Who Have You Inspired?

The original title of this post was ‘who has inspired you?’ as I was prompted to write it by a post that popped up on my Facebook wall from a group I follow, Suspended Coffees.   The post was this:  ‘When you reflect on your life this far, for better or worse, who made an impact that helped you grow?’

But as I was writing this post I realised that the question I wanted to ask my readers should, in fact be, ‘who have you inspired?’  Now I know the inclination is to say ‘no-one, who could I possibly have inspired?’ but the reality is that we have all had a great impact on someone else in our lives, sometimes we may not even have known at the time.

In 2010 I spent the weekend with some friends I have known for a very long time.  Indeed one of them I met when we were young adults, living and working in Paris over thirty years ago.  Over dinner one friend said he had a big announcement to make and went on to tell us he had worked his last day in an administration job and was starting a new career as an indoor landscape gardener the very next week.  He was elated and said this is the type of work he has always desired but never felt able to pursue.  He went on to say that it was, in fact, something I had said to him a year earlier that had prompted his change in thinking about his life.  Apparently I had told him in a conversation when we first met that I thought everyone should go after their dreams when they have the chance, that opportunities should always be pursued and we must take those risks as they could result in the best move we ever made in our lives.

Of course this really is my belief, and certainly has been the driving force in my life.  As I always say, if you don’t have a go you’ll never know.

Interestingly at around the same time I received a comment on a post from a regular visitor and realised how very important it is for us to always put out as much as we can in the best way possible, as it will reap rewards that we cannot possibly imagine at the time.

And my friend is now the acting manager of the indoor landscaping business.  It really was an amazing career move for him, he took a big risk and it paid off for him.

So tell me, Who Have You Inspired?  Or equally important, who has inspired you?

Enjoy the journey.


Z Is For Zeal

‘Experience shows that success is due less to ability than to zeal.  The winner is he who gives himself to his work, body and soul’.  Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton

Z is also for zigzag, and if you zigzag it won’t matter how much zeal you have, your success will be much longer coming, and quite possibly not come at all!

Z is also for zest, and whereas zeal means earnestness or fervour, zest means a keen enjoyment or interest.  Or if you are talking about lemons it is an earnestness of flavour!  So whatever you do it would pay to have an equal helping of the two (but not the lemons), and no helping of the zigzagging.

As Norman Vincent Peal said: ‘If you have zest and enthusiasm you attract zest and enthusiasm.  Life does give back in kind’.  He also said: ‘you can if you think you can’.

‘Through zeal, knowledge is gotten, through lack of zeal, knowledge is lost; let a man who knows this double path of gain and loss thus place himself that knowledge may grow’. Buddha.

Enjoy the journey!

Y Is For Yesterday

Yesterday is very much a part of who we are.  We can learn so much from the experiences of all our yesterdays, but it does not do to dwell on those experiences too much.  Take what is useful from them and place the rest at the back of our memories.  Often too much time can be spent going over and over things that have happened and no good is achieved from it.

As Jane Seymour said: Live each day the fullest you can, not guaranteeing there’ll be a tomorrow, not dwelling endlessly on yesterday.

You cannot have a fulfilling today, or tomorrow, if you spend all your time thinking about yesterday.

Enjoy the journey!

X Is For Xenophobia

X appeared to be a difficult letter to get to grips with, I toyed with other ‘x’ words but kept getting drawn back to xenophobia, an acute dislike of foreigners.

Not necessarily of other cultures, however.  We seem to be very tolerant of the cultures we like to embrace, whilst at the same time disliking the people from those cultures.

What we must realise is that we are all descended from the same source.  We are all inextricably linked by our ancestors, no matter what we may look like in our generation.

For the whole of eternity people have been transient, they have moved from coast to coast and if we were all able to trace our lines back far enough in time we would find those people we may fear now are our forefathers.

Xenophobes, you should be more afraid of someone exactly like you.

Enjoy the journey!

W Is For Wealth

Many people mistakenly feel that the only definition of ‘wealthy’ is having lots of possessions.  They believe that in order to be wealthy one must have lots of money and ‘things’.

To be truly wealthy you do not need money or possessions.  You can consider yourself a very wealthy person if you possess wisdom, peace of mind, friends and family, a lifestyle you are happy with, a spiritual awareness, a belief in oneself; any or all, and much much more, are attributes that enable you to consider yourself wealthy.

As Garth Brookes once said, ‘You are not wealthy until you have something that money cannot buy’.

Enjoy the journey!

V Is For Veracity

Do you believe that truth can do more harm than good?  Oscar Wilde once said, ‘the truth is rarely pure and never simple’.  And Denis Diderot, ‘We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter’.  Truth will out, as Shakespeare said.

Honesty is the best policy.  A frequently used phrase that was also actually written by William Shakespeare, and it continues, ‘If I lose mine honor, I lose myself’.

Thomas Jefferson said ‘Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom’, and Spencer Johnson: ‘Integrity is telling myself the truth, and honesty is telling the truth to others’.  We often sacrifice truth to our vanity, comfort or our advantage.

So, how honest are you, with yourself and with others?  Do you find it hard to be veracious?

Enjoy the journey!

U Is For Unity

Being united brings about a better way of working.  Helping others helps yourself too.  As Helen Keller said, ‘Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much’.  And indeed much more can be achieved if we work in unity.

‘And suddenly, like light in darkness, the real truth broke in upon me; the simple fact of Man, which I had forgotten, which had lain deep buried and out of sight; the idea of community, of unity’.  Ernst Toller

There is no problem that cannot be solved by working together.

Enjoy the journey!

T Is For Tolerance

Last year I went to a choral concert held by a group raising money for a local charity.

The charity they were raising money for is About With Friends, a group who give support to people with learning disabilities.

At the end of the concert the group said they were going to sing one more song and they invited some of the About With Friends group attending to join them.  The song was about tolerance and being non judgemental.  This is part of the song they all sang together:

Don’t judge me by the way I look;
Don’t judge me by the way I cook;
Don’t judge me by the way I walk;
Don’t judge me by the way I talk;
Don’t judge me by the things I do,
Because I do not judge you.

Enjoy the journey!

S Is For Sagacious

Other words we could use in place of sagacious are: wise, sage, discerning, clever, intelligent, judicious, acute, sharp, keen, perspicacious.

Wisdom is not learned easily.

As Confucius said:

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.

It takes time and experience to become wise; it also takes a recognition of the facts, seeing things as they are, rather than how you would like them to be.

Enjoy the journey!

R Is For Remembrance

In our family we have a tradition, at 8pm every Christmas Day we toast absent friends.  This not only gives us the opportunity to keep those who have gone before us a part of what we do and very much in our minds during our celebrations, but also brings to mind those people who are still here but we may not think of all the time.

There are many people in our lives, all taking different roles and having different levels of importance.  We share our festivities mainly with our families, and our close friends share these occasions with their own families, but we can still include them in what we do by remembering.

Remembrance is important; it is important to remember those who have gone before us and the contribution they made to our world, but it is also as important to remember those who are still here who we may not see too often.

Enjoy the journey!