When times are tough, who inspires you to keep going?

It’s estimated that one billion people around the world watched the opening ceremonies for the Summer Olympic Games in London. I know, I was one of those one billion. And I was one of the people singing “Hey Jude” out loud and it was inspiring to think that for just a few minutes people, literally, all over the planet were singing together.

As the games go on, we’ll learn the inspiring stories of specific athletes. We also realize that every athlete has an inspiring story about their path to this 30th Olympiad.

Jan Kwiatkowski, LMFT, is a psychotherapist and mental health consultant for Aurora Family Service in Milwaukee, WI.

Shortly after the opening ceremonies, all forms of media were asking people what they thought and what was most inspiring. Consistently, the top three were: James Bond and the “Queen” jumping out of the helicopter, the final leg of carrying the Olympic Torch and the lighting of the Olympic Fire. Each of those events, reveal something about inspiration or what human beings find inspiring. I’d offer that some of those things are hopefulness, humor, adventure, legacy, persistence, playfulness, focus, determination and a sense of being part of something bigger than the individual self.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes it’s hard listening to all these wonderful stories.

It’s especially hard, if I am facing my own challenging times in life. But as I think about my life and the lives of people around me, I realize that each of us has something that keeps us going; keeps us getting up the in morning to do it all again; maybe lets us take a break, but not quit. It might be our children, our spouse, our personality, a goal, a desire to win, a paycheck, our faith, external family expectations…the list could go on.

Whether we know it or not, we have the opportunity to be an inspiration to others by what we do every day. Whether we realize it or not, we are inspired by others every day.
I wonder what would happen if we were more intentional about noticing who or what inspires us and we took the next step of telling or thanking those people for what they most often, unknowingly, did for us. As a therapist, one of the things I often hear is that it’s the little things that someone unknowingly did, that inspire others to keep going or do try again. Those little things can become gifts that are finer than gold.

I’m curious. Who or what inspires you? Have you let that person or persons know?
Has anyone told you that something you do inspires them?

Aurora Family Service helps families overcome challenges, changes and crisis to live well again. We achieve stability and strength for families through counseling, parenting, elder care, financial, career, health and community services.  For more information, visit our website, follow us onFacebook, or call 1-414-342-4560.

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