Wise Words . . .

According to the research firm Uhnderbiht and Outspint (not a real group) who release annual research data on the "Inspirational Quotes Industry" (not a real report or economy pocket), Americans spent $3.67T on "inspiration physicalities" (not real things) in 2012.

These physicalities include, but are not limited to posters, mugs, journals, tattoos, t-shirts, e-mail signatures, Twitter "RTs", B-level speakers, tote bags, parking tickets, and jumbo tron projections ALL designed for one, unique, purpose - to remind people to be their best selves.

Where we find inspiration is deeply personal, boundless, and often absurd. Utterly absurd. People tell me they see it in their children, their annual reviews, the shoe section and Nordstrom Rack, Pinterest, and - of course - the blogosphere. Don't even get me started on the PEOPLE that are thought to be inspiring. I've got my share of favorites (hypocrite alarm sounds ever-so-gently) that say and do things that make me want to be better . . .  Seth Godin, Simon Sinek,  Ina Garten, LBJ (don't judge - dude KNEW his power, and how to use it) and, of course, Shawn Carter.

I don't care what bright and encouraging words, actions, things, or passions make you want to get up and seize the day (Carpe Diem, anyone?) . . . I'm here to burst your bubble and make your part of the aforementioned $3.67T useless - ALL roads of inspiration lead back to the Bard . . . Mr. Willy Shakespeare himself (or whoever actually wrote the stuff he put his name to) and ONE of his many, many contributions to the above referenced (twice) $3.67T.

Are you ready? Here it is . . . To Thine Own Self Be True. (all caps for printing and framing ease). That's right - Polonius . . . counselor to King Claudius and father of Hamlet's ill-fated love, Ophelia, dropped the ultimate knowledge on ALL OF US in  Act 1, Scene 3 (4?) (stop laughing - I went to school and a few things stuck with me but it was long, long ago). 6 little words. That's DOUBLE what it took for Naughty By Nature to ignite all our passions in the early 90s but a very, very succinct message none-the-less.

That's it! That's your inspiration. That's the sum and total of it. Bam. Done. FIN (as the foreign films would tell you). Take ANYTHING out there that inspires you. Person, place, thing (bigger or smaller than a breadbox), emotion, sense, touch, bottle of hooch, etc. Ask yourself WHY you are inspired by it or WHAT it means to you and I promise that, boiled back to its very, very basics it will be that you are reminded of yourself and the fact that you can and will and should be a better version of yourself - as soon as you finish the lukewarm coffee in your cute kitten coffee mug.