Finding Your Inspiration

He hadn’t given much thought about what he wanted to do with his life when he boarded a bus to return home from college during the holiday break. The bus was full so he decided to sit by an elderly man named Henry. Joe started talking with Henry, and the conversation quickly turned to Henry’s experience during World War II. An image from that conversation gave Joe his life’s purpose.

Henry:  We had just landed on a beach, and I saw boots lying in the sand. My boots were almost falling off my feet so I grabbed the boots and carried them with me to our temporary camp. As soon as I got a chance, I wanted to try out the boots. But when I put my foot in the boot, I discovered there was a foot already in there. As much as I wanted new boots, I couldn’t remove that foot.

Joe:        What did you do with the boots?

Henry:  I buried them and said a prayer for the soldier they had belonged to.

Joe couldn’t get that image out of his mind. He began to focus on how senseless conflict was. Resolving differences that lead to conflicts became his life’s purpose. Joe became a story teller with a message of peaceful resolution of conflict. Unfortunately, he found no academic discipline which met his needs. So he undertook to develop his own approach to conflict resolution. He gained insights from history, political science, psychology, neuroscience, and religion.

Starting his career was tough. No one thought a young man in his 20s could offer very much to resolve complex challenges. That’s where his story telling helped him. While his age was a problem, the stories were so inspirational that he was able to get the attention of those he worked with. Actually the stories were shaped by his studies of how the brain functions and were designed to rewire some of the conflict parts of the brain.

Over time, Joe became sought after in many different conflict situations. This was a tough life, but Joe drew inspiration from the challenges and sharing messages that could melt away the conflict.

Every time a conflict was resolved, Joe was able to use what he had learned to add to his repertoire of resolving differences. Then he began developing others to do what he had learned. Many of those he trained had been previous conflict participants. What Joe found in training others was that what he learned was tough to share with others. How do you teach someone to be able to inspire others to be their better selves? That became his next life purpose.

We are often inspired by a moment in our life that sets us on our life’s journey. Everyone will have those moments but may not recognize them. To inspire others we have to take inspiration from seemingly random moments in our life. That takes deep reflection, faith in ourselves, and a belief that we found our calling.

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“If you change your mindset, you have the ability to change your entire world.” –Damien Thomas (Actor)

How To Use

Useful guides for incorporating messages into discussion.