Classics – Master Inspire Plan Part 2

by Mary Ann on July 12, 2010

My dad the reader!

My father was a scholar of business. He was an entrepreneur from an early age and was always trying to earn money for his familywho lived in hard times in Star Valley, Wyoming. He started his first business at age nineteen. So in our home we had many classic books related to business and personal success.

By the time I left home I was very familiar with Og Mandino’s The Richest Man In Babylon and The Greatest Salesman In The World. I had read some of the works of W. Clement Stone, The Magic of Believing by Claude M. Bristol, Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale and Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. I had been taught the principles in David J. Schwartz book The Magic of Thinking Big and Acres of Diamonds by Russell H. Conwell. These are still in my own personal library. They were my fathers classics. These are the books that he read and reread. I wasn’t taught the principles in these books as much as I learned them by hearing my father talk about them and live them. I felt inspired that I too could do anything that I set my mind to. I could be great. That inner belief has made a great difference in my life.

During my workshops and webinars I talk about a Master Inspire Plan. I do that because the purpose of the Spark Station is to INSPIRE learning. We can’t mandate that anyone learn. That technique is tried all the time in many venues for both children and adults but it never works. We can force someone to memorize information or pass a test or please an instructor but it isn’t learning. So the challenge for most parents is how I can inspire my children. That is where the Master Inspire Plan comes in.

When I work one on one with a family I have the opportunity to see their Master Inspire Plan. So I have seen a good number. Here is what I have noticed. They are usually really long and complicated. Most are stored in a notebook or on the computer and once written are rarely referred to again. That isn’t really helpful when it comes to inspiring your children or yourself.

So as I go through this I am going to refer to my own plan. Yes I have one. I don’t have any children living in my home but as a grandparent I need to have a plan concerning what I would like to inspire them with. We all need a plan if we want to inspire children. I also have it for my husband Don and myself. Frankly we need a bit of inspiration as we go along!

If you recall I mentioned that we would cover nine items that you may want to consider in your plan. You may not use all of the nine and you may add others. That is good because this is your plan and has to fit what you need and what your family needs. Also, please remember that this isn’t a plan set in stone. It will change as you go through the years. Something that you may have considered important may become unimportant and something that you didn’t think about at first may be added later. Also, your children will come up with things that you didn’t even think of. Remember Jenna and her pigeons. Those are the things that ultimately must take top priority in your plan. Those are the things that already inspire your children.

Here is another thing about my plan, it is a one year plan. When you are raising your children it is good to create a plan that covers a child from birth to when they leave home but to make it workable you have to break it into bite size pieces. What is it you want to cover in each area this year? This keeps your plan from ending up in a file or notebook and never being used again.

Ok, here is item one: CLASSICS. The hallmark of any home ought to be our reading materials. You can tell a lot about a family by the reading materials that they have available. It has been my experience that if we don’t plan ahead we have wonderful books in our minds that we want to read to our children or that we hope they will read but we may not ever get them into our home or make time to include them in our schedules.

One warning here, do not cut and paste someone else’s list into your plan!! Don’t search the internet for what someone else considers a classic. What do you consider a classic? Only put down the books that you truly are inspired by and want to use to inspire your children with. My dad had his classics. They aren’t the ones that I chose and read to my own children but I grateful he shared his classics with me because what they taught impacted my life in some very meaningful ways.

I have some books on my list that would never be found on most lists. In fact, I have a few books that I have heard other people say they took out of their own libraries. Oh well. I like them, they moved me in some way and I want to share them with my grandchildren. I am not swayed from their value to me just because they hold no value for another person. After all, I am the expert in my home, right!

So here is my classics list for this next year, from June 2010 to June 2011.

Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
The Weight of Glory, C.S. Lewis

The 100 Dresses

Carol Bird’s Christmas

The Katie John Books

The first two books are the ones I am committed to reading this year. I picked Atlas Shrugged because my daughter recommended it to me for a specific thing I am learning and I trust her judgment. The Weight of Glory is a book that I have wanted to read for quite awhile but have just never committed to. Remember “you not them”. You have to inspire and educate you and then you can inspire and model learning to them.

The last three are what I want to read to my grandchildren when they come to visit. I will be starting this weekend at our family reunion. I will have them for three days and it is going to be fun as we end very busy and hectic days. These are books that I picked out and paid for in grade school. I still have those old and original copies. They are classics to me because I LOVED them as a girl and I think my grandchildren will love them too.

Here is where my plan has really come in handy. If I hadn’t made a Master Inspire Plan I wouldn’t have thought about having a reading time at the family reunion. I would have let that opportunity slip by and regretted how little time I see them and how I just don’t get to share my love of reading with them enough.

It is probably apparent that I can’t really read five or six books to them this year if I only see them twice, for a few days. Well, because I have this plan I began thinking about how I could inspire them with a love of reading and I came up with the idea of making a digital recording of me reading a book, chapter by chapter. If I hadn’t had a plan I wouldn’t have thought about the issue and resolved it. I would have done what most wonderful grandparents do. I would have lamented all that I can’t share with them because I don’t see them enough. As you can see a Master Inspire Plan is great for getting you to think about how you CAN inspire your children.

So your first assignment is to think about the years of your child’s life. Over those years what classics would you like to have in your home, in your Spark Station, to give as gifts? What do you want to inspire your children and yourself with? Write them down.

Now carefully think about your children at the ages they are right now. What do you want to read to them? If they can read what would you like to make available to them. Do you need to create a fund in order to buy them? Do you have them and are they out where they can be used? Do you have a scheduled reading time for your family? Do you need one? Think through what you need to do to be able to get these classics in front of your children this year. Add these details to your plan.

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