Have you ever wondered why — other than the date on the calendar changing — we're expected to succeed at new things and turn our lives around in January. Seriously. Why is that? It's cold. It's dark. Some days you have to wear 5 layers just to get the mail. Not exactly the most energizing, motivating season.

Yet, most of us set our new goals in January and February. We work on them a little bit, but then spring comes and we get a "spring fever." It's hard to concentrate on work. Then comes summer and vacation. Next thing you know, it's fall and we're stressed and guilty because we haven't made enough progress and the year's almost over.

So, why not start in autumn instead? Even more so than New Year, I think fall brings an expectation of new exciting possibilities. We're rested and relaxed after our vacations (hopefully) and glad to be back to routines, friends, colleagues — life.

This is the time to make New Year's resolutions. Forget January; now is the time to start working toward new goals. Research. Decide on a strategy. Make contacts. Get. To. Work.

"I learned this, at least; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours. ... If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." ~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Imagine where you want to be next year. What do you want to accomplish in 2011?

Start building the foundations for those castles today, and you just might get to move in next year.

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If you hang around me long enough, you'll soon realize I love quotations — inspiring, thought-provoking, funny, emotional statements (even whole songs, book passages, and movie scenes) that strike a chord. A good quote wakens something in me — some sense of purpose, excitement, motivation, joy, or challenge.

I guess it boils down to my fascination with words and all they allow us to express. Amazing, isn't it? How after all these centuries, we're still able to use the same 26 letters (in the English language, anyway) to move people — to laughter, to tears, to action.

That's why I'm excited to open a new blog category: Motivation & Inspiration.

Now, I realize you're probably most interested in following this blog to gain fresh ideas, advice, and information for your business. Don't worry, you'll still find that here. These entries will be a supplement to the information I share about English copywriting, international marketing, and global communication.

I hope these posts will encourage you, challenge you, and get you thinking in a new way. So, please visit this blog anytime you're feeling unmotivated, discouraged, or just in need of something on the lighter side, and look for the Motivation & Inspiration category.

Now, on to our first entry: Persistence Trumps Talent

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I came across this quote from Calvin Coolidge* several years ago when I first faced the challenge of running my own business. I turn to it often as a reminder that talent and education, while important, do not guarantee success. You need to work hard to make things happen.

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not;
nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not;
unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full
of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent."

I've discovered Coolidge had a lot of great things to say, despite his nickname, "Silent Cal." Here are a few more quotes to motivate you to get up, shake the dust off your ideas, and do something to achieve your goals today.

"All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work."

"If I had permitted my failures, or what seemed to me at the time a lack of success, to discourage me I cannot see any way in which I would ever have made progress."

"I have found it advisable not to give too much heed to what people say when I am trying to accomplish something of consequence. Invariably they proclaim it can't be done. I deem that the very best time to make the effort."

"No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave."

* John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. was the 30th President of the United States from 1923 to 1929.

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