Saturday, October 31, 2009


So I've been thinking about inspiration--both in terms of what and who inspires me, and how others might be inspired by what I say and do in my life. This has been prompted by two events in the past two days.

The most recent is my discovery of a website that I had never even heard of before, but perhaps you already know about:

And all I can say about this website is Wow! Imagine over 500 of the world's greatest thinkers, creators, innovators, expressing their passion in short talks that are entertaining, inspiring, informative, sometimes astounding. Check it out.

It led me to think about the people who have most inspired me in my life, all of whom I've already mentioned on these pages. Ray Bradbury, Norman Cousins, Leo Buscaglia, and others. What did they have in common? Well, one thing I think they all shared was they didn't spend a lot of time thinking about how they could inspire others. No, they spent their time on their passions. Ray spends his time mostly writing and talking about creativity..still as he approaches ninety. Norman spent his time, for many years, as one of the most prominent magazine editors in the world, leading Saturday Review to great honors and influence--and then, after triumphing over his own illness, wrote the bestselling Anatomy Of An Illness and worked hard to get doctors and medical schools to pay attention to the immune system and endorphins and other brain secretions. And Leo, Leo was all about Love, talking about it, laughing about it, living it. I still so vividly remember seeing him talk to large audiences and with just his words producing the effect of having everyone wanting to hug everyone else when he was finished.

No, none of these people worked hard at trying to inspire, their own passion was the seed of their inspiration. Contrast that with some of today's famous motivators who work so hard at trying to come up with the right phrase or quote to inspire their audiences. They aim at inspiring not with their passion and knowledge, but trying to find the inspiration spark to ignite others. I'm sorry folks, it just doesn't work that way, and you can see this so clearly on Think about who has inspired you the most in your life. Do you think this was because they were focused on trying to inspire you, or because you were moved by the passion, excitement, and joy they had in what they were doing and teaching?

The other event that got me to thinking about this was a reminder that I am not completely forgotten in the motivational world despite having vanished for twelve years. I awoke yesterday morning to my daily motivational quote from Nightingale-Conant, and lo and behold, it was me:

"Wealth is not a material gain, but a state of mind."
— Jerry Gillies: Author, Speaker and Radio Personality

Of course, I haven't been a radio personality for thirty years, and it's an old quote, and NC probably hasn't a clue that I was incarcerated for twelve years, but it still felt good. And has inspired me anew to come up with some more current and even more relevant quotes.
One inspired by my prison adventure:

Freedom Isn't About Wide Open Spaces
It's About A Wide Open Mind

More on this at my prosperity blog at:

Happy Halloween!

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