Monday, April 2, 2012

What, or Who, Inspires You?

What, or Who, Inspires You?
What makes you a better person?

It seems the older I get, the more emotional I get. Young men often have a very difficult time expressing themselves in deeply emotional ways, but now that I’m in my fifties, I’m much more likely to tear up in a sad movie or at the sight of a soldier returning home to his or her family.

Each of us, I believe, has something that impacts us deeply. Maybe it’s a life philosophy, a family member or someone else that inspires us to live in a certain way. I’m sure that with a bit of thought I could write a rather lengthy list, but here are just a few, in no particular order, that deeply inspire me:

My daughter
For the past six years, Colleen has suffered with debilitating back pain. Beginning when she was a sophomore in high school, she had to give up dance choir, the love of her life, due to her constant, agonizing pain. Over the years, she saw numerous doctors and underwent every imaginable test, therapy, treatment and medication, but nothing helped.

Recently, however, it was discovered that she had a severely herniated disc in her spine, causing much of the pain and numbness or shooting pain in her legs. In February, she underwent spinal surgery and now is in recovery and more physical therapy. Even though she still experiences back pain, we’re hopeful that we’re on the right path.

Watching her go through all of this has been very difficult, yet inspiring. Through high school and college, she painfully say through classes, school functions, class trips, two graduations, fraternity meetings and other activities while maintaining excellent grades. She’s been so strong and I’m extremely proud of her.

My father-in-law
Lloyd Thompson displayed a strength that has inspired me for many years. While he had strong opinions, he had an amazing ability to keep them to himself. I recall many passionate family discussions when opinions were flying about and Lloyd sat silent, taking it all in. Sure, he was willing to share his wisdom, but he always respected every person’s right to a differing opinion.

Lloyd is gone now, but I think of him often, finding inspiration in his ability to quietly allow others to disagree.

Our Armed Services personnel
There are few things more painful and inspiring than the sight of one of our wounded warriors, sometimes with missing limbs or brain injuries, returning home. The idea that these heroes so loved this country that they put themselves in harm’s way in order to protect us inspires me deeply.

It is for then and others like them that the American Flag flies on the front of my home every day. It’s not only my way of expressing my appreciation, but a personal reminder.

I’ve always admired risk-takers, especially in business. When someone has an idea for a product or service, they often jump in, risking everything to make their dream come true. I find tremendous inspiration in their passion, confidence and bold passion to succeed.

I’ve started several businesses and have often found inspiration in such people as Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Steve Jobs (Apple), Fred Smith (FedEx), Ronald Reagan (former President of the United States), Sam Walton, (Wal-Mart) and Margaret Thatcher (former Prime Minister of England).

Honest, integrity and loyalty
To me, there are no more meaningful personal characteristics. While none of us can claim perfection, I work hard to live by a strict code of personal conduct of which I and my family can be proud. I seek out friends, employees, vendors and even clients with the same values.

Unfortunately, I occasionally encounter challenging people who are, let’s say, morally challenged. Some will lie, cheat or even hurt others to get ahead. Although I feel very sorry for them, there’s just no room for them in my life.

People who know me know that I am an extremely loyal person. Friends, clients and others know that I will do just about anything for them. Life is very short and I find serious inspiration in people of integrity.

Who, or what, inspires you?
I’d love to hear your stories, too. Share them below.  

Jim Walton
Brand Acceleration, Inc.
Branding // Marketing Communications // Public Relations
Indianapolis, Indiana: 317.536.6255
Cell: 317.523.7380

Brand Acceleration is a full-service marketing communications, brand management and public relations firm with a focus on economic development, architecture, engineering and construction.

No comments :

Post a Comment