Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Explore More with TED Talks - Van Gogh and Mathematics

Learning should never stop! Keeping your mind active and open is key to overcoming fears, uncertainty, and self-doubt. One way I have found to learn and be exposed to various ideas is to listen to one or two TED Talks a week.

These videos, found on YouTube and TED Talks channel online, cover various topics, including business, knowledge, philosophy, and humor. There is a wide selection that is 5 minutes or less!

I randomly select topics as well as look for videos on items that interest me currently or intrigue me to want to explore more.

As a non-artist, I love visiting museums and art galleries. These experiences are invaluable. I visited the Seattle Art Museum’s “The Impressionists” and was once again captivated by Van Gogh. Several of his paintings are my favorites but I have always felt an attraction to “Starry Night” .

Recently I came across this excellent TED Talk Video that shows how Van Gogh’s art, during his struggling times, depicts the complicated mathematical explanation of turbulence. I hope you find it as interesting and intriguing as I did!

Monday, July 3, 2023

The Best Books on Motivation and Inspiration

There are numerous books that explore the topics of motivation and inspiration. Here are some highly regarded books in this area:

"Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor E. Frankl: This book chronicles the author's experiences, a Holocaust survivor and psychiatrist, and explores the importance of finding meaning in life as a source of motivation and resilience.

"The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho: A fictional novel that follows the journey of a young shepherd named Santiago as he seeks his personal legend. The book delves into themes of following one's dreams, listening to one's heart, and finding inspiration in unexpected places.

"Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us" by Daniel H. Pink challenges traditional notions of motivation by examining the role of intrinsic motivation, autonomy, and purpose in driving human behavior. It offers valuable insights for individuals and organizations.

"Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action" by Simon Sinek: Sinek explores the concept of starting with a clear purpose or "why" to inspire action, drawing examples from successful leaders and companies. The book emphasizes the power of purpose-driven motivation.

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"Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!" by Tony Robbins: Robbins provides practical strategies and techniques to help individuals unlock their potential, set and achieve goals, and find motivation and inspiration in various areas of life.

"I know that no matter where you are in your life, you want more! No matter how well you're already doing or how challenged you now may be, deep inside you there lies a belief that your experience of life can and will be much greater than it already is. You are destined for your own unique form of greatness."  -- Tony Robbins


"The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment" by Eckhart Tolle: This book explores the concept of living in the present moment and finding inner peace. It encourages readers to let go of past regrets and future worries, which can be a source of inspiration and motivation.

"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen R. Covey: Covey presents a holistic approach to personal and professional effectiveness, focusing on principles such as proactivity, prioritization, and continuous improvement. The book offers valuable insights and strategies for motivation and inspiration.

These are just a few examples of books that delve into motivation and inspiration. Each book offers unique perspectives and insights, so it's worth exploring them to find the ones that resonate most with you.

Motiving and Inspiring Others In Today's World

Are you wondering how to motivate and inspire others? What words and actions ignite passion, drive, and purpose in those around you? 

Understanding the difference between motivation and inspiration can help you unlock the secret to helping others achieve their goals and dreams.

Motivating and inspiring are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but they have distinct meanings and implications. Here are the differences between motivating and inspiring:

Definitions of Motivation and Inspiring:

Motivating: Motivating refers to the act of stimulating or encouraging someone to take action, usually by providing incentives, rewards, or appealing to their desires or needs.

Inspiring: Inspiring involves filling someone with a strong feeling of enthusiasm, excitement, or admiration, often by appealing to their emotions, values, or ideals.

How does the focus differ?

Motivating: Motivation typically focuses on achieving specific goals, targets, or outcomes. It aims to drive individuals towards action by highlighting the benefits or rewards associated with the desired behavior.

Inspiring: Inspiration focuses on a broader sense of purpose, meaning, or personal growth. It aims to ignite passion, creativity, and a sense of possibility in individuals, often by connecting with their aspirations and values.

How do I motivate and inspire others?

Motivating: Motivation can come from external sources such as rewards, recognition, or pressure from others. It can also arise internally through personal desires, ambitions, or a sense of responsibility.

Motivation tends to be short-term and goal-oriented. It may temporarily boost energy or determination to complete a specific task or overcome an obstacle.

Inspiring: Inspiration often comes from external sources such as role models, stories of success, acts of heroism, or witnessing extraordinary achievements. It can also emerge from within oneself through self-reflection, introspection, or a deep connection with one's passions.

Inspiration often has a more profound and long-lasting impact. It can trigger a fundamental shift in perspective, mindset, or attitude, influencing one's overall approach to life, work, or personal growth.

What are the best ways to motivate and inspire others?

Motivating: Motivation often relies on practical and tangible strategies such as goal-setting, rewards, incentives, or performance evaluations to encourage action.

Inspiring: Inspiration often employs storytelling, emotional appeals, vision-setting, and the power of example to evoke deep emotions and create a sense of purpose and connection.

In summary, while motivation primarily focuses on stimulating action toward specific goals or outcomes, inspiration seeks to ignite passion, enthusiasm, and a broader sense of purpose. Both can be powerful personal and professional development forces, but they operate differently and with distinct effects on individuals.

Want to learn more? >> Check out our list of The Best Books on Motivation and Inspiring Others

Monday, August 5, 2019

Direct Sellers: 7 Tips for A Successful Fall - Starting NOW!

As most of us are enjoying sunny days, it is not too early to be making our fall plans. One of the philosophies I coach on is that growing our business is like planting a garden….the seeds we plant now will be ready for harvest in 6 weeks. So, the actions we do now, will be the actions we are reaping from in September and October.

There are many actions we can do now that will build our businesses into the fall and even holiday season. Here are some ideas to get you started:
  1. Connect with all the “summer friends” you meet and be sure to have their contact information and add them to your emailing list. You can also add them to your “friends” on Facebook and be sure they LIKE your business page.
  2. Think back to school — friends with children may be looking for extra income for the back to school supplies or a part-time job for when the children are in school so be prepared to talk about the opportunity.
  3. Back to school is also a time for fundraisers. NOW is the time to start making the connections to see who is in charge of various programs and be able to provide how your opportunity may be a perfect fit. (If you are too late this year, be sure to get connect information for a spring fundraiser or even next year's event.)
  4. Yes…some people are already thinking Christmas and holiday shopping.  Again, your business opportunity may be what a friend or customer needs to enjoy a credit card free holiday.
  5. New fall catalogs are wonderful reservicing tools. Connect with all of your customers and be sure they know about your new products. Start booking September and October parties now.
  6. Fall and holiday events will start their search for vendors. Check out local events and see which ones are a fit for your product and opportunity.  Not every event is a fit. Choose the ones that will benefit you, your team and your business. (Watch for events posted on Facebook and even on Craigslist. Local Chambers of Commerce and Networking groups are a great source for event information as well.)
  7. Stay focused and do small, consistent actions every day!
Remember, it is easier to keep a rolling stone rolling than to start the motion over every day.  Choose just one or two actions to focus on at a time and complete that action before moving on to a new one.  With planning your fall, the follow-through is just as important as the getting started!  Happy harvest!

If you are looking for a side-hustle and a little extra fall cash, fill out this quick form and I'll get back to you!

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Marian (Brown) Smith is Director of Sales Development with a DSA member Direct Selling Company. She has over 20 years in the direct selling industry both in the field and corporately. She is also a Certified Vision Board and Life Coach.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

3 Key Elements of Vision Boards

Vision boards are a collection of images or words glued to a poster board that displays where a person wants to go, goals that they wish to achieve or material items that they’re striving to acquire. However, when created and used properly, vision boards can really change one’s life.

In addition to the general images and words, there are three key elements that should be included in a vision board project. These are:

  • A picture of you;
  • A power word or two; and
  • Images that convey emotion

Be the centerpiece of your vision board

The first element — a photo of the vision board’s creator — is critical. Vision boards created by an individual should have a positive image of the creator as the centerpiece of the vision board.

If the vision board is created by a couple, a family or a group, an image of the group should be the center focal point. It is important to have this image as it gives “ownership” to the creator. For individuals, it is important to be reminded, it is your vision and you must be a part of it.

Include a power word

The second key element is the “power word.” This concept is new to many vision board users. The power word can be a term that’s used to describe the theme of the board or it can be a phrase, motto or mantra. It must be positive and the term or word must be in the future or present tense. A couple examples are “Happiness Abounds” and “I enjoy being my ideal weight of 150 pounds.”

Choose images that reflect emotion

The third and final element of the vision board that is key: images that reflect emotion. The images need to show happiness, satisfaction, accomplishment, etc. As humans, we often “mirror” the attitude and energy of those around us. This is true of images as well. If we are surrounded by the “negative,” one’s attitude will become negative. If an individual focuses on the positive, he or she will have a positive attitude.

When creating a vision board, it is important to take a few moments to examine your feelings. How will you feel when you have lost weight, bought that new car or secured a new job? These emotions should be depicted on the vision board.

These three key elements –- you, power words and emotions — will add power and success to your vision board.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Vision Boards: YOU are the Centerpiece

When setting a formal table, there is often a grand and elaborate centerpiece. When creating a vision board, there should also be a grand centerpiece. That centerpiece should be YOU!

Yes, it is recommended by many, including Joyce Schwarz best-selling author of The Vision Board to include a picture of yourself in the center of your vision board.

You should include the picture of yourself on your board to be a reminder that you are the co-creator of your life. YOU are center to the vision of your life. You are the “star” of the movie and the one who must take action in your life.

Yes, some would say that the Universe will manifest your vision board. However, if the Universe opens the door for your vision, you must be the one to walk through the open door.

When choosing the picture of yourself, make it a positive one. Choose a picture that you like and that reflects a happy time in your life.

For example, it can be a childhood image laughing and playing at the park or a birthday party surrounded by friends and family. These would be especially appropriate if they reflected items you were visioning for now — peace, playfulness, freedom, family, love, etc.

Another approach that is very common is to take a new picture — one that reflects what you want in the future. It is a common story of people who go to a car dealership and have a picture taken in their “dream car.”

With technology, you can also “photo shop” a picture of yourself standing in front of your dream home or on your dream vacation.

However you choose, it is important to picture yourself in your vision. Without you….it is not your vision.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Finding Purpose and Direction with One Word

“Hey mom, in three years you’ll be fifty.”

This simple statement, made by my son, still rings in my ears  years later. Having been self-employed for over 15 years at the time and working with my main client for over 10 years this brought up a harsh reality.

I looked at the stack of papers on my desk and asked myself “Is this what you want to be doing in three years?”

After some deep soul-searching, I came to the difficult decision to make some major career changes in my life. I had worked from a home office, had virtual co-workers and even virtual friends. I wanted to grow as a person and “expand my horizons” as the saying goes. I wanted to practice what I taught and coached about. I wanted to live my vision and reach for the stars!

I took a leap of faith and left that client. I become a direct seller for a new company. All was great and I became a leader in just 45 days. Having worked from home and with now grown children, I lacked the warm fuzzy market of local friends and family. I knew I need to change that for my business growth, for personal support and friendship.

I had been using and teaching vision boards and goal setting for several years and this seemed the natural first step to making my life changes. As I gathered images, almost randomly using my right-brain, I was attracted to the image of the word CONNECT.

As I reflect back on this now, I see that this was my “One Word” focus. The start of something powerful that I didn’t even know existed!

I didn’t know what “connect” would look like or what the final result would be so I trusted in the image and knew it would guide me where I needed to be. This became my guiding image.

The guiding image to me is a representation of a heart’s desire. It is not a material item or place. It is more a feeling or sense of being. Very often, I think, we know something needs to change. We know there is an opportunity out there, we just can’t yet define it or picture it in our mind. We truly feel it within our hearts. This is what CONNECT was to me. It was my heart’s desire to be part of something outside of myself.

Shortly after creating this board, a gal friended me on Facebook. She was interested in starting a women’s networking group in our area – a rural farming community nestled in the foothills of Mt. Rainier. We did have lots of networking choices if we drove 45 to 60 minutes toward Seattle or Tacoma, but no strong local groups. We met at Starbucks that week to set the plan in motion.

Hannah, my daughter Emily, and I met. We had great ideas and a grand vision. We did wonder if anyone would attend our meetings. My daughter promptly committed to not attending! However, undaunted, Hannah and I moved forward.

Flash Forward seven months….Our networking meetings boasted consistent attendance of over 15 women. We enjoyed new members every meeting. We made strong friendships that transcended the networking group. We socialize together and support each other. We are connected.

Looking back to pasting that image on my board, I never “visioned” co-founding a successful networking group, developing close friendships so quickly, or redeveloping the connection to my community. The abstract image CONNECT was my guiding image – guiding me to connect, take chances and reach for the stars!

Explore More with TED Talks - Van Gogh and Mathematics

Learning should never stop! Keeping your mind active and open is key to overcoming fears, uncertainty, and self-doubt. One way I have found...