That’s a word that has many different emotions attached to it for most of us. Could be the inspiration to find a new job, take up a new sport or for me sitting down to write this article. So diverse is the need to find inspiration that it is as unique as a snowflake to each person looking to be inspired. That in my view is what makes it so complex. I find being challenged by difficulty makes success that much sweeter, and if you do as well, read along and let’s look at what I use to inspire myself for many different parts of my life.
Some of our FresYes readers will know that in 2011, I was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s, or PD for short. Online, my fight was, well, not nearly as messy as in real life. Because of the people around me and because of how deeply I vowed to not fall victim to the condition, many of my friends have over the years told me I inspire them. To me, this is just weird. From my vantage point, I’ve failed more than I’ve overcome, and I’ve struggled and had to work hard every step of the way not to excel, but to live a normal life. Perhaps that’s what my friends see as inspiration and if so, I with a humble heart accept the compliment.
What inspires me, though? Good question. I ask it of myself a lot.
Two stories find me going back to them for inspiration time after time, and I invite you to join me as I take a quick look at what inspires me to go out and live my life big and full.
First is a character from Forrest Gump: Lt. Dan. I like to watch this movie and only look at this one character so that I can see the full spectrum of the life I deal with and what can happen if I refuse to give up.
Lt. Dan, as we know, had a destiny, and it was intercepted by fate when Forrest saved him, forever changing his life, much like PD changed mine. We watch as he goes through all the stages that follow his injury from anger, reflection, acceptance, peace and finally near the end of the movie, we see him in full bloom walking on his magic legs, ready to live a full life instead of dying in Vietnam, which he wanted to badly in the beginning to the end of his story.
Want to see in 2 hours what can happen if we just stay the course? Watch this movie and only look at Lt Dan, trust me.
The second is Bethany Hamilton, the surfer. It’s not a story that needs a lot of build up, but if you don’t know it, just Google her name and be ready to cry, smile and be put in your place when you do the standard negative self talk many of us do. This teenager turned woman is the embodiment of true grit and class beyond measure. She is amazing, beautiful and inspiring.
I encourage everyone who reads this to find something in your life you want to change, want to do or something you have not yet tried and go for it.
Stop waiting for tomorrow and do it. You probably will struggle. Good. If it’s worth doing, it will not be easy but do it anyway. Be ready to fail at first and be willing to succeed. Stop waiting and do it, do it today. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow isn’t promised, so stop wishing and do. Do what you want, get what you desire, own your life and above all make sure anything you do is done well enough to inspire someone by your attitude and your desire to live.
I was inspired to take up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. What do you want to do?
Write it down to make it real, figure out the first step and just take the leap.
The life you want is out there waiting. Let’s go.
Editor’s note: Mark didn’t specifically mention it but he just placed first in the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship held in Long Beach! Way to go Mark! You inspire us!