HIV Longevity Still Fighting…


Inspirational Business Cards

I am always working on ways to inspire myself and others. I believe that one of the keys to my longevity is my strong positive mental attitude. For most of my adult life, when someone asked me, “How are you doing?” I would immediately shoot back, “Awesome!” This shocks many, and usually creates a smile. Almost everyone is at least partially motivated by my spirit.

After 20 or so years of doing this, I decided that awesome was a cliché and over used. So, I decided to start changing my “feeling” of the day and started trying new exceptional words. I quickly realized that I fell back on awesome more than finding or saying new words, because it was so ingrained in my mind. I really wanted to inspire people on a daily basis and thought that changing my word routinely would help to stir some additional emotions.

I put some heavy thinking into this and came up with what I think (IMHO) is a creative solution. I bought some business card printer paper, broke out my dictionary and thesaurus, and came up with all of my favorite feelings. After compiling about 30 or so “feelings,” I put one and its associated dictionary definition on an individual business card. I keep this stack of feelings on my dresser, and each day I open my wallet, pull out yesterday’s feeling, and insert today’s feeling.

The important part to mention is my mantra, incantation, or meditational (is that even a word??) moment in which I hold the card and read it. I read it carefully and examine the word. I ask myself what does this word really mean. I go over the definition and ensure that I know exactly what it means. I incant the feeling to myself as I slide the card ceremoniously into my wallet. I make sure that it is in the front of my wallet and viewable every time I open it.

I want to impress upon those doubters out there … I know that you can’t simply read the word “wonderful” and then feel that way. I am not a fan of positive thinking without meat behind it. Instead, I focus on the word and ask myself what feeling “wonderful” would be like. I envision myself having a “wonderful” day. I imagine going through the day and experiencing “wonderful” things. In this way, I create a base. Then when people approach me throughout the day and ask their cliché, “How’s it going?” I spend half a second remembering that I’m wonderful, I crack a partial smile, look them directly in the eyes, and say, “I feel wonderful.”

To put this business card thingy into perspective (and help explain what the heck I’m talking about), I’ll show you a couple of examples of my inspirational business cards.

Flipping open my wallet … How do you know which one it is? You ask. It’s the one that says, “Bad Fother Mucker” on it … I digress, as usual … Inside my wallet, the first thing I see is:

[trih-men-duh s] –adjective
1. extraordinarily great in size, amount, or intensity.
2. extraordinary in excellence

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Now doesn't that sound bad-assed? I mean if out of the blue someone responded to your, "how's it going?" question with a quick, "Tremendous!" Wouldn't that instill a little something? Wouldn't that make you smile? Wouldn't it inspire or motivate you even a little bit? It's baby steps folks ... I'm not talking about earth shattering, life changing slam dunks. I'm talking about little things you can do to make yourself and those around you stronger and better people.

If you had asked me to open my wallet yesterday, the card was:
[in-trep-id] –adjective
resolutely fearless; dauntless.

Finally, I know that tomorrow’s card will be:
[im-peld] –adjective
1. to drive or urge forward; press on; incite or constrain to action.
2. to drive or cause to move onward; propel; impart motion to.

I think you get the point. The bottom line is that I wanted to get past the humdrumness (I'm sure that ain't a word!) of simply saying “Awesome!” every time that someone asked me how I was.

FWIW - Here are more of my daily inspirational cards that I have created:
Amazing, Astounding, Audacious, Awesome, Chivalrous, Courageous, Excellent, Exceptional, Extraordinary, Fabulous, Fantastic, Fearless, Grand, Great, Heroic, Incomparable, Incredible, Inspired, Magnificent, Marvelous, Motivated, Out of This World! (there is no definition on this card … the title says it all), Outstanding, Phenomenal, Plucky, Prodigious, Ready to Rock and Roll! (also no definition on this card), Sensational, Splendid, Stupendous, Sublime, Super, Superb, Terrific, Valiant, and Wonderful.

What do you do on a daily basis to ensure that you’ll have an uplifted day?

Dig life and everything it brings!


Posted by Vaughn Ripley

Comments (2) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Cool. Just met you through Tobri – followed your suggestion to visit your website – especially liked your blog posts and this one on inspirational “words”. Because I’m in recovery mode from some stuff, the “How are you feeling” question is frequent. I’m not going to do your Inspirational Card thing, but I’ll swipe some of your i-words for future responses. Thanks.

  2. Terrific, lovely, awe– um, I really like the post, Vaughn. When I hit a point in my day where I am befuddled, or burdened by a particular choice, I fall back on, “Be kind, tell the truth.” It isn’t a mantra to inspire great feats, but it can clarify the direction of my next few steps. I like the wallet card deal though. Just hunting up a few dozen words with pizzazz was probably a worthwhile exercise.

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