Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tip#218: Create Your Own Life Story - Bedtime Stories

After a long vacation in Santa Barbara and Las Vegas I have returned home to Toronto slightly jet lagged but filled with optimism. During this time away I was able to dedicate myself to Napoleon Hill's classic Think and Grow Rich audio book. It was the 21st century edition and it energized me every single day I listened to it.

It took me a long time to finally experience this book but I knew the timing would be meaningful and it was. Surrounded by palm trees and the ocean of Santa Barbara and the mountains surrounding Las Vegas I saturated my thoughts with Hill's messages.

The book has supported all that I've experienced so far about the power of synchronicity, law of attraction, positive emotion energy and the building an optimistic mindset.

This book has also inspired other great motivators since it's publication in 1937. Earl Nightingale, Tony Robbins, Bob Proctor and Stephen Covey are among many who have been inspired by Hill's powerful messages.

The core message of this book is that YOU create your reality. You create your own life story by what you think and say.

Bedtime Stories

With a slew of new Christmas movies I was compelled to see Bedtime Stories which mirrored what the book was saying. The film is a family comedy with Adam Sandler minus all the crude or sexual innuendo that saturates his other adult-humour comedies. Though like Sandler's other comedies it still retains meaningful lessons about creating the future you want.

Sandler plays an uncle taking care of a niece and nephew for a week. He tells them bedtime stories which the kids playfully add elements to like "then it starts to rain gumballs!" And whatever they say comes true the next day.

The film is a great metaphor for what Napoleon Hill is saying in his book. We have the power to create story of our lives if we are dedicated to training our mind to believe so.

I feel so happy and grateful for the long vacation I've been on because I was able to disconnect from my daily work routines and train my mind a little bit everyday to Hill's teachings. And now that I'm back home I'm excited to create the next thrilling chapter of my life and career!

So look at the new year as an exciting new chapter of your own life. Believe that you are in control of all your challenges, your career, your workplace, your finances, your relationships and your home life. Believe you are the author of whatever story you want to live.

Fill yourself with positive thoughts and possibilities for a fantastic 2009!

Happy New Year to you!

"Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve."
Napoleon Hill

Emmanuel Lopez
Motivational Specialist
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Tip#217: Appreciate What You Have - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

On Christmas Day I got a new watch I absolutely loved. It had a luxurious, retro look and this rich chocolate colour to it. It actually felt like a magical watch that was going to guide me into a fantastic new year.

Later that day I would also see a movie that would have a powerful and magical message about time for me.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The film I saw was The Curious Case of Benjamin Button starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett and it struck me on so many emotional levels that I've thought about it every day since. It's a fairy tale-like story about a man who is born an old man and then ages backwards.

It is such an absurd concept and yet it becomes this life-affirming movie about how special we all are and to appreciate the time we are given. It will also make you see that all your problems are important parts of your own wonderful, unique journey through life.


The movie was also a reflection of my own unusual journey in life. For example my chronological age does not match my biological age. Audiences in my keynotes and workshops are always shocked when they learn I am in my mid-forties. My outward appearance, especially my face, can still pass for someone in their twenties.

There have been many times while meeting with clients or people for the first time AND even relatives who are compelled to blurt out the question, "How old are you?!" Of course it is inappropriate to ask such a question especially in a business meeting but these days I do my best to see it as a compliment rather then an abnormality.

That's why The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a huge inspiration to me because Button's experiences with people he meets mirrors some of the unwanted questions about my appearance. The movie reminds me to focus on my personal foibles as unique and special.

And Button's story will inspire you to just live and love no matter how strange or isolating your own life can get.

So if you've been feeling disconnected from others around you or if you feel like time is passing you by, know that you are not alone. As they say in the movie, we are all on different paths but heading for the same place. Appreciate your uniqueness and the time you are given on this world.

*Read the best review of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button that mirrored my own thoughts on Ain't it click here

Emmanuel Lopez
Motivational Specialist
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tip#216: Indulge Once A Year, Part 1 - Elf

For some, the Christmas holiday is about family gatherings, gift giving and feeling Christmas spirit. For some it's all about the food!

If you didn't know, Las Vegas casinos are also famous for their gloriously delicious buffets. And not just on the strip but everywhere else in surrounding areas. Since arriving I have felt so bloated because of all the good food I've enjoyed.

So far I've been to Christmas dinner parties with juicy roasts, creamy mashed potatoes and buttery peas. I've been to amazing restaurants like Olive Garden for their incredible Toscana soup (see tip#212) and Romano’s Macaroni Grill for their Shrimp Portofino complete with a Broadway singing waitress!

Sweet Tomatoes are famous for their great salad bars, unlimited homemade soups, pastas and fresh out-of-the-oven muffins. I definitely over ate here because it was so good. Felt like I needed to be wheeled out I was so stuffed!

Recently I went to Johnny Mac's for their succulent chicken wings and pizza. It was so delicious that I tried to fill myself with as much food my stomach could hold. It was such a joyful experience and yet very gluttony at the same time.


It reminded me of one of my favourite Christmas movies called Elf starring Will Ferrell as a human raised by elves. There is a scene where he has made breakfast at the home of his real father in New York City. His meal starts off with a heaping pile of spaghetti and meatballs topped with maple syrup.

But then he piles on chocolate syrup, M&M's and Pop Tarts which he mixes together with his hands and then hoovers it into his mouth. Though completely disgusting he is clearly in a state of joy and passion!

So be easy on yourself this holiday season if you're overindulging because of huge family meals or favourite restaurants. As long as you are enjoying the moment then you are being in the moment and that is a positive thing.

Just remember the cause and effect rule. It'll be time to exercise in a big way after the holidays!

Happy Holidays to you and all my loyal readers around the world!
See my holiday video greeting: click here

Related Tips:
Tip#814: Indulge Once A Year, Part 2 – Just Friends

Emmanuel Lopez
Motivational Specialist
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tip#215: Blow Open Old Ways of Thinking - The Day After Tomorrow

Without warning things in life can suddenly change. It can shake up everything you're sure about and push your comfort zones.

It's been mostly sunny during my vacation here in Las Vegas. But out of the blue a huge snowstorm hit on Wed. Dec.17th. It was such a new concept for me because I've never seen snow here let alone a blizzard.

And apparently countless people living in Vegas were also shocked by their first snowstorm ever. And driving at night was scary with snow turning to slush on the roads. But what was most frightening were some of the drivers around me were driving with snow covering their entire back windshield!

I later talked to the locals who had never driven in snow before and they felt like they were driving for the first time. It was a shocking new world to them and some probably didn't even consider wiping off the back of their windshields before driving.

Their paradigms, or old ways of thinking, were being blown wide open. Their mindsets were shaken up. And this is exactly what happens when unexpected change or crisis happens in your life or career. You are forced to expand old ways of thinking and adapt.

The Day After Tomorrow

I'm reminded of similar messages of change told in the action adventure film, The Day After Tomorrow starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Dennis Quaid. In the story a new ice age hits the planet and weather patterns shift wildly. Tornadoes hit Los Angeles and then a tidal wave drowns New York City. Soon the temperature drops and snow falls in record amounts in places it never did before.

All the characters of the story are forced to change their old paradigms of thinking and learn to deal with the weather changes. The heroes do not focus on the negatives, they focus on opening their minds to adapt and persevere.

Years ago people thought the world was flat or that man could never fly. And some thought they'd never live to see a black man as president of the United States. History reminds us all that paradigms are always changing.

So keep an open mind whenever unexpected storms hit your life. Adapt to ever-changing weather patterns. Stay optimistic during economic instability. The world is always evolving so do your very best to have a flexible, adaptable mind.



Emmanuel Lopez
Motivational Specialist
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tip#214: Zappos Inspires, Part 2 – Patch Adams

Part 2: Every Person Is Special

Success in the workplace and in life can be attributed to the quality of how well you treat others.

On Dec. 15th Zappos achieved a new record day in sales of over $6 million. The day after I was lucky to be at the Zappos offices for a second time to see continued celebrations among the Zappos team. People were high-fiving and congratulating one another with zesty enthusiasm.

Every single person there is seen as having been a part of that record day success. Everyone is part of one big supportive team.

The Zappos primary mission is to provide the best customer service. To do that they focus on getting the work culture right. Their bottom line IS their people. And part of their approach is very different from the standards of many organizations today.

For example:

1. Job interviews are a 2 part process. They go through a standard job skills evaluation and if accepted still have to go through another process to see if their values fit into Zappos culture. They hire for attitude first.

2. All employees at head office in Las Vegas are sent to the warehouse location in Kentucky and visa versa to learn what other Zappos team members do. Everyone is considered equal at Zappos including the CEO and their customers.

3. Call centre reps have no scripts, no measurement of average call times, no recordings. Their goal is to provide a memorable customer experience even if the customer doesn't order anything.

Patch Adams 1998

One movie I am reminded about when it comes to treating people well is Patch Adams starring Robin Williams. Based on a true story, Adams shook up the medical establishment with his unique methods for treating patients with humour.

Adams then went out on his own to create a new centre for patients unable to afford medical attention. Other medical students believed in Adam's vision and were quick to follow and build a new, exciting work culture. The centre was called the Gesundheit! Institute and since the 70's has treated over 15,000 patients without payment or medical insurance.

Make Others Feel Good

So be inspired by the values of a work culture focused on giving the best customer service possible. Be inspired to blur the lines of a work/life attitude for making others feel good wherever you are.

There is an empowering sense of equality that comes from how Zappos treats its company team and how they in turn treat their customers. Each and every person IS special and that is one of the biggest messages any company or anyone could experience!

More tips about Zappos:
Tip#205: Follow Your Passion No Matter What - Zappos
Tip#213: Zappos Inspires, Part 1 - Office Space
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

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tip#213: Zappos Inspires, Part 1 - Office Space

Part 1: Be Inspired By Living Examples

One way to find an enjoyable work experience is to visualize the environment you want. And if you are looking for a workplace that is fun and productive then just look at a living example to be inspired.

Currently I'm visiting family in Las Vegas which means I've had many memorable times in this big show town for over 10 years. Recently I've added another amazing experience with a tour of the Zappos head offices, North America's #1 online shoe store.

I was completely blown away by the positive energy and passion I felt from everyone I met there. I had originally seen video footage of the workplace on Oprah when she featured Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh and yet in person there's so much more. The positive energy was so tangible that it was like swimming in a delicious sea of my favourite coffee, vanilla bean lattes! (Read more about Zappos in previous blog entry here: tip#205)

When I first arrived at reception I immediately felt this lively carnival atmosphere and an authentic, happy greeting from front desk. The thing is, I received the same type of greeting from just about everyone along the tour.

Whether it was in the hallways or in each of the divisions I visited, there was this warmth I received that made me feel special. And great eye contact too! Eyes don't lie so when it was fairly consistent throughout the 2 floors I toured I knew that these people truly LOVED working at Zappos.

Office Space 1999

Zappos is clearly an amazing model of a fun AND high performance workplace that other organizations could learn from. The opposite of this positive work culture can be seen in the comedy Office Space which portrays the sad (yet hilariously depicted) reality of dysfunctional companies that exist.

The movie stars Ron Livingston and Jennifer Aniston and is a story about company workers who hate their jobs. It's also about how the movie hero suddenly becomes fearless and finally stands up for himself. He also inspires others just by doing whatever he enjoys doing.

For years I've known so many friends and other individuals who have complained about their jobs or workplace so Office Space is like a mirror for so many people. And that's why a big part of what I do as a motivator is to teach people and organizations how to visualize a better life or workplace experience.

It's ultimately a pleasure now to recommend Zappos as a living example of what is possible in a workplace that also has a strong sense of community and family. Plus I got to meet Tony Hsieh and shake his hand for all his amazing achievements that's inspired me!


In the end it was the generosity of spirit that lingers from my Zappos experience. It's like the delicious taste of my favourite vanilla bean latte that has stayed with me far beyond the day of my tour. It's the passion and the positive emotional energy from the people at Zappos that inspires me even as I write this!

So if you are unhappy in your job or workplace be inspired by the Zappos culture. Go on a tour of their offices to see what is possible. Or go online and read their blogs or see their videos to see how FUN can be a catalyst towards a highly productive workplace.

You spend most of your life working so why not balance it with a sense of daily fun. If you don't you'll really only be living half a life.

More tips about Zappos:
Tip#205: Follow Your Passion No Matter What - Zappos
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, December 10, 2008

Tip#212: Enjoy Great Service When You Get It - Pleasantville

There's nothing like getting great customer service to make you feel special. It can make you feel like a million bucks!

I am currently visiting family in Las Vegas and always look forward to dining at favourite restaurants like Olive Garden. To some this restaurant may not be a favourite but it is to me because I always get great customer service!

First off every wait staff greets you with a smile and warm eye contact and is happy to serve even if they are not your official waiter. I just had lunch there and they already made my day when they offered a complimentary wine sampler!

The Toscana soup is out of this world and they are happy to refill that or a delicious salad that comes with your meal. I am so joyfully stuffed after my meals! Now there are times when my meals are not satisfactory but the wait staff and manager are always quick to remedy the situation.

In the end it is my overall customer experience that always makes me want to come back over and over again.

What they are doing is activating positive emotional energy within me. It's that feel good feeling that can lift your spirits and increase your enthusiasm for life! And that positive energy makes me think of them even if I'm thousands of miles away in Toronto.


I am reminded of the warm small town feeling in the 50's sitcom featured in the movie Pleasantville. David, played by Tobey Maguire, is magically pulled into the black and white TV show where everyone is kind and friendly to each other. It's that universal sense of community that initiates thoughtfulness and friendliness that more big cities today could use more of.

That's what I loved about Olive Garden because all my interactions felt like I was being treated like a best friend or a VIP. And it felt authentic and from the heart. This attitude of service also feels embedded in most places I go in Las Vegas.

So imagine all your own interactions being as positive as this restaurant experience. Imagine being treated with extra attention and kindness anywhere you go. Visualizing this kind of world is the first step to creating the world you want to live in. Or dine in!

And enjoy great service when you get it. Let it make you feel like a million bucks! The positive emotional energy you get will radiate out and can attract more of the same because that energy is magnetic. Remember, feeling great is contagious!

Emmanuel Lopez
Motivational Specialist
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Tip#211: Help Someone To See - Ghost Town

We all know someone who is rude and thoughtless. And though they may act like a jerk you may be in their life to help them see a better way to interact.

Ghost Town

The comedy, Ghost Town introduces us to a self-centred dentist named Bertram Pincus, played by Ricky Gervais, who clearly does not like people. He consistently displays rude, thoughtless actions towards others and is simply a real jerk!

His horrible day-to-day behaviour is like a checklist of the nastiest "grinchlike" person one can become. You may laugh at some of what Pincus does or you may unfortunately be reminded of someone similar in your workplace or personal life.

Pincus would have gone on being incredibly antisocial if not for a near death experience that causes him to see and interact with dead people. They all have unfinished business on earth and our unlikely movie hero has a chance to help them.

Through a series of synchronicities our movie hero is forced to see that his unsocial behaviour must end if he is to find happiness. He struggles but in the end chooses to act beyond his selfish needs and help these wandering souls.

In doing so he alters his mindset and develops thoughtful and meaningful interaction skills. He breaks out of his self-imposed social walls and becomes a better human being.

The irony is that it was with the help of dead people that Pincus was able to create new life for himself.

So let this story inspire you if you know someone who is antisocial or has a rude demeanor. Perhaps they don't know any better. Perhaps they just need someone to tell them that certain behaviour is unacceptable. Perhaps you are that someone who can help them.

We all encounter people for a reason. And some of them do push our buttons. The key to dealing with these individuals is to not take their actions personally and view them with a compassionate mindset.

Take the high road and find out why they are the way they are. It will help you to help them breathe new life in the way they interact with others.

Emmanuel Lopez
Motivational Specialist
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Tip#210: Unleash Your Expertize – Galaxy Quest

Everyone is an expert in something. Deep down we are all born with a skill or gift we are meant to share with the world. All you have to do is unleash your expertize when you are called to do so.

Galaxy Quest

Recently I watched a favourite movie called Galaxy Quest. It is an entertaining parody of the original Star Trek TV show and is also a motivating story about using your innate skills. It features the actors of a starship crew in a cancelled science fiction show called Galaxy Quest. The fun comes from seeing these actors suddenly thrust into a real galactic encounter with aliens and spaceships where they need to play their roles for real.

Tim Allen plays a self-centered, egotistical actor and the commander on the TV show who learns the true meaning of being an affective leader. After being thrown into the real crisis situation his leadership skills transcend from a make believe role into becoming a true commander.

As the story unfolds he becomes more and more encouraging of the team when each is called to do their part. The actor playing the helmsman is able to pilot a huge starship for the first time because the commander tells him he believes in him. At first the helmsman thinks it impossible but finds the courage to take action despite his fear.

And when the actor/engineer is called to use his skills and knowledge to save the commander he panics and refuses to do anything. Once again it is the trust and encouragement from the commander and everyone around him that allows him to unleash his innate talents and take action.

Strength In Times of Crisis

So see this as a mirror for the strengths, skills and gifts you have inside you. Sometimes your true strengths and expertize can come out in times of crisis. That's why many successful individuals in the world discover what they are truly made of when faced with adversity.

When your back is up against a wall your spirit can tap into a primal energy that can release your expertize. Tap into this energy and take action! And when you know others believe in you, your self-confidence will shoot up into the heavens!

Emmanuel Lopez
Motivational Specialist
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008