By Chris LoCurto
January 11, 2013
January 11, 2013 | By Chris LoCurto | 63 Comments">63 Comments
It’s not that I’m so smart, it just that I stay with a problem longer.
There are no bumps in the road, that IS the road.
This is from Simon Sinek’s book Start with Why:
“Now think about how we do business. We’re always competing against someone else. We’re always trying to be better than someone else. Better quality. More features. Better service. We’re always comparing ourselves to others. And no one wants to help us. What if we showed up to work every day simply to be better than ourselves? What if the goal was to do better work this week than we did the week before? To make this month better than last month? For no other reason than because we want to leave the organization in a better state than we found it?”
“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”
Goodness Chris – there are so many – I love the story of Ruth and Naomi – The book of Ruth in the Bible. So many aspects of faith and trust and love and God’s ultimate blessing’s because of that bond and obedience. Is 30:15 has to be top of my list though. With Prov.30:10-30 being a very close second. For several years I was a single mom of 2 beautiful daughters, my Julee and my ChendaRee. I come from a background of an abusive father and Godly mother whom I absolutely adore. (She is my best friend, mentor, teacher, wise counsel and she raised 7 children alone.) I naively married a man that made my father look like a kitten. After 4 years, I took my babies and left him, never to return. I am now unequally yoked to my husband. Hope is hard to hold on to at times that he will one day give his life to Christ, but this is not for me to decide, it is a matter of trust and faith and leaving him in my Lord’s hands. He is not abusive – just not saved, and I believed his lie before we married that he was indeed saved. We have been together for almost 26 years and we love and have no desire to be apart. So I wait … and claim God’s promise of sanctification for my beloved.
Phil 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
As a business owner, it can be very daunting to not dwell on the negatives. The unknows. The fears. This verse gives me a different perspective, to look up.
I think the one thought that motivates me to give my best is to remind myself that everyday is a job interview. You never know who is watching and what circumstances you will find yourself in.
Luke 9:23 – Whoever wants to be my disciple, must take up their cross daily and follow me.
Proverbs 6:9 “How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep?” This always gets me a quick kick in the butt when I feel off track or unable to be motivated.
The sky. Weather. Running. Books and movies about an underdog achieving. Listening to people tell personal stories of forgiveness, unconditional love, sacrifice. People. Music that stirs the soul. And strangely enough, a song by Redlight King titled Comeback
1 John 3:18 “love with action not just with words”
From my Grandpa. “Son work smarter not just harder”,”just remember to treat others how you want to be treated.”
Also from a good friend in young life, “If you don’t take care of your self your no good to others.”-in means of rest and growth.
A somewhat humorous one that I used so often with our children, that my daughter put this in her High School Yearbook as her Senior quote . . . Life’s not fair, get over it.
I’m puzzling over the differences between inspiration and motivation.
Sunlight on almost any object makes it beautiful and inspires me to photograph, draw or paint it, regardless of the subject matter. Beautiful things cause me to want to reproduce them in 2 dimensions.
Apparently I’m inspired by visuals rather than words.
Guess I need to think more about inspiration. . . thanks for being the catalyst to this mental exercise, everyone!
If it was easy everybody would do it.
As for me and my house we will serve the Lord. – Josha 24:15
For we walk by Faith not by sight.- 2 Corinthians 5:7
And Herb Brooks:
If we played ’em ten times, they might win nine.
But not this game. Not tonight.
Tonight, we skate with ’em.
Tonight, we stay with ’em, and we shut them down because we can!
Tonight, we are the greatest hockey team in the world.
You were born to be hockey players — every one of ya.
And you were meant to be here tonight.
This is your time.
From Abraham Maslow: “The story of the human race is the story of men and women selling themselves short.”
It’s a reminder to me never to doubt that I can do what I dream.
After a rough day yesterday, I opened up my devotional book and the selection was Psalm 121, v1-3. Perfect. “I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber.” What comfort that was and what inspiration to keep moving ahead.
For me it would have to my faith in Christ. 4 years ago this month I accepted Christ into my life. From that moment on my life has truly been different. I was on a path of physical destruction. Weighing in at over 360 pounds. I started reading the bible and every book I could get my hands on to help me learn and build confidence. Since that time I have lost over 160 pounds and ran a marathon. Two scriptures that helped me along the way were:
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
(Matthew 5:14-16 ESV)
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those timid spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.
I have to go with a bible verse that Earl Nightingale references in the classic recording “The Strangest Secret” Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. I love listening to that recording and I love that verse!!
Charlie, our mentor both in business, at the farm, and as a role model, was a 20 year inspiration, check out Listening to Charlie Facebook page where we have been capturing memories of his wisdom as well as some of the fun & humorous stories we shared with him…
I try to keep these verses in mind. They remind me that no matter what happened in the past (good or bad), I am to still be looking at the goal before me.
(Philippians 3:13-14) Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (KJV)
(Hebrews 12:1-2) Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (KJV)
One of the most revolutionary quotes that I have ever heard is from John C Maxwell. Now I do not know if he originated it, but he is the first person I’ve ever heard say it.
He said, “You cannot give away what you do not have. You can teach what you know. But you will reproduce what you are.”
With these these truths I have sought to:
1. Acquire so that I may HAVE to give to those in need as the Apostle Paul talks about in Ephesians 4:28.
2. Learn more so I can teach more as the Hebrews writer said in Hebrews 5:12.
3. And become more like Christ that I may reproduce the life of Christ in others as the Apostle Paul also said in 1st Corinthians 9:27 and Galatians 4:19.
And this is my three inspirations: Have to give, learn to teach, become to reproduce.
My inspiration/motivation are the 3 other people living in my house.
Everything that I do from the moment I wake up (before the sun) to the moment I put my head on my pillow at night is to provide for my wife & children.
I strive to be the man that…
my wife enjoyed dating half a lifetime ago,
my son can strive to be like as he grows older,
and my daughter can model in her future husband.
Here is the note that I read on my phone every morning before getting out of bed:
“Today I will execute my role of Father & Husband with GREATNESS! Being a father to Jonathan & Emma is the most challenging & rewarding role of my life and I will perform that role with excellence today – coaching, counseling, and being a confidant to them while being both “Daddy” as well as their dad. The success & happiness of my family is my legacy and today I am creating a legacy of GREATNESS!”
Well said brother! I love it!
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
“I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection.” –Thomas Paine
My inspiration these days is all around where I focus. We’re working through some of the most difficult financial times we’ve ever faced, and well it’s pretty easy to get my focus in the wrong place. (That I’m in the wrong place! ;) )
These two Bible passages have been light a long my path.
Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
and be steadfast in all your ways.
And Philippians 4: 13-14
13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
My greatest inspiration is my wife, Linda. She is my hero, having contacted Polio as an infant which left her with paralysis in her right leg from her knee down. As a child and teen she dealt with cruel looks and comments from her peers, yet she kept focused and went on to graduate from college and graduate school. While in college she was elected Homecoming Queen by our school, along with many other high honors. We married and have 3 beautiful children — all college grads and above — and now have 4 beautiful grandchildren. She has a magnificent soprano voice and sang with the Mississippi Opera for 4 years.
Linda has never once complained or acted the victim, even though she is pretty much in constant pain. She taught school for 8 years while maintaining our home and raising our three children. Her favorite Scripture is Philippians 4:13 and it has become mine — “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Wow Steve, what an inspirational story that was. Thank you for sharing it. I also love your inspirational verse – perfect fit, isn’t it?
Thank you for being brave, and for sharing it with us. :)
Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not.—- Thomas Huxley
Be Still and Know that I am God! psalm 46:10
A couple of movie quotes:
Every man dies, not every man really lives. – Braveheart
What we do in life echoes in eternity – Gladiator
Quotes from Jesus:
Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” – Mark 12:29-31
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. – John 15:13
“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.” – Luke 16:10
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” – John 14:12
That last verse gets me every time. I realize that most of the time I live far below the potential that He put in me. I’m not great, but there is greatness in me because of the sacrifice He made for me. I reflect daily on the cost that was paid for me to be extraordinary. I want to really live every aspect of this life so that it echoes through eternity and to hear, “Well done good and faithful servant”.
I have five pictures hanging in my office, and they are:
1. A picture of a turtle. In order for a turtle to get anywhere, it has to stick its neck out. The same is true for me. Especially true for the introverted me.
2. A picture of C.S. Lewis. Great creativity often accompanies other creatives, and the picture of Lewis is a reminder of his friendship with J.R.R. Tolkien. It reminds me to seek out the company of others who share a calling to be creative.
3. A picture of Ronald Reagan — as a cowboy from one of the many films he was in. This is a reminder that the things we are doing right now may not be the things we are doing later. It is also a reminder that the things that can make us great are often totally unexpected. I realize I could put a picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger here too, but Reagan also starred in a film called “The Voice of the Turtle,” which ties in with #1 above.
4. A picture of Henry Ford. The story of Henry Ford is a story filled with a guy trying going from one failure to the next, learning what would make him great.
5. A picture of Martin Luther King, Jr. There are a whole host of things to learn from MLK. But the one thing that sticks for me is the story of his admiration of Air Force General Daniel James, the highest ranking black military officer of the time. MLK was asked how he could admire a man who is so different from his non-violence movement, and MLK responded by saying that he does not judge people by how well they live up to his principles, but how they live up to their own.
Wow! That’s pretty awesome!
Wow Jon – brilliant. My fav: Point 2 – I’m just realizing this in my own life now. We must seek out others who believe what we believe so we can keep our fires burning.
Love #5–I had never thought of that before, and now I’m going to make it one of my “things.”
I love what you wrote about president Ford, “going from one failure to the next, learning what would make him great.” nice way of putting it, it gave me an attitude adjustment for the day ahead. It seems as though everything in the biz hasn’t been easy lately. Good encouragement to keep us on our paths, thanks!
sorry its long but its starts great, ends great and full of wisdom throughout the middle- just like life.
Auguries of Innocence by William Blake
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
A Robin Red breast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage
A Dove house filld with Doves & Pigeons
Shudders Hell thr’ all its regions
A dog starvd at his Masters Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State
A Horse misusd upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood
Each outcry of the hunted Hare
A fibre from the Brain does tear
A Skylark wounded in the wing
A Cherubim does cease to sing
The Game Cock clipd & armd for fight
Does the Rising Sun affright
Every Wolfs & Lions howl
Raises from Hell a Human Soul
The wild deer, wandring here & there
Keeps the Human Soul from Care
The Lamb misusd breeds Public Strife
And yet forgives the Butchers knife
The Bat that flits at close of Eve
Has left the Brain that wont Believe
The Owl that calls upon the Night
Speaks the Unbelievers fright
He who shall hurt the little Wren
Shall never be belovd by Men
He who the Ox to wrath has movd
Shall never be by Woman lovd
The wanton Boy that kills the Fly
Shall feel the Spiders enmity
He who torments the Chafers Sprite
Weaves a Bower in endless Night
The Catterpiller on the Leaf
Repeats to thee thy Mothers grief
Kill not the Moth nor Butterfly
For the Last Judgment draweth nigh
He who shall train the Horse to War
Shall never pass the Polar Bar
The Beggars Dog & Widows Cat
Feed them & thou wilt grow fat
The Gnat that sings his Summers Song
Poison gets from Slanders tongue
The poison of the Snake & Newt
Is the sweat of Envys Foot
The poison of the Honey Bee
Is the Artists Jealousy
The Princes Robes & Beggars Rags
Are Toadstools on the Misers Bags
A Truth thats told with bad intent
Beats all the Lies you can invent
It is right it should be so
Man was made for Joy & Woe
And when this we rightly know
Thro the World we safely go
Joy & Woe are woven fine
A Clothing for the soul divine
Under every grief & pine
Runs a joy with silken twine
The Babe is more than swadling Bands
Throughout all these Human Lands
Tools were made & Born were hands
Every Farmer Understands
Every Tear from Every Eye
Becomes a Babe in Eternity
This is caught by Females bright
And returnd to its own delight
The Bleat the Bark Bellow & Roar
Are Waves that Beat on Heavens Shore
The Babe that weeps the Rod beneath
Writes Revenge in realms of Death
The Beggars Rags fluttering in Air
Does to Rags the Heavens tear
The Soldier armd with Sword & Gun
Palsied strikes the Summers Sun
The poor Mans Farthing is worth more
Than all the Gold on Africs Shore
One Mite wrung from the Labrers hands
Shall buy & sell the Misers Lands
Or if protected from on high
Does that whole Nation sell & buy
He who mocks the Infants Faith
Shall be mockd in Age & Death
He who shall teach the Child to Doubt
The rotting Grave shall neer get out
He who respects the Infants faith
Triumphs over Hell & Death
The Childs Toys & the Old Mans Reasons
Are the Fruits of the Two seasons
The Questioner who sits so sly
Shall never know how to Reply
He who replies to words of Doubt
Doth put the Light of Knowledge out
The Strongest Poison ever known
Came from Caesars Laurel Crown
Nought can Deform the Human Race
Like to the Armours iron brace
When Gold & Gems adorn the Plow
To peaceful Arts shall Envy Bow
A Riddle or the Crickets Cry
Is to Doubt a fit Reply
The Emmets Inch & Eagles Mile
Make Lame Philosophy to smile
He who Doubts from what he sees
Will neer Believe do what you Please
If the Sun & Moon should Doubt
Theyd immediately Go out
To be in a Passion you Good may Do
But no Good if a Passion is in you
The Whore & Gambler by the State
Licencd build that Nations Fate
The Harlots cry from Street to Street
Shall weave Old Englands winding Sheet
The Winners Shout the Losers Curse
Dance before dead Englands Hearse
Every Night & every Morn
Some to Misery are Born
Every Morn and every Night
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to Endless Night
We are led to Believe a Lie
When we see not Thro the Eye
Which was Born in a Night to perish in a Night
When the Soul Slept in Beams of Light
God Appears & God is Light
To those poor Souls who dwell in Night
But does a Human Form Display
To those who Dwell in Realms of day
Be still and know that I am God Ps 46:10
Be still and know that I am
Be still and know
Put mine in before I saw yours!
Great one Lily!
I always like to quote this in my head when I go for an early morning run. At the end of course, so I can be still. Powerful!!
I quote mine at the beginning, so I can skip the run… Just kidding… :0)
This is definitely one of mine too.
All music by U2 gets me every time. Especially the live performances of ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’.
Chills. Every time.
Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn’t even be there. Eighty are just targets. Nine are real fighters and we are lucky to have them for they make the battle. Ah, but the one. One is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.
–attributed to Heraclitus, Greek philosopher, around 500 B.C.
Hey Chris and all!
It’s hard to nail down one inspirational thing, so I’m going for impact here. Life, faith, death, following your heart – Steve Jobs covers it in this very touching video montage (be sure to watch to the end):
I have a couple of other inspiring videos on my resources page:
Looking forward to seeing everyone’s!!!
In every crisis there is an opportunity… Go find it!
Don’t tell your God how big your storm is, tell your storm how big your God is.
No such thing as problems, only solutions.
Great one Eric!!
Very good view point Eric! Something you would have to keep in perspective continually. Thanks.
At this point, someone on my team will walk up to my office door and say, “Eric, we need a solution.” They’ve learned…we don’t do problems, we do solutions.
That is exactly what I have been trying to work on and still struggling with. I have been struggling with trying to determine when to offer the solution and when to require them to find the solution. And when they ask for an opinion do you just give it to them, when they should be able to come up with an answer without it.
This can be tricky. My approach has been to start two questions regularly.
With new team members or new solutions, I’ll ask, “Why do you think I think this is the best solution?” We think talk about it. My goal is to train them to think more like me in the workplace.
After someone has been on my team for a bit. I’ll transition my question to….”What do you think we should do and why?” After some trial and error, we start getting on the right page.
A mentor once told me something that helped me develop this approach. We were having dinner after my summer staff’s two weeks of training had wrapped up. I told him, “Man, I’m so excited for campers to show up Sunday, staff training was the best we’ve had and now that it’s over, I’m ready to see what this staff will do.” He simply said, “Eric, staff training is never over. Now is when their training and your coaching really begins.”
Our company has a saying – “Problems go up – Solutions come down. ” It works . :)
I like that as well.
For a smile and a reminder of why I work and what is important, a glance at my 21-month daughter when she doesn’t know I am watching her.
For motivation to overachieve, Eric Thomas (ET the Hip Hop Preacher…look him up if you haven’t)
For artistic motivation, any of the hundreds of interviews and audiobooks and speeches and podcasts I have on my iPod. Some of my favorites are:
-an interview with Mark Victor Hansen
-John Acuff’s EL podcast about fear
-Rick Warren’s TED talk about the nations of innovation
-Francis Chan’s speech at Liberty University two years ago-ish
-Interviews with Jim Rohn, Denis Waitley and Brian Tracy (if anyone wants them, email me and I can send them to you.)
It’s Time by Imagine Dragons
This one: http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/its-a-brand-new-day/
Make War by Tedashii and Flame
Change Your Mind by Sister Hazel
Awakening by Switchfoot
and many more.
And the “Overachiever of the Month” award goes to…
Love that song “It’s Time”! also check out Disciples new album, with song, OutLaws!-That’s been getting my blood pumping lately!
Disciple is like the quintessential Christian weightlifting music. :)
I also enjoy some Flyleaf, Brian “Head” Welch, Flatfoot 56, and Lecrae, among others.
I’m having the following verse written on the wall in my office:
“The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, Blessed be the name of the Lord”.
It’s a great reminder & brings perspective when we get all caught up in the details of life and business.
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