As we grow and develop, we look to others for support and direction in order to figure out more about life. Your first source for learning wrong from right or feeling out the emotional, intellectual and social components in your world usually comes from your family or your close friends. The older we get, the more our sphere of influence expands into other people and places, be it work, school, church, travel and so forth.
My inspirations when it came to helping people, reading, and bowling came from my parents. My mother ran a day care service in our home, so I grew up around kids of all ages. My father worked days so when I would come home from school my mother needed help in entertaining the children, reading to them and also helping with snack and nap times. In the evenings we would spend a lot of time at Playaway Lanes, a small little 12 lane center just off the heart of downtown. I’d keep score in the adult leagues, then bowl on Saturday mornings during the youth programs plus whenever I could get the free time and money to practice during the week.
My friends inspired my music choices and directions I would go into as far as the heavier styles of music. My friend Mike influenced me to start deejaying, because he and I had the biggest record collections as well as decent stereo equipment. I’d keep up on the latest music news and chart developments through Billboard magazine, which I would purchase from the local penny candy shop. We would take our earnings from the dances we played at plus our part time job money that we could keep and throw it all into more music, better equipment, a light and stage show ( making up your own effects can be dangerous, ladies and gentlemen) and improving the business model all around.
Going to college inspired me to take risks and chances about discovering new people and new interests. This is where I developed another side business helping local bands get their music out to international radio stations, magazines distributors and other record labels. Even if their style of music wasn’t wildly appreciated in the local scene, these musicians and artists soon realized that they could make an impact globally and got excited at the prospects of interviews, positive feedback and increased sales as well as exposure.
After college and working as a private school teacher made me realize that I needed to not only work on instilling values and self-esteem in the people I was responsible for teaching, but also continually striving to improve my own life. I think this is where I discovered personal development. My first book that I read in the field would be Anthony Robbins and his Unlimited Power and Awaken The Giant Within books. He certainly captured my attention with his high energy informercials back in the early to mid 1990’s. From there I went on a quest to learn from people that influenced him, and I’ve developed a passion for learning from others. The librarians know my tastes in reading and probably have helped me to read over 700 books in the past 3 years.
Finally life has come full circle as my wife and two daughters are inspirations as well. They teach me about developing my emotions, thinking outside the box, continually taking risks and learning to handle setbacks without sinking into a black hole. We learn that when everything else seems to be going wrong, we have each other to lift up, support and share in the good experiences and strong memories we’ve developed together.
Remember that when you get out of bed and go out into the world, you are on stage and people are watching you. Whether you believe it or not, you make an impression good or bad by how you look at life and how you treat the people and environment around you. Denis Waitley in one of his seminars mentions a great line about giving children “roots and wings” rather than “loot and things”. Build a foundation with people regarding their legacy, self-sufficiency and their impact with their special talents. Lift people up with your smile, your interest in a topic they are speaking about, or even an encouraging word or phrase.
Inspire yourself to. You are a wonderful human being with so much to give, so much to share, and still so much to learn.