I was sitting with friends and we were chatting about our morning rituals – what is the first thing you do in the morning when you get out of bed…
Some folks head straight for coffee pot or put on their running shoes and go for a quick run some stay in bed and read emails or hit the snooze button. I head straight to the shower so I can get dressed to be ready for the day. Being self-employed, for more years than I can remember, I learned early on to get up and get going and get ready for work so I can be in a work mindset or I’d spend the day in my pajamas never getting ready.
My friend told the gathering that before she gets up, she reads about 5-7 websites that offer life advice on dating and marriage and kids and food, diets, love, loss, recipes and bacon before her feet hit the floor. I was rather intrigued so I asked her to name some of the sites that she so faithfully reads every morning and she told me that she reads, Dear Abby, Dear Prudence, Dear Annie, Dear Amy, Dear Ellie, Dear Carolyn and Dear Margo (who I just learned has left the advice business) … and a few other sites like Aspire to Inspire then she goes onto other sites to learn the news of the day.
Whoa, I said, Aspire to Inspire now that sounds like something I would like to read (but not before I’ve had my shower and coffee)… so I Google the phrase and find myself reading not Aspire to Inspire which was a fun site about going back to school but the next option on the Google listing was a Aspire to Inspire before you Expire… now we’re talking.
If you ask me, that seems like a great life goal. Come to find out the quote is well-known on church signs across America to remind the “flock” that one day it will all come home to roost.
The more I thought about saying the more I was motivated to think deeply about what I aspire to do in life, how do I inspire others and am I ready (when the time comes) to expire with grace.
Aspire to Inspire before you Expire.
It’s a catchy phrase so I can see why it has staying power. It reminded me that I still aspire to get going on my bucket list of things I still want to do in life and get going sooner rather than later; such as visit the Great Wall of China, see Aurora Borealis (northern lights from Norway), go fishing in Alaska and drive the island of Ireland. All doable I just need to make time and get a plane ticket and find a friend with free time and extra cash.
How about it – what do you aspire to do? Is there a place you’d like to visit or a restaurant you’d like to try, would you like to plant a garden, write a book, go skydiving, or learn to snorkel, or trace your family tree. Just don’t do what the famous comedian Jeff Foxworthy did – he said when he traced his family tree, he realized it was a wreath.
The second part of that phrase is what am I doing to inspire others. I feel my work is inspirational for many who find their voice and learn to use it. I also find great joy coaching and speaking and training. There is no greater joy for me than to see a client change before my very eyes in just an hour or two in our sessions… whether it is the president of a corporation or a pageant kid – that’s when I’m inspired. It is my hope and prayer that this show, and podcast are an inspiration to others as they go about their daily lives. That my book or my speaking will help others find their place in the light and shine for all to see. I know what I am doing, to the best of my ability, to inspire others.
How about you? What are you doing to inspire others? Have you thought about it? Because you know they’re watching you.
I came across a great inspirational story online recently, by Lisa Jo Baker, she is a blogger and she posted a blog titled, “When you think your love story is boring” and it was in response to a Teenager post of the week on the Huffington Post. The silly kid wrote – “My love life will never be satisfactory until someone runs through an airport to stop me from getting on a flight.”
Lisa Jo Baker responds in her masterful way about her husband and life partner who as she says… “He drove us all home 18 hours over two days. Three kids and hundreds of miles and potty breaks and princess pull-ups, the car covered in the markers I’d bought for window art. Turns out the soft beige ceiling of a minivan makes a perfect canvas. Rainbow swirls color the door panels and there are goldfish crackers crushed so deep into the seats that they will likely be there come next summer and this same road trip…
He’s unloaded a hundred loads of laundry and put the dishes away. He is patient and kind. He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. This ordinary unremarkable love walks slowly every day alongside. One step, one day, one T-ball practice at a time. One permission slip signed, one Lunchable, one school play, one art project, one Lego box, one more nighttime cup of water delivered at a time.”
Talk about inspiration – I loved her post about her husband. Ah friends inspiration can be found in simple the things that matter most to you… So Really – what inspires you to do things – great and small?
Now to the final count… the expiration part. In one of my presentations I talk about what is on your tombstone because I believe it is relevant to stop and think about the legacy you’re leaving behind.
The story is told of an old preacher who said at a funeral – on your tombstone are two dates the day you were born and the day you died and in between those two numbers is a dash and that dash tells the world how you lived. That dash is your legacy, it’s who you are and how you will be remembered.
Friends, what are you doing in the dash? Now some people rephrase that saying by adding the line… the day you were born and the day you realized what you were born to do.
Either way it is a sobering thought to know what you were born to do and how you’re going to answer that call.
I saw an interesting quote recently that said, “He was born mud but died marble” Wow, I hope that is said of me. To know that in the end I would stand taller than while I was here because of the legacy I am leaving behind. “He was born mud but died marble”
So dear reader – how will you Aspire to Inspire before you Expire?