Mental Models; Shared Vision; Personal Mastery

Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn’t be able to fly,
but the bumble bee doesn’t know it so it goes on flying anyway.
Mary Kay Ash


I like feeling inspired. The dictionary describes the state of being inspired this way: “aroused, animated, or imbued with the spirit to do or be something, by or as if by supernatural or divine influence.” Because I like this state, I’ve always started the day reading something inspiring. When Hal was alive, we read a couple of inspirational writings together and talked about them each morning. What a wonderful way to start the day.

This month I attended a conference that was over-the-top inspiring. It was The Bigger Game Expo in Silver Bay, NY. (see Rick Tamlyn, a coach who co-wrote a book, The Bigger Game, gathered together 17 people to tell their stories of playing a bigger game, surprising even themselves by what they’d done, and who they’d become. Part of what was so beautiful was how different their stories were from each other. I’d love to describe every one of them, but I’ll choose a few, and hope they convey even a fraction of the inspiration that came through in person.

  • Anita Kruse is Founder & Executive Director of Purple Songs Can Fly. She created the first recording studio ever on a pediatric cancer floor at Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers. The children work with Anita to write and record their own songs. They are then able to share their music with family and friends on CD recordings of their songs. This program has inspired similar programs across the
  • The Yaari brothers, Ronen and Eyal, described an amazing journey. After their ideal lives got interrupted by personal loss, Parkinson’s and heart disease, the brothers, and Ronen’s 13 year old son Oren, hit the road in an epic bid to transform their challenges into personal triumphs. In the process they discovered how to empower each other. Their bike ride across Israel on a specially made tandem bicycle that allowed Ronen to do the heavy lifting for Eyal, who has Parkinson’s disease, is so touching you should buy the video, The Power of Bro. ( 
  • Lynne Twist is a global activist and author who, at an early age, committed herself to ending world hunger. On that journey she has met and worked with amazing people like Mother Teresa, raised millions of dollars for the cause, and raised a family in the context of a “committed life.” Her most recent work is The Pachamama Alliance, committed to “bringing forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on this planet.” ( and She has such an authentic presence, humble, real, powerful, that I wept listening to her.

Alice Coles was invited to this conference to receive an award for her bigger game. You may have seen her on 60 minutes in 2004. This unlikely leader spearheaded the effort to defeat a plan by the State of Virginia to build a maximum-security prison in her community of Bayview, VA. Bayview was a forgotten place, an African-American community of dilapidated wooden shacks with no running water, central heating or indoor toilets. After rising to fend off the prison bid, they asked, “If we could do that – why are we living wretched like this?” Alice said, “Let’s go home and carry this energy, pool it together and help ourselves.” They went on to raise $10 million, built dozens of new homes, a water treatment plant and a laundry facility. They continue to improve the community every day. Alice and her daughter Niketa are eloquent and gently powerful!

At this conference I was repeatedly inspired. I felt the strong call to continue committing my life to helping people improve their relationships. Then there was a bonus inspiration for me. The attendees, from many countries, were often as inspiring as the presenters. One day after lunch Paul Smith began to play his Native American flute. The music touched my soul. After I found he’d only been playing since September, I decided to get and learn to play one. I found a flute maker who was very generous spirited, talked with him on the phone, heard his flutes, and bought one. I am learning to cover the holes well so the notes aren’t squeaky, and every now and then I get a glimpse of how glorious this music can be. 



  1. How can you get more inspiration in your life? (Books? Movies? Quotes? Music? Art? Video clips? Spend more time with people who inspire you?)
  2. How can you cut down on what saps energy, makes you feel bad? (Less news? Less time with people who tend to be negative?)
  3. When will you establish a regular practice to keep the inspiration coming in?

INVITATION - Telegathering

Please join me for a 45-minute telegathering to explore how to live a more inspired life on Wednesday, June 13 at noon Eastern (11:00 a.m. Central, 10:00 a.m. MT, 9:00 a.m. Pacific)  1-218-862-1300 PIN 276583.  No need to register….just call at that time!

Reach me: 1-888-907-HOPE (4673)or e-mail I am a personal and executive coach and would be happy to offer you a complimentary coaching session by phone. Each month FRESH VIEWS focuses on a single topic, relates it to one of the five disciplines of a learning community, and offers a coaching tip and a follow-up telegathering. Please forward it to friends and colleagues. My purpose in writing FRESH VIEWS is to nurture, prod and encourage readers to think and talk about these topics with their families, friends and colleagues. Mine is only one view. Multiple conversations may deliver us to insights only hinted at here. Such a process sustains the vitality of learning relationships, learning families, learning organizations and learning communities.

Sharon Eakes | 720 Maple Lane | Sewickley, PA 15143

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