It was like many other moments of time that I spent during my childhood. An image still in my mind as if it was just like yesterday. I am kneeling on my couch in our living room, looking out the window overlooking our front yard and woods across the street. It was one of my favorite things to do then. Look out the window and day dream. We did not have video games and cell phones back then. The only thing electronic I had was a black & white TV in my room and some hand-held walkie talkies. Our free time was what we made out of it. Dreaming was, and still is, one of the things I love to do.
I remember always being a little anxious about the future. I was a very curious and inquisitive kid (and still am :). Very often I would kneel on our couch, ponder about the future, and think about what I was going to be when I grew up? At that point in my life, I mostly dreamed about playing professional baseball. A story for another time, but as a kid, I got to meet the Amazing New York Mets baseball team. I actually got to sit in their dugout during a game and got a signed baseball from the team. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for a young boy who aspired to be like them, and something that would later positively impact my life!
When I look at that baseball today, it brings back some of my fondest memories and lessons learned during my childhood. The Mets during their history-making 1969 Major League Baseball season, which included making an unbelievable comeback to win the World Series, left an ever-lasting memory with me. They gave me a living example of what it meant to be relentless in pursuit of a dream. They showed me that even when things get tough and odds are against you, do not ever give up. They inspired me to be like them and they shaped who I am today.
As you know, at times it is human nature to lose our motivation to do something. Maybe our biorhythms are out of whack. Maybe we are in a bad mood or we let a naysayer get under our skin. Maybe we lose our oomph or confidence in pursuing an endeavor. We very possibly get tired of the fight and feel like hanging it up. OK, I am done, starts to take over because you have just had it with trying!
So, here is a secret weapon and one of the most incredible allies that you ABSOLUTELY NEED in your life. Have an INSPIRATION. This is the WHY you will climb the highest mountains and endure horrific struggles in pursuit of your dreams. A true inspiration will drag you out from the bowels of quitting and will give you the energy to overcome failure. A lot of times, an inspiration will be the only survival mechanism left to reach for before you give into mediocrity or defeat.
Inspirations can be people who do and/or did spectacular things or they can be life events like our impending mortality. They are so awe inspiring, they give us motivation, help us get out of our comfort zones and push us like nothing else could possibly come close to doing. They are the little guy on your shoulder whispering in your ear to keep on keeping on, when you do not want or can not go any further. They will end up being the reason why you get up after being thrown from your horse, dust yourself off and get back in the saddle again.
Only until the later part of my life did I realize how powerful inspirations can be. Let me explain and give you some examples of inspirations.
In 1986, I went to the Philippines for my first Marine Corps deployment on board a U.S. Navy ship. Unbeknownst to me, a girl who would later become my wife, lived only a few miles from where we docked. I met her 16 years later and she became the biggest inspiration of my life.
Obviously this is my wife I am talking about. Her family lived in the country and had very little. Her mother worked herself to the bone selling vegetables just to put food on the table. She needed a pair of glasses since first grade, but could not get them until she was in high school because money was tight. They had an old TV, but had to kick it every once in a while, just to get it to work. I could go on and on, but you have the picture.
Today my wife is my shining star. College educated from one of the finest schools in the Philippines, she came to Hawaii and got her Masters in Business. Today, she manages a multi-million-dollar Engineering firm and is the sole reason why I am here writing you today. She is the one who started taking trading classes, got me off my tuchus, and is why we are blessed to have Jerremy Newsome and the rest of the Real Life Trading community as family. She is the one who constantly reminds this old dog that I CAN learn new tricks. She often reminds me, You can do anything you set your mind to, Jonny. Some of you remember me saying this before! This little girl who came from nothing did not let the boundaries of her circumstances become an excuse. She is my inspiration of determination and perseverance. A magical power of strength into my inner soul which when needed, pushes me beyond my self-perceived limits.
I love my wife and children dearly. They give me the strength and motivation to be a great husband and father. I am going to have many, many more years together with them. INSPIRATION.
Jerremy Newsome, 28 years my junior, teaches me about life every time we talk. He has taught me how to maximize life and to love to live. He exemplifies selflessness and has revolutionized the world of free stock trading education. His life mantra is to help others by enriching their lives. INSPIRATION.
100-year-old George Jedenoff, a snow skier whose picture is on my desk, lives by the old adage, age is just a number. I am going to ski when I am 100 too. INSPIRATION.
And then there is an old acquaintance of mine. For the sake of her privacy, let us call her Nadine. After my recent little stint with the question of my mortality, my Doc told me I needed to work out at least 30 minutes a day. At 58, getting motivated to hit the gym is not as easy as it used to be. We originally met while we were both on active duty in the Marine Corps. Nadine and I would bump into each other every once in a while. We would always say hello, have a little chit chat, and then we would be on our separate ways.
After dragging myself into the gym the other day, I ran into Nadine again after not seeing her for a while. This time both of us retired and a bit older! She was getting after it. I sat there in awe. I mean she was working out harder than any other Marine in the gym. I jokingly said to her Hey, Nadine. You do not have to work out that hard anymore. She looked at me while she rowed away on the rowing machine, not a smile anywhere in sight and said, You do not know what Iâ€™m going through! Deflated and not wanting to disturb her workout, I kept walking and mumbled to myself, Yeah, me too.
The next day we saw each other again in the gym. She walked over to me and with a concerned look on her face asked me if all the weight I had lost (25lbs) had something to do what I said back to her the day before. Whoops! I had no idea she heard me! I explained what I had just been through and BOOM, we immediately connected. A long conversation made short, she is battling breast, liver and brain cancer. She has been operated on and gets chemotherapy every 21 days. She said, Jonny, if I do not workout I will die. I am not letting this beat me.
Nadine looks wonderful and vibrant. You would never know she is in a fight for her life. She is positive and uplifting and looks forward to every second of each day. She works out like an animal and is a perfect physical example of a woman who is in the prime of her life. Do I need to explain to you why this woman is an INSPIRATION to me and why I now do not have an excuse not to go to the gym? Nadine is my new secret weapon! INSPIRATION.
So, here is the deal. We often need something to get us moving on important things in our lives. Inspirations are a magical power within our universe you can use to light the fire within you. And what is awesome is they are free and every- where around us. You just need to look for the good in people and in life and you will find them. The formula is pretty darn simple. Have huge DREAMS. Put a PLAN together. Act on it, and……use INSPIRATIONS in your life to fan the flame of your desires.
BOOM! There it is. Life is now yours for the taking!
Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. Maria Robinson