Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tip#209: Clear Your Head – Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

When you get stuck you are either at a dead end with options or overloaded with choices or thoughts. Either way it is important to just clear your head.

After a busy week at work my mind was just crammed full of thoughts and things I wanted to work on. I felt heavy and unfocused. It's like my inner hard drive had so many programs running that it was overloading the operating system in my head. In these cases I usually take a walk to clear my head but it wasn't enough.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

To my surprised I was guided to see the movie, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. As the story unfolded I just watched with my heavy thoughts still clogging my brain. But then the 4 young heroes are magically whisked away from England to the magical lands of Narnia. They were brought to a stunning, sunny beach taking my imagination with them!

I was amazed to feel so transformed by the sight of a delicious turquoise sea and exotic landscapes. My mind joined in with the joy of the kids laughing and splashing in the warm waters. These sights and sounds automatically shut down my inner hard drive for a much needed rest!

It was a breathtaking feeling of freedom in my mind like a weight was lifted off. And as the story continued in this mythic land of Narnia more colours and scenery drenched my visual senses. So for over 2 hours I treated myself to giving my mind a break and re-energizing spirit at the same time.

Visual Vacations

Afterwards I researched the locations I'd just experienced. The gorgeous beach scene was filmed in Cathedral Cove in New Zealand while other rich, scenic locations included Prague, Switzerland and Slovenia. So through the magic of movies I was able to take a visual vacation that made me feel much better and more focused to enjoy my weekend!

Sometimes you just have to disengage from whatever your mind is working on. It can also be a trap trying to "think" your way out of being stuck. The key is to disengage your thought process and give your inner hard-drive a rest.

That's why holidays like Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays are great opportunities to take a break from work. You will feel more rested and focused as a gift for bringing some balance to your work/live life.

Take time to treat yourself to a non work-related pastime and your inner computer will thank you big time!

Another "Clear Your Head" tip...
Tip#14: It’s Okay To Slow Down
Click here

Emmanuel Lopez
Motivational Specialist
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tip#208: There Is Always A Way Out - Redbelt

Sometimes when you get stuck in life you feel trapped and hopeless. Just remember that no matter how things look there is always a way out.

Amazing synchronicities continued to guide me from the previous tip I wrote about seeing the movie Youth Without Youth. On that DVD I scanned through the trailers and one film jumped out at me so I immediately had to see it. When I watched it I was blown away and received a deluge of motivational messages!


The film was called Redbelt and it inspired me on so many levels that it's become an instant favourite. And I have a new cinematic role model in the main character, Mike Terry, a Jiu-Jitsu instructor played by Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Jiu-Jitsu is a martial arts where you use one fighter's strength against himself. This is part of Terry's challenge when faced with unexpected adversity in his life. It's also a powerful story of standing your ground even when your opponents are physically larger or overwhelming.

The movie was written and directed by David Mamet (Glengarry Glen Ross, Wag the Dog) so the dialogue is sharp and clever. Whenever Terry says something to his students or enemies his words radiate with wisdom and confidence. You'll feel like he is talking directly you and helping you confront your own challenges.

The movie felt like a version of Rocky for the new millennium and is filled with inspiring messages and moments. And the hero never compromised his honour and values even in the financial problems that increase throughout the story.

Of course I saw the movie as a mirror for my own challenges and it helped bring out the fighting spirit in me to keep moving forward. It reminded me that no matter what blocks my way that there is always a way out.

Movies Are Mirrors

So be inspired by movie heroes that mirror your own challenges in life. Let them remind you that there is a way out of the problems you feel trapped in. Your movie heroes know there is always an escape.

And if you feel stuck believing in yourself just remember there is always someone you can find who can help. There are teachers, mentors, advisors and even helpful strangers all around you. Just stay open to the magical coincidences that will lead you to them!

"There is no situation you could not escape from."
Mike Terry, Redbelt

Emmanuel Lopez
Motivational Specialist
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tip#207: Let Mysteries Activate Your Mind - Youth Without Youth

Sometimes life is a big mystery that can look like an abstract painting. Take the time to look at the ambiguity in front of you because it can mirror the answers you are looking for.

In the previous tip I wrote about Francis Ford Coppola's movie The Rainmaker and right after I was compelled to see the director's latest film, Youth Without Youth. I had no idea what it was all about but I just trusted my gut as I've learned to do when things don't make sense.

Youth Without Youth

Youth Without Youth stars Tim Roth as Dominic in a surreal, mystical love story set in Europe before WWII. It's a story about second chances, the origin of languages, the amazing potential of our brainpower and the question of our existence. Most of all it is a story that will make you think.

I'm not even sure I can recommend this movie to everyone because it isn't like a standard Hollywood movie with a clear-cut ending. I'm not even sure if I fully understand the ending. It's like many of David Lynch movies (Lost Highway or Mulholland Drive) where the ideas and images are extremely ambiguous.

But it is an amazing journey to take with the movie hero. In my mind this film is almost like a superhero origin story where it starts off with Dominic at age 70 getting hit by lightening. It activates rapid regenerative powers and he become younger again. It gives him a chance to accomplish goals he could not complete.

By the end of the journey you would have been introduced to so many ideas about the mysteries of life that you may be left thinking about the movie days later. The ambiguity of the story can get your mind active.

Be Open To Mysteries

Ambiguity is about something that can be interpreted in more than one way. Like looking at abstract art, you are being invited to give your own point of view of what you see. You provide the missing piece of the puzzle in front of you.

So be open to mysteries, abstract stories and movies that might confuse you at first because it is their job to stir your thoughts and get your mind active. They get you to ponder new perspectives and new solutions you can apply to your own challenges in life.

Spending time dwelling on new thoughts and ideas could be the best investment you ever make.

See the new Motivatorman Minute video!
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Emmanuel Lopez
Motivational Specialist
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tip#206: Magical Coincidences – The Rainmaker

Sometimes the things you really need in life fall right into your lap. And after dealing with life's challenges it's good to know that the universe can give us a break once in awhile by sending us the help we need.

Meeting the right people at the right time has always been a magical experience for me. This blog is a way to document these amazing stories. It's why I believe in synchronicity because "meaningful coincidences" happen all the time in my life and career. And they can happen to you too if you are open to chance encounters and maintain an optimistic attitude.

And when I feel down or lost I'm always guided to watching the perfect movie to remind me that synchronistic opportunities will unfold again. All I have to do is switch on my optimistic mindset.

The Rainmaker

In the movie The Rainmaker, Matt Damon plays a young lawyer named Rudy Baylor. He has a calm confidence about him and it is amazing to see how many opportunities fall into place whenever he needed them.

For example, when he needed a job he met the right person at the right time. And when he was homeless and needed a place to stay it fell right into his lap when he noticed a flat behind the client's home he was just leaving from.

I believe Rudy's good luck came from an inner confidence that radiated a positive energy. That energy was magnetic. And because he had a heart of gold and wanted to help others in trouble that positive, magnetic energy was working for him behind the scenes. It's the law of attraction in action.

In Real Life

So remember that movies can reflect how opportunities unfold magically in real life. Everyone has stories of how things just come together so think back to when you've faced troubles in the past. Remember how you were able to overcome that challenge by meeting the right person with helpful advice or gravitating to a location that had the answers you were looking for.

Synchronicities have already helped you in the past so never doubt those magical coincidences. Be confident in knowing that help or opportunities will always be waiting around the corner for you to find.

See the new Motivatorman Minute video!

Click here

Emmanuel Lopez
Motivational Specialist
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tip#205: Follow Your Passion No Matter What – Zappos - The Secret of My Success

Passion is an incredible resource for keeping yourself fueled when times are tough. And it can feed your resilience when you hear about successful people who have followed their own passion and vision.

Zappos and Passion

Recently my mom called and insisted that I watch the latest Oprah Show episode. She said it featured an entrepreneur that talked about passion and reminded her of me. The man's name was Tony Hsieh and what he said inspired me to the core!

Here was a CEO that defied all preconceptions of a traditional corporate CEO. For example instead of having a private office Tony has a cubicle along with other employees of his company. The company is called Zappos, the No.1 online shoe store in North America.

Oprah asked Tony what the secret to success was and he simply said you've got to follow your passion. He said to keep doing what you love even it's for 10 years and don't see a dime during those years. Tony said the money will naturally follow on its own.

What Tony said hit me hard and triggered me deeply. The reason why is that I have been following my passion for a new career of motivating people with my love of movies for past 5 years and still doing my best just to cover my rent each month. Tony's words of wisdom gave me a boost of confidence to keep moving forward with my dream job.

Part of my journey has also been to document the ups and down of my career transition with this blog of 2 years. Amazingly within 6 months of starting this blog I was featured in The Washington Post as a recommended resource for motivational tips and inspiring movie examples. That is just proof that following your passions will also magnetize others to your vision.

The Secret of My Success

Tony Hsieh reminded me of a fun movie that inspired me years ago called The Secret of My Success. It stars Michael J. Fox as Brantley a smart country boy who comes to New York City to work and find success. Unexpectedly he arrives to discover obstacles around every corner.

But it was Brantley's passion, resilience and belief in himself that led him into a major corporation within the mail delivery department. From there he creatively inserts himself into the executive levels and inspires people to follow his vision for creating a better company.

Be Inspired

So be inspired every day to follow what you are passionate about. What you love doing is what you were probably born to do. And as Tony said, don't worry about the lack of money because it will eventually come.

And remember passion can attract others to your vision and mission. Passion generates positive emotional energy within you that becomes magnetic. And this positive energy is what keeps you confident, feeling good and motivated to move forward no matter what!

More tips about Zappos:
Tip#213: Zappos Inspires, Part 1 - Office Space
Tip#214: Zappos Inspires, Part 2 – Patch Adams
Tip#238: The Importance of Team Spirit - Zappos – Watchmen
Tip#261: Synchronicity Stories – Zappos & Twitter – I Heart Huckabees
Tip#374: Create Your Own Universe – Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness - Inception

Emmanuel Lopez
Motivational Specialist
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tip#204: Common Courtesy Goes A Long Way – Blast From The Past - Take The Lead - Rocky Balboa

Common courtesy can make the workplace and the world a better place. It's all about acknowledging others in a positive way. A small gesture of good will can go a long way for everyone.

I was brought up to be as polite as I could be with others around me. And in my professional life I recognized how powerful it was just to say please or thank you to someone while running my own business. It helped to build enjoyable business relationships and long-term clients.

It's about living a code of giving unconditionally which can lead to great customer experience or a collaborative spirit in the workplace. And it's about treating people the same way you'd like to be treated.

Common courtesy ought to be part of every person's character and yet it can be difficult to keep it alive especially in a big city. But there's much to be said about bringing some old fashion values into the workplace and our personal lives. Here are 3 movies that show the benefits of common courtesy:

Blast From the Past 1999

Brendan Fraser stars as Adam in this comedy about a family who lives in a bomb shelter in the 60's and how he later tries to adapt to the modern world 35 years later. When Adam encounters people for the first time he either baffles them with his common courtesy or charms them with his thoughtfulness and kind words. His old fashioned family values eventually transforms the cynics he meets along his adventure.

Take the Lead 2006

Antonio Banderas plays Pierre Dulaine and is based on a true story of a dance instructor who teaches troubled youths the life lessons from ballroom dancing. It teaches how to be respectful to others, teamwork and dignity. There is one funny scene where Dulaine is continually opening the door for women exiting the principle's office and how a student was making fun of him. The student later gets up and copies Dulaine because he saw how it put him in a favorable light with the ladies!

Rocky Balboa 2006

Sylvester Stallone wrote, directed and starred in this final chapter of the Rocky series. What was amazing to recognize in this story was that Balboa was a very gracious person. He was constantly thanking everyone around him and even expresses his appreciation to his opponent at the end of his final boxing match. Balboa fought with heart in the ring and treated people with heartfelt energy.

How Do You Want To Be Treated?

So think about how you want to be treated by others. And then take actions to treat others the same way. Make it your code to do a thoughtful gesture towards anyone in the workplace or even to total strangers wherever you go.

These random acts of kindness will always activate positive emotional energy in others as well as yourself. Isn't that the kind of world you want to live in?

Contact Motivatorman and see how your workplace can get positive and energized! Click here

Emmanuel Lopez
Motivational Specialist
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Tip#203: Do What Makes You Happy - Role Models

Do what makes you happy even if people laugh at you. Focus on what energizes you because eventually you will find others who already see the value in what you care about.

Growing up I loved comic book super heroes, Sci Fi movies and TV shows. I absolutely loved X-Men comics and Star Trek! I was a classic nerd and was laughed at by other kids. But I didn't care. This stuff made me happy and feel great!

Later these "laughed at" interests became the fuel that fed my imagination and creativity in my first career as an illustrator. My childhood interests helped me create a fun and lucrative career I loved! See illustration samples here.

And now as a Motivational Specialist I talk openly about my favourite movie heroes that can help others activate positive emotional energy they can use as fuel for a better life, career or workplace experience.

Role Models

I just saw the newly released comedy Role Models with a great message about doing what makes you happy. The movie is about 2 friends, Danny and Wheeler, who must spend 150 hours of community service mentoring kids.

In the program they meet Augie who has a passion for medieval role play. To others, like his parents, his passion is just an obsession they want him to stop focusing on. Even his mentor Danny initially sees Augie's interest as being ridiculous and does his best to keep himself out of this medieval world.

Eventually Danny stops focusing on himself and sides with Augie even against his parents. Danny finally saw the value of what Augie deeply cared about. In doing so everyone's lives are transformed for the better.

Now this movie has great motivational value but please take note that it is part of this trend of profanity and sexual innuendo injected movies like The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up. What I love about this style of film-making is that it can shake up your world while making you laugh. And when those heartfelt messages come out they hit you even stronger.

Keep Believing In Yourself

So remember to keep believing in yourself when it comes to topics or activities that excite you. Remember that they are activating positive emotional energy inside you that feeds your self-confidence. And that confidence can be applied to whatever you want to accomplish in your life, career or workplace.

Everyone has a personal interest in something meaningful that, at first glance, may appear to have no value to others. But if everyone took the time to see it from the other person's point of view we could all learn something new.

And that "something" could be the missing key to achieving your own dreams and goals.

Emmanuel Lopez
Motivational Specialist
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Tip#202: All Things Are Possible - Rocky II

Sometimes it can take a great story, movie or a real life hero to help you remember that all things are possible.

As I write this Barack Obama has just made history being appointed the first black American president. I've also been resting for past few days letting my throat heal after losing my voice last week. See tip#201.

Looking back I am amazed that I was able to fight through my physical challenges of my sore throat and complete all my speaker bookings. And watching the news last night to see Obama give his acceptance speech reminded me that anything was possible. It was exiting to see another example of what one person's passion and persistence can achieve.

Rocky II

While this history making event was occurring I had just finished watching Rocky II that was airing on TV. I hadn't seen this movie in countless years and I had forgotten how great it was. The story had all the elements of what passion and persistence can achieve.

The story takes place right after the first Rocky film and revolves around Rocky Balboa being pressured to fight Apollo Creed again in the ring. At first it almost seems impossible because Balboa had lost his edge after he honors his wife's wishes to not fight anymore.

But once he gets the support of his old manager Mickey, the people of his hometown and finally his wife, Balboa re-ignited his passion and inner focus to face his challenge and win. The ending got me so pumped up I couldn't wait to get back to work motivating others!

Get Inspired

So remember no matter how bleak your future looks or how challenging life can get, there will always be stories out there to inspire you. Find those real life heroes that excite you who have persisted and achieved their goals. Find those movie heroes that fight with passion to overcome overwhelming barriers.

Stories of heroes are there to remind you of your own hidden potential. You just have to get off your butt and take the necessary steps to get what you want out of life, your job or your career. Stories are there to remind you that all things are possible!

"You're gonna eat lightning and you're gonna crap thunder!"
Rocky's manager Mickey
Rocky II

"Improve Your Social Interactions" For Singles
This popular 4 part program will build your self-confidence and self-esteem while you learn simple ice-breakers. Location: Royal Ontario Museum. Start date: Nov.18th
For more details: Click here

Emmanuel Lopez
Motivational Specialist
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Tip#201: Focus On The Positives – Iron Man

When faced with unexpected change or crisis you've got to focus on the positives right in front of you. It's the only way to survive and achieve the success you want.

I just completed a successful and challenging week chock full of a record number of seminars I gave. What made it even more challenging is that I lost my voice half way through the week!

The weather didn't help as it was pouring rain and chilly the Monday I was to start a series of out of town seminars. The bulk of my talks were for my workplace topic, "How To Press Play When You're Stuck On Pause" where I discuss building an optimistic mindset.

So I knew I had to walk my talk and remain optimistic. I had to figure out how to complete my job despite the loss of my voice. I knew there were many people that were counting on me so I made the choice to stay positive and look at the silver lining in my crisis.

Iron Man (2008)

Ironically, what motivated me was the movie, Iron Man that I presented this same week as a special screening and motivational discussion. Right at the beginning of the film Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr., is held captive and forced to create a weapon for terrorists.

He knew he would be killed whether he did the job or not so he chose to remain resilient and optimistic. Instead of building a weapon Stark secretly built a suit of armor to escape. He visualized a plan to save himself and took action.

It was Stark's positive attitude that would inspire me during the screening because right after the group discussion my voice finally gave out and could hardly speak above a whisper. This was a Wednesday night and I had 2 more workplace seminars to give on Friday.

Focus On What You Want

So instead of panicking, worrying or thinking negatively I focused on being optimistic. First I visualized myself healthy and giving energetic seminars on Friday. Secondly I reminded myself that I still had a full day to recover and did my best not to speak to anyone that Thursday. Thirdly I did my best to take care of my health and throat with countless teas and other herbal aids a friend recommended. And I also threw in a prayer to the big dude upstairs for some help!

By Friday morning my voice was still raw but better and I ended up giving 2 successful presentations. And since the audiences never heard my real voice before they didn't realize I was speaking much deeper like soul singer Barry White. And I probably sounded sexier on the microphone because of the extra rasp in my voice!

How's that for looking at things optimistically!

So do your best to stay resilient and optimistic when an unexpected crisis hits you. Identify all the factors that are already working in your favour. Focus on these positives and it will increase more positives. That's the law of attraction in action.

And remember to visualize what you truly want. That's what your favourite cinematic role models can help you with. They can help you focus on the positives and mirror your hidden strengths. Just turn that optimism switch on in your brain and you can achieve anything!

For more information on how to
build optimistic mindsets in
your workplace download
this free PDF outline. Click here

Emmanuel Lopez
Motivational Specialist
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008