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Career Coach: Wake Up Call

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson offers fresh inspiration after visiting Ringling College last weekend.

Pamela Kleibrink


"Make Your Day Inspiring"

Last Saturday I spoke at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL ( and stayed at Hotel Indigo. The phone rang the next morning. "It's your wake up call. Make your day inspiring. Hope you feel refreshed."

I quickly jotted down the call on one of their note pads, which is inscribed with:

A Haiku for You A thought changed the world It was on paper then grew Doodles are thoughts too

"Make your day inspiring."

I thought about that early morning message. I could make my day however I wanted. It's up to us to make each of our days inspiring. How would you make your day inspiring? Doing something fun? Working on your own projects? Volunteering in your community?

Are you waiting to be inspired by someone else? Waiting for the perfect time or enough time to create? Are you waiting for a muse to visit you and bless you with inspiration and a compelling idea?

Is there a project that you would really like to work on but there never seems to be time to do it? Maybe you have numerous projects. Pick one to do first. You will find that you are able to do more when you focus on one project at a time. But after work you don't ever seem to get around to writing those pages of that screenplay, or work on your animated short or your personal art pieces. Between work and family and other obligations, you don't have a second to yourself. Besides you don't feel inspired.

It's time to give up your excuses, including the one about not feeling inspired.

Tiny amounts of time add up. Just get started. Dedicate yourself to your project for one hour a day. If you work better in the morning, get up an hour earlier and spend that time creating. If you work better in the evenings, instead of vegging out in front of the TV or playing a video game, work on your project. One hour a day adds up to almost a full work day in a week. And in less than 1 ½ months you'll have put in 40 hours of work on your project -- it's like you had a full time job working on your own stuff.

If someone gave you two months in the year to do whatever you wanted, what would use that time for? You have just received those two months. (Three-hundred-and-sixty-five hours --one hour a day -- more than nine full work weeks).

The next time you think: "I don't have any time to do what I want," realize it's up to you. You do have the time, we all have the same amount and it's just how we use it.

Think you'll be extra tired because you are getting one less hour of sleep? If you are working at something you are truly passionate about, you will make all of your days inspiring and you will feel refreshed.

Ringling students are given assignments and deadlines and they produce some amazing work. Give yourself a deadline to complete a project you've been thinking about. Work on it every day. Start now by figuring out what materials or resources you need to do it. Gather those materials or resources and put them in an accessible place where you can work on your project every day.

Thomas Alva Edison, the inventor of the first successful electric light bulb, did not wait for inspiration to come -- he worked hard and created every day. Edison said, "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration." He did not wait for a visit from a muse and obtained 1,093 U.S. patents.

Don't wait for inspiration to strike.

At dinner on Saturday night, Charles Kovacs, Director, Center for Career Services at Ringling College of Art and Design, reminded me of a quote by William H. Johnsen, "If it's to be, it's up to me."

I'll rephrase that-- it's up to you, so get out there and do.

Stop waiting to be inspired. Start making your days inspiring. This is your wake up call.

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is a recruiter, career coach and speaker. If you want to reach her for personal coaching, recruiting or to arrange a Career Strategies Workshop or other presentation, email her at