I was speaking with a music teacher who I met last week and she told me an incredible story. She’s been teaching a certain instrument to children for decades. A few years back, two different seven-year-olds started lessons around the same time. One of them was gifted. She picked up everything immediately. She had the rhythm, grasped the melodies and never had to practice. The other one was the most challenged student she had ever seen. She couldn’t pick up the songs, she had no rhythm, and she struggled to play. But she practiced every day and she loved coming to class to learn more. Numerous times over the years the teacher thought of mentioning to her parents that maybe this instrument wasn’t for her. Maybe she should try something else. But she always held back as the girl seemed to enjoy the process so much. Continue reading
Inspirational speaker Alexander den Heijer said, “You often feel tired not because you’ve done too much, but because you’ve done too little of what sparks a light in you.” Continue reading
I am currently reading Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull, the president of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation. So interesting.
He always wanted to make the first animated movie. And although he loved drawing as a young person, there weren’t really any courses he could take in that field so he took physics. He went on to help create the first computer animation applications and one day he was summoned to an interview with a guy who was interested in special effects named George Lucas. This was post the first Star Wars so it was a big deal. The first question Lucas asked Catmull was who else he should be interviewing for this job. And without hesitation Catmull rhymed off a list of others who were also leaders in the field. Continue reading
Author and activist Glennon Doyle said, “Keep going. That’s all you have to do, ever. You really don’t have to be amazing, or fierce or beautiful or successful or good. Just keep going, please. Slowly is fine. Crawling is fine. No feeling is final. Except hope.” Continue reading
A quote from designer Jac Vanek made me stop and think this week. She said, “You are the books you read, the films you watch, the music you listen to, the people you meet, the dreams you have, the conversations you engage in. You are what you take from these. You are the sound of the ocean, the breath of fresh air, the brightest light and the darkest corner. You are a collective of every experience you have had in your life. You are every single day. So drown yourself in a sea of knowledge and existence. Let the words run through your veins and let the colours fill your mind.” Continue reading
Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking to 80 team members at a corporate lunch and learn about women who lead. I shared my publishing goal of one hundred rejections and all the lessons about success, failure, grit and resilience I learned along the way. I spoke about famous failures and regular folks who never gave up. Continue reading
My 14-year-old son wants to make movies. He said to me the other day, “The story is king. It’s everything.”
I agree. When you hear a story about someone being successful, or surviving an illness, or overcoming enormous odds to make their dreams come true, it inspires you. It reminds you that anything is possible. That you can do it just like they did it. Continue reading
An excerpt from my book, The Treasure You Seek, highlighting the Invictus Games happening in Toronto this coming week. May we cheer on these epic heroes who are inspiring us all.
May 4, 2016
The captain of my soul
Prince Harry was a soldier fighting on the front lines in Afghanistan. When the media got word of this and shared it, he was forced to come home and leave his fellow soldiers behind. It would have made it more dangerous for everyone if he’d stayed. But it devastated him to go.
On the flight home, he saw a soldier’s coffin being loaded onto the plane.
Harry said, “Once in the air, I stuck my head through the curtain to see three British soldiers, really young lads, much younger than me at the time, laid out on stretchers in induced comas. All three wrapped in plastic, missing limbs, with tubes coming out of them everywhere. It struck me that this was just one flight of many carrying home men and women whose lives would be changed forever. And some who had made the ultimate sacrifice.”
It got him thinking. How could he do something to help these heroes live the new life they would be living, to help them feel valued and validated?
And the Invictus Games were born. This is an opportunity for wounded soldiers to find a new meaning in life after being injured. To pour their energy into competing against others just like them. To fuel their soul.
The second annual Invictus Games starts shortly in Orlando, and the third Invictus Games will be in Toronto in 2017.
William Ernest Henley said in his poem “Invictus”: “It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll. I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.”
Being the captain of your soul is the ultimate goal in life: to have a purpose and to put one foot in front of the other with that purpose in mind.
Harry’s creative solution has changed lives and given our heroes their power back. What can we do to make a difference in our own lives and in the lives of those around us? How can we be the master of our own fate?
My grandma, and all the other ladies in Ireland that I visited when I was young, had two pictures on the dresser. One of the Pope and one of President John F. Kennedy. JFK was the epitome of dreams come true for the Irish. His grandpa scraped together the four pounds he needed to sail across the Atlantic at a time when many of the windows of businesses in the new country held signs that said, “Irish Need Not Apply.” Continue reading