The Magic of Inspiration!

The year was 1973 and I had been in the car business for just a few months. I was an auto mechanic in the Air Force and didn't want to do that anymore, so I thought since I knew trucks from the bottom up, I surely should be able to sell them. Well. . . it sounded good. . . and I did it, but it wasn't an easy transition.

My sales manager and general manager of the dealership shared some personal training materials with me that led me from one book to another to another and each built more excitement in learning new things. I went to the library for more and found a gem there that is still powerfully with me 35 years later. It was written by an insurance salesman named Frank Bettger (Bet chur) and the title was long and accurate: How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling.

I read that book over and over again, sent away to the publisher (Prentice-Hall in New Jersey) and bought 25 copies to give to friends and fellow struggling salespeople. I was inspired! I have never forgotten that feeling and I am always, everyday on the hunt for anything that will bring me that feeling again and again. For me it is almost always in learning from other people's experience and occasionally my own.

The most important thing in this book is brought down to one sentence: Enthusiasm is contagious and is necessary for success and to become enthusiastic, act enthusiastically. That sounds so simple, but when you are feeling down or depressed, it seems ridiculous. Nonetheless, it is among the truest statements I have ever found.

The greatest gift we have as humans is that we have the power of the will. We have the power to change how we feel, how we act, how we think, how we respond. We can force ourselves to do what we need to do if we can find a good enough reason and we believe that we have the will power. It is hard to act enthusiastically when you are not feeling good, but I guarantee that you will find that when you act enthusiastically, you will start to feel better and better until the blues are gone and replaced with feeling good and enthusiastic. Thirty five years later, I still remind myself of this lesson from 1973 (published in 1949) and decide to choose how to feel.

How can you be enthusiastic in an economy like this? You can choose to. Surely it is not all doom and gloom as the news media would have you believe. Think about what things you can be thankful for; things you can be enthusiastic about. Maybe you have a loving spouse, a beautiful child, grandchild, loving friend. I made a list a few times in my life that started with "I love. . ." and then I just made a long, long list of the things that I loved. Some were silly to others like, "I love the smell of water on concrete on a hot day. . ." or "I love a full tank of gas and somewhere I want to go. . ." You will be amazed how long this list can get if you just let your mind go. Then, next time you aren't feeling too good about things, just pick up the list and start reading.

It's the magic of inspiration! Find many things to get inspired about.

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