Archives For Personal Success

let go or be dragged

My heart raced as I approached the intersection where the accident happened. I could still hear the screeching of the tires. The sound of the truck smashing into the back of my car rattled around my brain. My eyes constantly flicking up toward the rear view mirror – on high alert to see if there was anyone behind me driving a little too close for comfort.

And even though the accident happened a week earlier I couldn’t believe how fresh it still was within my mind. I needed to do something to get rid of this feeling. I needed a way to get back my love of driving. I needed to let go so I wouldn’t keep being dragged along. Continue Reading…

success is simple

Sometimes success is staring us right in the face. Take the story of two young furniture designers who are lighting up the home decor industry.

vincent paul georgeson misewell mini

Vincent and Paul Georgeson founders of the award winning design company Misewell have a simple mission, “Create beautiful furniture that will last for decades.”

In a recent interview on Dwell Paul said that, “We want our pieces to look great in 30 years rather than turning into hideous eyesores. We want our customers to pass this stuff on to their grandkids.”

And so far that idea is working. They’ve won awards and become the darlings of the home design world.

Misewell began as a conversation between two brothers.That conversation slowly evolved into a furniture collection, which grew into an award winning design company.  Continue Reading…

from cuba with loveWe were sitting on a patio in downtown Havana Cuba waiting for our mojitos to arrive. A cuban five piece band played. The air was filled with music, sunshine and the wide eyed wonderment of a thousand tourists.

It was hot. Not that we were complaining. Back home in toronto canada it was the deepend of winter. Average temps of -20 degrees Celsius with enough snow to throw out your back from shoveling the white fluffy stuff.

So as the cuban music played we sat back soaking it all in. The sun, the breeze and the moment.

Life is all about the experiences we have. Those million little moments that make up life. Sharing them with people we love makes it all that much better.

Buddhists have an interesting take on life. And in the Tibetan tradition they remind themselves daily that they are lucky to have this day – that tomorrow may never come. With that type of awareness they pour themselves into the experience of the present. They infuse the moment with joy, helpfulness and the reminder to soak it all in. To not worry about the past and fret about the future.

It’s a mindset that we tap into a little easier when we’re on vacation. Everything’s new, fresh and exciting. But the minute we touch down in our hometowns we quickly slip back into our routines. Into the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

But we can bring the magic back into everything that we’re doing by touching the present fully with our awareness.

Like right now – I’m writing this post on my blackberry – sitting on the back porch while I sip my coffee. The sun is shining, there’s a cool easternly breeze blowing, the neighbors kids are chatting away next door, the birds are singing their spring songs and a big muscle car has just rolled down the street.

Life is beautiful.

I’m thinking about how lucky I am. I’m thinking of you – that I hope these words touch you in some way. That they remind you to come back to the moment. To breathe it in fully. And to give thanks for everything that you have.

Because there’s magic happening right now in your life. It may not be over-the-top earth shattering awesomeness but it’s there. Hiding in plain sight. All you got to do is notice it.

Ian

There’s an urge. A calling. An impulse that sleeps inside of you. Whispering. Nudging. Pushing. Constantly reminding you of something that takes titanium like courage to remember.

It knows you want to acknowledge it’s calls. It’s far wiser than you. It sees potential where you see failure. It knows only triumph while you brood over imagined defeat.

It bears witness to your flailings, tantrums and doubts.

But it still beckons you to see what it sees. To know what it knows. And to join its quest. A journey of pure potential. An adventure beyond anything that you can imagine.

We all know that it’s there.

And sometimes we listen. Sometimes our fears are sleeping but for a moment. And we hear the quiet call of our heart.

And in that brief moment we move forward. We take a tentative step toward a vision. A view of ourselves that sparks in us a desire – to be more, do more and see more.

It’s not easy. Fear wages a war against us. It knows that it must move fast. Because if we continue, if we but claim that new vision as our true self, it will have lost its power.

But if we break free from fears talon’s we will discover the miracle of beginning.

There’s magic in that moment when we step forward. When we move toward a greater aspect of ourselves. Unseen forces gather around us. Empower us. Fill our sails. Point us toward an un-chartered direction. And give our dreams flight.

“All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his or her way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” ~ W.H. Murray

So listen. Eternity’s calling you. Is it time to answer? Is it time to begin?

Ian

It’s 6am and I’m thinking of you. Wondering how your year was? Curious to know if it ended the way you wanted it to?

2011 was a year where I began to measure my life in different ways. Trying to get to the core of what truly matters in life.

* How many little perfect moments did I experience with my family?

* How much impact did I have within the world?

* How aware did I become to the unskillful patterns of behavior in my life?

* How often did I speak my truth?

* How much of my time was spent pursuing my passions?

* How many adventures did I go on?

* How many moments did I spend with good friends?

So many of us are living lives of silent suffering. We suffer because we’re not true to ourselves. We don’t take the time to get to know who we are, what we want, and what we’re here on this earth to do.

Makes me think about regrets…

Did you know what the top 5 regrets of the dying are? Well according to Bronnie Ware who worked for years in palliative care, she found that over and over again people at the end of their lives had the following 5 regrets:

The 5 Regrets of the Dying

1) I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2) I wish I didn’t work so hard.

3) I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

4) I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5) I wish that I had let myself be happier.

So as this year comes to a close and you prepare for the next, take a little time to reflect on what matters most to you.

Try to answer the question…

“What does a good year look like for me?”

And once you know – start to create that year bit by bit, thought by thought, action by action.

Thanks for a great year.

Ian

“Prepare to be amazed”
Michael “Goob” Yagoobian (The Bowler Hat Guy) From Meet The Robinsons

2011 has been one of the best years of my life. And if there was one word that would some up how I’m feeling right now it would be blessed. The four best things that have come out of 2011 have been:  

* The chance to work alongside International Bestselling Author and Leadership Expert Robin Sharma

* Having a million perfect little moments with my childrean Eavan and Shea this summer up north

* Meeting Tabitha – an amazing woman whos mere presence in my life has inspired me to be more, do more and experience more.

* Writing from the heart and connecting with my readers from all over the globe. I am humbled and honored that I can be of service to you.

So with all the reflection and warm fuzzy feelings floating around my brain I got to wondering…

“I wonder what were the most popular posts on the site for 2011?”

Below you will discover those posts for yourself. A simple offering from me to you. It’s my hope that in some way these words will help YOU be more, do more and experience more.

The Top 10 Most Awesomest Posts of 2011

1) Attraversiamo – Let’s Crossover (171 Shares)
The middle ground of life is a double sided coin. On one side is the comfort of the familiar. And on the other the fear of the unknown. We sort-of crave and are repulsed by both. We hate being in the gray zone. That in between place. Stuck between worlds. Not sure where we’re going. And a little hurt by where we’ve been. Click here to read more…

2) Stop Working and Start Wondering (167 Shares)
It’s time to stop working. Stop answering emails, putting out fires, creating to do lists, finishing those to do lists, and going to meetings. It’s time to stop everything that makes up an average day in the “working” world. It’s time to put on the brakes. Click here to read more…

3) You’ve Got To Own Your Life (110 Shares)
We were standing outside the Indigo bookstore down at Bay and Bloor in Toronto after sharing some great conversation and chai. She was telling me about her past and some of the really tough challenges she’s been through. And you could see something in her eyes…Pain. Click here to read more…

4) Daring To Dream (93 Shares)
It takes a lot of courage, a big heart and a dash of insanity to go for your dreams. But every truly happy person that I know is doing what they love. Be it as a career or as a business. Daring to dream again is no easy task. It’s not like we’re taught how to do it in school. Click here to read more…

5) 3 Keys To An Awesome Life From A Zen Master (90 Shares)
Life flies by. And the older we get the faster it seems to go. There never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done. Let alone squeek out a moment of peace for ourselves. So with all of responsibilities and obligations is there something that can help us? What can we do to not feel overwhelmed, overworked, or overtired? Click here to read more…

6) Going Beyond (79 Shares)
Sometimes you have to go beyond. Go beyond the norm. What you usually do. What your friends think. What your family says you should be doing. What society says is the right way for you to live your life. Sometimes you have to go beyond the point of no return. You have to start something. Commit yourself. Jump into the unknown. Take a risk. And make something happen. Click here to read more…

7) Richard Branson’s Keys To Success (78 Shares)
In an interview for CNNMoney.com Richard Branson, the charismatic founder of Virgin Group and author of several books including one of my favorites, ‘Screw It Let’s Do It.’ had this to say about having a burning desire to follow your dreams, Ideally, since 80 percent of your life is spent working, you should start your business around something that is a passion of yours. Click here to read more…

8) Find Your Passion (62 Shares)
You ever notice that the coolest and most energized people to talk to and hang out with are ones who are living their passions? They’ve taken something that they love doing and turned it into a career or business. They’re fired up. And even if it’s not something that you’re into you still find yourself mesmerized by them. Click here to read more…

9) My Journey To Hell And Back or How I Quit Smoking (56 Shares)
This month sucked. My Dad had just come out of the hospital after having triple heart bypass surgery. One of the biggest operations out there. And as soon as he got some color back in his cheeks and we stopped being scared that he was going to die because of something stupid like sneezing too  hard we were blind-sided in the early evening with a phone call from the hospital. Click here to read more…

10) How To Discover Your Gifts & Talents (37 Shares)
Do you know that you have a gift? There’s something special that you need to share with us. There’s a problem out there and your life’s the solution. Each and every one of us has some talent for doing something. Like it’s hardwired into you. And you can do this something better than anyone else you know. A thing that if you were allowed to, you would do it all day long. Click here to read more…

So there you have it – 2011 in a nutshell. Thank you for being a part of the journey with me. 2012 is going to be amazing. I can feel it in my bones. If there’s anything that you’d like to see me write about here on the site please let me know in the comments below.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Ian

Can I Ask You Something“Do you think you are being true to yourself? Do you think you are leading the life you are meant to live – the one that most honors the real you, celebrates your deepest values and respects your highest dreams?”

This by far is my favorite part of Robin Sharma’s new book, “The Secret Letters of the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari“.

It’s a tough question. One that so many people are afraid to answer. Why? Because it hits us right at the core of our being. Making us seriously look at our lives. Seeing them for what they are. Asking us if we are truly living our passions, following our dreams and using our gifts and talents in such a way that we do what we can to make a dent in the universe.

When we’re not being true to ourselves we suffer. When we’re not exploring who we are our lives become lifeless. If we don’t take the time to discover what we’re all about, what our hopes and dreams are, what we’re passionate about, and what is truly important in our lives we go through life in a haze.

I believe that each and every one of us has something that we’re meant to do. That the world needs us to share the best of ourselves in some way. That our story can and will inspire others to live their best lives. That by not sharing the best of ourselves we are robbing the world of a precious opportunity.

So how can we start to live our best lives?

There’s no easy answer to this. If there was we’d all be out there crushing it. But I do think if you’re willing to carve out a little time to really dig into the essence of yourself you’ll be amazed by what you’ll discover.

To make things a little easier here’s 5 Questions To Ask Yourself:

1) What is most important in my life?

2) What are my gifts and talents?

3) What activities do I love to do?

4) What comes naturally to me?

5) What kind of problems do people always ask me to help them with?

Block off some time on a Sunday afternoon and really think about these questions. Answer them as honest as you can. Then compare your answers to how you’re currently living your life.

If you’re miles away from being true to yourself – well then you’ve got yourself an opportunity there. One that will lead you to your own adventure.

Have fun. Make money. Change the world.

Ian

P.S. Please share this with your friends and family to help them live their best lives. Thanks!

Get Ready For It…

Ian Paul Marshall —  October 13, 2011

Get Ready For It“Life is often compared to a marathon, but I think it’s more like being a sprinter; long stretches of hard work punctuated by brief moments in which we are given the opportunity to perform at our best.” ~ Michael Johnson – The winner of 4 Olympic Gold Medals and 8 World Championship Gold Medals for running.

We’re funny creatures. We create little fantasy worlds for ourselves. Where golden riches fall magically into our laps. Hoping and praying for a lucky break. Dreaming of a better job, financial freedom, or whatever else may be on our wish list.

And we know it’ll come. We know that perfect moment will find us.

But then it doesn’t. And we resign ourselves to mediocrity. To just getting by.

Maybe we’ll even blame someone or something for our misfortunes.

Shifting responsibility away from ourselves. Giving away our power. And never really tapping into our full potential.

Conrad Hilton, from the worldwide chain of Hilton hotels said that, “Success seems to be connected with action.”

That people who reach their goals and find the success they desire are always on the move. They’re hustling.

They’re churning it out. Studying. Practicing. Preparing. Planning. Networking.

They’re getting ready for it…

And that’s when opportunity comes. That’s when you’ll hear the knock. That’s when you’ll get that lucky break. When you’ll meet the right person. Close the big sale. Be at just the right moment at just the right time.

Why?

Because you’re ready. You’ve paid your dues.

Blood, sweat and tears are the sirens call. Luring opportunity to crash into your life.

Are you ready for it?

Have fun. Make money. Change the world.

Ian

(Photo Credit: Gunnar Berning/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Going Beyond

Ian Paul Marshall —  September 6, 2011

Going beyondSometimes you have to go beyond. Go beyond the norm. What you usually do. What your friends think. What your family says you should be doing. What society says is the right way for you to live your life.

Sometimes you have to go beyond the point of no return.

You have to start something. Commit yourself. Jump into the unknown. Take a risk. And make something happen.

Sometimes you need to have your heart race, your palms sweat, and your logical mind scream, “You’re crazy!”

Sometimes you need to be pushed past your limits. Forced to go beyond what you thought you could be, do or have. Where every atom of your being feels like it’s going to split apart and you’ll be left in a million little pieces.

And when you do go beyond, when you cross that invisible threshold within your mind, you’ll thank yourself.

What do you need to go beyond?

Remember to have fun, make money and change the world.

Ian

Richard Branson's Keys To SuccessIn an interview for CNNMoney.com Richard Branson, the charismatic founder of Virgin Group and author of several books including one of my favorites, ‘Screw It Let’s Do It.’ had this to say about having a burning desire to follow your dreams,

Ideally, since 80 percent of your life is spent working, you should start your business around something that is a passion of yours. If you’re into kite-surfing and you want to become an entrepreneur, do it with kite-surfing.

Look, if you can indulge in your passion, life will be far more interesting than if you’re just working. You’ll work harder at it, and you’ll know more about it.

But first you must go out and educate yourself on whatever it is that you’ve decided to do – know more about kite-surfing than anyone else. That’s where the work comes in. But if you’re doing things you’re passionate about, that will come naturally.

Richard Branson’s motto is “Live life to the full.” and in his book “Losing My Virginity” when he was asked about maybe retiring and having a little fun now that he had sold Virgin Music to EMI he said,

Times had changed and we had 500 million pounds in the bank. But I didn’t believe in leaving it there. At this point I could of course have retired and concentrated my energies on learning how to paint water colors or how to beat my mum at golf.

People asked me: ‘Why don’t you have some fun now?’ but they were missing the point. As far as I was concerned, this was fun. Fun is at the core of the way I like to do business and it has been key to everything I’ve done from the outset. More than any other element, fun is the secret of Virgin’s success.

So if we follow Richard Branson’s lead, the question to constantly  ask ourselves would be, “Is this fun?” or “Am I having a good time doing this?”

And if you answered “No” then it may be time to try something different – maybe kite-surfing.

Have fun, make money, change the world.

Ian