There are a few expressions I like to use over and over again, to the point that even I start rolling my eyes at them (I’m going to be such an annoying parent if I ever am one!) – and one of them is my own invention; It’s better to make the best of a bad situation, than the worst out of a good one. You know the deal – some people constantly seem to be on the receiving end of bad luck and yet will just chin up and get on with it with a smile on their faces, while others will whinge and moan and seek attention at every little knock and bump.
Today is not a great day – for the past few weeks I seem to be constantly dragging around some niggle or another which is making training somewhat unpredictable and therefore making it hard for me to find motivation to train hard or frequently (although Ben pointed out quite rightly that I’m not being very proactive in guarding against these niggles, by neglecting the boring conditioning work I could be doing at the expense of maybe one BJJ training session a week, and instead squeezing in as many technical sessions as I can in until I get injured and then spend a couple of weeks out at a time). But today things have gone pear-shaped work-wise for reasons I’m not going to go into just yet (don’t worry, Great Expectations Fitness is still alive and well) and I’m at risk of starting to feel sorry for myself.
Luckily, I am surrounded (in real life or in virtual existence) by people and messages that inspire and motivate me, and who are fighting much harder battles than me. I figured we all go through these moments, so I thought I would share some of my favourites in the hope that they put a smile on someone else’s face.
The first is a video channel I found this morning on Upworthy called “I am Moral Courage” (click on the video to watch the playlist):
A song from my youth which I always come back to, Refused’s “Summer Holidays vs Punk Routine“. A healthy kind of angry (yes, I do believe there is such a thing):
Scott’s blog about being vegan, running fast, and – lately – fighting cancer: Run Fast. Run Vegan. No sugar-coating and all the more inspiring for it.
A hand-written “quote of the day” on a whiteboard in my local Underground station yesterday read “Whatever you are, be a good one” which really touched me. I normally ignore motivational quotes, but I found that one so simple and so pertinent.
Another song that never fails to put a smile on my face is “Green Green Mabley Green” by Apologies I Have None – just a sweet song about carrying on:
I know I always go on about her blog, but another recent post from Viv entitled “Duty Calls” really filled me with awe and admiration for what she does – a person the same age as me, who went to school with me, and out there working tirelessly to better herself for the benefit of others.
Perhaps a little corny for some, but sometimes (often… always) just what I need when I’m feeling low, is Dave Hause’s “C’mon Kid“:
Less directly motivational, I love this TED talk by Dan Ariely about “What makes us feel good about our work” – I find it refreshing as a reminder to stop chasing money and success, and to just do what makes me feel that I matter and that my work is worthwhile:
And then there’s this TED talk by Seth Godin on “The tribes we lead“, highlighting how the links that we make in life are more important than our money or power, and that those connections and communities are what can make changes happen. (Incidentally, from a vegan point of view, that reminded me of Celeste on Honk If You’re Vegan‘s post on “popcorn activism” as a gentle way to steer people into animal rights issues – I think she’s on to something here!)
Of course, this is nowhere near an exhaustive list, and history is full of inspiring stories of unlikely characters succeeding beyond belief, unassuming souls who go above and beyond to help others, humans achieving superhuman feats, and the internet is teeming with breakthroughs and epiphanies and enlightenments: just check out Upworthy and TED for starters, or almost any of the blogs in my blogroll. Speak to your family and friends, I believe everyone has something inspiring to share.
So I hope you found something that made a difference to your day, something that made you feel like you matter to the world – and please, share with me your go-to sources of inspiration – you can never have too many!