. Now I never got in trouble in school or work for distractions, but I realized a long time ago that even though daydreaming and imaginations are great fodder for creating art, lack of focus can wash away all relevance those daydreams brought.
You see, focus keeps us in…

Perseverance vs. Obstinacy

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The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't. ~Henry Ward Beecher
What good is a strong will if you are fighting for or against the wrong thing? I wonder that sometimes. Getting caught up in the mechanics of life, I noticed there are times when simply plowing ahead toward a goal becomes counterproductive. At that point, re-evaluation of the method, tactics, and even the very goal need to take place. All the effort in the world fails to help if the goal you work for holds no merit. So, where perseverance assists in forging ahead through the hard times, obstinacy blinds you to wrong, ineffective, and destructive behaviors that hinder success. 
Coming to this realization is difficult and sometimes painful; it can also be very hard. Admitting that you spend all that time and effort on a goal that proved unattainable is heartbreaking. But think about it this way, would you rather admit a change is needed today a…

Dreams are Hard Work

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Did you ever think for a moment that what you really wanted in life might just be too hard to get? Did you ever think it would be easier to just dream about what you want instead of actually doing all the hard work involved in actually earning it? I’ll tell you straight out, yes, I’ve thought those things. I’ve been in love with the dream of being a published, successful writer for so long, sometimes I find myself indulging in the fantasy of writing, rather than actually DOING it. I’d imagine elaborate scenarios where I’m accepting an award for an amazing piece of literature I created, or signing a multi-million dollar book deal. I’ve got a good imagination so you can assume the fantasy was pretty impressive. Now I’ve also sat and contemplated all the things involved in making those fantasies a reality. You know what it comes down to? A shit ton of hard work. That’s right. Making a dream a reality requires determination, persistence, perseverance and a lot of backbreaking, mind bendin…

Taking a Break

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Long ago, on a TV schedule many of you may or may not remember there was a show called Cheers. Remember it? Well they had a theme song and it started out: “Makin' your way in the world today takes everything you've got - Taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot - Wouldn't you like to get away?” 


Some of the allure to that show was the idea that other people knew who you were, and knew your name. They had your problems, other people knew how you felt and could relate to your feelings. It also offered a break from the daily grind; a place where you could relax, blow off some steam and just have fun. Being able step away from your worries for a little while is a great idea. Do you ever do it though? Think about it. We all have goals and aspirations; we all work and pay bills; we all are striving for something, but how often do you just set it all aside and relax? I’m guessing if you’re like me, you don’t relax anywhere as much as you should and even when you …

Attack of the Resolutionists

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Every year I hope it doesn’t come. Every year I hope against hope that the inevitable will somehow be avoided and peace will reign. I cross my fingers, watch the New Year’s Eve ball drop and pray that the Resolutionists won’t come, I pray that this year will be the year we are spared their terrible onslaught, but they always come. Once that clock strikes midnight, millions of Americans are infected with the Resolution virus and spawn a mass army of New Year joy fueled “This year I’m going to…” mania. They amass as a unified force to invade the common person’s stomping grounds and take over. 
You’ll notice them immediately. Once normal coworkers or friends will be reading some new book, touting some new diet, packing a strange lunch they must concoct in the break room; they’ll begin telling you all about the virtues and minutia of gym workouts and how amazing it is getting up an hour early to go for a three mile run. You may notice a group of them flocked together to go for a mid day lu…

Fortitude is in the Mind

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Stay strong in body and mindHave you ever been accused of being stubborn?  Are you stubborn?  Being single minded about an objective or goal is actually a very good thing.  It keeps you focused.  I call it fortitude.  Applying your personal strength and conviction to a single goal helps achievement, but what about applying fortitude to life in general.  What good is that and what purpose does that serve? Well, having the strength of mind to withstand the pains and adversity of life is a pretty valuable asset don’t you think?  I’ve talked about perseverance and how it aids you on your life’s mission and keeps you going toward your goals.  But perseverance isn’t enough.  That’s right, you need fortitude.  Being able to keep going is one thing, being able to maintain your mindset and inner strength as well is totally different.  There will be a time when challenges in your life beat you down so much you might think you’ve lost.  But if you have a solid foundation of who you are, what you…

Most of us regard good luck as our right, and bad luck as a betrayal of that right.

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- William Feather (read about him here)

Disappointment can be a hard thing to deal with, especially if you’ve worked really hard at something.  Putting forth real effort to reach your goal, to drive toward your mission is always a great achievement, but there’s something so deflating when you don’t reach your goal due to no fault of your own.  Sometimes, things or people get in your way and you fail, not because you didn’t try, but because your efforts were thwarted by circumstances, or by other people.  Unfortunately, you may encounter people in your life who actually try to sabotage your endeavors.  Sometimes they do this because they are ignorant of your aims and inadvertently get in the way.  Sometimes, they are deliberately vindictive or jealous, and actively attempt to ruin your work.  Yes, there is that type of ugliness in the world and I’m sure you have experienced it.  I myself have been the target of nefarious individuals at one time or another in my life.  And let me tell yo…

Perseverance Pays Off

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What keeps you going?  How do you go on when you know it may never get any better than this?  Hope.  As corny as that sounds, it’s true.  It’s very rare that you find a person who’s life is absolutely nothing but despair, or total happiness.  Life has a way of fluctuating and changing without you even lifting a finger to help it.  But if you don’t even try to direct it on a course that you can live with, it will become oppressive.  That attempt at driving your life forward can be hard, but it can also be rewarding.  Those clichés about ‘giving it your all’ or ‘never giving up’ and the like are clichés because people have used those thoughts and ideas to persist, strive, endure.  The mere act of living through hard times is an act of perseverance.  Now, I’m not talking about continuing on a path you know will lead to failure.  I’m not suggesting that you take on an endeavor you know to be fool-hearty and just shlog through hoping it will all work out in the end.  No, what I’m talking a…