Brilliant! Strive to do more.

I am always amazed at the fight and fortitude of my sweet daughter. She is currently in the 9th grade and has strived for 100’s her whole life. This was the first year (the year things begin to count for high school) that she was told by a few of her teachers, “You don’t have to get 100, you can still get an A even if it is above 93.”

My daughter is determined. Someone her age told her last year that getting 100 all the time was impossible, so I think that is a little spark that continues to inspire her. She keeps giving and doing and not giving up. She want’s 100. She goes over and beyond and her will to do her best is inspiring to me.

If we all could find that glimmer, that spark to go a little farther, to work a little harder and live to our potential, that would be a gift to us all.

I tell her to find a balance. That she does NOT have to get 100, but there is something inside her that wants to do her best despite everything or anyone else’s opinion. She says, “It’s my will, not pressure. I know I only have to get 93, but there is something in me that wants to go further.”

There is a world full of people, but I do believe there are select few who truly live up to their purpose, their potential. I admire that & will not be the one to stop her from striving to do her best.


I am going to look at SOME of histories greats and see if I can find some good tips, to do lists, success lessons that we can all learn from.

RGB-h_02329678 Oprah WinfreyLESSONS from OPRAH

A book that changed her life, “Seat of the Soul” by Gary Zukav.

“In it, [Zukav] talks about how every action is followed by a reaction, which we all know is the third law of motion in physics,” explains Winfrey. “But he also said, before there’s even a thought or an action, there is an intention.

“Something struck me about that,” says Winfrey. “That an intention precedes every thought and every action, and the outcome of your experiences is determined by the intention.”


Lessons for Success: 

How do you find your own flow? Here are the four things you need to know to make the right decisions and be successful in work and life, according to Winfrey.


1. What is your inner voice telling you?

“Everybody has what I call this instinct, this inner voice,” says Winfrey at Skidmore. “Every decision I’ve ever made that led me to the right space and place in my life, I got there because I relied on that inner voice.”

2. What is your intention?

3. What are you grateful for?

“I practice being grateful,” says Winfrey, and she knows what you’re thinking. “And a lot of people say, ‘Oh Oprah, that’s easy for you ’cause you got everything!'”

No, says Winfrey: “I got everything because I practiced being grateful.”

4. What is your truth?

In 1998, Winfrey was sued for defamation by a group of cattle ranchers to the tune of $10.3 million for “saying something bad about a burger.” (Google it, she says.)

“Everybody goes through trials — I just happened to be in an actual trial,” says Winfrey. “There’s going to be a trial in your life,” she tells the Skidmore graduates. “It may be disease, it may be jobs, it may be any number of crises that stand outside yourself to try to tell you who you are.

“And it is your job to know the truth” of who you are, says Winfrey. “And let that truth set you free.”


2015_leonardocodex_001 (1)LESSONS from LEONARDO DA VINCI:

He was a painter, architect, inventor, and student of all things scientific. He is best known for his art, including the famous, Mona Lisa painting.

He would carry around a notebook where he would write down anything that “moved him.”  Buried in one of these books, dating back to around the 1490’s, is a to-do list. Check this out. Here is a sampling: Calculate the measurement of Milan and Suburbs, Get the master of arithmetic to show you how to square a triangle, Examine the Crossbow of Mastro Giannetto, Find a master of hydraulics and get him to tell you how to repair a lock, canal and mill in the Lombard manner, Ask about the measurement of the sun promised me by Maestro Giovanni Francese…(that is not everything) You can just feel Da Vinci’s voracious curiosity and intellectual restlessness. Note how many of the entries are about getting an expert to teach him something, be it mathematics, physics or astronomy. Also who casually lists “draw Milan” as an ambition?


stephen-hawking-death-atheismLESSONS from STEPHEN HAWKING:

Stephen Hawking , he is considered one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein. He authored a brief history of time, an international best seller, From 1979 to 2009 he was the Lucasian Professor at Cambridge, a position held by Isaac Newton in 1663. Professor Hawking has over a dozen honorary degrees.

Some of his quotes to live by…

Advice he shared with his children: “Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.”- Stephen Hawking

Don’t give up: “The victim should have the right to end his life, if he wants. But I think it would be a great mistake. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope.”

Nothing is perfect: “One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect, Perfection simply doesn’t exist…without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist.”

Matter of attitude: “People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining.”

Matter of purpose: “Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it.”

Matter of perspective: “When one’s expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have.”


10-valuable-lessons-from-richard-branson-part-i-1024x682LESSONS from RICHARD BRANSON:

Here is some actual information from some of Richard Branson’s To Do Lists. Branson emphasizes his “love of writing lists” and how it started from a young age. “Lists not only provide great structure for getting things done, but they also help us to set goals and achieve our dreams,” Branson wrote. Way back on a list from 1972 he listed, “Learn to fly, open more Virgin Record Stores, clean up…”

Fast forward 45 years and take a look at where Branson is today. He has a net worth of about $5 billion and is the founder of an organization that houses more than 450 companies. It’s safe to say Branson is doing more than OK. In part, he thanks to-do lists for this.


1. Follow your dreams

You’ll never be successful if you don’t love what you do and wake up every morning excited. “Those people who spend their time working on things they love are usually the ones enjoying life the most,” Branson says. “They are also the ones who dared to take a risk and chase their dreams.”

2. Do some good

According to Branson, “if you aren’t making a positive difference to other people’s lives, then you shouldn’t be in business.” This goes not only for individuals, but companies as a whole, Branson says.

3. Believe in your ideas

If you aren’t advocating for yourself, you’re not giving anyone else a reason to. As Branson says, “If you aren’t proud of your idea and believe in your plans, why should anybody else?”

4. Have fun

Though often underrated, Branson calls fun one of the most important ingredients in any successful business. “If you’re not having fun, then it’s probably time to try something else,” he writes.

The concept of having fun has driven some of Branson’s most successful businesses, especially when he was first starting out. When he went to the CEOs of Virgin Music with the idea of using a third of the company’s profits to start an airline because he believed it would be “fun,” they weren’t entirely on board, Business Insider reports. But Branson persisted and Virgin Atlantic, one of the company’s most well-known properties, was born.

5. Don’t give up

“On every adventure I have been on — whether setting up a business, flying around the world in a balloon or racing across the ocean in a boat — there have been moments when the easy thing to do would be to give up,” Branson writes. But, by sticking things through, he’s propelled himself to immense success, both personal and professional.

Branson’s onto something with this tip. Psychologist and MacArthur “Genius” fellow Angela Duckworth spent years researching achievement, and found that talent by itself is only one factor. Success also requires determined effort, and lots of it.

“Without effort, your talent is nothing more than your unmet potential,” Duckworth writes in her book, “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.”

6. Keep setting new challenges

“If you don’t write down your ideas, they could be gone by the morning,” Branson says. He solves this problem himself by making lists of every kind, from ideas for companies to upcoming plans.

“Write down every single idea you have, no matter how big or small,” he wrote in a blog post. And then challenge yourself to follow through. You never know what’s going to hit.

7. Learn to delegate

Learning that you don’t have to do everything yourself is a difficult skill for many entrepreneurs, but it’s worth it. “If you find people who can take on tasks you aren’t good at, it frees you up to plan for the future,” Branson writes.

8. Look after your team

Your personal success matters, but so does the success of your team. Branson points out the importance of fostering a welcoming, safe and innovative work environment: “If your staff are having fun and genuinely care about other people, they will enjoy their work more and do a better job.”

It’s also crucial to hire the right people. “Find people who look for the best in others, praise rather than criticise, and love what they do,” Branson writes.

9. Get out there

Success — and adventure — isn’t going to come to you. You’ve got to go find it. “Rather than sitting in front of a screen all your life, switch off the TV or the computer and go out into the world,” Branson says.

10. When people say bad things about you, prove them wrong

To thrive, you must be prepared for critics and copycats.

“Some people will react to success by trying to hang onto your coat tails,” Branson warns. “The best thing you can do is to not only ignore them, but to prove them wrong in every single way.”



3-Questions-motivation-manifestoLESSONS from someone who wrote THE MOTIVATION MANIFESTO: 

Brendon Burchard survived a horrible car crash & had what seems like a life awakening. He began asking people three questions: DID WE LIVE? DID WE LOVE FULLY? DID WE MAKE A DIFFERENCE and DID WE MATTER?   That is all I have to say about that. 

After diving into SOME of these greats I have realized how there are SO many more out there, so I may have to do additional blog posts on other people who have overcame, lived with purpose, went beyond and found their own kind of brilliance!! It is so motivating and fun to read life lessons, quotes and inspiration from so many incredible people.

We can all strive to do more with our lives. Love it!!

Peace and love to you today!!  -H





freedomWell, today is about being BOLD, finding that something that you are hiding from and taking the steps to set it free. We each have our own genius, our own spark that is suppose to light up the world, but often we doubt, we struggle, we hide and are afraid to let the spark ignite and then shine. We are all victims of this smallness.

Yesterday I was listening to a great podcast that had Tara Mohr as the guest. She has a new book out called Playing Big. On the podcast she was sharing her personal experiences of listening to the small voices within, the fear, the part of us that just wants to keep us safe. She shared a story of being invited to be on the Today Show to share her message about her work, Playing Big. Before she went on the show she had multiple thoughts & voices in her head of comparing herself (under 5 ft tall, not model thin, millions watching, sitting next to these beautiful women who may ask tough questions). The thoughts hit her & she had to remember her own work & thank the voice for its concern and tell it she had the matter under control. She had to remind herself that her work needed to be about playing big, she had to remind herself of the millions of people watching the show & the number of people that may be inspired by the message. She had to be bold and play bigger than the little voices inside.

It was a great story about how we all have our own insecurities, we listen to the voices that keep us small, but when we begin to see that the voices are just thoughts trying to keep us safe, we can identify them, thank them and keep going into a bolder direction.

The inner critic will show up whenever we’re on the edge of playing bigger, and whenever we’re taking a new risk and stretching ourselves. And so we just need tools to deal with it.  -Tara Mohr

timthumb.phpTara shared some great quotes that will illustrate how our inner critic/fear comes up in ALL of us. It isn’t partial to the weak, to the insecure, to the strong, to the successful, etc. Here are some great examples from Tara & some I found…

Twyla Tharp, the award-winning choreographer, says her number one fear is “People will laugh at me.” -from Tara

Who could have thought that Richard Branson (Virgin) has a lifelong dread of public speaking. When he launched Virgin in the early 80s, his mentor, entrepreneur Freddie Laker, told him he had to make himself the public face of the company. “I remember thinking, ‘That’s easy for you to say,’ because I was utterly terrified,” says Branson. The Resolution: Branson relies on a slew of mind games to get him through his numerous speaking gigs. He forces himself to imagine he’s in his living room, chatting with pals. He spends weeks writing and rehearsing seemingly off-the-cuff speeches. And he relies heavily on videos and Q&A’s to shift attention elsewhere. Branson’s methods have been so successful that now he delivers speeches on—you guessed it—“The Art of Public Speaking.”  (taken from lifereimagined)  A little something more about Richard Branson– is the fourth richest person in the United Kingdom. He owns the Virgin group of brands, including a record label, an airline, and the mobile phone company. He also owns an island in the Caribbean. As a child, though, he performed poorly on tests in school and struggled with dyslexia. Teachers and authority figures assumed he wouldn’t go very far, but Branson defied the odds, and attributes his success to his people skills – proving that street smarts can take you far. (masterschannel)

Perhaps it was inevitable that beloved American institution Donnie Osmond would develop a paralyzing dread of another beloved American institution: the shopping mall. One night while starring in the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Osmond had a panic attack so severe that (as he later wrote) “I honestly believed I was dying.” It was part of a pattern of social anxiety that had dogged him for most of his life. One focal point became an extreme fear of malls, where he became convinced everyone was ridiculing him. The Resolution: Osmond worked with a cognitive-behavior psychologist who showed him that many of his worries were groundless. Among his psychological exercises: buying a shirt at a shopping center, then returning it the next day—without disaster! “I survived,” Osmond said, “and even learned to laugh along with the people I always feared were laughing at me.” (taken from lifereimagined)

Gustave Eiffel, the designer of the famed Eiffel Tower, was terrified of heights.

Roger Moore (James Bond) cannot pick up a gun without uncontrollably blinking.

Walt Disney, who gave the world Mickey Mouse, was indeed, afraid of mice.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett was “terrified” of public speaking. He was so nervous, in fact, that he would arrange and choose his college classes to avoid having to get up in front of people. He even enrolled in a public speaking course and dropped out before it even started. “I lost my nerve,” he said.  At the age of 21, Buffett started his career in the securities business in Omaha and decided that to reach his full potential, he had to overcome his fear of public speaking. Buffett enrolled in a Dale Carnegie course with another thirty people who, like him, were “terrified of getting up and saying our names.” (taken from

The world famous minister, Joel Osteen, sells out places like Yankee Stadium and speaks live to 40,000 a week who visit Lakewood church every Sunday (the mega-church meets in Houston at the former Compaq Center). Osteen says the week before his first sermon in 1999 marked the worst days of his life. “I was scared to death,” he says. At the time he knew very little about speaking or preparing a message. In fact he was perfectly content to sit behind the video camera during his father’s sermons. When his father passed away, Osteen’s wife and family encouraged him to take the stage. Osteen did not overcome his fear for a long time. The conversations he heard didn’t help. “I overheard two ladies say, ‘he’s not as good as his father.’ I was already insecure and—boom—another negative label.” Words, he says, are like seeds. If you dwell on them long enough they take root and you will become what those words say you’ll become—if you let them. Osteen says negative labels—the ones people place on us and the labels we place on ourselves— prevent us from reaching our potential. (taken from forbes)

Albert Einstein–failed his college entrance exam.

Steven Spielberg was rejected 3 times by USC’s film program

Jim Carrey had to drop out of school at 15 to help support his family. His father was unemployed and the family had to start living in a van.

Jay-Z couldn’t get signed to any record labels. Yet that didn’t stop him from creating his own music powerhouse. His label would eventually turn into the insanely lucrative Roc-A-Fella Records. Here’s proof Jay-Z is on top: Forbes has estimated his net worth at $500 million, and TIME ranked him at one of their 2013 Most Influential People In The World. And he’s married to Beyoncé. (huffingtonpost)

poster-be-bold-discomfortI think that the phenomenon that people are pointing to — noticing that women often don’t see themselves as ready to take on a next bigger role, and all these issues of self-doubt — I think it’s right to shine the spotlight there, and to start to say something’s going on here, and we’re seeing too many capable women not stepping up for reasons of self-doubt. The problem, or one of the problems, I think, is that then we have framed the solution as: let’s become more confident. That’s where I would disagree. I think that self-doubt is the problem but confidence is not the antidote; the antidote is relating in a new way to our own self-doubt, and that new way has to do with hearing it, being aware of it, but not taking direction from it.  -Tara Mohr


Peace to you and your brilliance. SHINE. Play Big. Be YOU.

Ads to make your day AWESOME

I wanted to do something creative, fun and spontaneous today!! I have put together a great collage of videos & images to illustrate amazing messages that will inspire, make you think and hopefully spark something within. Images have power, so take the ride!

This first is an amazing ad done a few years ago by absolute vodka…take a look

The next is a neat video done by Dove that makes you take a closer look at how you see yourself…check it out.

The next video makes you think about how we affect one another…the responsibility to reach out to one another…to make a difference.

The next images just make you stop and think…take a look


Well, I hope these images, inspiration and food for thought will make you stop and take notice of the way you treat others, what choices you make, how you treat the planet and what pulls at your heart and soul. We are connected in all things, so don’t be afraid to step out and make a small change…get creative in some small way, maybe begin to recycle your water bottles, cut back on your meat consumption, give your child 12 big hugs today, risk, get outdoors, stop texting in your car, read more, get your family listening to good music, appreciating art, making a difference in other peoples lives, love yourself a little more, adopt a pet, see things differently…Get INSPIRED!!

Make it an AWESOME day!!  -Heather