Until now, there was no one in my life that inspired me in a positive way. I am very self-directed and as a rule, I do not put people on pedestals because it's a long way down. They're human and fallible. They will disappoint you and sometimes, themselves. It's inevitable. Since I started on this introspective journey a few years ago, I have discovered several people that inspire me. I am careful not to idolize them or think that they're perfect. They're simply human beings who have accomplished remarkable things. These three people inspire me to have the courage to be who I am, focus on and develop my strengths, and work on my goals step-by-step. Who inspires you and why?
Oprah Winfrey- Who doesn't admire Oprah, right? I haven't always admired her. There were a number of years where I felt that she seemed to lose her focus. Every other show was about celebrities, "The Secret", or Eckart Tolle. She was getting too preachy for my taste so I stopped watching her show. Over the past three years or so, she has redeemed herself in my eyes. I find her newfound honesty refreshing. It doesn't seem like she's chasing after what's new and hot but instead focusing on making a lasting difference in other people's lives. I watched her Master Class episodes and actually cried during Part I. Our childhood experiences are strikingly similar. She inspires me because she is unapologetic about who she is and what she believes. She owns everything she says and does. That takes courage.
Marcus Buckingham- His is not a household name and ironically, I only know of him because of Oprah. Marcus inspires me because he is spreading a message that goes against everything we've always been taught. I read his book, "Now, Discover Your Strengths" and immediately dismissed the idea that all I need to do to be successful was focus on doing what I'm good at. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that he was right. His ideas aren't original but he spells them out in an easily understandable and relatable way. One thing he said that has stuck with me is that parents should nurture their children's strengths when they notice them. He used the example of attending a parent-teacher conference and his being so focused on how to help his son be better at art while almost completely ignoring how good his son is in math. Everyone has natural talents and we simply cannot excel at everything yet that is what we tend to teach our children. He's given me the courage to pursue my natural talents and help my son hone his.
Richard Branson- I am not inspired by his daredevilish ways, brashness, or ego. Richard Branson serves as an example of what you can accomplish when you build something step by step, little by little. I am an all or nothing type of person. I am also very impatient and want things to happen now. For me, Richard serves as a constant reminder that accomplishing my goals will not happen overnight and I need to keep working at it despite obstacles and setbacks.