At a recent Good Vibrations meeting Matt Elson asked what inspires us.
He had been particularly inspired by the paralympics and the fantastic achievements of the elite athletes there. They concentrated on what they could do rather than focusing on what their disabilities prevented them from doing.
I think we can all do with inspiration. When times are tough it is very easy to start focussing on the negative and to get bogged down with what things are not going to plan.
A far more positive approach is to move past those obstacles and focus on what you can do to move forward. Concentrate on those things you can change rather than on those things you can’t.
At the end of the day we live in a pretty prosperous country and have terrific opportunities residents of the developing world could only dream of.
Coming back to a story which inspires me – my father (an author/historian) in the process of researching for a book met a very wealthy German entrepreneur. He had been a fighter pilot in the Luftwaffe and my father had brought him together with the American pilot he had been in a dog fight with – they both tried their best to kill the other. Now they are the best of friends.
Whilst a great story that is not the inspiring bit for me. This ex-fighter pilot had found himself on the wrong side of the Berlin wall when the East Germans started building it. He left his home and fled to the West with his family and only what they could carry.
By the 70s when we went to stay with them near Frankfurt he was a very successful businessman. He lived in a large house with an indoor swimming pool (complete with wave machine!) and had 5 colour televisions. We stayed in their adjacent three bedroomed guest house. You can imagine the impression this made on a 10 year old whose family had only a couple of years earlier aspired to 1 colour television!
The thought that in just over a decade someone could achieve so much whilst starting with so little is very inspiring.
People do extraordinary things. These people are usually extraordinary individuals but if we can take inspiration from their example we can become, if not extraordinary ourselves, certainly more positive and motivated.