Author: Steve Gamlin

As a professional speaker, author and entertainer, my primary goal is to inspire others to reach for their passions, making them a greater part of daily life. My latest books: "Bust Out of Your Crate!", "20 to Life (In a Good Way)" and "OH YEAH! (Another Quote Book)" combine motivational quotes with calls-to-action and success journal pages, geared toward creating positive energy for yourself and those around you as you journal your successes! Please find additional information at http://InspiredbySteve.com

Candles and Kindness: Kerri’s Birthday Giving Mission!

My friend Kerri Sellers is a Goddess.

No, this does not mean she is a celestial being with a mailing address somewhere on Mount Olympus.

I’m pretty sure she lives in Massachusetts.

Being a Goddess is actually part of her job title.

Kerri is part of the amazing team of women (Goddesses) and men (Adoni) who populate the Athena’s Home Novelties company, a group of people with HUGE hearts based in America’s tiny state of Rhode Island (led by an amazing force for good, Mother Goddess Jennifer Jolicouer).

They just happen to be my BIGGEST speaking client (every January I lead my “Engaging Your WHY/Vision Board” event for their entire team, nationwide).

For her recent 45th birthday, Kerri opened her heart, and her social media pages (at the urging of her equally-awesome husband Aaron), to create a TIDAL WAVE of kindness, generosity and joy.

She called it #Kerris45Wishes…and it was amazing.

Far from making it all about herself, Kerri spent the day not only committing acts of kindness, but encouraging others to please do so…and post them on her social media pages.

Ideas were flying fast and furious, and I was tremendously honored that she tagged me with an idea I’d given her (which I learned from a grocery checkout clerk): putting quarters on gumball machines as a surprise for kids!

She also left quarters on the pony ride outside the store, and a small baggie of them at the laundromat, just in case someone needed a little extra drying time.

Here’s the most beautiful part of her birthday giving mission: friends and family all across the country were going out and intentionally sharing kindness on her behalf, tagging their posts with #Kerris45Wishes.

It was mind-blowing. It was joyful. And it was very, very REAL.

So many people see things like this happening and are so quick to say: “Kindness should be done anonymously and what she is doing is bragging, and it’s wrong.”

Here’s my view on that response.

The news and media outlets spend most of their days (and ours) sharing stories of the WORST that society has to offer.

I wish they would keep THAT to themselves.

I think it is helpful (and hopeful) to hear the GOOD THINGS that are happening in our communities which are JUST AS REAL as the bad.

Now, when people do these things and trumpet them in the news as a political ploy or to overcome something stupid scandal they caused, just to rebuild their reputations…that is different.

What Kerri did with her birthday was wave her kindness flag high and let it snap in the wind loudly enough for people to hear the battle-cry and take part in the celebration.

I read through many of the posts on her page, people sharing what she had inspired them to do.

They included:

  • a donation to the Red Sox Foundations’s Jimmy Fund
  • adding children’s books to a ‘Little Free Library’
  • giving a ride to someone who needed one
  • buying sidewalk chalk for a favorite neighborhood kid
  • posting a beautiful sunset photo to make a friend smile
  • paying for the lunch of a stranger

So, what simple act of kindness could YOU commit today?

If you really have it in your heart to do so, you can find a way…even ones that cost absolutely nothing (hold a door, call a friend to say hello, make someone smile).

Here’s how I see it: somewhere in the world today, it is somebody’s birthday.

Following Kerri’s lead, we can all commit a little kindness to honor those people.

Remember: the GOOD is just as real as the BAD.

Let’s make the GOOD noise even louder, shall we?

Thank you Kerri!

BONUS VIDEO: Are YOU ‘Priming the Pump’ for kindness, like Kerri is?
CLICK HERE to view.  

Are You Letting the World Hear YOUR Rock and Roll Music?

If you look up the word ‘influence’ in the dictionary, there should be a picture of Chuck Berry.

While he did not ‘invent’ rock and roll, he most definitely stomped through the music of the early-to-mid 50s with both feet, leaving his prints in the fertile wet cement of rock’s early days.

Drawing on the raw energy of the blues and the rhythmic swing of the big bands, (replacing the soaring horn section riffs with the strings of his guitar), Berry took what he heard around him and ‘brought it somewhere else’.

In the process, he became the man who launched a thousand bands and millions of fans.  

ChuckBerry

You’ve heard of the Beatles, The Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones, right?

You probably wouldn’t have, if Chuck Berry hadn’t plugged in and let it rip.

His style, his lyrics, his duck walk and his attitude all set him apart and inspired thousands of guitar players, the most successful of whom took his music and ‘brought it somewhere else’…just as he had with his influences.

If this was an article designed to simply praise this artist for his achievements, it could go on forever.

Instead, I will ask these simple questions:

Who were your influences?

What have they inspired you to do/create/share with the world?

How have you ‘brought it somewhere else’ with your own voice and style?

I hope you know your song and sing it to the world every day, just because someone needs to hear it…and because you love to sing it.

Will you make a difference?

You never can tell.

Sing and play anyway.

Hail, hail, rock and roll.

Colby’s Shovel BEATS the Storm!

Houston, we have a problem: Colby’s snowblower is broken.

Who is Colby?

Colby is a young man of thirteen who lives next door to my Mother-in-law (Keeper of Super Teddy).

After every storm so far this Winter this young man has been there in her driveway with his snowblower, as soon as the flakes stopped flying, to erase all the white fury that Mother Nature dished out.

Yesterday, however, he had bad news.

His snowblower was broken.

Now, when Ma Nature drops more than 12-inches of snow in your yard, and you only have about 9-inches of dog…you have a problem.

I won’t say that Super Teddy is spoiled, but he’s got a “Pee & Poop Path’ that circumnavigates the back yard like he’s running a marathon!

Plus, Teddy’s path always gets done BEFORE the driveway…it just does.

That tiny bladder can’t hold out forever, people.

When Tina’s mom called to tell me about Colby’s setback, I offered to come over and use our snowblower (can be a bit temperamental, but usually does the job) to finish.

When I arrived, anticipating the worst, I was pleasantly surprised.

Instead of shrugging off his duties and blaming the snowblower, this kid grabbed a shovel and busted his butt all the way around that yard so that Super Teddy could do his business!

For all the bashing that this younger generation gets on laziness and lack of ambition (some of whom truly deserve it), Colby just raised the bar.

My first comment to Tina’s mom: “That’s some good parenting in action, right there”.

Colby, thank you buddy!

Your snowblower may have broken down, but YOU didn’t.

You picked up a shovel and did the job you said you would do, giving Mother Nature the finger in the process (MY words not yours, I don’t want you to get in trouble for having a dirty mouth, ha ha).

As an adult, you just taught ME a lesson.

Some days we show up to work and not all of our tools are there to bail us out.

What we need to remember is to simply grab the best resources available to us, put our backs to it, and keep on shoveling through the mess.

Business professionals and entrepreneurs…are you hearing the lesson?

It’s there, and I just took it like a snowball to the face.

Well done, young man!

Why #PurpleKoolAid is My Favorite!

When I am asked about my clients, I often react like a parent who’s been asked: “Which one of your kids is your favorite?!?”

Truth is: I sincerely do love and appreciate all of my clients.

A big part of that is the way we meet, which is typically an alignment of energies.

Basically, I don’t cold-call. Some marketers will hammer me for admitting that.

My reasoning is simple: I want to gain clients for whom I am a good match, energy-wise, message-wise and integrity-wise.

They come by referral, through networking and response to the messages I create and share through my radio shows, video channel and articles.

One of my longest-standing regular clients is the Athena’s Home Novelties Company.

LoveAthenas

I have been invited to share nearly a dozen presentations with them, including my 5th annual “Engaging Your WHY: Vision Board” event happening later this month.

With team members scattered across 44 states, they are among the most passionate, driven, caring, supportive and joyful people I have ever known.

Now, when someone gets THIS excited about a company or program, they are often referred to as “having drunk the Kool-Aid”.

Sadly, this is often said with a negative tone, as though it is wrong to get so excited about something.

My industry probably deserves partial blame. Too many gurus getting too many people amped up to 11 (thank you, Spinal Tap) created crazed, rabid fans who can scream the slogans…but not have the heart to match the mission.

The #PurpleKoolAid of Athena’s though, is real.

Although we work together ‘live’ once per year, I do my best to lend my support and encouragement year-round via social media posts, coaching webinars and personalized videos.

The goal for me, as a speaker, is to have long-lasting IMPACT for them.

I believe that should be the goal of ANYONE, in any industry: to swing for the fences every time you work with your clients, and hope you have made a lasting difference.

This weekend, while they were celebrating their annual weekend conference, they gave me a heaping helping of joy and emotion within the first 30 seconds of this video. CLICK HERE TO VIEW!

I can think of 10,000 reasons why I appreciate Kerri Sellers right now.

Why?

Because that is how much money she just won, two seconds after mentioning my name and the mindset I have tried to bring to their team!

The “CLICK CLICK” she mentioned was the approach I created when looking at goals like an old wooden roller coaster.

Have you ever set a goal for yourself that scared the crap out of you the next day when you realized it was huge…AND you had shared it out loud in front of other people?

Yup, me too.

By breaking it down into manageable chucks and consistent daily actions (CLICKs), we get closer and closer to their achievement, and then we get to enjoy the ride to celebrate.

In this case: Kerri kept booking parties, taking care of her clients, adding team members and consistently building up her brand until she achieved enough success to earn one (two, actually) of the keys that gave her the opportunity to open that $10,000 Treasure Box.

I could not be more proud, or honored, at seeing how my little message has become part of the fabric of this amazing company, and I cannot wait to see where their 2017 Vision Boards will bring them.

Where could the CLICK, CLICK of the roller coaster take YOU this year?

How will you celebrate when it does?

Will you rock the house like you’d taken a great big gulp of Purple Kool-Aid?

OH YEAH!!!! 🙂

Tell Your Turkeys to Go STUFF Themselves!

When you sit down at Thanksgiving dinner, are there certain foods you don’t like?

For me, it’s cranberry sauce from a can.

I don’t dig the tartness of cranberries, and the ribbed reminder of the inside of the can looks odd…and makes those of us who watched “Beavis & Butthead” giggle.

Consequently, I make sure the plate of cranberry sauce stays far away from my place setting at the Turkey Day dinner.

It’s a pretty simple concept: if there is something you don’t care to be around, don’t keep it around you.

The same goes for PEOPLE in our lives whom we wish to not have near us.

Maybe they are tart.

Maybe they are distasteful.

Heck, maybe they’re ribbed.

Bottom line: if you don’t want to be near them…don’t be (even if it simply means you don’t let them drag you down emotionally).

If I were to ask: “Who is the most negative, toxic person in your life right now?”…would a name or a face come to mind?

Was this the same person you would have envisioned a year ago, had I asked you then?

If so, why is that person still allowed to be this close to you, making you miserable?

It could be a client, a family member or just a hanger-on who hasn’t been booted out of your orbit…yet.

It’s not an easy conversation. Many people who try to be nice and ‘like to be liked’ have a tough time confronting toxicity. It has always been a challenge for me.

Bottom line comes down to two words: HONOR YOURSELF.

We’re in the home stretch of yet another year.

Life rolls on and, as Pink Floyd put it so bluntly, we find ourselves “shorter of breath and one day closer to death”.

Got some turkeys in YOUR life?

Maybe it’s time to shuffle the line-up around the table at which you give your thanks.

Are there a few turkeys who need to “Stuff it” and be excused from YOUR table?

What I have discovered over the years is this: when you make room at your table, you’re actually making room for better to take their seats.

Here’s to YOUR celebration of thanks this year!!

May you enjoy great company, celebrate happy memories, engage in positive conversations and fill your face with nothing but delicious goodness.

What am I thankful for this year?

You.

Veterans Day and the Peanut Butter Cup!

Go ahead…talk to strangers.

Whenever Tina and I go out, whether it’s to the High Street Farmhouse (our favorite local restaurant) or somewhere on the opposite coast, one of two questions consistently comes up:

1) “Can we go ANYWHERE without you knowing someone?”

2) “How do you manage to make a new friend everywhere we go?”

Bottom line: I get around, in a good way…and I love meeting interesting people.

Whether it’s smiling at people as I walk past, committing even the simplest acts of kindness (such as holding a door open) or cracking jokes to relieve the tension of a nervous flier, it just comes easy to me.

I get that from my Dad, who can (and will) strike up a conversation with total strangers, often with laughter ensuing.

Last Friday was no exception.

While waiting to board my plane for the first of two flights which would ultimately deliver me to Orlando, I saw ‘her’.

Being Veterans Day, she stuck out as someone to whom I wished to say “Thank you for your service”.

Her hat indicated she’d served in Iraq, and her leather vest was covered in patches and pins of various deployments and her continued loyalty to veterans groups.

During the first flight to DC, I enjoyed an article in the December issue of Success Magazine. It’s author, Jeff Vrabel, had gone into ‘undercover mode’ as an Uber driver in and around Indianapolis. Not one for a lot of small talk himself, he wanted to test-drive the experience to see what he could learn.

In the end, he walked away with several sizable chunks of life lessons, advice and experiences that he never would have gotten hiding in the shadows.

Interesting.

About 10 minutes into a 2-hour layover, I noticed my veteran sitting just a few seats away, laughing with seat-mates after successfully snagging the final remaining outlet to charge her phone.

Time to break the ice, I thought.

I notice your vest says Alton Bay, that’s such a gorgeous part of the state!”

With a great big smile, she replied “Sure is, and we had a great season of fund-raising rides through there”.

Turns out, she’s the Communications Director for the American Legion in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire.

She knows everybody and, being a veteran, she’s got brothers and sisters around the world.

I live in Goffstown, and we do a lot with Liberty House in Manchester.”

She laughed and told me “A couple years ago, one of my military buds called me and said he had a few dozen pairs of boots and asked if I knew where to bring them…and I went straight to Liberty House”.

Right on!

It’s funny, when the resident veterans came out to help me unload and saw them all, they called me The Rolling PX!”

For more than an hour, we shared stories of the people we’ve met and how honored we are to be helping veterans (through our BeachBum Philanthropy family), especially those who’ve struggled to reinsert themselves into society.

In case you’re wondering, here are 5 simple ways that YOU can help homeless veterans in your community!

I’ve never served in the military, but I have a ton of respect for those who’ve put their lives on the line to protect the freedom that we enjoy so deeply.

It’s an honor that I do not take lightly.

And now, I’ve got a new friend who shares that same passion.

If you ever hear of some veterans in need, you reach out to me” she said, just before boarding our next flight.

“I sure will.”  KristinaVetSmall

Knowing our conversation had already sparked this article in my mind, I asked if I could take her picture and was honored when she agreed.  

Her name is Kristina, and she is my favorite stranger from the airport.

Actually, her final act of kindness was aimed at me.

During our conversation, I’d joked that Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are my favorite candy.

As she reached into her purse, she asked “Have you ever tried their Butterfingers flavor combo?”

Nope, never even heard of it!”

Here, give this a try” she replied as she slid the treat into my hand.

She was right. It ROCKED!

KristinaPBCupSmallAs I boarded the plane (several minuted after she did), I saw she’d been seated near the front and gave my review on the way by: “Two thumbs up!”

Who could YOU meet today?

It doesn’t even have to be a stranger.

I understand that, for many people, that can be uncomfortable.

Somewhere in your extended collection of acquaintances, organizations or associations is an interesting person with whom you could enjoy an amazing conversation.

Who knows? The experience might change your life for the better, give you a new understanding…or even score you a sweet treat.

Are YOU a Big-Hands Encourager?

More than half the class.

I couldn’t believe it.

When asked if people in their lives uttered phrases (imagine a whiny voice here) like:

“Why do you want to do that? Why are you going back to school? You failed the last time. What do you think, you’re better than us?”…more than HALF the class raised their hands.

Sad.

Many of these young people live in cities which have struggled with poverty, drugs and crime for decades. They are doing their best to rise above, to not be statistics, to help show the way for those who have lost hope…and they’ve got people crapping on their dreams.

In this new video, I explain why life resembles an old wooden roller coaster, and how negative people like this can ruin the ride for us all.

want-to-see-98

QUICK QUESTION: Think back to your most recent human interaction.

Were you ENCOURAGING?

Did you praise, give hope, support, offer a kind word…or at least smile?

Every day, there are people in our lives who are just trying to make it through another day.

Does this mean we heap undeserved praise, scream puff-ball motivational quotes from the rafters or wear fake pasted smiles all day long?

Not at all.

I believe we need to be real with the world, but we also need to find the tiniest bits of hope and inspire the souls of others to take those sparks into flame.

Someone in your path needs encouragement today.

You could:

make a phone call
send a text or e-mail
write a note
send a card
make a positive comment (or at least a ‘like’) on a social media page
give a hand-shake, hug or high-five
share your favorite memory or characteristic of that person

There are many ways to encourage, many ways to be a Big Hands Person (see video above for the definition).

The world already has enough Big Feet People stomping all over it.

Park your pavement-pounders for the day and focus on where you can add encouragement.

Think of those students.

Half the class.

Encourage.

Big hands.