Tag Archives: motivation

How Bad Do You Want It?

Est. Reading / Watching Time 5minutes, (15min with bonus videos)

Hi All,

Sorry for the lack of posts. My trip was extended to an incredible six month journey. I have been back a month now and have started to knuckle down and get motivated. I would like to share with you this amazingly shot video title “How Bad Do You Want It?”. The title is self explanatory. The video was shot using parts of a speech by a speaker at Michigan State University. I will include the original two part speech below the video.

Having ideas and wanting to be successful is all well and good, but its doing and putting those ideas to action which sets people apart.  Enjoy this fantastic video.

Click the HD button if your computer can handle it as the video is superbly shot and deserves it!

How Bad Do You Want It from Greyskale Multimedia on Vimeo.



Here is the original footage with an extended version of the inspirational speech in two parts…

Monday Morning Feeling

Happy Christmas to everyone. Hope everyone has a lovely Christmas and New Year whatever you get up to and wherever you are. I leave you for the holidays with this video by Alastair Humphreys about where would you rather be on Monday Morning. Don’t allow that Monday morning feeling last, thing of nicer places and doing what you want and work to that goal!

Interview with Jenn Vargas founder of 101in365

Our previous post about how to make a more awesome you we talked about the 101in365 challenge. 101in365 is a great website to get you motivated to go out and achieve your goals by helping you define and track 101 goals to complete in a year. The idea being small steps to make a big change in you. Today we have an interview with Jenn Vargas founder of 101in365 about how the site came about and her own 101in365 goals.

SOI: What gave you the idea for 101in365?
JV: The idea for 101in365 started when my college roommate and I were trying to decide what to do about new years resolutions. We decided we would each make a list of 101 things we wanted to accomplish in the next 365 days. We both tracked our lists on our blogs but it was pretty labor-intensive. A few years later I decided I wanted to try to automate some of it. So I did! And a weekend project just sort of evolved into what it is today!

SOI: What people have inspired you to do achieve your goals?
JV: I’m inspired by a pretty broad range of people for all different reasons. I try to learn from everyone (and vice versa!) I meet and just continually try to improve myself!

SOI: Are there any other videos / websites that help motivate you?
It really depends on the goals I’m trying to pursue at any given moment. I actually really enjoy reading through the Explore page on 101in365 or just browsing around to random lists to see what other people want to achieve. It inspires me to go beyond my own list and to motivate others to keep going with theirs!

SOI: What are some of the things on your 101in365 list?
One of my main goals for this year is to start my own company. My other goals range from “just because” type goals (“Start watching I Love Lucy from the very beginning”) to habits I want to develop (“Be more eco-friendly at home”) to pretty typical things (“Lose 15lbs”) to cool aspirational goals like “Meet and have a conversation with one of my heroes”.
My list is here if you’re curious! http://101in365.com/jenn

SOI: Thanks a lot Jenn.

Jenn Vargas is the founder of the inspirational website 101in365.com

How to Make a More Awesome You – 101 in 365 challenge

Many people will tell you that to achieve any goal in life it is about breaking the goal down into small defined steps. I am a great believer in this, if you have a goal however “ridiculous” you think it maybe then to achieve it all you have to do is work out what you need to get it, and break down the steps of how to reach this.

Take the 100 push up challenge. At the beginning it sounds ridiculous to be able to do this if you can only do 10 push ups or less. But with the challenge you build up and make it all the way to 100 using small incremental steps that make you better.

Randy Grayson talks about this concept as “Kaizen”. He talks about an American basketball coach called John Wooden.

Randy says, “If you’re no fan of basketball, you have no idea who this is, but all you need to know is that he was exceedingly successful using the principle of Kaizen.  If you would like to know more, check out this website:  http://www.hoophall.com/halloffamers/Wooden.htm.  Here’s a little quote for you, “The John Wooden-coached UCLA teams scaled unprecedented heights that no future organization in any sport is likely to approach. Under the masterful guidance of Wooden, the Bruins set all-time records with four perfect 30-0 seasons, 88 consecutive victories, 38 straight NCAA tournament victories, 20 PAC 10 championships, and 10 national championships, including seven in a row.”

When asked what his incredible success was due to, he once replied, “When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur.  When you improve conditioning a little each day, eventually you have a big improvement in conditioning.  Not tomorrow, not the next day, but eventually a big gain is made.  Don’t look for the big, quick improvement.  Seek the small improvement one day at a time.  That’s the only way it happens – and when it happens, it lasts.”

Breaking things down to improve something about yourself can be a very powerful tool in helping motivate yourself to achieve your goals. In this vein is the superb website 101in365. It is a website created by Jenn Vargas, a self confessed compulsive list writer, with the idea of making a “More Awesome You” by defining 101 steps, small or large to complete in 365 days. It is a great challenge and one which will give you a great sense of accomplishment when stuck to.

UPDATE: See our interview with Jenn Vargas here

The aim of 101in365 is to help you develop, track, and accomplish your goals in 365 days or less. You also have the huge support of the community on the site, which as anyone knows having others to egg you on and being around inspiring people helps inspire and motivate you. So it is time to apply some Kaizen and achieve what you want in life this year, starting today.

8 Tiny Ways to Improve Your Life – A lesson from Alastair Humphreys

Estimated Reading Time: 10 minutes

Many of the regular readers know of Alastair Humphreys. Motivational speaker and the man who cycled around the world for four years, he has also written some great articles. One of which I will like to share with you today, as I thought it was fantastic. In it he talks about the idea of small steps giving you big changes in your life and your outlook of it. In the same way that you can get the same out of a microadventure as you can a full on around the world expedition.

In that same vein, interior designers always say start with your bedroom in redecorating, as it is the first thing you see and the last thing at night and because of this can have a huge effect on how you feel as you go to bed and wake up.

Here is an extract from Alastair’s post “8 tiny ways in which I’m improving my life” (original here). Additional bolding of words added:

First the list, then the explanations:

Press ups

1. Time. If you get up a mere 10 minutes earlier each day, and go to bed 10 minutes later you will have created for yourself 5 extra days per year. That’s almost one extra year, gratis, in a lifetime. How much would you give for 5 extra days each year? You don’t need to pay: this is time for free. Time to be used. Free time!

2. Turn off your TV. Give this a try: do not turn on your TV for a day. Come home from work and use those evening hours to do something different, something creative. Once you’ve mastered a day without TV, try a week…

3. Have a shower. Sound advice indeed! But take a cold shower every day. It will save the planet, save you cash, and it feels great too! It sounds unpleasant, and the first step is pretty daunting. But once you’re in you realise it’s not so bad. And you feel so good once you have finished. Apart from being a great metaphor for much of what I try to do in life, a cold shower also sets you up well for the day. If you can endure something bad just moments after leaving your warm, cozy bed then the rest of the day will be a breeze in comparison! I’ve been doing this for a month or two now and reckon I have mastered it. I’ve now moved to showering outside under the hosepipe as my way of ramping up the challenge a bit, but I can appreciate that that may make me sound like a bit of a weirdo! Whether that will last into the winter remains to be seen…

4. Take a Photograph Everyday for a Year. I began doing this as my New Year’s Resolution for 2009. I started it to improve my photography skills. But I have come to value the challenge for the daily dollop of self-discipline it requires and because it forces me, however dull my day, to look around for something positive or interesting or beautiful. There is always something.

5. Run. Go for a run before breakfast. If you hate running go for a walk, or a bike ride. I find this a bit like the cold shower: when I wake up I don’t want to get out of my nice bed and go running. But I never ever regret it once I’ve done it. It doesn’t need to be long, just long enough to stir the blood, blow away the cobwebs, freshen you up, and remind you that you are alive and need to get on with life! If you don’t have time then just get off the Tube or bus one stop earlier and walk the rest of the way to work.

6. Read. Use the time you’ve saved by getting up 10 minutes earlier and by turning off your TV to read more. Most of us want to read more books. But by setting myself a quantifiable target (to read one book of fiction and one book of non-fiction every month) I have become more focused about getting stuck into all those books I want to read. Need some ideas of books to read? Try the 100 Greatest Adventure Books of all time for starters. Or one of my books!

7. Press ups. Another metaphor for my lessons from the road (think big, start small): if you do two press ups today, then three tomorrow (and so on), then eventually you’ll be able to do 100 consecutive press-ups… Sound interesting?

8. Pause. When I boil the kettle I used to do what most normal people do: see how many press ups I could do before the kettle clicked. (Waiting for toast to pop I would do sit ups, and I can do ten chin ups on my kitchen bar in the time the espresso machine takes to make a cup of coffee.)
But now I have a different tactic. Now when I am waiting for the kettle I take a seat, close my eyes, sit very still and just pause. I spend so much of my time rushing around that, to my surprise, I have come to really value these brief pinpricks of calm in my day. I try to empty my mind, but of course it continues racing on. Yet in the couple of minutes of quiet I feel my mind really starting to settle and to sift through the maelstrom for the good ideas, the important thoughts for the day.

If you like to read more from Alastair Humphreys, check out these other posts and his blog.

Alastair Humphreys – Do Lecture – 4 Years Around the World on a Bike

Alastair Humphreys – The Why of Adventure

Books by Alastair on Amazon:

The Young Ones BBC – Inspirational TV in the UK Shock Horror!

Over the past week there has been a superb program on some old British stars, who now in their 70s and 80s are finding life very boring, hard and unfulfilling. As part of an experiment they were put in a house together which was decorated in 1970s gear, and everything they were allowed to see, e.g. Newspapers, and TV were from 1975. The scientists then put together subtle tasks to make them feel like they were in the 70s again, a period of time they all felt was the best time fo their lives. They did cognitive and physiological tests before and after the one week to see how much they improved.

Even without the tests, you could tell how much better everyone was. Smiling, being active etc. One 88 year old who had had several strokes walked without crutches, when she entered the house in a wheelchair. All this just from one week of positive experiences. It helped them gain confidence, and remind them of what value they had and still can have in society. It was nothing to do with being in 1975, that was just a trigger for change.

I believe it doe not matter what your age is, sometimes whether you are 60 or 30 you can feel old, and that your best times have passed you, yet its all about state of mind and getting up and doing. Whether that’s going out for a meal with friends, or taking a walk in fresh air. The less your do, the more tired you are. I’m sure any gym goers who have had a time where they don’t go for a week feel that. If you keep the mind active, it will look after your body for you.

For these pensioners who used to be in demand TV and Media stars, it changed their state of minds, and their lives around in just one week even at their age. Its all about living life to the fullest you can.

If you are in the UK you can watch this on BBC iPlayer http://www.bbc.co.uk/i/tv913/

A Lesson from Students of Baghdad University

In this video it features three students who attend Baghdad University as they go through the problems they face, the same every student does. What to do after University, what kind of job you want to get into, when next to see friends and family etc. However these students have to put up with friends being killed in bomb attacks, Dean of the school being assassinated, and general fear of attack from extremists. These “war students” from Baghdad really show us that no matter what problems you think you may have, think about how unlucky some others have it. There is always a worse off situation, and these people still have hope for the future of rebuilding their country, whilst others look to leave then come back.

Amazing video insight into what everyday young Iraqi’s want out of life, and how similar we all are.

Great Quotes 2 – Pursuing Dreams

This collection of quotes in all about sticking with it and pursuing your dreams. If you put aside your mistakes you will achieve. Hope they help someone…

Dream image from sxc.hu

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Nelson Mandela

“Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” – Steve Jobs (adapted from The Whole Earth Catalogue)

“You don’t beat the reaper by living longer, you beat the reaper by living well.” – Randy Pausch

“One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.” – Leonardo da Vinci

“A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits.”- Richard Nixon

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison

“Talk does not cook rice.” – Chinese Proverb

“Brick walls are there to show you how much you want something” – Randy Pausch

“A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done.” – Ralph Nader

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” – Henry David Thoreau

Post your personal favourites in the comments. I’d love to hear from quotes that have inspired you, and quote sets you would like to see.

Why staying foolish is as important as staying hungry – Steve Jobs speech

Most people know Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple. You are probably either in the camp of Windows or Mac (excluding the hardcore in Linux, although saying that I use Ubuntu and I’m not hardcore). From these choices you probably have a view on Steve Jobs as did I.

However I got pointed to this amazing speech by him. In it he goes into his early life, as well as his recent battle with cancer.  Its nice to hear him speak openly about goals, and how he has overcome being sacked from the company he founded, then rehired.  Steve Jobs has been through a lot and come through it all, and whether you like Macs or PC’s, I hope you will find this speech as interesting and inspiring as I did.

Its was done in 2005 by Steve at the Stanford University Commencement Address in California.  His talk is aimed at inspiring people to pursue their dreams and never settle.
“Stay Hungry, and Stay Foolish” – Steve Jobs

More on Steve Jobs:

West of Eden: The End of Innocence at Apple Computer

EOS magazine Vol. 20 Nr. 3 maart 2003: Vliegtuiglawaai – Ramp Columbia – Walvissen – Gemidificeerd voedsel – Misvormde kikkers – Steve Jobs

Randy Pausch Last Lecture Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

This is one of the best hours of your life you will ever experience. Randy Pausch was a lecturer who died of cancer recently and gave his “last lecture”, normally given at the end of a year for students, this actually was his last lecture.

Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch (Oct. 23, 1960 – July 25, 2008) gave his last lecture at the university Sept. 18, 2007, before a packed McConomy Auditorium. In his moving presentation, “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” Pausch talked about his lessons learned and gave advice to students on how to achieve their own career and personal goals.

There are so many great inspirational concepts in this video. I love this ideas about brick walls. “Brick walls are there to show you how much you want something”. Such a great man, and an incredible lecture. He gives such great information into his life and how he came about his views. Its an amazing video and one of the most inspirational and motivational videos you will ever see.

R.I.P. Randy Pausch (Oct. 23, 1960 – July 25, 2008)