Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tip#152: Be An Empty Cup - Peaceful Warrior - The Forbidden Kingdom

Are you a half glass empty kind of person? Or a half glass full person? This is a popular analogy for having a pessimistic or optimistic mindset. Once you realize which one you are there will be even more options revealed.

I remember asking someone if they were a half glass empty or half glass full person. They surprised me be saying neither and stated they were a full glass kind of person. I laughed because it was a new way of looking at that analogy.

It reminded me of the concept in the book, How Full Is Your Bucket? that I wrote about in tip#150. It stated we all have an invisible bucket that is either filled or emptied with every interaction we have with people. Having a full bucket or glass is like saying you are filled with positive energy and optimism.

A Fourth Option

Now there is a fourth option reserved for those feeling deeply stuck in life. For those feeling their back is against a wall or have hit some sort of massive roadblock it is time to be an empty cup.

At the beginning of the year 2000 and 2008 I had to face different walls that asked me to be brave and walk into the blackness of the unknown. I was in a crisis and in order for me to move forward I had to let go of everything I thought was the "right thing" to do. I had to empty my cup so new answers could fill it.

Peaceful Warrior

In the movie the Peaceful Warriorthe main character wanted to make his dream come true of being a top Olympic gymnast. In order to achieve this he had to change his mindset. In order to change his mindset he had to experience a trauma that helped empty out his old thought processes. It wasn't easy but fully necessary for him to achieve his goals. More on this movie: Click here

The Forbidden Kingdom

In my previous tip#151, The Forbidden Kingdommovie has a scene where the teen hero wants to turn his passion for kung fu into reality with a newfound teacher. The teen's mind was so full of all his favourite kung fu movie references that it served as a block in learning the true martial arts. His teacher told him he had to first empty his cup before he could move forward.

Do Your Best

So do your best to keep your bucket filled with positive emotional energy. That energy and passion will be your fuel while you empty your cup. Emptying your cup will then clear your mind for the new information you need to overcome your current challenges.

It takes courage and time to empty your cup. Just remember that this process is key to achieving your goals and that you are not alone in your journey. There are many empty cups already around you!

Free Call-in Radio Show and Podcast
Topic: How To Press Play When You're Stuck On Pause
Thursday, May 8th, 2008 12:00-1:00pm EST
More info: Click here

Emmanuel Lopez
Motivational Specialist & Motivational Wingman
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Tip#151: Passion Is Fuel, Part 1 - The Forbidden Kingdom

Definition of Passion: A powerful feeling. The object of such love and desire, great enthusiasm, anger or rage.

Some people are lucky enough to know what they are passionate about in life and use it to enjoy their time in the world. While others have fear around maximizing the energizing powers of their passion. Sometimes it takes unexpected adversity to make one’s passion truly come alive.

The Forbidden Kingdom

I recently saw the movie The Forbidden Kingdomthat inspires passion. The story is about a modern American teen with a passion for kung fu movies. Though he does not expect it he is magically thrown back into ancient China to fulfill a prophecy. This becomes a journey for making his passion for the martial arts a reality.

This is the first film that brings together martial arts stars Jackie Chan and Jet Li. It is filled with dazzling action sequences with as many wise lessons for facing fears. It is a mirror for how life can throw adversity at you in order to release your inner and innate strengths.

You witness the American teen learn to apply his love for kung fu while on a life path he did not expect to be a part of. Along the way he meets martial arts experts that teach him what he needs to know. Again this is a powerful mirror for life. When you are ready to unleash your inner strengths and skills the teachers will appear, like magic, into your life.

Adversity Is A Window of Opportunity

Adversity is defined as a state of misfortune, hardship or affliction. So remain optimistic. When you find yourself in unexpected challenges do your best to see it as a window of opportunity to become the hero in your own life story.

Whether your challenges are in your career, relationships or in life always remember that it will be your passions that fuel your journey. Passion is an internal energy source that will keep you moving forward.

Fuel For The Journey

I was lucky growing up to have had a loving environment that nurtured my passions. I always had a love for movies. I also loved helping people feel good when I created my artwork or even just talking to someone. It would take unexpected adversity in my late 30's to realize I could combine these two passions into an exciting new career as a motivational specialist.

And it has been a long journey since my early mid-life crisis that hit in 2000. Even now I face challenges that test my optimism. Thankfully it is my passions that continue to keep me fueled when times look tough. Plus in writing these motivational tips I discovered another passion. It excites me to know that documenting my struggles and successes will help you in yours.

Identify Your Passions

So what excites you? What are your favourite activities or interests that bring you joy? What are things that you look forward to in anticipation? Or what gets you angry? That strong feeling is energy and maybe you are meant to harness it to change the cause of your anger.

Take time to identify your passions because they are your fuel in life. And when you start to truly live and share your passions your world will transform into the brightest adventure ever!

Related Tips:
Tip#151: Passion Is Fuel, Part 1 - The Forbidden Kingdom 
Tip#763: Passion is Fuel, Part 2 - Food Films - Chef
Tip#764: Passion is Fuel, Part 3 - Food Films - Haute Cuisine
Tip#938: Passion is Fuel, Part 4 - Pleasure Activities - The Ramen Girl 
Emmanuel Lopez
Motivational Specialist & Motivational Wingman
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tip#150: How Full Is Your Bucket? - Star Trek 1966

The April sunshine continues to shine bright in this beautiful city of mine. I feel every part of my spirit getting re-energized as if I had solar panels for arms and legs. It’s been a long winter and my recent career transitions had been a challenge.

Thankfully another form of energy had kept me resilient and persevering. That energy came from all the supportive people I've encountered.

Power of Recognition

During the past few months I would feel bursts of uplifting energy just by reading the thank you emails I've received for writing these motivational tips. In fact it has always felt good receiving a thank you from anyone for anything. This is a form of recognition and acknowledgement that I do my best to share with others everyday. It's also a practice I've applied in the 22 years of my business as well as what I teach in my seminars.

Common courtesy and being gracious is a powerful form of exchange. Making someone's day can fill them AND you with positive emotional energy.

How Full Is Your Bucket Book

Recently I discovered that there are many more benefits from giving recognition that is both qualified and quantified. I was introduced to a book called How Full Is Your Bucket? It is based on the theory that we all have invisible buckets that is either filled or emptied with every interaction we have.

The book for me was like finding a long lost lover where I asked, "Where have you been all my life?!" Someone had done years of research just to prove what I believed and practiced all my life. And that is the value of saying thank you, smiling to others or acknowledging someone’s accomplishments. It can make them feel good about themselves and bring out their best.

The book actually targets the workplace and how the bottom line is affected by the positive or negative attitudes of the workforce. Co-author Donald Clifton has been called the "Grandfather of Positive Psychology" and is the founder of the Gallup Organization. He knew that a successful corporate culture depended on recognizing and nurturing the value of each and every person.

His grandson and co-author, Tom Rath, is also an inspiration because of the personal story he shares of how he stayed positive with the loss of eyesight in one eye and a rare cancerous tumor disorder as a teenager. He said it was because his bucket was brimming with positive emotions that was given to him growing up. He had a surplus of positive energy he was able to dip into.

Enhancing the Workplace Culture

Discovering this book was a highly synchronistic turning point for me because I was already developing a new program to help enhance the workplace culture. As I've discovered for myself, it is possible to train individuals to have a positive attitude and learn how to support one another as a best friend would.

It's been a journey creating this new outline and thankfully I wasn't alone because I had the recognition and support from people I've encountered. They gave me energy when I didn't expect it. They filled my bucket and now I'm eager to fill even more buckets in the workplace! Download a pdf of the outline: Click here

The Positive Future of Star Trek

Gene Roddenberry is the creator of the original Star TrekTV show as well as Star Trek: The Next Generation. I bring this up because his vision of the future was one of co-operation and not conflict among the crew members of the Star Trekworld.

Some producers at the time thought this was unrealistic and wanted more conflict among the main characters but Roddenberry held fast to his vision. He believed that we would evolve beyond petty disagreements and we would work together for the common good of the planet earth and the other worlds around us.

Do Your Best

So do your best to imagine a positive world in your life and in your workplace. Do your best to fill other people's buckets. See the value of building and sharing positive emotions. We are each on a journey here on planet earth. Support others on their paths and you will be surprised to find support when you need it most on yours.

Tips for energizing yourself and others:
1) Give an authentic compliment to someone
2) Acknowledge something a co-worker has accomplished or achieved
3) Say thank you when someone does something for you, especially a stranger

Emmanuel Lopez
Motivational Specialist & Motivational Wingman
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Tip#149: Fill Your Life With SUCCESS! - Superman Returns

Spring is definitely in the air. And after a long winter the sunlight tastes sweeter than ever! The warm sunshine has been saturating my home of Toronto all week long and everyone has been out enjoying it. I've been taking lots of breaks during the day just to walk around with this silly grin on my face. I feel so rejuvenated!

Superman Returns

Others I've talked to feel the same way. They feel free and optimistic about everything. We feel energized. It reminds me of a powerful scene in the movie Superman Returnsstarring Brandon Routh as the man of steel. After Superman's powers had been drained by exposure to Kryptonite he flies high above the earth to re-energize from our sun's solar energy.

You see Superman's energy and strength build. You see his inner power and self-confidence unleash. This is a mirror for what you can do in your own life.

SUCCESS Magazine

This empowering feeling is what I also felt when I received my first 2 issues of the all-new SUCCESS Magazine in the mail. This past week I received the 2nd issue and I felt like a kid at Christmas. It had been a month since I received the 1st issue and that one was so packed full of juicy articles that I still haven't read them all!

The premier issue was also a synchronistic gift because on the cover was a fantastic photo of Robert & Kim Kiyosaki, Robert being the author of the successful Rich Dad, Poor Dad. This was the book that initiated a career turning point at the beginning of 2008 and showed me the importance of developing financial intelligence not just for my business but for increasing my joy for life.

Rich Dad, Poor Dadwas a revelation for me and now here was Robert Kiyosaki and his beautiful wife smiling back at me on the cover of SUCCESS magazine as if to say, "Yes we know you are a success too! Keep moving forward! We believe in you!"

That premiere issue was brimming with inspiring articles on billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson, Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz and another of my role models, Chris Gardner author of one of my favourite movies, The Pursuit of Happyness. Each magazine also includes a free DVD that includes video of well-known motivators on one side and audio inspirations on the other.

Feed Your Mind

SUCCESS magazine is a motivational resource I highly recommend. It's like a grand buffet of delicious motivational dishes all in one spot. And as I have written before and teach in all my programs it is important to keep feeding your mind. Even if you've heard the same information before allow your mind to hear it again and again.

Repetition is the key to changing your old mindsets in order to embody proactive thinking. Check out another favourite movie, Groundhog Daystarring Bill Murray to see the power of repetition.

Personal development is a process that can be fun if you want it to be. Changing a negative mindset can be an enjoyable experience. The world is full of different methods for doing so and for staying motivated. Feed your mind with the methods you gravitate towards.

And at the very least get outside and let the spring sunlight re-energize your batteries and jumpstart your spirit!

For info on SUCCESS Magazine: Click here

Emmanuel Lopez
Silverlining Specialist & Motivational Wingman
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tip#148: There Is Always A Way Out - Mr. Deeds Goes To Town

When the hero of a movie is stuck in a hopeless trap it can seem impossible they will break free. But somehow they always figure a way out. Life is the same way and you just have to believe you are the hero of your own movie.

I remember doing some early spring cleaning at the beginning of 2008 and came across an article from last year I printed up from the internet. The title was: Feeling Stuck? Getting Past Impasse. It hooked me immediately because I was feeling stuck in my career and I knew the universe had guided me back to this important motivational resource.

Getting Unstuck: How Dead Ends Become New Paths

This article was an interview with Dr. Timothy Butler whose book, Getting Unstuck: How Dead Ends Become New Paths,talked about how psychological impasse is necessary for all human beings to go through. It teaches us how to create new habits of thinking in order to overcome our challenges.

Impasse: A road or passage having no exit; A situation that is so difficult that no progress can be made.

The 6 phase plan Butler describes for recognizing and overcoming impasse is exactly what I've been through. It took many years and the results have been a much happier life and career with a profound understanding of who I am and why I am here on this planet. So I was excited to read about how someone else like Butler articulated this process for dealing effectively with unexpected life and career changes.

Mr. Deeds Goes To Town

There are many movies where the hero faces physical impasses and manages to break free. There are also classic movies I love where a movie hero is facing more of a mental impasse. Mr. Deeds Goes To Townfeatures Gary Cooper as Mr. Deeds who overcomes adversity from greedy individuals around him.

Mr. Deeds is a small town man who suddenly inherits millions of dollars and moves to New York City. Being a good-hearted man he decides to give most of the money away to people who truly need the assistance. Nasty lawyers and the woman he loved had betrayed him so deeply he sank into a deep depression. He was then put on trial his spirit visibly broken.

Though he seemed to be lost in his impasse Mr. Deeds was secretly alert and observing everyone's actions in the courtroom. He eventually speaks up and initiates a rousing, exciting finale that will inspire you to move beyond your own impasse.

So always remember that getting stuck in your life or career is a blessing in disguise. You are at a place where you will learn how truly resourceful and mentally strong you can be. You just have to believe that everything has happened to unleash who you really are deep inside.

Face your challenges now. All your favourite movie heroes will be cheering you on!

To read the Dr. Timothy Butler article: Click here
Download an audio interview: Click here

Please let me know if these motivational resources inspires you. I'd love to hear from you.

Emmanuel Lopez
Silverlining Specialist & Motivational Wingman
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Tip#147: Discover Your Cinematic Role Models - 3 Movie Tips

Cinematic role models can bring out the best in you. Movie heroes can lift you up from life's troubles and transport you to a world where anything is possible. And when you are there all you have to do is listen to what your favourite movies are telling you about YOU.

Nim's Island

I recently saw a new family film in the theatres called Nim's Islandthat was surprisingly motivating. It stars Abigail Breslin as a young girl living on an isolated island with her scientist father played by Gerard Butler. When her father is missing at sea she emails out for help to a reclusive author named Alexandra Rover played by Jodie Foster.

It is the character of Alexandra that becomes another cinematic role model for facing one's fears. She is agoraphobic which is a fear of public places. So when Alexandra realizes it is up to her to save the young girl she must leave to safety and comfort of her own home and travel over air and sea to get to the island.

Though played as a light comedy it his her journey that becomes a mirror for you to recognize similar challenges in your own life. Alexandra demonstrates that by letting go of a mindset you can catapult yourself into action and overcome your obstacles. And at the end of the journey you can feel re-energized witnessing her positive transformation and all the additional rewards that come with it.

Since my unexpected changes in my career at the beginning of 2008 I've had many cinematic role models motivating me. It's as if they are with me on my journey helping me not to give up. Here are 2 primary examples:

The Pursuit of Happyness

Chris Gardner: Despite living in poverty while raising a toddler, this single father remains optimistic while taking a training course during the day to become a stockbroker. He keeps his situation hidden from his co-workers and bosses and stays focused to achieve his goal to great success.

Cinderella Man

Jim Braddock: This movie hero maintains his courage and faith in and out of the boxing ring during the great depression. Despite years of struggle Braddock maintains an inner strength and resilience to provide food and shelter for his family while revitalizing his career in boxing.

So take a look at your own favourite movies and identify the characters that inspired you. Here's a checklist:

1) Identify the movie hero's fear or challenge.
2) Look at the mindsets and qualities they represent you wished you had e.g. courage, faith, optimism, patience, resourcefulness, etc.
3) Identify these qualities as new skill sets you can learn and develop.
4) Look at the steps they took to face their fear or challenge.
5) Identify the people who helped.
6) Take note of the turning point when the movie hero takes action to overcome their challenge.
7) Ask yourself: What small step can you now take to overcome your own fear or challenge?

And finally, identify that positive emotional energy you feel when you finish the cinematic journey with your movie hero. Your cinematic role models have given you the gift of mirroring the strength you have hidden within you. Take action and release your hidden abilities!

"Be the hero of your own life story."
Nim’s Island

Related Tips:
Tip#698: Discover Your Cinematic Role Models, Part 2 - 12 Years a Slave

Emmanuel Lopez
Silverlining Specialist & Motivational Wingman
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Tip#146: Epic Heroes & Epic Memories: Charlton Heston - 3 Movie Tips

There are movie heroes who can activate epic memories in your life. It is these memories that generate positive emotions to lift you up just by watching the favourite movies you grew up with.

Legendary film actor Charlton Heston passed away recently and will continue to live on in his movies I grew up loving. For me he will always be the epic hero of historical spectacles.

The Ten Commandments (1956)

I have fond memories of my father taking the family to see The Ten Commandmentsre-released in the movie theatres in the 70's. Later the film would become a tradition at Easter where, as a child, I did my best to stay awake to watch this long story. The scenes of the angel of death, of Moses crossing the desert or the parting of the red sea were markers of how far I could stay awake!
Watch/Rent or Buy: Amazon Prime

Ben Hur

The movie Ben Hurwas a favourite of my dad's and it only grew on me as I got older. Whenever I see this film today I can always feel my dad's spirit with me. I remember the first time I watched the Roman ships battle it out on the high seas on a Sunday afternoon with my dad. And as Heston's character was releasing the slaves from their shackles I always looked years later for that one slave who didn't have a hand. It's funny the things that stick in your mind!

Planet of the Apes

The original Planet of the Apesmovie also leaves me with lasting and happy memories of my childhood. The final scene of Heston's character is seared into my brain of him and the Statue of Liberty half buried on the beach. Decades later Heston would make a cameo under prosthetic makeup as an ape in the Planet of the Apesremake by director Tim Burton.

This is the magic of movies and how they can create memories of happy times in your life. These memories become a battery of positive energy you can tap into anytime. And even though the actors who play these movie heroes may have passed away they can live on in film and in your memories growing up.

All you have to do is watch these meaningful movies and you can re-energize your spirit. They will always be there for you.

Emmanuel Lopez
Silverlining Specialist & Motivational Wingman
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Tip#145: Believe in the Impossible - The Shiny Dimes - Ghost

Synchronistic messages can come to you at any time. It takes practice to accept clues that come out of nowhere to guide you forward to your goals and dreams. It requires a faith in believing like you've never believed before.

The recent Easter weekend in March felt like a deep transition for me. It was ironic because this was a time of celebrating resurrection, of returning to life. I was feeling positive changes happening in my career. And yet by the following Wednesday I woke up experiencing a strange physical and mental disconnection.

I couldn't concentrate on my work and was not coherent talking to anyone on the phone. So by the early afternoon I surrendered to just meeting up with my friend, the computer tech guru, at our regular Starbucks hangout. That's when the magic began.

The Shiny Dimes Message

Once we got in line for our coffees something shiny caught my eye on the floor. It was a shiny dime. I picked it up and smiled because it had a deep significance for me. Ever since my father passed away a few years ago his spirit somehow let's me know that he was around whenever I found a dime.

Finding shiny dimes has occurred many times and usually when I was feeling lost. I have documented many of these instances and on this day felt a heartfelt comfort knowing he was with me in my disconnected state.

As my friend and I sat and enjoyed our coffee I saw something else on the ground that caught the bright afternoon sunlight. I was compelled to get up and see what it was. It was another shiny dime.

This time I felt there was something else going on. What else was my dad telling me? I knew it meant something but couldn't put my finger on it.


This brings to mind the movie Ghoststarring Demi Moore as Molly and Patrick Swayze as Sam. Sam has died but his restless spirit wants to communicate with Molly. So through a medium, played by Whoopie Goldberg, he proves that he still exists and is with her by making a penny move from the floor and into Molly's hand. Molly takes a leap of faith to believe in this message from beyond.

The Answer

When I returned home I got a call from my mother who asked me about my new computer I was long overdue in purchasing for my business. I had been holding off for years because of the financial challenges I'd been facing. She then surprised me by saying she wanted to get it for me as an early birthday and Christmas present.

I was stunned by my mother's generosity and humbly accepted her loving gift. She then asked if I remembered that it was my dad's birthday.

I gasped.

I instantly realized the significance of the 2nd dime I found. I immediately told my mom what had happened that day with the shiny dimes and we almost cried.

I felt that this new computer was also a gift from my father reminding me that he is still supporting me in my current career transition. Plus my mom later said she had received a strong thought of the gift idea around the same time I found the dimes. There was no doubt in my mind that my father was communicating with both of us.

The Realm of All Possibilities

Being disconnected on my father's birthday was an important key to being open to these random yet synchronistic events. It opened my mindset to the realm of all possibilities.

It was much like the transition periods people find themselves in whether it's for sudden loss in career or in personal relationships. You are suddenly in a mind space where you are disconnected to everything you thought you knew and now open to new ideas and options.

So let this story inspire you to remain open to important messages that come to you out of the chaos of your life. Keep an open mind. Watch for the patterns that repeat because they may be connected to answers you've been asking for.

Most of all believe in the impossible because that may be your very first step in achieving your goals and dreams.

Related Tips:
Tip#145: Believe in the Impossible - Ghost
Tip#313: Believe In Magic During The Holidays - The Family Stone
Tip#638: Praying, Faith & Indestructible Optimism - Unconditional
Tip#665: Your Greatness, Purpose & Focus – Man of Steel
Tip#740: The Timeless Love of a Dad, Dog & Son - Mr. Peabody & Sherman

Emmanuel Lopez
Silverlining Specialist & Motivational Wingman
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Tip#144: Everything In Moderation - Monty Python's The Meaning of Life

Sometimes your eyes can be are bigger than your stomach. You want to devour everything in front of you. Or maybe you just have an overactive indulgence for the temptations in life. Whatever it is you must always remember Aristotle's message, "everything in moderation."

About a month ago I had a sudden craving for Kraft Dinner. Now I know that this processed cheese dish is not great for the body but it was a comfort food calling out to me during one cold winter day. So I decided to get a package and have this for lunch. And yes the meal did satisfy my craving.

Usually I'm good at having foods in moderation but somehow I wanted to finish the entire pot of this cheesy delight for dinner. I got through 2/3 of the pot and somehow lost my sense of control. Despite feeling very full I ended up devouring everything while watching an episode of Lost (appropriate title).

Well that overindulgence caused me incredible stomach pains and a very sleepless night. And the discomfort would last into the next day causing me to loose valuable time at work.

Monty Python's The Meaning of Life

I thought about a hilarious and disgusting scene in the movie, Monty Python's The Meaning of Lifewhere a massively obese restaurant patron was feasting like a pig. He was clearly overstuffed with food and yet his waiter offers him one more wafer-thin piece of food. Ultimately his lack of self control makes him eat that last piece and causes him to literally explode!

I'm always going to remember that scene the next time my eyes get bigger then my stomach! In my mind I knew better but I simply became irresponsible with my health. In the end the silver lining of my experience was an important reminder to enjoy everything in moderation.

So remember it's okay to indulge once in awhile with comfort foods that call out to you or even with other personal interests you may have. Just remember to keep things in check with your self control. You may have to learn the hard way by going over the top to find a balance.

Do yourself a favour and work on that balance in your body, mind and spirit. If you don't you just might explode after taking one more wafer-thin piece of food!

Emmanuel Lopez
Silverlining Specialist & Motivational Wingman
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008