RAF Inspired: Inspiration is intention

Guest Blog by Bob Bailey 

When I think about inspiration, I think of two types. The first is when I’m mentally stuck and need a jolt—a shift of mind—new perspective on my situation for greater vision of possibility. You know, go for a run, crank some tunes—Van Hagar, U2, or Guns N’ Roses. For me, these are good but temporary forms of inspiration.

The more powerful and enduring form fans that personal, eternal fire we all have inside. Intentional, daily inspiration is the oxygen for my flame, and investing the time to be inspired during my most productive portion of the day has become non-negotiable.

Here’s how I do it: Up around 4:30a.m., I take care of my dog, Mojo, while the Keurig finds its own. With a cup of light roast (more caffeine, you know) I head to my den, where I sit in the faint light of the kitchen island. I clear my mind and consider the areas of my life for which I am most grateful.

I like things a certain way, and making this practice as personal as possible is important. I say the names of each individual. I see their faces and think about what makes them special to me.

The order goes like this:

Family  - Immediate and extended, including friends

Partners  - My business partners

Truth Team - I list them all by name and see their faces

Our Clients - I keep this at the company level for the most part, but do think of individuals

Life Influences - people who have taken an interest in me and shaped me

Self - the behaviors I am working to improve upon

Running through this exercise keeps me grounded in the immediate, connecting me with life’s most important people. I know that I am never alone, no matter how life can feel sometimes. Most importantly, practicing this 15 minutes of focused thinking keeps my intentions centered on the success of those surrounding me, always considering how my thoughts and actions influence their own.

This is my fuel.

The fundamental element of inspiration in my life is an obsessive sense of commitment to those on my list—an allegiance that helps me think deeply about others, what they are going through, what I’m asking of them, and how I can help.

Only when we truly commit in this way do we realize the path to our potential is through others living theirs. For me, fulfillment is infinite as long as those on my list are feeling confident, pushing their boundaries, and finding their own personal success.

Of course, commitment doesn’t translate into connecting with and influencing everyone, all the time. And it certainly doesn’t mean my actions and decisions are perfect. Far from it.

But if you are on my list, you should know:

I think about you everyday

I’m committed to you

I will run through walls for you, do unreasonable things for you

I will do my best to inspire you and help you to see your greatest potential

I will protect you

I have your back

I will laugh with you (sometimes at you, if I’m being honest)

I will toast your accomplishments

You inspire me every single day

And I will start all over again tomorrow

Bob Bailey