Pragmatic Inspiration

How to achieve remarkable results through reason and relationships

Reasonable has never looked so reassuring. In the face of so much chaos and calamity, normal is the new nirvana. Calm is a beautiful feeling. Happy people are an uplifting sight. Well-being is a welcome relief. Even the weather turned warm on November 7. 

Anything is obvious once it’s been thought of. Cometh the hour, cometh the partnership. To everything, there is a season. We have just entered the season of pragmatism. 

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, Pragmatism means solving problems in a sensible way that suits the conditions that really exist, rather than obeying fixed theories, ideas or rules. It’s the perfect term for our times. We can’t go back to the way things were. We can’t fast forward to the way things will be. We can only deal with the now the best way we know how. 

It’s fitting that the new icons of leadership are a classic, septuagenarian dealmaker and a charismatic, multiracial trailblazer. They represent absolute opposites of the demographic and stylistic spectrum, but they’re united by one thing: Pragmatic Inspiration. To quote Martin Luther King, they’re motivated by the “fierce urgency of now.” The only thing that matters is solving the most pressing problems of our time. 

We’re all a microcosm of Joe and Kamala. We’re all faced with the massive challenge of recalibrating our mindsets and behaviors to a highly fluid future. Every day brings a whole new reality, just like November 7. It can seem overwhelming if you focus on the enormity of it all. It can make you feel puny and insignificant. But it can be inspirational if you focus on the priorities right now: what is your most important outcome? What can you do? What must you do?

My most important outcome is enabling others to achieve remarkable results under the current circumstances. There are many things I could do to achieve that outcome right now. They range from creating this program, to making phone calls, to sending emails, to crafting proposals, to getting on Zoom, to reading articles, to working out on my peloton, to watching webinars on how to be inspirational, to studying my investments and many more. I chose to create this program. That’s all I can do right now. I’ll do everything else later – one priority at a time. Some priorities may not even get done by the time they need to be done. I’m ok with that. I can’t let the things that won’t get done get in the way of those that will. Worry just wears one away. The most I can do is the most I can do. 

So here are Five Rules of Pragmatic Inspiration inspired by Joe and Kamala:

  1. Think relationships, not ideology. Get close to your constituents. Be an ally to all and an enemy to none. Become one of the people to whom you are speaking. Celebrate your opponents – they are vital to the game. Don’t judge, collaborate. Don’t ostracize, Include. Don’t segregate, support. Don’t demonize, empathize. Respect others’ right to be different but identify what is most important to everyone. Then help make it real. Reach out to the other and bring them into the tent. We’re only as good as all of us together. 
  1. Work your plan. A plan is the antidote to chaos. It’s a method for achieving your desired result. It’s a way through confusion and doubt. It requires constant work. As things change, so must your plan. It comprises goals (what you want to achieve), purpose (why you want to achieve it), action (how you’re going achieve it), people (who is going to help you achieve it) and timing (When you’re going to do it.) Then you need to sell your plan to the people who matter most. If you cannot engage others in your plan, you don’t have a plan. A plan is only as good as the people it attracts. 
  1. Never give up. It’s never over. There is always another chance. Destiny doesn’t dance to your schedule. A delay just demands greater commitment to your desired outcomes. Longevity matters. Like a fine wine, greatness takes time and patience. Don’t get frustrated. Get fascinated. Anger isn’t the answer, adaptation is. Breakthroughs need to be earned, one outstanding action at a time. 
  1. Shine your light. Now more than ever, the world needs keepers of the flame. These are people who smile at adversity and laugh in the face of crisis. They relish the once-in-a-generation opportunity to solve the world’s biggest crises and impact millions of people. Burn bright but don’t burn out. Be the reason why people are happy today. Look at them with love. Transmit your joy. Broadcast your optimism. Then prove why it’s justified. 
  1. Tell the truth. Ajay Banga , CEO of Mastercard, says, “there is only one god, and that God is truth.” After so much talk of fake news, deep states and shadowy conspiracies, trust in the message and the messenger is how we will heal together. Provide the evidence. Interpret what it means. Prove your authenticity. Be human. Be humble. Good people are standing by to champion your cause. 

This is Mike Lipkin and I’ve never approved a message more wholeheartedly. Pass it on. 

7 thoughts on “Pragmatic Inspiration

  1. Bud Jones

    Mike your video inspired me to pull out my copy of “Keeper of the Flame” and read it again.
    Keep exposing the magic,

  2. roz usheroff

    Your message deeply resonated with me and inspired me, more now than ever before. We’re all being faced with abnormal changing times that will hopefully slow down. I remember years ago, you wrote that “happiness is an inside job”. Add the component to becoming a keeper of the flame so others can be uplifted is a beautiful message. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.


    PLEASE, PLEASE find me copies of your first book Lost and Found. I will NOT part with my copy but there are a few people my age (70) that need to read it. If you just let me know where to get them I’ll search the earth to get them. Please also let me know of your other books and possibly where I can find them (libraries are all closed – but bottle stores are open – sick). Many thanks and welcome back to a truly Wonderful and Blessed Life.

  4. Valerie Bailey-Loo

    Taking in all that has gone on this year and especially the last few days; We cannot place importance on any more “Now” than the type that is with us at this very moment. Therefore, I too wholeheartedly approve of this message
    Thank You Mike – So apt.

  5. Neal Biege

    Happy American Thanksgiving Mike!
    One of the things I am thankful for is meeting you around 2004. Your presentations and books really helped me in my personal life and help me turn on our entire company to a new vision. Your book “Keeper of the Flame” is dog-eared from my review of it over the last 14 years. Your new book looks great. Thanks, Mike! You are the greatest! Neal Biege


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