Spencer West, Maria P. and you, living inspired lives, or at the least, the potential to do so. Rarely do we link our life stories with those who have gained international, or even local attention. We see our lives as separate and with nothing in common to those around us.

When we feel inspired it’s often because the story is so compelling, the obstacles seem insurmountable. We just can’t imagine how anyone could face what they do and carry on with their lives. It often seems that not only do they carry on with their lives, but live them in extraordinary ways. We’re certain  they possess special traits or characteristics that make it possible for them to carry on and meet their challenges.

We’re equally certain we don’t have what they have, whatever that is.

Inspired by feats of perseverance

Spencer West is just such a person. I heard about him on the news. He scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro and has no legs. He literally scaled the mountain on his hands, pulling himself up, his wheelchair largely useless on the mountain. Most of us look at him and are filled with awe. We can’t conceive of getting up that mountain with our own complete bodies, let alone what he did to accomplish such a feat. We are inspired.

Or, I think of a local woman I know. From a family of high achievers, and in school on the track of creating a successful career in business. On track until she was in a motor vehicle accident and suffered a major brain injury.

She came into my life as a volunteer for the organization for whom I work, interested to help at our children’s summer day camp. A bubbly, happy and warm person, you can’t help but want to spend time with her. Upfront when I spoke to her, she said she wasn’t sure if she could do a whole day, but really wanted to give it a try. She had her doctor’s clearance to be there but she’d have some appointments with her neurosurgeon necessitating a few missed days.

Inspired by problem solving around limitations

Her attitude is the attraction. At no time did she say – “I can’t”. Rather it was “I can.” The focus  was not on obstacles but on possibilities. She came to   offer what she’d like to do, if we were willing. That was inspiring. As is the fact that she continues on in business school. It’s  at a slower pace than she had previously, but with determination to graduate. She is in fact, stubbornly living.

I don’t know if there’s an answer as to why some people take that attitude of positive focus. Nature, nurture? I don’t know. I do believe that we can all foster it. In fact, life is going to hand out some of our own mountains and only we can decide what we will do with them.

Want to be a person of inspiration, to live an inspired life? Attack life with all your energy and gusto. Put away the I can’t thinking and replace it with I can. You will need help, we all do. That’s not a source of weakness, but an effort to be a big player, rather than a bench warmer in the arena of life.

Please, leave a comment. I would love to hear your inspiring story.

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