Final quote – “People often tell me that motivation doesn’t last, and I tell them that bathing doesn’t either. That’s why I recommend it daily.” (Zig Ziglar)
On December 31st I completed my Reflection 365 project. My goal was to write a blog post for every day of the year. My guide as a book of quotes called Inspiration 365 Days a Year, by Zig Ziglar. That book was a gift from my friend Susan last year.
I want to say a few things about this last quote from the book, then talk a bit about this blog going forward into 2015. Don’t worry about the headline, I promise it’s not the last quote I’ll write about in this blog.
The quote above appears on the back cover of the book. I honestly never saw it until I was at least 6 months into the project. Since then I’ve been thinking about the quote and what it means for my project, my blog in general, and life.
When I used to teach the class called Leadership Training for Managers, we would discuss what motivates employees. My take on it then, as now is that really managers can’t motivate employees. Motivation has to come from within. Either a person is motivated in life, or their job, or they are not. The best that we can do as managers and leaders is to inspire them. We can appeal to what they have as their motivating forces, but we cannot instill that motivation within them.
As I have written this blog, I have intentionally shied away from calling it a “motivational” blog for just that reason. In fact, when I started the project I was only writing for me. I wanted to capture my thoughts on a variety of quotes. As I was going through the year, more and more people stopped to tell me how much they appreciated the writing, and how they were inspired by it. I will be honest with you, that took me by surprise. I didn’t set out to inspire anyone, and honestly, I don’t always think that what I am writing is particularly insightful or inspiring. It is just what I happen to be thinking at that time when I write the post.
I remember two particular incidents this past year that struck me. The first was at a family wedding back in June. I was taking pictures (as I always do), and really enjoying myself. My wife’s aunt, who we only rarely get to see, stopped me and we were talking. At this point I had no idea that she had ever read my blog, but she had. She told me that she looked forward to it every morning, as sort of her “daily devotional”. She wasn’t just being nice, she really meant that she looked forward to reading what I had to say, and she found value and inspiration in the writing.
A few weeks before that wedding, we were on a weekend trip to Western Michigan. While there I had checked in on Facebook. The daughter of one of our friends lives near where we were having breakfast, and she saw the check in. She immediately invited us over for a visit while we were on our travels. She is a doctor, and her husband is a lawyer. They are both incredibly smart and insightful people. They are the kind of people that you always feel better for having spent time with because they will make you think, and also make you feel really good about yourself. We had a really nice visit with them on their back deck that overlooks a picturesque pond where their sons were participating in an impromptu fishing contest.
While we were having coffee, the subject of my blog came up. I learned that they were also avid readers and looked forward to my writing. The husband said something that really caught me off guard. He told me that they have discussed how “Bob has more insight before breakfast than I do all day.” I am sure he was exaggerating to a large extent, as I do see him as an insightful person. The truth is that I really appreciated and was humbled by that compliment.
After 365 posts on this blog in 2014, I still don’t consider myself to be particularly insightful, inspirational or motivational. I write for the pure enjoyment of it. The fact that others find value in my writing is a huge and humbling bonus for me. Thank you to all who have read, and continue to read.
Since about June I have been thinking of what I would do when I got to the end of the book. I really enjoyed the discipline of knowing that I had the project going on, which motivated me to write even when I wasn’t particularly inspired to do so. I thought about finding another book of quotes for the new year, and even searched a few in book stores and on line.
One of the things that I didn’t like about using the book of quotes was that it was somewhat limiting. I was locked into whatever quote Zig Ziglar had chosen for the day. It sometimes didn’t give me the chance to truly write about what I was thinking on that day.
For this year I do plan to write something just about every day. I will evolve, over time, into a schedule. I want to write about quotes that I find to be inspirational and topical to the events of the day, or the time of the year. I also will want to write my thoughts on world events from time to time; not because I think I have anything particularly insightful to say, but more because sometimes I just need to get my thoughts out of my head and onto virtual paper.
To date, my most popular posts have been the ones in the series on how to throw a High School graduation party. That series is a couple of years old, and was written based on the experiences we had with 4 graduations. I have thought about writing other series like that one, as I get the inspiration.
As I have mentioned many times, I was once a Dale Carnegie instructor and a Boy Scout leader. I have given thought to writing a few series of articles on the 30 Human Relations principles, the 30 principles on Stress and Worry, the Scout Law, and so on. I may develop those series as the year progresses.
I also just want to share my thoughts. I do a bit of that on my other blog Bobby C’s Health Journey. Those are usually focused on my health, weight loss and the like. Here I may share my thoughts on other parts of my life, on other things that strike me as interesting.
I won’t say that there will be 365 new posts on this blog in 2015, heck it is January 3 and this is my first one, so that would already put me behind. What I will say is that if you are a follower of this blog, THANK YOU. I will do my best not to disappoint you in the new year.