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“Surround yourself with people that reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel, energies are contagious.” – Rachel Wolchin [Tweet this] | [Share on Facebook]

My parents had an old Mercury station wagon when I was growing up.

Its red vinyl seats magnified the weather: The cold of winter perma-frosted through my polyester school pants; the heat of summer seared my bare legs after a day at the pool. But, no matter the season, the wagon faithfully lugged around my parents, six kids and one dog.

Sitting four across the middle seat meant for three, I’d lean forward to get more air, a better view and the chance to hear what my parents were discussing. One such time, during a lull, I asked my dad how he knew where he was going.

Dad – a wonderful man and frequent kidder – pointed to the hood ornament and said, “All I have to do is point that gadget towards where I want to go and follow it. The hardest part is keeping up!”

I nodded my head, leaned back and rejoined my siblings in the middle row. I spent the next several years convinced a driver’s sole responsibility was keeping up with the hood ornament!

There is unlikely wisdom in my dad’s joke. Let me explain.

When we clearly set a target before us, steadfastly moving closer to it with each passing moment – regardless of the twists and turns of life – it’s amazing to see the progress that can be made.

Each year I get better at goal-setting. The last 12 months have provided proof of their importance in my life. From my #1 national bestselling book ON FIRE to growth as a family, I’ve been blessed by setting goals and pursuing them passionately.

I did learn, however, that just as important as “setting your hood ornament” is filling your car with people that reflect “who you want to be and how you want to feel.”

After ON FIRE was published, our Live Inspired community swelled and deserved ongoing inspiration beyond the confines of a written page. We identified the Live Inspired Podcast as the solution as it allowed us to interview special guests on success, failure, lessons, and life so that we could learn, wake up from accidental living and live inspired lives together.

It was nerve-racking to jump into something new, but soon I realized I was literally already surrounded by all of my guests. Over the years, their energies had been contagious and shaped me into a podcaster without my even knowing it!

There was the time my wife, Beth, loved a book, recommended it to me and I read it and fell in love with it too. The author? Rachel Macy Stafford of The Hands Free Revolution who joined me on episode 009.

Or how about in 2012 when I spoke at an association meeting and after, met a member who introduced me to the president of his company, Brian Buffini. Brian invited me to speak at his conference. We stayed in touch, grew as friends and when I came to a crossroads in my business, he flew me to San Diego to visit for a day, clarify what I was trying to do and how best to get there. This transformative day led to the Live Inspired movement and ON FIRE. Brian also happened to be my guest on episode 001.

Similar stories kick off every episode. It’s been my honor to introduce you to these friends so their energies continue to inspire our community; through each of you.

With a clear goal and amazing people, we were destined for 5-star reviews (leave yours here) and being listed #18 on iTunes, business. This measurable success is nice, but the real gift comes from knowing how to have continued success:

  1. Set and follow the hood ornament.
  2. Fill your car with people that reflect who you want to become.

My friend, follow these two steps and you will be on the path to live inspired this year. Thanks for being part of my Live Inspired community.

Now, buckle up because Live Inspired Podcast Season 2 – and the best of your life – is yet to come!

This is your day. Live Inspired.

Who was your favorite guest or what was your favorite takeaway from Season 1? Share it in the comments below. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

7 replies on “Follow the Hood Ornament”

John-How amazing to have you speak at LDC last week in Austin, TX for Colonial Life! So timely for me! As a matter of fact, as promised by Katie it was almost like you spoke directly to me! I actually texted a friend of mine, Aarin Beckerle, who lives in Lexington, KY but is from St. Louis during your talk and amazingly she knew you! You went to school with her best friend from college- Becky Cusumano. Then there was the Cold Play song.. my 4 yr old nephew was diagnosed with Leukemia on July 25th and a couple days later Chris Martin paid a surprise visit to us at the Children’s hospital in Louisville, KY. He played songs, talked life and did it all without publicity or fan fare. As a matter of fact, he insisted no publicity FB or twitter. He did it just for the love of those on the 7th Floor Cancer Ward. Then, the fact that you were burned. I have a friend who’s best friend was burned in Bus Crash in Carrolton, KY and he was 1 of only a few teenage survivors that were hit by a drunk driver on a Church Group Trip. Harold Dennis is his name, and he is truly an inspiration! He went on to play football at the University of KY, and also does some public speaking. If you have not met him, you should !!! Lastly, but most importantly to me, I am the mother of a 4 year and 7 year old. You spoke to me about how to add purpose to my life professionally and personally. Perhaps, that is the best gift I can give my children is the example of growth and unconditional love.
Thank you for your story!! Thank your journey and your inspiration!! If you are ever in the Louisville or Lexington, KY areas, I’d love to come here you again and bring Aarin, my prayer group and my husband! Love to you and your beautiful family!!!

I love your podcast. This is my first experience at following someone like this. I am very impressed with you and your guests. I share a lot of comments I hear with my family and friends. I especially likes the deaf comedian and Mr Ziglar

Hi Susan! Thanks for the feedback and for listening – I loved having Kathy Buckley & Tom Ziglar and happy to hear you enjoyed them, too. Any favorite authors, etc. that you’d like to hear on future episodes? Stay ON FIRE, Susan!

Love, love, love your podcast! I have to say the one that really stuck with me was Don Yaeger and the story of John Wooden writing love letters to his wife every month after she passed away. It has inspired me to write letters to my husband every month, I have a “to do” on my calendar so I don’t forget. I don’t want to have regrets of things that went unsaid. Thank you for all you do to inspire others! You truly are a blessing.

Krisann, Thank you for the specific feedback and for being part of the Live Inspired Community! I appreciate you and ALL that you do. Stay on fire and see you Thursday with one of my very favorite authors! J

John, I’ve been a huge fan of yours since I met you at the Greater Kansas City Federal Unity Day many years ago. You have the Midas touch. Everything you do is golden. I can’t think of one single guest, lesson, blog that hasn’t been outstanding. I love them all. You’re amazing. Each time I read, see, listen to you and your guests I am encouraged to live more and more inspired. You lift me up. Blessings!!! Rev Sandra

Sandra, you are too kind. Thanks for the positive reinforcement and for being an early member of the the Live Inspired community. Please continue to stay in touch and share feedback to keep me inline! Stay ON FIRE! J

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