Episode 176: Inspiration – The Key to Success

Do you ever wish you had a consistent means of growth in your life? In this episode, Jimmy shares how inspiration keeps him motivated to accomplish his biggest goals. 

Episode Keys:

  • The role inspiration plays in contributing to the success of people.
  • Who inspires Jimmy and why he continually seeks information about this person!
  • How negative inspiration can cause significant pain in the life of a person and why you must focus on positive inspiration.
  • Forgetting about the losses and failures of yesterday and use inspiration to create the tomorrow you desire.
  • Focus on your areas of inspiration on a daily basis and seek to be an inspiration to those around you by living your life.

Podcast Transcript

What drives you to continue each day to try to improve yourself? Hey, this is Jimmy Williams. Good morning. I am coming to you fresh off of sabbatical. Took 31 days of just rejuvenation, reading, learning, exercising, playing pickle ball. Just had a blast. And I wanna say thank you. I wanna say thank you to my co-host that so gratefully and my part did an exceptional job on the podcast. In my absence. Never had a doubt. They wouldn’t knock it outta the park. I also wanna say thank you to my team at the office at compass capital management, who did a Yemen’s task and has proven. Now they probably just don’t need me around, but I will return. And I will be there with my smile upon my face. As I start this new month of September, let’s talk a little bit about what happens when we have inspiration present in our life.

I wanna share a few things that I picked up this month, while on sabbatical did some traveling and so forth, but I just wanna ask, how are you doing? Has your year so far been what you thought it would be for 2022? Are you feeling as if it’s been very productive? Are you feeling as if perhaps you’ve wasted a lot of time spinning your wheels, whatever analogy you wish to use in terms of no progress? Well, I hope that it’s been the former, not the ladder for you, but if you are just now getting your 20, 22 to start on the foot, you wish it had started in January. Well, this morning, I’m here to help. Good morning. It is a beautiful morning as falls, starting to come in we’re through those hundred plus temperature days, and it is just beautiful outside.

So I wanna start this discussion today. If you will, in a small favor, go to our Facebook Page at Live a Life By Design or go to our website at www.livealifeby.design and make a comment or two as to who inspires you in life. And why, because you with your comments inspire me. You inspire our team to bring the best content we can muster of our being to share with you every Monday morning. The issue today for me is how do we keep each other inspired? And what inspires us deep down? You know, that internal fire is what keeps us going. It’s not all this external factor that you see in life that keeps us moving. So what’s keeping that fire within you, stoked, you know, the air dampers opened and the new oxygen is, is shining through. And you are seeing just such a powerful fire within your gut. So to speak, to achieve greatness during my sabbatical, my wife and I took a trip up to Springfield, Illinois, if you’ve not been to Springfield, Illinois, it’s not a very big city, probably about oh, 180,000 people, but I went there for one sole purpose and my entire trip was based on achieving some goals.

Those goals were met, and then some I had the best time. Now I will tell you, as many of you that listen to this podcast of which I’m most grateful you do. I am a history nut. I love history, particularly. I love history from 1861 to 1865 in our country, as well as I love history from about 1939 to 1945 on a global basis. Again, that’s world Wari, but I just love this certain president that came from literally nothing with very little formal education who had to teach himself to read and write, and eventually became a successful lawyer on the circuits in Illinois. Of course, I’m talking about our 16th president of these United States of America, Abraham Lincoln. Now I know you’ve heard me speak about how inspiring Abraham Lincoln is to me, but this is a podcast episode on inspiration. And I want to give you today some reasons why this man, after he has deceased since 1860 5th of April and how he still inspires me through this day, I hope this inspires you to get bigger, better and bolder for your life.

Some of the true sayings that he supposedly authored and stated, I gained tremendous background on his life as a young man born in Kentucky, and then his father quickly moved them to the areas of Illinois. And they ended up in, in Springfield, Illinois when Abraham Lincoln was older. So his father never lived there, but Abraham Lincoln did. And that’s where he met his wife to be. And Mary was a, a very wealthy young lady. Her family had come from wealth and she had come west to stay in Springfield with her sister. And brother-in-law at the time I’m giving you a little background because what I want to instill in you now is how this inspiration for him to succeed has given me great inspiration to succeed in my own life. I love some of the quotes that he had and you know, I’m all about being happy in life.

So one of his quotes that I really picked up on wrote in my journal, I just love this quote is he said, folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be. Now you control controlling your thoughts. We talk about mindset, a tremendous amount here on the podcast. Abraham, Lincoln’s talking about it 200 years ago nearly, right? I mean, he’s talking about it over 150 years ago of how you can be happy within your own mindset. So this is not a novel idea, but think about his circumstances at the time he was making some of these comments. He was an attorney that traveled typically on a circuit gone for about three months at a time from his family to practice law in the various small cities around Springfield, Illinois, as he was riding his horse or traveling on the train or riding in the horse, strong buggy or whatever transportation he drove, he utilized to get to where he was going.

He always tried to find positivity. Now, when you look at his pictures, especially those during the civil war, you’ll see a such a strained expression of, of thought on his face, but you’ll also see the fact that he’s carrying a heavy burden for the country to hold this Republic together so that when wouldn’t become two separate nations in one continent. And so I looked at that phrase and I looked at his face and I thought happiness is not always shown on the outward appearance. You know, there are many people that I run across during my daily walks that I would think, or as SI as if they had had some sour, grape candy, I mean, these people look like they ate a pair that had a worm in it. All right? I mean, they look like they couldn’t do anything to make themselves more sour, but I’ll bet you, if you talk to them, they’re some of the most happy people.

It’s just, they don’t show it on their expression. Now I understand the eyes or the light to the soul. I get that you can look at people and look into their eyes and determine how happy or unhappy they may be. It’s hard for your eyes to quote, lie to the ones, looking at you about your feelings, but Abraham Lincoln’s quote about as happy as you make up your mind to be tells a lot for us today on inspiration. He had the world against him born into, at that time, a very hardworking agriculture based family that didn’t have a mother after she died when he was so very young as a child, his father did remarry and his stepmother is the one responsible for helping Abraham Lincoln to learn, to read and write. So while his family at night, after working all day himself with his father and his siblings were asleep nice and snuggle on their beds at night, Abraham could be found sitting in front of the fireplace, which was the only light they had in that small log cabin.

And he would read. Fables was his best book, his most favorite book. He read the Bible, learned to quote chapters out of the Bible by memorization. He is one of the people that inspire me, not simply because he became president that in itself, even if he had never become president, he would still be an inspiration to me as a historical figure. And let me explain why I love to study on these people that started with literally nothing and became successful on their own terms to think about what I always say here at Live a Life By Design is you, do you, nobody else can do you better than you’re gonna do. You, you be the biggest, best, and boldest. You, you can be for the world around you.

One of the things that president Lincoln never did was brag about his prowess or his ability to lead. But man, what a powerful leader he was, he had under quote about those of which he had differences of opinion. You know, if you look at his cabinet, he had surrounded himself by people that really at the time of his election were not supporters of his. He surrounded himself by those with divergent opinions. They did not always agree with Lincoln’s approach during his administration of this war. He said, one thing that really rang true to me as I was walking through his museum, do I not destroy my enemies? When I make them? My friends, that is true. That is perfect. I love that statement. Now I’m gonna act a little giddy here and I don’t mean to, but I’ve gotta tell you what we did. First.

The first historical place that we witnessed of Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, was their home. They bought a home that was by all means very much middle class, upper middle class home in Springfield, Illinois. And they went about remodeled it to fit their ever growing family. When they bought the home, it was considered to be a nice dwelling and they added an upper floor for sleeping quarters for their soon to come two boys. And they’d already had two sons. And so now with four boys, they’ve got a house full, needed some room. They had a handrail in this home, many things you couldn’t, you couldn’t touch. Obviously these are very historic items in the home. The furnishings are historic there. There’s just so much of it that you don’t wanna touch and get oils from your hands onto those things destroy their, their historical significance.

But there was a handrail leading up to that second floor. And why I’m telling you this. This is the part where I’m about to get a little bit giddy. Now, if you can imagine a man, my size getting giddy, but I’m gonna tell you this is important to me. So as we were being guided on our tour by one of the park Rangers, the national parks ranger said, this is the original remaining handrail that was in the house as it was remodeled by president Mrs. Lincoln. I looked at her and I said, so we don’t need to touch the handrail. And she said, oh no. She said you of all the things in this house can only touch the handrail. Gotta tell you had my wife. Yes. You know it, my wife took a picture of me smiling, like ache hour cat with my hand on the same handrail that had been touched and utilized numerous times.

By, at that time, Abraham Lincoln, the citizen. Now that to me was quite a very neat historical ill factor for me to see that particular handrail be used by the person that became president. Had he been able to fulfill his two terms and come home. This is the home he would’ve returned to, but the last history wrote a different story for him. As we were going upstairs, the rooms obviously appeared very small as they did in that day, compared to our modern day rooms. I love the way they adorned the rooms, the furnishings at that time, would’ve been very high end to have some of the wallpapers that they displayed in these rooms. It’s not just something to see. It’s something to go and really soak up when you’re there highly recommend you see his home. As we walk through the remaining part of the home and go out the back door, you go out the kitchen and the kitchen was so small.

Literally the kitchen would’ve fit probably in some of our closets. It was that small. It had a big stove that had to be specially ordered, and this stove took up. I’m not exaggerating at least a third of the kitchen space. It was that large, the stove was needed because Mary Lincoln in a home that had to be no more than about 1500 square feet. Total that’s both floors. 1500 square feet would invite and sponsor parties and socials that would have three to 500 people show up at their home. Particularly during the time that Abraham Lincoln accepted the nomination of the Republican party for the presidency, this entire area of their home, the street, the yard, the house, nothing was left open for anyone to put a foot on because someone was already standing in the place. You know, it’s one of those things when I sat there and my mind went back in time and I said, man, this guy was someone special.

They knew it at the time. He may not have known how special he would become in the history of this nation, but he had big dreams of what he could do with this nation’s resources. He always sought out that freedom would be the bail that was told for the citizens of this great country, but freedom was not being told for those in captivity. At the time, slavery was a horrific era of our country’s past one that we can to race. We need to learn from as we move forward, to allow freedom, to be utilized and shared by all of our citizens in the great United States of America.

So after we walked out the back door, looking back at the home, it’s just a grand place to watch to see, to, to think back about how those parties would’ve come together and been celebrated on those evenings of the cool Illinois air. I wanted to then walk and took my wife to his library museum. I am a fanatic for these presidential museums shows so much about the real men so far, there’ll be a woman president at some point, I’m sure, but at this time they’re all men, but I go to those presidential libraries to look at the handwritten letters that president Lincoln had sent to his generals during the war to his constituency, across the country, to other leaders of other countries, and look at the handwritten letters with the seal of the presidency on them and just sit there and awe thinking that this is something that he, with his own hand with a qui pen in his hand wrote to someone, it makes it a little difficult to read, and I’m glad they have transcription of these documents around, but as I’m walking through the museum, another of my inspiring quotes, I guess I would call it that I wrote down was really a wonderful one.

It said about Lincoln, this, he quoted to someone one day when they commented about how slow he was at walking in his everyday, walking through the white house or to, to meetings or whatever. And he said, I am a slow Walker, but I never walk back. So be certain of where you’re going and commit to that as your destination. Now, this could be metaphorically in life, of course, not just necessarily physically, but think about where you’re going in life and purposefully and, and as studiously as you can get there and know the facts as well as you can, as you’re walking to that path, but never look back. One of my favorite contemporary artists of gospel music. It has a song called burn the ships and he is talking about, you never look back once you got, you know, to the destination, you’re going to, with your, in that case, your men and your ship you’ll burn the ship.

Don’t let the men feel like that just because the times are hard and things are difficult for them that they need to go back to their old ways of life. Lincoln was a believer in this. He believed that you walked to where you were going, always moving forward as best you can to stay on the path until you reach the destination for which you saw it. And you know, it’s one of those things in life that we as individuals face daily, you’re gonna face opposition all the time. This world is so divisive right now. You’re gonna face anybody that says, Hey, the sun’s coming up from the east. There will be someone that argues that Noah’s coming up from the Northeast, or there’s just nuances about everything. Don’t be drawn into that. Find inspiration in that new sunrise, wherever it may come to start a new day to be a bigger, better bold.

You now there’s positive inspiration. And then there’s also negative inspiration. Negative inspiration could be something that we look back on world war II. You look at mu you look at stalling and you look at Hitler. You look at these people that were just murderous, dictators that killed innocent people because they didn’t line up with their morals or they didn’t line up and serve them just because they wanted enforce them to serve them as leaders, more maniacal and thinking perhaps than assembling a people on basic values, they all shared. So my point is, is be careful the type of inspiration you seek and follow, make certain it is positive. Make sure it creates in you those higher values you seek to have in your life. Make sure it lines up with your values, but I will say this. He had a quote that I wrote down, and this goes to today’s people, those of you listening.

I want you to seek out the good in everyone. You know, I always teased everyone when they were younger. My daughters I’d say, I’m gonna hug the meanness outta you. Well, I didn’t realize it, but Lincoln and I have a lot in common. He said those who look for the bad in people will surely find it. So think of the converse. Think about if you were to look for the good in people, you would also find the good. So, you know, at the end of the day, I want us to be inspired by those good, positive, powerful traits that we see around us, by those people that you know were doing their best. They weren’t perfect, but they had some great qualities that I don’t want you to copy. But I do want you to see how they gain their qualities and utilize that to inspire you to be bigger, better and bolder in your own, right?

Your own terms. Because as I’ve always said, there is only you. And you’re the only you that can live your life in this great world, which we exist today. Thank you for joining me. This challenge this week is simply this. I want you to take a few moments and reflect and write down who inspires you or what inspires you to keep moving forward on your path to never look back knowing we’re gonna make mistakes. Leave them in the past. Remember, do not use too much of your today. Rehashing what you did yesterday. That wasn’t great. We all make mistakes. Now my wife, Ms. Williams never makes a mistake, but that’s just because I pay attention to her perfection. That in my eyes is true. So this week go out, be a bigger, better folder person. Get inspired by those before you, and be an inspiration to those that come. Thank you for listening this week. And we’ll see you next Monday here on Live a Life By Design.

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