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Get Inspiration When You Need It

Today I’m really happy to host the virtual tour of Danny Brown’s latest book
The Little Book of Inspiration
.

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Danny Brown is an award-winning marketer and blogger. His blog has been recognized as the number one marketing blog in the world by HubSpot.

Other recognitions include Social Media Examiner’s Top 10 Social Media Blog in 2011 and 2013, voted one of Canada’s Top 50 Marketing Blogs, and the Hive Award for Best Social Media Blog at the 2010 South by Southwest festival.

His publishing credentials include Influence Marketing: How to Create, Manage, and Measure Brand Influencers in Social Media Marketing and The Parables of Business. The Little Book of Inspiration is his first non-business book.

Currently, he lives in Ontario with his awesome wife, very funny son, adorable little girl, and two small Chinese Crested dogs. You can read more from Danny on his blog, or connect with him on Twitter and Google+.

Danny has been a blogging hero of mine for many years now and I’m so excited to have him do a guest post on the subject of inspiration today.

Take it away, Danny.

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Get Inspiration When You Need It

When I was younger – much younger, before my teens, even – inspiration to me was learned at the chair of my granddad.

He was a typical Scotsman – gruff, no-nonsense, blunt. But he was also one of the wisest men I’ll probably ever know. Every weekend, my mum would take me round to my grandparents, and my granddad would sit me on his knee and regale me with stories from the railroad.

As a driver on Scottish Rail (back in the days of steam), he would travel all over the land, and have all sorts of adventures (at least, that’s what he told me – looking back, I’m sure many were as fabricated as were true, but I don’t care).

He talked about how in the north of Scotland, people would open up their homes so drivers could have a wee bit o’ tea and cake before heading home. Or how, in the west of Scotland, you had to have salt and vinegar with your fish and chips instead of salt and sauce, and pity help you if you asked for anything else!

Apart from his own adventures, though, he’d always try to infuse me with hope and inspiration.

Lessons Between Generations

Being a typical young boy, I’d often complain about the world being unfair.

I was too small for certain fairground rides. I wasn’t big enough to ride in the front seat of the car. I had to eat what I was told. I had to share a room with my little sister. And on, and on.

My granddad would listen to me, nod, smile, frown, or tut, and generally be the foil to my terrible tales of toddlerdom. And then he’d make me realize that, in the grand scheme of things, I wasn’t all that hard done by.

“You know, Danny, some kids don’t even know what a fairground is. You should be thankful you at least get to go on some rides, even if they’re not the bigger ones.”

“The front seat isn’t as exciting as you think. Besides, if you sit in the front, who’s going to tell us about the police car following us behind?”

“Look at me – I have falsers (false teeth). I have to eat mushy peas and gravy! Oh, for a slice of beef or real apple crumble!”

And every time he told me this, he’d do it with a smile and a hug, so I knew he meant it, and that maybe the world wasn’t as bad as I made it sound after all.

Lessons Of My Own

Now, many years after my granddad’s passing, his lessons to me are reflected in the life I see happen around me.

You see, over the years, I became very cynical about the world. I saw loved ones die from cancer. I saw friends die from asthma. I saw relatives die from terrorist attacks. And, unlike me, these were good people. People that tried to make the world a better place.

But it wasn’t enough. Still they were taken. So I wondered what kind of world would do that? What kind of world are we living in when good is rewarded with death and suffering, while bad seemed to be rewarded with riches and pleasure?

But it wasn’t like that. Instead, I was allowing it to be like that – because instead of seeing the good around me every day, I was actively looking for the bad.

When you do that, of course you’re going to see only bad, and lose hope of the world not being a bad place.

When I realized that, the change in mindset and appreciation was huge. The best part? It can truly come from anywhere.

Instead of looking for the annoying people that force their way onto the subway so as not to lose precious seconds in their lives, I was seeing the young teenager giving up his seat for an elderly lady who appreciated the gesture more than that kid will probably ever know.

Instead of scanning the news stories for the coverage of the latest atrocity in the Middle East, I was letting myself be educated on how Muslims in the UK were coming together to raise donations for war veterans – the same white war veterans whose grandchildren were racially abusing the Muslim community.

Instead of nodding when hearing examples of how people today are all about themselves, I’m watching on in awe as cities come to a standstill so a little boy with cancer can act out his dreams of being Batman.

And on and on it goes. Examples of hope and inspiration all around me, and us – if only we’ll look.

The Next Generation of Inspirationalists

Perhaps what inspires me the most (and, yes, I’m biased here) is watching my two young kids, and how they interact with not only each other, but those around them.

Ewan, our five year old son, is possibly the world’s most huggiest kid, especially around babies. If he sees a little one, he’ll wander up and start talking and offer hugs (if the mom says that’s okay).

Salem, our three year old daughter, will always look to share what she has with others, even candy and treats!

At school, and outside of school, Ewan doesn’t see “differences”, he just sees people, regardless of colour, gender, or sexual preference. To him, people are just people.

When they’re together, they both make sure each other is happy – if one has a toy, they ask if the other wants to play. If one has more candy left, they ask if they want to share. And when they see each other after school (Salem still goes to daycare), they run up to each other and give a huge hug. Every time.

Perhaps it’s the innocence of children that may disappear. Perhaps it’s because where we live is a pretty friendly city anyway. Perhaps it’s because education for toddlers here allows for discovery through play, as opposed to rigid lessons, and that allows kids to really be their own people.

Whatever it is, seeing my kids interact the way they do (and other kids doing the same thing) makes me hopeful of the changes they can make in the world if we can’t.

And that, for me, is truly inspiring.

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Book Blurb

The Little Book of Inspiration 

Yesterday, mortality may have caught up with me. Today, I welcomed it as a future friend who will simply help me remember the present…

Life moves pretty fast and, in this always-on-the-go world that we find ourselves in, it’s becoming ever-harder to pause and reflect on what we see.

Yet, if we don’t, we miss the opportunity to experience the things that could truly change our lives.

The Little Book of Inspiration aims to be that opportunity to stop and savour not only the events around us, but the people, the experiences, the sights and sounds.

Through these inspiring stories and poems of love, redemption, and change, take a moment to really see all the inspirational treasures that are present.

Inspiration is all around us. All we have to do is look.

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Yesterday, Oct 12, the tour stopped at Jenny Pitt’s blog for a review of The Little Book of Inspiration.

Tomorrow, Oct 14, the tour takes us to Andrij Harasewych’s blog for a Book Excerpt and Q & A.

Do follow the tour.

But hold on…there’s something exciting for you. A generous giveaway.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

For copies of the book at a 20% discount, click on this image.

the-little-book-of-inspiration-discount

36 Comments

  1. Kathy Kathy October 18, 2015

    Hi Corinne and Danny! I strongly, strongly believe there is more good in the world than otherwise! But I also believe that we need to be inspired and reminded of that good each and ever day. Congratulations on your book and your blog. I’m looking forward more about it (especially if I win a free copy!) and being inspired by your messages. ~Kathy

    • Danny Brown Danny Brown November 1, 2015

      Hi there Kathy,

      Thank you! This part in particular:

      “I strongly, strongly believe there is more good in the world than otherwise! But I also believe that we need to be inspired and reminded of that good each and ever day.”

      Amen to that, and hope you enjoy the book!

  2. Gilly Maddison Gilly Maddison October 17, 2015

    Wonderful words of wisdom! Always look on the bright side of life. The Scotsman grandad sounds like the men in my family that either drove or fixed the steam trains back in the day. They were always full of stories. My dad, at 89, is still full of them.

    This post is all so true. I once read the words, ‘energy flows where attention goes’. And it really does work if you choose to put your attention on the good things that are happening. There are lots of good people out there doing small things, like giving up a seat, that have big effects in terms of making others feel good. Lovely post.

    • Danny Brown Danny Brown November 1, 2015

      Thanks, Gilly – I’d love to have a pint of beer with your dad, sounds like quite the character!

      I was at the train station the other day, getting a ticket for my commute, and a teen let an older couple in front of him, so they wouldn’t miss their train. The smiles on their faces said it all, and the kid probably had no idea how much that little piece of selflessness meant.

      Here’s to these folks.

  3. Alana Alana October 14, 2015

    Thank you. My mother in law is undergoing some hard times right now – and, as her caregivers we have to try to stay positive and research also what is best for her. I need some inspiration!

    • Danny Brown Danny Brown October 14, 2015

      Sorry to hear – my best wishes to your mum for a speedy recovery, and to you and your family for the kindness, love and support you’re showing!

  4. Francene Stanley Francene Stanley October 14, 2015

    What a wonderful way of looking at life. So much around us is good, if only we allow ourselves to see it. As you say, the innocence and less structured way of a child’s sight would benefit us all.

    • Danny Brown Danny Brown October 14, 2015

      Thanks, Francine Every day either my son or daughter says something that just blows me away with its innocence/kindness – long may that continue, and teach me to be more like that in all I do. 🙂

  5. rajlakshmi rajlakshmi October 14, 2015

    The part about grandfather reminds me so much of my dad. He would tell us tales and make us realize how fortunate we are and how trivial our problems are compared to others. Loved how the kids are growing without any bias in their minds. Beautiful post 🙂

    • Danny Brown Danny Brown October 14, 2015

      Thank you! It’s funny – we grow up saying we’re going to do things different from our parents (and they probably said the same thing about theirs), yet it’s exactly their wisdom that we end up using in our own lives. Funny how that works. 🙂

  6. Nancy Hill ( Nancy Hill ( October 14, 2015

    Thank you Corinne and Danny! Little flashes of inspiration and compassion can re-shape lives!

    • Danny Brown Danny Brown October 14, 2015

      Damn skippy! One inspirational step at a time. 🙂

  7. Vishnu Vishnu October 14, 2015

    hi Danny, I sometimes feel weird because I’m inspired by a lot of little things around me. Anything I notice from sibbling love to care for animals to a majestic portrait of nature. But I realize from this post – that’s a good thing! Ditto on what Leanne said above! how much richer our lives will be if we continue to look for inspiration (and gratitude) all around us. Looking forward to picking up this book!

    • Danny Brown Danny Brown October 14, 2015

      Hi Vishnu,

      It’s so true. I was speaking with Mark-John Clifford on a Blab as part of this tour, and one of the things we spoke about is the ignorance we have of all the amazing things around us. Simple things like lying on the grass and looking at the stars above, and being aware of how equally small we are in the grand scheme of universal things, but how big a part we can play in shaping them.

      Here’s to reminding ourselves to look up – hope you enjoy the book!

  8. Laurie Stone Laurie Stone October 14, 2015

    I find the act of slowing down helps me open my eyes and really see life. Things go so fast, we’re so fixated on devices and going places that we don’t notice the beauty around us. When I stop and pause, that makes a huge difference. Thank you for the reminder.

    • Danny Brown Danny Brown October 14, 2015

      Hi Laurie,

      So true. I saw a story this week about a photographer who took a bunch of pictures of people with their phones. Then, he photoshopped their phones out, and shared the results.

      Without their phones, but keeping the same poses as they would with them, the people in the pictures looked so separated from each other. Even though they were having dinner, or lying next to each other in bed, they looked like strangers because their focus was elsewhere.

      We need to be more in the moment – the phones can wait on us, as opposed to the other way around.

  9. Tamara Tamara October 13, 2015

    It wasn’t until I was in my 40’s that I began to appreciate the value of changing my mindset about all of life’s little daily annoyances. It’s an amazingly powerful thing to be able to see the good in people and situations and to not be so negatively affected by the world around us.

    Thanks for sharing this post today. I’ve just added the book to my Goodreads list!

    • Danny Brown Danny Brown October 14, 2015

      Hi Tamara,

      Ha, I think that must be a thing – I had my two kids when I was in my forties, and that – along with realizing, holy crap, I’m in my 40’s!!! – made me do a lot of reevaluating. Here’s to the 40’s!

  10. Haralee Haralee October 13, 2015

    Thank-you for sharing. I am in love with his writing!

    • Danny Brown Danny Brown October 13, 2015

      Awww, thank you – you put a big smile on my face just in time for lunch, so perfect timing! 🙂

  11. Danny Brown Danny Brown October 13, 2015

    Hi Corinne,

    First, thanks so much for the kind words, and being part of this special virtual tour to celebrate the book’s launch. It’s been great fun taking part with all the different approaches, and seeing what others think of something that’s very personal to me.

    Given the topics you cover here, I was thrilled to hear you’d signed up – so thank you, and would love to hear your thoughts on the book sometime! 🙂

    Thanks again, and have a wonderful rest of week!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | October 14, 2015

      Entirely my pleasure, Danny. You have and continue to inspire me.

      I’m enjoying the tour too. Seeing the various approaches used to get the message across is quite an experience for me too.

  12. bellybytes bellybytes October 13, 2015

    How true it is that we always find what we are looking for….positive thoughts bring positive results !

    • Danny Brown Danny Brown October 13, 2015

      Exactly! Sure, negative news may sell more papers – but we should be better than just putting dollar amounts on people and their lives. Here’s to the better news outweighing the negative.

  13. Karen Austin Karen Austin October 13, 2015

    What a wonderful portrait Danny paints of his Scottish grandfather. And I enjoyed Brown’s description of his children showing affection. Thank you for giving his book and vision attention on your blog. Inspiring, indeed!

    • Danny Brown Danny Brown October 13, 2015

      Thanks, Karen! If there’s one thing that’s missing from this book’s launch, it’s hearing what my grandfather would have thought of it, given he was such an inspiration behind it (no pun intended).

      Maybe sometime in the future. 🙂

  14. Leanne Leanne October 13, 2015

    we need more stories of hope and inspiration in our world today. I don’t think we can ever have to much positivity to balance out the bad stuff out there. Congrats on your book.

    • Danny Brown Danny Brown October 13, 2015

      “I don’t think we can ever have too much positivity to balance out the bad stuff out there.”

      Amen to that, Leanne – cheers!

  15. Lata Lata October 13, 2015

    Corinne, what a coincidence. Just this morning I was thinking that we need to highlight more facts about millions of Hindus who are against all the racist hatred being spread by a few and here’s a blog which talks about choosing to focus on the good Muslims versus a few terrorists. This one should be widely shared

    • Danny Brown Danny Brown October 13, 2015

      Thanks, Lata, and it’s so true – we allow the minority to taint our views of the majority, whether that’s race, sex, belief, etc. Yet when has the few ever really represented the many? Simple – they haven’t. That’s why they’re the few, and we need to remember that more.

  16. hchybinski hchybinski October 13, 2015

    Such a great reminder . . .one of my personal goals for the year was to take time to “see” the little things and “be present” in the moment more often. Perfect timing as I think I may have lost touch a little with those goals.

    • Danny Brown Danny Brown October 13, 2015

      I hear you on that. In the book, I share the time of when I almost lost my two year old daughter down to a stupid lapse in judgement, and how that’s made me realize time is a very limited commodity in our lives. We need to stop abusing it, and really grab it while we can.

  17. Kelly Kelly October 13, 2015

    This is spot on. You have to look for the good. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

    • Danny Brown Danny Brown October 13, 2015

      Thanks, Kelly, and yes, onward and upward is much better than backward and sideward. Or something. 🙂

  18. nabanita nabanita October 13, 2015

    Good luck for your book…Everyone out there is looking for some inspiration, as am I 🙂

    • Danny Brown Danny Brown October 13, 2015

      Thank you! Here’s hoping it helps those who read it, for however they need to be inspired.

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