Tag - motivation

How to Turn Your Dreams Into Reality With Quotes

When E.L. Graham first met unknown actor Derek Luke, Luke had just one dream, to land a leading Hollywood role and spend his life in an acting career. Following a four year struggle and over 200 auditions with little to no success, Graham agreed to mentor Luke, putting into action his unique brand of wisdom. Graham empowered and inspired Luke to fight on and that focus eventually won him the role of Antwone Fisher, the lead role in the hit movie of the same name.

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Graham’s wisdom is reflected through the quotes of others, unlocking the life-changing power harnessed by and hidden within famous quotes. In The Law of Quotes: Your Keys to Success, Graham leads his reader, showing them how to achieve the same uncanny success as Derek Luke.


Quotes are some of the highest trending items on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. They hold secrets, they tell of hidden powers and abilities you can obtain and achieve for your journey of success or purpose.

It is no accident or coincidence that before computers and social media, influencers, great men and women, philosophers, spiritual and thought leaders, kings, queens, politicians and celebrities dating back as far as ancient times, used, worked and lived by quotes. Think of how nations were motivated by quotes, from Socrates to Sir Winston Churchill to Oprah Winfrey. Movements were started with quotes such as: “Let him that would move the world, first move himself,” “The empires of the future are the empires of the mind,” and “You do not get the things you want, you get the things you believe.”

Its all there for the taking:

“Derek’s story is truly an incredible adventure worth paying attention to,” explains E.L. Graham. “After Derek told me of his dream to star in Denzel Washington’s movie, that night I had a dream about our conversation. After waking up, I knew everything was in place; all he needed now was to turn his dream into a reality. The key words of encouragement and teaching he needed could be found within famous quotes. The affirmation of my teaching is contained and mirrored in iconic quotes, some of which have been knocking around for hundreds of years. Through learning these lessons, Derek finally achieved his dream.

“For the first time I’m now sharing this method with others, so that they can unlock even the wildest of their dreams and live them out with gusto. Everything is revealed through secrets and working principles in a commentary and teaching format style that will resonate with anyone. It’s all there for the taking; anyone can achieve their success, just like Derek Luke.”

With the volume’s demand expected to increase, interested readers are urged to secure their copies without delay. The Law of Quotes: Your Keys To Success from Clovercroft Publishing is available now.


Over the course of 25 years, E.L. Graham has extensively studied theology and philosophy. Graham has worked with actors, writers, musicians, film and music producers in Los Angeles and California. His work has been featured on Oprah Winfrey, Charlie Rose, Steve Harvey and Jay Leno talk shows. In addition to the entertainment industry, Graham has worked with entrepreneurs and business professionals. E.L. Graham’s mission is to provide you with the formulas and the keys with which to unlock your dreams and ideas, providing the seeds of your wealth and success.


Why Even Bother? The Importance of Motivation

An excerpt from the book “Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness”

By Jon-Kabat-Zinn

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If, from the meditative perspective, everything you are seeking is already here, even if it is difficult to wrap your thinking mind around that concept, if there really is no need to acquire anything or attain anything or improve yourself, if you are already whole and complete and by that same virtue so is the world, then why on earth bother meditating? Why would we want to cultivate mindfulness in the first place? And why use particular methods and techniques, if they are all in the service of not getting anywhere anyway, and when, moreover, I’ve just finished saying that methods and techniques are not the whole of it anyway?

The answer is that as long as the meaning of “everything you are seeking is already here” is only a concept, it is only a concept, just another nice thought. Being merely a thought, it is extremely limited in its capacity for transforming you, for manifesting the truth the statement is pointing to, and ultimately changing the way you carry yourself and act in the world.

More than anything else, I have come to see meditation as an act of love, an inward gesture of benevolence and kindness toward ourselves and toward others, a gesture of the heart that recognizes our perfection even in our obvious imperfection, with all our shortcomings, our wounds, our attachments, our vexations, and our persistent habits of unawareness. It is a very brave gesture: to take one’s seat for a time and drop in on the present moment without adornment. In stopping, looking, and listening, in giving ourselves over to all our senses, including mind, in any moment, we are in that moment embodying what we hold most sacred in life. Making the gesture, which might include assuming a specific posture for formal meditation, but could also involve simply becoming more mindful or more forgiving of ourselves, immediately re-minds us and re-bodies us. In a sense, you could say that it refreshes us, makes this moment fresh, timeless, freed up, wide open. In such moments, we transcend who we think we are. We go beyond our stories and all our incessant thinking, however deep and important it sometimes is, and reside in the seeing of what is here to be seen and the direct, non-conceptual knowing of what is here to be known, which we don’t have to seek because it is already and always here. We rest in awareness, in the knowing itself which includes, of course, not knowing as well. We become the knowing and the not knowing, as we shall see over and over again. And since we are completely embedded in the warp and woof of the universe, there is really no boundary this benevolent gesture of awareness, no separation from other beings, no limit to either heart or mind, no limit to our being or our awareness, or to our openhearted presence. In words, it may sound like an idealization. Experienced, it is merely what it is, life expressing itself, sentience quivering within infinity, with things just as they are.

Resting in awareness in any moment involves giving ourselves over to all our senses, in touch with inner and outer landscapes as one seamless whole, and thus in touch with all of life unfolding in its fullness in any moment and in every place we might possibly find ourselves, inwardly or outwardly.

Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Zen master, mindfulness teacher, poet, and peace activist, aptly points out that one reason we might want to practice mindfulness is that most of the time we are unwittingly practicing its opposite. Every time we get angry we get better at being angry and reinforce the anger habit. When it is really bad, we say we see red, which means we don’t see accurately what is happening at all, and so, in that moment, you could say we have “lost” our mind. Every time we become self-absorbed, we get better at becoming self-absorbed and going unconscious. Every time we get anxious, we get better at being anxious. Practice does make perfect. Without awareness of anger or of self-absorption, or ennui, or any other mind state that can take us over when it arises, we reinforce those synaptic networks within the nervous system that underlie our conditioned behaviors and mindless habits, and from which it becomes increasingly difficult to disentangle ourselves, if we are even aware of what is happening at all. Every moment in which we are caught, by desire, by an emotion, by an unexamined impulse, idea, or opinion, in a very real way we are instantly imprisoned by the contraction within the habitual way we react, whether it is a habit of withdrawal and distancing ourselves, as in depression and sadness, or erupting and getting emotionally “hijacked” by our feelings when we fall headlong into anxiety or anger. Such moments are always accompanied by a contraction in both the mind and the body.

But, and this is a huge “but,” there is simultaneously a potential opening available here as well, a chance not to fall into the contraction — or to recover more quickly from it — if we can bring awareness to it. For we are locked up in the automaticity of our reaction and caught in its downstream consequences (i.e., what happens in the very next moment, in the world and in ourselves) only by our blindness in that moment. Dispel the blindness, and we see that the cage we thought we were caught in is already open.

Every time we are able to know a desire as desire, anger as anger, a habit as habit, an opinion as an opinion, a thought as a thought, a mind-spasm as a mind-spasm, or an intense sensation in the body as an intense sensation, we are correspondingly liberated. Nothing else has to happen. We don’t even have to give up the desire or whatever it is. To see it and know it as desire, as whatever it is, is enough. In any given moment, we are either practicing mindfulness or, de facto, we are practicing mindlessness. When framed this way, we might want to take more responsibility for how we meet the world, inwardly and outwardly in any and every moment — especially given that there just aren’t any “in-between moments” in our lives.

So meditation is both nothing at all — because there is no place to go and nothing to do — and simultaneously the hardest work in the world — because our mindlessness habit is so strongly developed and resistant to being seen and dismantled through our awareness. And it does require method and technique and effort to develop and refine our capacity for awareness so that it can tame the unruly qualities of the mind that make it at times so opaque and insensate.

These features of meditation, both as nothing at all and as the hardest work in the world, necessitate a high degree of motivation to practice being utterly present without attachment or identification. But who wants to do the hardest work in the world when you are already overwhelmed with more things to do than you can possibly get done — important things, necessary things, things you may be very attached to so you can build whatever it is that you may be trying to build, or get wherever it is that you are trying to get to, or even sometimes, just so you can get things over with and check them off your to-do list? And why meditate when it doesn’t involve doing anyway, and when the result of all the non-doing is never to get anywhere but to be where you already are? What would I have to show for all my non-efforts, which nevertheless take so much time and energy and attention?

All I can say in response is that everybody I have ever met who has gotten into the practice of mindfulness and has found some way or other to sustain it in their lives for a period of time has expressed the feeling to me at one point or another, usually when things are at their absolute worst, that they couldn’t imagine what they would have done without the practice. It is that simple really. And that deep. Once you practice, you know what they mean. If you don’t practice, there is no way to know.

And of course, probably most people are first drawn to the practice of mindfulness because of stress or pain of one kind or another and their dissatisfaction with elements of their lives that they somehow sense might be set right through the gentle ministrations of direct observation, and self-compassion. Stress and pain thus become potentially valuable portals and motivators through which to enter the practice.

And one more thing. When I say that meditation is the hardest work in the world, that is not quite accurate, unless you understand that I don’t just mean “work” in the usual sense, but also as play. Meditation is playful too. It is hilarious to watch the workings of our own mind, for one thing. And it is much too serious to take too seriously. Humor and playfulness, and undermining any hint of a pious attitude, are critical to right mindfulness. And besides, maybe parenting is the hardest work in the world. But, if you are a parent, are they two different things?

I recently got a call from a physician colleague in his late forties who had undergone hip replacement surgery, surprising for his age, for which he needed an MRI before the operation took place. He recounted how useful the breath wound up being when he was swallowed by the machine. He said he couldn’t even imagine what it would be like for a patient who didn’t know about mindfulness and using the breath to stay grounded in such a difficult situation, although it happens every single day.

He also said that he was astonished by the degree of mindlessness that characterized many aspects of his hospital stay. He felt successively stripped of his status as a physician, and a rather prominent one at that, and then of his personhood and identity. He had been a recipient of “medical care,” but on the whole, that care had hardly been caring. Caring requires empathy and mindfulness, and openhearted presence, often surprisingly lacking where one would think it would be most in evidence. After all, we do call it health care. It is staggering, shocking, and saddening that such stories are even now all too common, and that they come even from doctors themselves when they become patients and need care themselves.

Beyond the ubiquity of stress and pain operating in my own life, my motivation to practice mindfulness is fairly simple: Each moment missed is a moment unlived. Each moment missed makes it more likely I will miss the next moment, and live through it cloaked in mindless habits of automaticity of thinking, feeling, and doing rather than living in, out of, and through awareness. I see it happen over and over again. Thinking in the service of awareness is heaven. Thinking in the absence of awareness can be hell. For mindlessness is not simply innocent or insensitive, quaint or clueless. Much of the time it is actively harmful, wittingly or unwittingly, both to oneself and to the others with whom we come in contact or share our lives. Besides, life is overwhelmingly interesting, revealing, and awe-provoking when we show up for it wholeheartedly and pay attention to the particulars.

If we sum up all the missed moments, inattention can actually consume our whole life and color virtually everything we do and every choice we make or fail to make. Is this what we are living for, to miss and therefore misconstrue our very lives? I prefer going into the adventure every day with my eyes open, paying attention to what is most important, even if I keep getting confronted, at times, with the feebleness of my efforts (when I think they are “mine”) and the tenacity of my most deeply ingrained and robotic habits (when I think they are “mine”). I find it useful to meet each moment freshly, as a new beginning, to keep returning to an awareness of now over and over again, and let a gentle but firm perseverance stemming from the discipline of the practice keep me at least somewhat open to whatever is arising and behold it, apprehend it, look deeply into it, and learn whatever it might be possible to learn as the nature of the situation is revealed in the attending.

When you come right down to it, what else is there to do? If we are not grounded in our being, if we are not grounded in wakefulness, are we not actually missing out on the gift of our very lives and the opportunity to be of any real benefit to others?

It does help if I remind myself to ask my heart from time to time what is most important right now, in this moment, and listen very carefully for the response.

As Thoreau put it at the end of Walden, “Only that day dawns to which we are awake.”

Copyright © 2005 Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.

Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Copyright © 2005 Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. (Published by Hyperion; January 2005; $24.95US/$34.95CAN; 0-7868-6756-6)

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., is the founding director of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, as well as Professor of Medicine emeritus. He leads workshops on stress reduction and mindfulness for doctors and other health professionals and for lay audiences worldwide. He is the bestselling author of Wherever You Go, There You Are and Full Catastrophe Living, and, with his wife, Myla Kabat-Zinn, of a book on mindful parenting, Everyday Blessings. He was featured in the PBS series Healing and the Mind with Bill Moyers, as well as on Oprah. He lives in Massachusetts.


Tips for clearing away stress from your workplace

As hard as I work every day, shouldn’t I have “arrived” by now? It’s a question that nags at you as you slog through each day, bound to the tyranny of your to-do list, one eye constantly on the clock. It seems all you do is work, but you have only mediocre results to show for it. Once, you had big goals and the confidence to achieve them, but now all you feel is tired, stressed, and overburdened. It seems the dreams you once had—of leading your department, being the top salesperson, joining the C-suite—have disappeared into the quicksand that has become your daily life.

If this scenario describes you, Andy Core says you’re not a loser. Like so many others, you’re an unwitting victim of today’s demanding work culture, not to mention bad habits that are sabotaging your best efforts.

“As you go through life, you develop habits and routines that you think will help you succeed,” says Core, author of the new book Change Your Day, Not Your Life: A Realistic Guide to Sustained Motivation, More Productivity, and the Art of Working Well (Wiley, 2014, ISBN: 978-1-118-81598-4, $23.00, www.andycore.com). “Problem is, many of those patterns probably don’t work for you personally. What’s productive for your coworker may not work well for you, for example. Or a strategy that was effective five years ago may no longer work.”

Even your instincts can lead you astray, he says. But you can change habits and patterns that don’t serve you. You can refocus your attention, redirect your thoughts, and generate greater motivation, energy, optimism, and creativity, as well as more rewarding relationships.

A credentialed, award-winning thought leader on increasing employee engagement, Core is the perfect coach to help you become what he calls a “Thriver”: someone who works hard, meets or exceeds expectations, and enjoys high levels of personal and professional success, accompanied by (and this is the best part) lower stress levels.

His book gives readers the tools to create precisely that type of life. It also includes a curriculum to help companies reengage employees, improve communication, retain talent, and boost innovation—all of which catapult overall profitability.

“To start reclaiming the goals that once inspired and excited you, you’ll have to change the way you approach your day,” says Core. “Instead of a worker whose actions are dictated by supervisors and to-do lists, you’ll need to begin acting like the CEO of your own life.”

Read on for a few CEO-worthy tactics that will help you start thriving immediately:

Figure out what’s doable in a day. In Change Your Day, Core writes about a woman named Janet. She came to him hoping that he could help her find some semblance of balance. She was overworked, overstressed, and overweight. She had no time to exercise or to spend with friends and family. She was constantly on the go and fueled by caffeine, with no chance to recuperate between projects. Not surprisingly, Janet wanted to change her life.

“Initially, Janet was disappointed when I told her that changing her life was just too hard,” Core recalls. “But I explained that turning your whole life around is too big a goal. You can’t sustain that many major changes at once. Instead, I told Janet, I simply wanted her to change her day. I wanted her to reengineer her routine a little bit at a time, one day at a time, cutting out a small stressor here, and adding in a more productive habit there. Our whole strategy was to make small, doable changes that would, over time, create an unstoppable momentum.

“You must do the same,” Core adds. “You must set realistic boundaries. You must create goals that can be accomplished in the space of a day. Remember, nearly all problems, challenges, and needs are best faced if they are brought down to the scale of ‘what can be done right now’ by taking on ‘one small piece’ of a difficult situation.”

Get big things done before 9:00 a.m. (instead of snoozing, procrastinating, and lurking at the water cooler). Ever notice how your morning sets the tone for your whole day? As Sir Isaac Newton famously said, “Objects in motion tend to stay in motion.” So if an object (you) gets a groggy, frustrating start, you’ll probably feel sluggish and behind the eight-ball all day long. However, if you start your day with positive and productive ideas, actions, thoughts, and feelings, you’re likely to gain momentum throughout the day.

“Figure out where these areas are for you and commit to learning a new pattern,” he urges. “For me, that meant buying a book and relearning how to type using a two-hand method. In the cooking example above, that might mean getting into the habit of planning meals and shopping for their ingredients each weekend. Yes, learning new patterns can initially be tedious and laborious. But once they’ve taken hold—often in three weeks or less—they’ll speed up your performance, streamline your effort, and lower your stress. By putting in some thought about ‘problem areas’ now, you’ll save yourself from having to think about them later. Eventually, this method changes once-tedious tasks into automatic, ‘I don’t have to think about it’ behaviors.”

Infuse meaning into your work. First, let’s get one thing straight: Doing meaningful work does not mean that you will “love” every second of it. “Meaning” can simply be a recognition of what you enjoy about your work. With that understanding, though, you’ll be more motivated, productive, and satisfied. Core recommends completing the following exercise:

• Focus on what gives you the greatest joy and meaning at work—be able to define it.
• Reflect on how you are making a difference at work and through your work—be able to give examples.
• Reflect on the meaning of your work as it relates to your core values.
• And then…seek to increase what you enjoy!

“Treat yourself with the same compassion and generosity you’d extend to another person who’d messed up or fallen short of a goal,” urges Core. “If it helps, follow the two-hour rule I learned from one of my past coaches: When you have a bad performance or make a mistake, you have two hours to pout, scream, cry, wallow, or do whatever you think will help you deal with the disappointment. But when 120 minutes have passed, it’s time to start moving forward again.

“Remember, nobody is perfect,” he adds. “We all make mistakes. What sets Thrivers apart is the fact that after a fall, they forgive themselves faster, get back up, and continue the journey forward.”

“By making small changes in how you approach your day, you can begin to take back your to-do list and accomplish the big goals that will really help you thrive,” Core concludes. “It’s time to stop allowing your quest for success to leave you feeling tired, stressed, and disillusioned. So, how will your tomorrow look different from your today? What is one small change you can make right now to start rewiring the patterns that define your life?”

About the Author
Andy Core is the author of Change Your Day, Not Your Life: A Realistic Guide to Sustained Motivation, More Productivity, and the Art of Working Well (Wiley, 2014, ISBN: 978-1-118-81598-4, $23.00, www.andycore.com). He is an award-winning lecturer, author, television host, and expert in human performance and motivation. Voted a 2012 Top5 Global Health/Healthcare Speaker by Speakers Platform, Andy has a master’s degree in the science of human performance and has spent the past 23 years mastering what it takes to become energized, healthy, motivated, and better equipped to thrive in today’s hectic society.


Dear Aura – On motivation

Dear Aura

I have no idea what is happening to me. I seem to have lost all motivation for no reason. I was really getting into the flow of manifesting and working on a spiritual level and affirmations. I even signed up to do my dream job of being a naturopath from home. I have not even started my studies and every time I try to do affirmations my head feels cloudy. I feel all over the place and have no idea if this is due to energy shifts or if the raw food diet I am on is messing up my energy levels. I just seem to have no energy or motivation to do anything spiritual; I have even stopped doing my beloved yoga practice. I am in great need of advice as I would like to get my positive work back on track and I would like to know what is holding me back.

Thank you.

Shelley (in Sydney, Australia)


Dear Shelley

You are, in truth, doing wonderfully! You refer to your work in the past as being ‘positive’ so I can infer that you believe where you are now is ‘negative’. This is not so. Life is a series of ebb and flows and where you are in your spiritual development is absolutely perfect and a natural part of your evolutionary process.  The fact that you’ve reached this place in your life says to me that you are growing and changing. You’ve reached a plateau, an ending point, if you like, in the way you used to be, and this is a great place to springboard into the next phase.

But first, stop and take a breath and mentally let it all go. I would ask yourself if you are doing all these things (such as the diet and the affirmations), in order to try and gain something, such as ‘spiritual enlightenment’. Sometimes it’s more about just ‘being’ instead of ‘doing’. Trust in the deeper aspect of you that knows exactly what is happening. Let go of struggling and doing. Sit under a great tree, breath in the fragrance of summer, marvel at the immensity of the sky. This is as great a spiritual practice as any other – and allow the next phase of your spiritual path to unfold in front of you. Be at peace.


Do you have a question or need some clarity or guidance? Send your questions to Aura at info@bottomlineblog.net

Check out Aura’s blog at www.bottomlineblog.net to purchase her eBook, The Bottom Line – An Introduction to the Spiritual Journey.