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Inspiring

19 Dec

We have a choice every day to decide how we will act and what we will do. We all do some things well, and some things not as well, but as we make our decisions we can decide that no matter what, we’ll be the best we can be. It’s easy to go through the motions, and just take things as they come, but if we want to get the most from every moment we have to do a little more. At every turn, we can decide not to make just a good decision, but to make the best decision. We can choose not to do just enough, but to do the best we can. If we consciously decide to try our best to be our best, our lives will be more rewarding and more fulfilling, and we’ll inspire those around us.

We’ve all heard of the bell curve. When I was a child and got frustrated over some decision someone had made that impacted me, my father would say, “You’ve got to remember the bell curve.” I never really understood what he meant until I got older. As you might recall from school, the bell curve represents our performance with the majority of us landing smack in the middle in the land of mediocrity. If we want to just get by in our lives and do the least amount needed to move forward, we’ll have lots of company. But if we want to live closer to the edge, where we have to try harder, where we have to think a little longer before we act, and where every decision is measured well, we’ll have the best company. We design our lives the way we want them. If we want mediocrity we can surely have it. But if we want something more, and want to see what we’re really capable of, we need to focus and stretch. The choice is ours alone to make.

When we’re reaching for something better and trying to become more than what we are now, it takes personal effort. We can’t afford the luxury of complacency. We have to be engaged all the time. Each opportunity brings many choices. Paying attention to each option, looking at it objectively and seeing where it will lead doesn’t always take a lot of time. But it does take our attention. If we want to live an extraordinary life, if we want to do more than the minimum, if we want to be our best, we can. Once I heard two pianists perform the same piece within days of each other. Each was performed technically perfectly. Each was done well, but there was no comparison between the two. The first artist played perfectly without a single mistake. Her timing was exact and she was proficient. But the second artist played as though every emotion she possessed came out onto the keys. She felt the music, and she expressed it in a way that made the listener part of it. It was a breathtaking performance and many were brought to tears by the end. Both pianists were excellent, but one chose to put everything she had into the music and it made all the difference. If we lived our lives like that, if we put everything into each decision, we would be a positive influence. We would be inspiring. We can choose to be our best, and when we do our lives will be better. We’ll be stronger, more confident, and an example to those around us.

Today if you’ve been doing well but not giving all you can, rethink your plan. You have so many wonderful things to share. Open yourself up to being more, to thinking a bit more deeply, and to letting your very best self shine forward. You have the power to inspire those around you. Be your best. Reach further. You can change your world.

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