“Excellence is not a singular act but a habit. You are what you do repeatedly.”Shaquille O’Neal

I love my job. Nothing is better to me than watching a group get FIRED UP!—because I know it means lives are moving towards excellence. In this inaugural blog post, I want to talk about what my brand, FIRED UP!, means—to set the stage for creating this phenomenal place for you to convene and get inspiration, ideas, and community support.

If you are like me, inspiration isn’t a one-time shot. It’s more like a tetanus vaccination: You need a regular booster, especially after stepping on a rusty nail. Many of us carry a tremendous responsibility to care for others in our work and personal lives, and sometimes we need a recharge or reminder.

To stay motivated and engaged, implement my 7 core concepts (from my book, FIRED UP! Employees).

Post this list somewhere visible, like your bathroom mirror, computer—or better yet, the break room for everyone to see—so the concepts start to take root. Here goes:

1. FUEL: What Fuels Your Tank?

Something drags you out of a warm bed in the morning and into the office. Maybe it’s your kids, your job, your hobby—or the legacy you are trying to leave. Maybe it’s something smaller—like a favorite mug of dark roast coffee at work, or a pair of brand new running shoes. What fuels you? Find your passion, grab onto it like your life depends on it, and use it to pull yourself to your goals.

2. INVENTORY: Take Stock of Your Life.

You wouldn’t go on a cross country trip without first packing. And you probably wouldn’t pack without first taking stock of what you plan to do at your new destination. Inventory your current blessings, and list the accomplishments that still drive you forward. Create a realistic road map, putting a pin in it to state, “I am here,” and then another indicating, “This is where I’m going.” Figure out what you need to take with you, and what you need to leave behind—and fuel yourself with the attitude to get there.

3. REFRAME: Shift Your Perspective.

Failure is skilled at knocking the wind out of us. Billie Jean King, the tennis great, said, “For me, losing a tennis match isn’t failure, it’s research.” Shift your perspective so the challenges of yesterday are merely training sessions for the big game of tomorrow. Take those experiences with you as invaluable lessons to creating a more vibrant future.

4. ENERGIZE: Exercise, Get R&R, Eat Well.

This is the simplest concept, but we often ignore it. Whatever do to our bodies becomes the reality we walk around with all day. And if you need proof, research shows that exercise, in many cases, is actually more effective than Prozac! Who wouldn’t want a free, natural jolt of happiness? We tell our kids all the time: “Eat your broccoli,” “Go outside and run around,” “Go to bed now,” but in caring for ourselves, we often act like we’re immune from all the research. Get serious about caring for your body, and it will be ready to take you wherever you ask it.

5. DECLARE: What’s Your Mission?

How many successful entrepreneurs do you know who kept their ideas to themselves? None. Getting FIRED UP requires that you get clear on your mission, and then get vocal about it. Make it real, by telling others.

6. UNDERSTAND: Step into Someone Else’s Shoes.

Passion without purpose is like a fueled up car without a steering wheel. Purpose comes from understanding why you are doing what you do—and how it fits into the world around you. Relate your purpose to solving a bigger problem or compassionately helping others.

7. PRESENT: Live Here and Now.

Henry David Thoreau said, “We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal and then leap in the dark to our success.” Setting a goal is great, but it’s nothing if we don’t take action. Our goal doesn’t care what we did yesterday or what we hope to do tomorrow. It’s like a walking stick waiting to be picked up and used today—if we do nothing, it will sit there and get dusty; but if we pick it up and use it, we could be on our way up Mt. Everest! Having a plan and assessing risks is valuable, but at some point, you have to get out and walk the walk!

I want this blog to be about YOU, so drop me a line to let me know what you want to hear more or less about. And please, leave your comments below so we can all learn from each other. My question for the day is, what fires YOU up?