I’ve never been one for fluffy greeting card sentiment. Sometimes all of that motivational inspirational stuff out there seems like the equivalent of eating too much cotton candy.
I’m looking for the REAL action plan. I’ve always been a voracious reader of self-help books. What have I learned from all of them?
What most of the authors have in common is that they did something well and are now telling us how to do it: their way. We all have our own ways of getting there. So use whatever tools, books, or workshops you need to find your way, then take action. Taking action toward any goal is the surest way to achieve it. Do. Do. Do.
My current Inspiration List:
It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be, by Paul Arden. To give you an idea about the nature of the book, I bought my first copy at the Museum of Art and Design. Every time someone sees it laying around my house they WANT it. I’ve order it again and again. Open to any page and BE INSPIRED. Today’s page is 82: “If you get stuck, draw with a different pen.” Then read the short paragraph about how changing your tools can change your thinking.
The Style Checklist, by Lloyd Boston. In my library of style books, this one is at the top of my stack now. Boston is my style alter ego. He’s all about building around key items most of which (he says) are probably already in there! I decided to see for myself, I emptied a closet and designated it my style lab. Into it I will put all the gems (per Boston) I find I already own. Most of us have so much “stuff” in our closets we lose sight of the real winners. I’ll let you know what I find and I won’t add anything until I finish.
My current favorite Seth Godin book is The Dip. It’s good if you’re reinventing your career or your business. In anything worth doing there’s going to be a dip. He uses tennis as an example. The difference between a mediocre club player and a club champion isn’t just inborn talent-it’s the ability to push through moments where it’s just easier to quit.
As a creative person, I seem to have an unusual obsession with books I call DLIMs, dynamic leadership instruction manuals. My brain just NEEDS to keep seeing hearing and reading some things in order for me to focus, organize, and DO. There are lots of good ones and I probably own more than most. The one I tend to circle back to repeatedly is, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey. It’s like a coaching manual for defining goals and clarifying how to reach them. Of course, once I KNOW what needs to be done I have to DO it.