Tag Archives: Motivation

Modern Bodhisattvas

‘…literally a living being (sattva) who aspires to enlightenment (bodhi) and carries out altruistic practices’

That’s the definition of a bodhisattva according to the Soka Gakkai International website. It’s a word I came across years ago, which has stuck with me. I remember reading how there are many bodhisattva – traditionally individuals who sacrificed passing on to nirvana (bliss) in order to help others.

Well it’s struck me recently that there are several modern bodhisattvas, reaching out to inspire and educate us. They aim to improve not just our own lives, but society in general.

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This list could be far longer than it is, if I included everyone I have ever read a book by. I could also include more obvious people like Oprah Winfrey or Deepak Chopra; people who have been doing this for a lot longer.

Instead I have narrowed my list down to two guys whose regular podcasts I listen to often, whose feeds I’m subscribed to on my iPhone for the walk to work, plus two individuals whose YouTube videos and Instagram posts render me all aglow with positivity.

lewis howes

Taken from Lewis Howes Instagram feed

Lewis Howes

Lewis Howes’ The School of Greatness podcast series was one of the first two I ever subscribed to. It’s a treasure trove of advice, promise and life lessons, helping to answer the question what is greatness for you? (No easy task!)

Lewis himself has struggled through a lot: watching the effects of bad choices on his brother; occasionally suffering that anti-climactic sensation after a shot of success; and finding his long-nurtured dreams were suddenly out of reach (to name just three).

These trials and tribulations ultimately have led to Lewis’ own form of greatness. He is great at bringing together a wealth and variety of successful people. He chats with men and women of different ages and backgrounds. Some had tough childhoods, others faced adversity as they reached for their goals.

Lewis’ academy allows us all entry as its students. Its teachers change from week to week, but its Principal ensures all lessons are accessible and hit their mark. Classes can be theoretical, challenging the mind, and practical, leading us to action; and they can often be a satisfying combination of the two.

Be sure to subscribe to The School of Greatness podcast for thrice weekly programmes, and also head over to Amazon to get a copy of his same-titled book (itself a great read).

Courtesy of marieforleo.com

Taken from marieforleo.com

Marie Forleo

Marie Forleo came to my attention through her YouTube show Marie TV, a lively mix of motivational monologues and interviews with other thought leaders.

However, Marie has had a colourful background before the launch of this, proving to us all that it is never too late and it is always possible to take a new path and try something different. She worked in the corporate world, was one of the first ever Nike Elite Dance Athletes and has authored the bestselling Make Every Man Want You.

Marie now describes herself as a “multi-passionate entrepreneur”, a term perhaps more of us should be employing in a world that demands ever more from us and where we regularly switch roles.

Questions and quandaries are welcomed by Marie and her team, and she aims to answer some of them on Marie TV, delving into her own experiences and the wisdom of others. She also works to answer questions we might not yet have encountered by bringing on a range of guests, recently including Marianne Williamson (on bereavement), Chris Guillebeau (choosing the right path for you) and Tony Robbins (on mastering your money).

Marie has strong ethics in her life as well as her work, including “enforced” breaks for her team and time away from technology to rest the mind. What a role model!

Simply type in Marie TV or Marie Forleo to YouTube to find her videos.

Taken from jeffsanders.com

Taken from jeffsanders.com

Jeff Sanders

The 5AM Miracle podcast by Jeff Sanders is the show I have been following the least amount of time, but I am already an avid listener.

The whole premise of this podcast hooked me from the start. I am without a doubt most productive in a morning. I do much better through early to bed, early to rise. This series backs up that philosophy through science and practical applications.

Once a week Jeff shares discussions with other prescribers of this way of life alongside his own thoughts and practices. Some of these practices and the ideology behind them could be called “common sense”, but it’s amazing how few of us bring them into play. For example, check out his podcast on 7 Productive Habits to Complete Before 7:00 AM and you’ll see what I mean (as well as alter your own thinking).

Jeff’s book The 5AM Miracle is on my Amazon wishlist for reading in the not-so-distant future, but in the meantime I’m staying tuned in to his podcast (all previous episodes can be found on his website too).

Taken from thebachbook.com

Taken from thebachbook.com

Jordan Bach

Jordan Bach, keeper of The Bach Book and his own YouTube channel chock full of optimistic videos, is another “modern bodhisattva” who has only just come onto my radar. Or so I thought…

Delving back through my liked videos on YouTube, I discovered I clicked the thumbs up on his first video God Loves Gays years ago. At the time I was reconciling distinct and contradictory perspectives on homosexuality in religion and spirituality. While I may not remember the exact details of that video, I can recall how deeply Jordan’s argument resonated with me. It was a source of comfort.

And this is what I would say about all of Jordan’s videos. They console. They warm the heart and soul. They shine a light into your life, even if only for the three or four minutes you’re watching. He speaks from a rich, personal place, whether reflecting on his own life or world events.

I would also say that Jordan is fervent promoter of others. He might not do the one-to-one chats on podcast like Lewis Howes or Jeff Sanders, or the in-depth video discussions like Marie Forleo. What you get instead is a mirrored surface, showing us all the messages of other greats past and present. In this way you see a reflection of your own spirit as well.

You only have to check out Jordan’s Instagram account to feel this.

What do all these modern bodhisattvas have in common? Well, as with the definition given at the opening of this post, they all carry out altruistic practices. They have a serious calling to improve their own and others’ lives, and they do this well.

They not only inspire us through social media and big events, but through their philanthropy and ethical business ventures.

Furthermore, they connect with other motivational figures, acting as springboards for our own interconnectivity and aspirations in life.

Lewis Howes, Marie Forleo, Jeff Sanders and Jordan Bach are my top four beacons of hope and exemplars of right living right now.

Have I missed anyone off this list who you feel should be included? I’m totally hooked on these inspirational podcasts, videos and books right now, and would love to hear any other suggestions (I’ll even accept more ancient teachers).

Why we should all just do it now

‘Everyone can function better, live better, and feel better in an orderly, organized, tidy environment’ – Martha Stewart (businesswoman, lifestyle guru)

Imagine this: You’ve woken up late. Why? You forgot to charge your mobile, and that’s what your alarm is set on. It’s died and hasn’t gone off.

You dash through to the bathroom and brush your teeth, but when you get in the shower you can’t find your shampoo. The last bottle ran out yesterday and you didn’t get the replacement out of the cupboard.

Where are your undies?? Oops – left them in the washing machine. Time to dig out yesterday’s already-worn boxers.

You’re heading out and reach for your keys, but they’re not there. And this time you’ve no idea where they might be… You run through the house looking, and find them by the fridge, because you grabbed a bottle of wine before anything else after work last night.

Then halfway to work it hits you – you left your phone charger in the living room. Another day without your phone!

These could happen to anyone, and they’re all the result of one simple truth. A failure to just do it now. Is it time you stopped putting things off and altered your way of life?

It’s something I was brought up clearly with. I had loads of toys and books as a child, but I still remember the instruction to put it away as soon as you’re done with it. I might not have rigidly followed this when younger, but it’s stayed with me and become more important as I’ve grown up.fork wash

Another great outline of what not to do can be found in this article by Steve over at Nerdfitness.

Why do it now?

Several reasons!

Little things add up very quickly. For instance, you’ve just finished your Indian takeaway and it might seem like you’re just leaving your dirty plate, knife and fork on the work surface. You’ll take out the bin tomorrow and replace the bin bag then. But by the end of the week the pots and pans are all dirty on the side instead of being clean and available in the cupboards.

Some things will simply get lost. You had a folder for your bank statements but you’re damned if you remember where it is now, and besides, your last three months’ worth of statements have never been near it. In fact, now that they’re needed ASAP, you’re not sure where they are either…

Other things will never get done. Those payslips you were going to file safely as your new year’s resolution have vanished. Perhaps they’ve just ended up under your magazines, that box of plasters and your cinema tickets. Or maybe they went out with the trash weeks ago… Plus don’t even start on about your email inbox. Four figures of unread messages?? You’ll never find that important RSVP email.

What do we do about this problem?

First and foremost – make DO IT NOW your mantra. Repeat it whenever you’re faced with a situation requiring a “do I or don’t I?” response. Repeat it until doing it straightaway becomes second nature.

Then set stricter points throughout your day:

  1. Make the bed and put away toiletries and clothes (clean or dirty) away in the right location before you leave the house. I actually do this as soon as I’m washed and dressed and before I’ll do anything else. It’s part of my getting ready routine.
  2. Read your emails less frequently but more thoroughly each day. Make sure every email (or paper document or piece of post) gets actioned ASAP. Bin it or respond to it appropriately.
  3. Clean up any spills immediately. That includes food, drink, cosmetics, paperclips… It just takes less time and effort than doing it later.
  4. If you take a full bag out of the bin, put a new bag in straightaway. I won’t tie up the top of the old bag and take it out the house until the bin has the new bag in it properly. It’s irritating when you forget and throw something liquid and disgusting into the bin, and have to wash it out then…
  5. One of the most satisfying things is cleaning pots and pans as you cook where possible. That way when you’ve eaten your meal, there’s so much less to clean than there could have been. More time to relax or whatever after!
  6. As soon as you hear that washing machine stop spinning, take out the cleaned laundry and put it out neatly to dry off. You won’t end up with damp, musty-smelling clothes you have to waste a second wash tab and lot of water and electricity on.
  7. When you know something is running out, like toilet roll, light bulbs or rice, stock up on a new batch of it as soon as you can. It’s a lot less disruptive and stressful!
  8. Similar to the point above: when you know you’ve been using up the battery on your laptop or Kindle, stick it on charge for a while. That way when you next need it, you won’t be faced with a dead gadget and an hour or two of putting that task off too.

Closely related to these eight points is the following saying: a place for everything and everything in its place. If you put something where it belongs as soon as you’ve finished with it, you can guarantee you’ll be able to lay your hands on it instantly when you next need it. download

In following these tips you can say “so long” to a lot of the inefficiency, frustration and fall-outs with your loved ones that you might be facing. You can enjoy your meal in peace, have fun playing your latest video game, go out to see friends feeling care-free.

Don’t delay – just do it now!

Are you a proven procrastinator, or a diligent do-it-now’er? It’s great to hear both sides of the fence and read other people’s experiences on this topic, so please leave a message below =D