Two pictures carefully hang above the windows in the room I currently find myself typing in. There is a one-word reminder on each. The first read BELIEVE, the second proudly displays the letters to spell HOPE. Both are a constant validation of what I subscribe to. The only visible light in the room emanates softly through the keys and computer screen. I should be sleeping but chose to press pause on that initiative for now. I met someone.
This evening, seven hours were spent behind the wheel to drive home from my appearance earlier in the day and sleep in my own bed. When watching the road for such a continuous-time, the mind cannot help but ponder. It always does. In fact, there are days when mine seems to fill up continuously with a steady stream of fresh material. The only way to alleviate some of the thought pressure is to let it flow back out through my fingers. It is 3:23 am.
There is yet another word in my platform trilogy – Inspire. Through the years, it has become the single most important driver in what I do. Everything I create, speak of, share, post, and present under the umbrella of my brand is guided by those seven letters. My life purpose now is to hopefully impact people in some small, mid, or large way. Focusing on this one has become my own internal mission statement for conducting daily life affairs personally and professionally. It seems I am not alone.
I used to feel the grander an inspiration platform became; the richer byproduct would then be delivered. It took a chance meeting to be reminded of the contrary. Sources of inspiration may be found all around us, in everyday objects, events, circumstances, and in this instance… random people.
A temporarily vacant table presented itself as I arrived upon it. The paperwork had been dutifully displayed with careful thought and intent. The woman responsible immediately came right over. For 13 or so prideful minutes, she spoke of her job. Her own personal journey and how she used her story to lift other kids who are currently feeling the same mix of confusion as she had, some 5 years prior.
In this case, through her employ at a certain unique school for youths who find it hard to acclimate to the rigors of a traditional learning program. She spoke with confidence, compassion, empathy, and genuineness rarely displayed by someone her age. It was a hot, steamy Saturday afternoon. There was no compensation coming for the hours there. Only a blessed dedication to her belief system was payment. She beamed with contentment at her informative table. What an inspiration.
There was clearly a lot more to the story. More than could be shared in such a short time. It wasn’t needed anyway; for me to understand this women absolutely got it. She spoke with a smile and determination to be there for those kids. To act as a role model, a mentor, and a sympathetic listener should the occasion arise. Her sentences were clearly formed from the heart. Someone was there for her along the way… and now she has made it her mission to return the gift in kind. Merely a chance encounter with a stranger? Perhaps.
A thoughtful card had been presented to me yesterday, which had the following series of words in it: “I believe people come into our lives for a reason. I think you (Aric) came into our world to help us make sense of this crazy, stressful time with your grace, humor, and compassion.”
Curiously written within are the same lines which one day may be written to someone else who uses their life canvas to give back. I could easily see myself giving this same card to another who strives to make a difference.
When we trade in the inspiration space, there is always overlap. The more, the better. It means we are helping people and staying true to our heart mission. For the day, I gladly yielded my inspirational platform. We even took a photo together.
It took me fifty years to unravel my life purpose. On Saturday, I met someone who already possessed the incredible wisdom to figure it out, some thirty years quicker than I was able to.
The “Adversity Rockstar” teacher, became the student again for a few hours in her school. She deserves the many accolades coming in life. I BELIEVE and HOPE this young lady will go far.
There they are again, those two words.