Many years ago I wrote an article on one of my other blogs that I titled 46 Ways To Reach Your Own Super Bowl. The article contained 46 motivational thoughts (since it was posted around the 46th Super Bowl) that I thought were pretty cool to share.

my motivational mantra

What I didn't do was flesh any of those thoughts out. I put some thought into doing it, came up with an outline, and even wrote a couple of paragraphs... then stopped cold.

I stopped cold because I came to the conclusion that a blog post of that magnitude wasn't going to be very popular, and turning it into a book wasn't going to do much better. Instead, I decided to share 5 expanded motivational messages of those points with you on this blog. For other bloggers, this is proof that going through some of your old content might spark new ideas to expound upon.

Believe in yourself

Nothing starts without belief. Religions needed someone to believe in them. Smartphones needed someone to believe there was a market for them.

There's nothing created by humans that didn't start with a belief they could be accomplished. There's also nothing created by humans that didn't start with their belief in themselves. Every single person who's created anything could have said "I'll wait for someone else to do it". Can you imagine what life would be like if everyone who thought that followed through on it?

You're already special; heck, you were born! All you have to do now is believe in yourself, no matter what you want. If you want to achieve great things, have a wonderful and happy life, or anything in between, it all starts with believing in yourself and believing you deserve it.

Believe in a purpose

Purpose is an interesting concept. Without going to a dictionary, you can see purpose as trying to answer the question "Why am I here?" That seems pretty daunting on the surface, so let's explore it further.

Video Games
Ian Turk via Compfight

No matter what you've heard, your purpose should be something that suits you. Everyone wasn't put on this earth to have to serve someone else's needs. If that's what you wish to do then go for it. If not, then your purpose is something different. There's nothing wrong with that; after all, our circumstances aren't the same.

Purpose can take many different directions. You might feel your purpose is to play video games, without knowing that there are people who actually make a lot of money playing them. You might feel your purpose is to watch TV, without knowing that, at least in a few markets around the country, there are people who get paid to watch and rate potential new TV shows.

You might not even want to go that far; maybe you just want to enjoy life by doing these things and are willing to earn just enough money to live comfortably and be able to do that. If that's the best you can see for yourself, I'm good with that.

However, I've found that almost everyone I've talked to in my life has bigger dreams and visions for themselves. What they lack is the passion to give it a shot.

That's where purpose can come into play. I got into self employment because I had a passion for doing certain things that I wanted to share with others and with health care facilities. Over time the passion part left, something I hate admitting to. Yet, I still feel I have a purpose to write about these things and consult when I can, with the intention of trying to help people and hospitals be better than they are now. And if I get some leadership educational or speaking contracts, that would be even better.

Dream big

My ex and I were having a conversation on the phone once when I said "You know, one of my dreams is to be able to call you and tell you to quit your job and come home because we just won the $100 million dollar lottery."

Living Room [HDR]
Paul David via Compfight

Over the next 5 minutes we talked to each other about the things we'd do with that kind of money: redesign the house, buy another house in a warmer climate, sponsor some scholarships and charities, buy new cars, travel... and of course save enough so that we'd never need to worry about money again.

The more we talked about it the sillier our thoughts got. Yet it produced smiles for both of us and helped us feel as though we could own the world.

That's the thing about big dreams. Even if you never get there, just the belief that you can helps to make you feel better, and it's something you can always go back to when you need a mental boost. Who knows; you just might get there someday.

Learn everything you can about your dream

Dreams are only dreams. To reach your goals, which might coincide with your dreams, it takes more than just belief. You need to research to find out what it's going to take for you to get what you want.

It's at this point that dreams and goals separate. Having a dream of hitting the lottery is sweet, but there's nothing you can do to affect the outcome other than buying a ticket, therefore it always remains a dream. Having a dream to make $1 million by being a professional speaker is something else because there are a lot of books on speaking, a lot of organizations that hire speakers and pay them, organizations like Toastmasters to help you refine your presentation skills if you need that, and lots of research material on whatever it is you want to speak about.

Once you think of all the things you need to do, at that point you can start planning how you're going to proceed. Having a process that you can follow and stick to give you an opportunity to fulfill your goals and dreams. Even if it takes time, if you follow your progress and you notice it's positive, it will help you keep going even during those times when things seem to be more difficult. Never stop learning because information is powerful.

Research to make more informed decisions

research via books

Learning about your dream is one thing; doing the research so you can achieve it is another thing entirely.

If your dream is to be a professional singer, you would want to read about all types of singers, listen to their music, find yourself a vocal coach or band to sing with and then see how good you are. You'd figure out what style of music you wanted to sing and immerse yourself in that. You could then close your eyes and imagine it's you up on the stage, singing in front of thousands of people on a stage or maybe millions on TV. Wouldn't that be glorious?

You might fall into it accidentally. I was a wedding singer for 14 years, all because of accidental timing. I never thought of myself as a singer; turns out other people did. I could say I hadn't done any research, but I was a music and history major in college. I wanted to be a composer, but one of my teachers thought I'd be a good opera singer. I never considered that or singing, period, but sometimes luck does play into a positive vision.

Moving on, the next step would be to research what the life of a professional singer might entail. This is the part that most people skip on the way to their dreams, so when things don't go right or, in some circumstances goes way too well, they're unprepared for it and things start to fall apart.

There's a lot to learn about being a professional singer. It's not only about singing. You have to learn about the financial aspects of it, the traveling aspects of it, contracts, possibly different languages... there's a lot to know, but you want to be prepared for all of it because being successful is more than being famous. That part might be nice but you have people like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain who didn't deal with it all that well.

Enough about singers; this is true with almost any endeavor you decide you want to try. The internet is a wonderful thing; so are libraries. Knowledge is never a bad thing, no matter what you want to learn.

Find like minded people who also have a vision, whether it's the same as yours or not

I know the title says 5 messages, but sometimes it's nice to over deliver. 🙂

You know the thing that says you will only be as successful as the people you surround yourself with? That statement isn't necessarily black and white, but it is a true statement.

If everybody you hang around with wants to stay in the status quo, whether they like it or not, it's going to be hard for you to break out of a stagnant cycle. If you don't have friends or family who have better dreams for themselves, or are able to offer you support, it helps to find other people who have dreams and goals of their own, even if it's on a different path than yours. You might already know this; if you've had dreams and shared them with some of your friends, they probably didn't react the way you hoped they were. I bet that was disappointing, wasn't it?

Things were probably different when you were in college. If you're even moderately outgoing, you met a lot of different people who had dreams and goals of their own, but those dreams were inherently different than yours. Everyone gets to have their own dream; everyone can find their audience who helps them stay inspired.

When I went to college, I started out wanting to be a sports broadcaster and then changed to wanting to be a songwriter. I had friends who wanted to be in weather, media, science, education and a lot of other things. Their visions were inspiring enough for me to keep reaching for my dreams. All of us felt good being in each other's company and urging the other to be the best they could be, even though our ultimate goals were different.

That's all I've got for the moment. Is it inspirational enough for you? Let me know your thoughts. 🙂