Finding some inspiration

Is anyone else having a tough week?

I’ve been there before. Once when I was a kid, I was having a particularly tough week. I’m not sure what was going on, maybe a test or two, possibly something at home, who knows?

When I let my frustration come out during basketball practice, my coach, the father of one of the other players, took me aside and gave me some advice that has stuck with me. He said that we would have good weeks and bad weeks in our lives, we can’t control that. We just need to keep our faith in God and work to get through the next five minutes, then the next 30 minutes, then the next 60 minutes, and, in time, the good will outnumber the bad.

I call it something different now: I call it staying in the present. 

Moving mountains one pebble at a time

The year has been a tough one. We’re seeing a resurgence in Covid. We’re stuck at home. On top of that, this has been an especially rough week with the election. Who will be president? (Yes, depending on your view, the news is good or a sign of the end of the world.)

With everything that’s been happening, I’ve tried to stay in the moment. I suspect others are facing similar challenges. Sometimes all it takes to get things moving in the right direction is a bit of inspiration. In that vein, here’s five things that have inspired me:

–The Great British Bake Off. For the past month, my family has been binging the show on Netflix. I’m not much of a baker, okay, full disclosure, I’m lost in the kitchen, I’m lucky to be able to make myself a frozen pizza without burning the sides, but I love the show. The competitors want to do well, but they seem to care about each other, and the creations they come up with, look out of this world.

-Learn from the masters. Who doesn’t need an inspirational word or two to start your day? “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.” Hellen Keller.

–Make the most of your time. Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch gave a moving presentation on the lessons he learned on achieving his childhood dreams in 2007. He would go to collaborate on a book, The Last Lecture, before succumbing to cancer. Pausch’s story is incredibly sad, but gives hope that the impossible . . . . is possible.

-Making Lemonade from life’s lemons. When Alexandra Scott, who was diagnosed with childhood cancer, was four, she told her parents she wanted to set up a lemonade stand. Her plan was to give the money to doctors to help find a cure. Her first “Alex’s Lemonade Stand” raised $2,000 in one day. Alex continued to set up lemonade stands every year. When Alex was eight in 2004, she wound up losing her battle, but her stand and inspiration had raised more than $1 million towards finding a cure.

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation has kept up the fight. Since Alex set up her first stand in 2000, the foundation has raised more than $200 million, funding cutting-edge research, raising awareness, and helping support families of children receiving treatment.

Who can’t read that story and not see hope?

–And now tonight’s show. After two tear jerkers, how about something a little lighter, a night at the movies. The other night, I happened to catch a few minutes of Seabiscuit, the movie based on Laura Hillenbrand’s book, Seabiscuit: An American Legend. The film loosely tells the story of an undersized and overlooked Thoroughbred race horse, whose unexpected success made him a popular media sensation during the Great Depression.

I’m not much of a horse racing fan and I hadn’t seen the movie in awhile, but it reminded me that greatness is within all of us, we just need to believe.

Once in a while, we all need some encouragement. And like I mentioned earlier, we need to “stay in the moment” because good things are coming. Good luck the rest of the week. 

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