Sunday, April 29, 2007
Tip#50: See The Bigger Picture - Oprah & Ellen!
The Cake Message
When you see a delicious cake it's beauty can immediately permeate all your senses. Its textures look tantalizing, the aroma lifts your spirit and the moist taste can send you into the heavens. What is interesting is if you've never seen how a cake is made you would probably just see a strange mess. You have yet to see the bigger picture.
The eggs that were once perfectly contained in a white shell are suddenly cracked open spilling its contents. Then flour, once held in a tidy container, is dumped into the mix churning into the eggs and other ingredients. And if you ate these ingredients in their raw state it would taste terrible.
But in the end when every step has been carefully taken to create the cake, it transforms into a delicious work of art. This process is a metaphor for the bigger picture of what challenging times are for. Change for the better has its messy stages.
Go With The Natural Flow
2007 for me started off rough and has tested my belief in my vision for what I wanted in my career as a motivator. I've felt disconnected. What's been getting me through these several months was a newfound passion for documenting my struggles and learning on this blog. My first entry started 6 months ago where I celebrated a dream come true at the Royal Ontario Museum for a successful keynote topic I gave called 'How Movies Can Change Your Life'.
That event was to precede many other motivational events I was asked to develop for the ROM that ended up having the plug pulled in mid January (see tip#22). I thought I'd be documenting these new successes to inspire others to follow their dreams through my blog. Instead my new year was off to a crash bang start with my dream jobs getting derailed. My career eggs were being smashed open and flour was being spilled everywhere!
The irony is that my blog entries of motivational tips became my new focus and source of release and comfort. I truly enjoyed writing to share a little of the roller coaster I was riding and how I've managed to hang on. What surprised me most were the many encouraging thanks I would receive weekly. I was making a difference in other people's lives despite the dark time I was in.
And some of my readers were finding my motivational tips via the Google search engine. Comments came from as far as Portugal and Singapore. The universe was guiding me to a bigger purpose and I had to just trust the process I was in. I just needed to learn how to float like a cork and just go with the natural flow of events.
Passion Is Fuel
So I continued to document my struggles, synchronicities and solutions. That's all. I just followed my passion for writing. I had no idea where my income was going to come from but I knew I had to keep posting and share my experiences through the internet. Author of The Pursuit of Happynessand entrepreneur, Chris Gardner was key in confirming my gut feelings to keep doing what I love and not think about the money (see tip#40). Passion for writing was my new fuel and I couldn't wait to get up in the mornings to do it.
No matter what uncertainties I faced each day I continued to give as much as I could to help others stuck in their own lives. It's what I still love to do whether it's through my illustrations, music or a simple helpful tip for someone. I didn't expect anything in return, it was just unconditional giving. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “I was being the change I wanted to see in the world”.
As days and weeks went by comforting changes began to happen. New and good people brimming with integrity and graciousness flowed into my life. I still believed in earth angels and they were arriving from every direction. I was given so much encouragement to keep moving forward. Then at the end of March a special book came to me from out of the blue to re-ignite my deepest hopes and dreams.
What Dreams May Come
It was a profound gift to find film producer Stephen Simon's book, The Force Is With You.In it, Simon shared his own passion for movies and how they can help you discover who you are and why we are here. The book became a mirror for my dream of turning my motivational tips blog into a self-help book.
One of the many inspirational points from the book came from Simon's experiences producing the movies 'Somewhere In Time' with Christopher Reeve and What Dreams May Comewith Robin Williams. It took many long years to get each of the films made as there were constant roadblocks along the way. Simon's vision, passion and courage fueled his persistence and in the end the movies were finally produced. And despite not being box office hits upon release, in time the films have made a big difference for people all over the world having to deal with challenges of love and death.
Simon's personal stories and insights in his book had given me hope. I realized I'd been on track all along in my journey. Every choice I made was somehow always the right one. And I always learned something from each block I encountered to better myself and improve my life skills.
I was teaching myself how to go with the flow of the ups and down of life. And I had to always have faith that the puzzle pieces for moving forward would come at the right moment if I remained open to when and how they arrive. That's why I believe synchronicity is a powerful life tool to embrace. You just have to be alert and aware at all times for meaningful coincidences.
I see now my 'stuck' periods were not only cross roads but a 'dramatic pause' before my life and career truly revs up again for the next chapter of my adventures. I’ve chosen to be the hero of my own movie.
Keep A Vision Alive
What has further motivated me was this indelible image of myself being on the Oprah Show. I have always seen this clearly in my head. In fact to manifest this vision of the future I made a fun picture of pasting my face over a photo of a guest being interviewed on Oprah.
Try this for yourself. Why not picture yourself being interviewed by Oprah or someone else you admire. The idea of being interviewed is a form of celebrating and sharing with the world the greatness of who you are and what you are capable of. This is a great self-esteem exercise to get you thinking that your life experiences have some value.
For example, think of a challenge in your life or career that you have overcome. It may be a small thing to you but your methods of success could make a huge difference for someone else.
Ellen DeGeneres likes to also celebrate the everyday person. I've pictured myself on her show too. Although I initially see myself dancing like some of her guests do when they enter on stage. And I still think it was the coolest thing seeing Ellen make Steven Spielberg take a picture of her and Clint Eastwood at the 79th Academy Awards (see tip#33).
What inspires me most about Oprah and Ellen's shows is they both love celebrating the big and small accomplishments that people do. That, in turn, inspires others.
Your Place In The World
So keep your goals clear in your mind as you allow yourself to enjoy the journey there. Be a floating cork when times are tough. Take in the aroma and tastes of other people's cakes that are being created along the way. Take time to help someone whose cake may be burning or in trouble because one day you may be in the same situation.
And above all be grateful for what you have at this very moment. Make the most of what you have. Any missing ingredients to your cake will eventually come to you if you just trust and help others with their missing pieces. And somehow you'll begin to see the bigger picture and discover your lasting place in the world.
I know that my place in the world right now is to continue documenting my ups and downs with all my gifts and skills. And I'm meant to share it all with the world. I love knowing I’ve already made a difference in people's lives.
And what makes me smile at this moment is my vision of the future of you reading this in my first published book that's being given out free to audience members of the Oprah and Ellen shows. And I'm there laughing and looking back at when I wrote about this wild emotional roller coaster I was on.
And, of course, I'll be shaking my booty with Ellen on her show.
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007