Inspirational People

Recently, I have been reading stories and becoming inspired by people who people who have overcome extremely difficult circumstances in their life and have turned their struggles into ways to inspire others.  Check some of my favorites out below:

 

Randy Pausch: He is the co-author of a book called “The Last Lecture”.  He is known for his inspirational lecture given at Carnegie Mellon.  He taught computer science.  In 2006, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was told he only had 3 months to live.  He lived for 3 years and in those 3 years inspired millions of people all over the world to follow their dreams.  You can go to YouTube and listen to that speech here.

 

He died in 2008, but he continues to inspire people through his book and his lecture.

 

Nick Vujicic: Nick is from Australia and he has a disease that is called Tetra-amelia syndrome. He has no limbs, yet he surfs, swims, plays golf and soccer.  He is a husband, father, and a motivational speaker.  His story is truly amazing.

 

His website is lifewithoutlimbs.com and he has a book titled,”Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life.

If you are feeling down his book and his story will definitely inspire you.  He basically asks you why you aren’t happy if he is?  Most of us will never face the challenges he has and yet he is full of joy and wanting to help others find joy as well.

Misty Copeland: Misty is the first African American Female Principal Dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. But that isn’t the inspirational part of her story.  She was living in a motel room with her 5 brothers and sisters when she found ballet at 13 years of age. AND, she was dancing en pointe 3 months after her 1st dance class.  If there was ever a description of a prodigy, this would be it. She was dancing classically professionally in just a year!  The best part is that Misty is focused on giving back.  She mentors young girls and boys and works with dozens of charitable organizations   She also has a book.  it is called “Life in Motion”.

Steve Jobs: You have to have heard of Steve Jobs.  He is Apple.  He has inspired people in every field of business and he started the personal computer revolution.  He had a harsh personality, it is said, but he was a visionary and an inspiration. He also was on overcomer.  He was unwanted by his biological parents. He wasn’t always wealthy.  He was so broke at one good point he ate free meals at local Hare Krishna center.  He turned every obstacle into an opportunity and became one of the most respected CEO’s of any company.  He did not let circumstances get in the way of his dreams and he always dreamed BIG!

These are just a few of my recent favorites.  Search the internet, go to a book store or look to someone next door to find someone that inspires you!

Get in touch with me here if you have a story you could like to share.

Radiators and Roker

It is amazing all the good that happens around you when you are looking for it. Honestly, this blew me away and couldn’t have come at a better time if I had planned it.

My friend had a problem with the radiator in her car and was told that she had to get a new one.  She called me yesterday and was stressed about how she was going to pay for it with all of her bills and other maintenance she had to do on the car.  She said,”God will help me with all my bills”. She got her checkbook out and started to write the check for the new radiator. The two gentlemen behind the counter stopped her and said that someone had anonymously paid for it. I KID YOU NOT!  And in the words of Shaggy – it wasn’t me.

She said all that she could do was stand there and weep.  She called me to tell me that God had been showing off again this week.  She said she felt like she was in a waterfall of His love.  She posted a big “Thank You” on Facebook to whoever it was that paid for it.

If we were friends on Facebook, I would love to share it with you.  It is so inspiring and so encouraging to know that people are here for each other, especially when we need it the most.

And then this….

Today as I was sitting in the dentist chair, the hygienist turned on the TV.  Like that really distracts you from what is going on in your mouth. Anyway, I was sitting there watching NBC Today or something like that I see “Coming up next: Pay It Forward: Al Roker honors his son’s therapist“.  Of course, that caught my attention because it reminded me of my blog and the stuff in it random acts of kindness and pay it forward.

The gist of the Roker pay it forward is this … Lori Rothman is an occupational therapist who works with kids who have autism.  She has been helping Al Roker’s son Nick for the past 10 years.  He couldn’t walk or talk and low body core musculature at 3 years old when the Roker family reached out to Lori.  He said that she was positive about what they could expect as far as Nick’s progress when most others weren’t. His is 13 now and is taking Taekwondo.

Roker flew Lori to Miami to celebrate two of her most favorite things – running and tennis (Serena Williams specifically).

They all took part in the Serena Williams Live Ultimate Run, a 5K race to benefit her charitable foundation and Lori was able to meet Serena – the greatest female tennis player of all time.

Wow, what an awesome way to pay it forward!  I mean as a parent, when your child is in need of something and you can’t provide it, but you find someone who can?  That is priceless.  Well done, Al Roker and God Bless Lori Rothman!

Tomorrow I will have more stories about good things going on and more stories of inspiring people. Come back soon to get your dose of encouragement!

Random Acts of Kindness

Today, I thought I would share ideas that might strike a chord with you and inspire you to engage in a random act of kindness, make someone happy and hopefully make the world .. or maybe just your neighborhood or community a better place.

  • Candy Cane Bombing – You can run to the dollar store and buy some candy canes. Attach a cheerful note to the candy cane and leave them on cars or door knobs.
  • Leave detergent and bleach at the laundromat
  • Leave change in a vending machine. Not sure why this always makes me feel like I found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but it does.
  • Leave a card or See’s candy for your mail carrier. Speaking of mail carriers.  I have to brag about my mailman, Chet.  He is the sweetest, happiest most cheerful man on earth. I’ve never seen him without a smile. He always waves to me no matter where I run into him. Most people rarely see their mailman, let alone know their name.  But, I’ve got a good one. One day I was on my daily run (ok maybe it isn’t every day, but I try) about 5 miles from home and who did I see getting out of his car heading to the beach … Chet.  He told his friend, “Hey, she is on my mail route.”. He ran up and gave me a big hug. I secretly believe he could be an angel.
  • Hand make hats for newborns and take them to your local hospital. When I lived in Denver years ago, I used to volunteer for a program called “The Snugglers”.  It was a program for babies who were born addicted to drugs because their mothers were addicts.  Most of the time they were abandon at the hospital and had no one to hold them.  If babies aren’t held, and cuddled they don’t thrive.  These babies needed all the love they could get.  We always looked forward to getting handmade hats to give to these precious newborns.
  • Join Big Brothers or Big Sisters or whatever organization helps kids in your area. Most of you have probably heard of Big Brothers or Big Sisters. However, there are plenty of other youth mentoring programs out there. For example, I used to be part of a program called Denver Partners. What an amazing program that is.  I had just started my first job out of college and wanted to give back to the community, so I joined Denver Partners.  I was partnered with a girl who was 11. Her name was Roberta. Her only request was to be partnered with someone who didn’t have writing on their walls and who had a telephone. Ummm … I can do that.  Roberta and I became buddies over the years. I wasn’t sure if I helped her in any way, but we sure did have fun.  I graduated with a computer science degree and was working at a high-tech company at the time located in the Denver area. Roberta came to my work and we talked a lot about what my job was all about.  I got transferred to California with Oracle corporation and that meant Roberta and I would have to say goodbye. They don’t let you stay in touch with the child you are partnered with when you leave. It’s so they can move on and attach to someone else.  But they did keep me updated.  I later found out that Roberta went to school at 7:00 am every morning so she could take computer classes that were offered before school started.  And all we did was hang out and have fun. If you love kids and want to have fun, try a program like this … you will love it!

Well, that is all for today.  Keep following my blog and I’ll keep you up to date with what is good with the world.

Carl’s Jr. Angels – We Did it!!!

We did it!  We paid for the person behind us.

My daughter had gymnastics practice yesterday after school and wanted to stop by Carl’s Jr. for her “usual”. She always has an Oreo milkshake with no whip cream at Carl’s Jr. when she is allowed to splurge. They get quite a workout at gymnastics for 1.5 hours, so why not. And.. I wanted to spread a little love and joy by “I’m paying for the person behind me” mentioned in my last blog.

As we were pulling up to the drive-thru, I told my daughter about what happened in Florida at the McDonalds (see link above).  She is only 7, so she had a lot of questions.  Once she grasped the concept, she was screaming in excitement and couldn’t wait to see how the person behind us would react.

I told her that we wouldn’t be able to see their reaction because we would be driving off and that wasn’t the point.  Matthew 6:1 (paraphrasing) says to do our acts of kindness not for the attention of men but only for God. We want God’s attention and recognition first and foremost.  And yes, of course, there are times when we do get to see the smile on someone’s face by doing something extra special and that is all good too.  I didn’t want her to think it was all about getting on the news or getting tons of attention.

I am sure my daughter is as tired of my lectures and explanations as I was with my Dad’s at her age.  Some days I thought he would never stop the talking and just get on with it… and the apple doesn’t fall far from the trees.

See what I mean …. any hoo…

We finally ordered and got to the cashier.  I told him I was paying for my order and for the person’s behind me and all he had to do was tell them Merry Christmas from the car in front of you.  He got a big smile on his face and said, “Really?”.  He told a few people and they all came to the window to check my daughter and I out – like we had just done something super crazy.

We got our food. My daughter unbuckled herself and jumped in the very back of my SUV so she could wave and scream, “MERRY CHRISTMAS!” at the top of her lungs to the person behind us.  It was precious!

I have no idea what their reaction was because it was a drive-thru, we were in a hurry, and I couldn’t really see.  And, I haven’t seen anything in the news so I am sure we didn’t start a chain reaction. It doesn’t really matter.  The joy that it brought to my daughter and I was enough.  I am sure he / she didn’t see us as angels, but I a pretty sure he / she had a smile on their face.

We decided that from now until Christmas no matter what we are grabbing, a Starbucks, lunch at Panera Bread, or Subway, we are going to buy our stuff and the person’s stuff in line behind us. We may continue it beyond Christmas. Who knows.  You will have to keep reading to see.

I will have more angel stories and people helping people in the upcoming blogs. Stay tuned!

Angels All Around Us – Introduction

There are books about Angels, songs about Angels, news stories, TV shows and accounts from people who swear they were helped by a personal guardian angel. There have even been polls taken to see how many American’s believe that angels do exist.  And you know …most Americans do believe in angels.I am not here to prove if they exist or not. 
I am not going to try to convince you one way or the other.  Whether you believe in angels in the heavenly realm is your business. But, I think that most of us will agree that there are angels all around us – people helping people.The purpose of this blog is to provide inspirational, positive stories about the great things (big and small) that are happening around us because of businesses, organizations, and individuals and yes maybe angels who want to share love and goodwill and want to make this world a better place.
The news and social media will have you believe that there is nothing good happening and nobody is getting along.  I am here to try to spread some love through beautiful stories about angels (spiritual) and humans that are “angels”. I hope that it blesses your day and fills your heart with hope and love.  And, maybe, just maybe you will be inspired to be someone’s angel in the “humanly” realm.

If you do take action, I hope you get in touch with me here so I can share YOUR story!

Check out this video out… it will make you think twice! Do you believe in angels?

Have you seen the movie Pay It Forward?  If not, you may have lived under a rock… just kidding.  Check it out on Netflix or Amazon Prime or wherever you rent your movies. Basically, a teacher gives a boy an assignment to come up with something that would change the world and then act on it. So, the boy, Trevor, comes up with paying it forward – repaying a good deed done to you by doing 3 good deeds to three other people.  Those three people, in turn, will do good deeds for three other people and so on.  And the world becomes a better place – THE END. Okay, not really.

Let’s take a look at an example of paying it forward that happened just LAST WEEK!  In Florida, at a McDonald’s, a customer came through the drive-thru and  told the McDonald’s cashier, Marisabel Lopez, that she wanted to pay for her meal and the person’s meal behind her.  The only thing she asked Marisabel to do is tell the customer in the car behind her “Merry Christmas”.  And you know what happened? A chain reaction of paying it forward took place!!!  250 people paid for the car behind them. It’s only a meal from McDonald’s you may think … but I bet it put a smile on the faces of 250 people and made their day a bit brighter.

It is motivating me to go do the same today – who knows maybe it will motivate you as well. Let’s see …. where should I go to pay it forward – Starbucks…. or maybe Chic-fil-A … my daughter’s fav.  I’ll report back tomorrow!