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Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

How do you feel when someone gives you a compliment? How does it feel when someone puts you down?

A year and a half ago, a high school student in Iowa set up a Twitter account to focus on the good qualities in everyone at his school. Jeremiah Anthony recognized that social media is often used by bullies to make people feel bad about themselves. His approach does just the opposite. He posts sincere compliments about students and teachers.

He started by posting positive comments about friends and people he knew personally. They told other people and the movement grew.

The account description for @westhighbros reads, “Breathe in, breathe out. The original positive account.” And it has over 4800 followers. The tweets are always personalized to the individual, focusing on the person’s achievements, qualities and capabilities.

video was recently posted that provides more background about his initiative.

Isn’t it amazing how easy it is to change someone’s day for the better? What if each of us chose to give one compliment a day to people we know? How might that affect your home life? Your work place? Your community?

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“On January 1st I hit a significant milestone on this journey – 10,000 kilometers of bike riding. I have travelled about 20,000 so far, half on the bike and the rest by bus, boat and 1 plane ride from Panama City to Bogota.”

That was Peter Brother’s first blog entry for 2013. Pretty impressive! His cycling journey began in August 2011 in the Yukon, Canada and has taken him along the western coast of Canada, the United States, through Mexico, Central America and into South America.

His bike was stolen while he was in Peru, and he spent a couple of weeks trying to decide what to do next. It was too expensive to get another bike shipped from Canada, and he couldn’t find what he wanted in Peru. Initially, he decided to continue the trip by bus and hiking, but eventually his longing for wheels led him to a bike shop in Iquique, Chile.

So he’s back on the road again, about to start exploring the Lake District in Argentina. After that, his plan is to head to Chile and either ride or take a boat down the inland passage through lakes and glaciers to the southern tip of South America.

Oh, did I mention he recently turned 70?

Kinda raises the bar for the rest of us, doesn’t it?

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The term “flash mob” was first coined in 2003. It refers to a group of people who suddenly gather in a public place, perform an unusual act for a set period of time, and then disappear into the crowd again as if nothing happened. They happen all over the world now, and are often filmed and posted on the internet.

A friend recently sent me this video. This flash mob was organized by the Banco Sabadell in Spain in recognition of its 130th anniversary. Watch for the little girl conducting from the lamp post!

I bet you’ll be smiling by the end. Music truly is the universal language of the heart.

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When I wrote Dream BIGGER: Reclaiming a Life of Joy and Ease, I had the delightful task of interviewing six inspiring people whose dreams had a powerful impact on their community (and in some cases, the world). They came from different backgrounds and countries. Their ages and passions were different. But the one thing they all had in common was the belief that everything is possible.

One of the DreamMakers I feature in the book is Derek Lucas from South Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. When Derek retired, he had a dream – to give away sports equipment to children in need so that everyone could have a healthy, active and fun childhood regardless of income. With the support of his local Rotary Club, the police and a number of community agencies, the dream became a reality in 2007. Since then, hundreds of children have been able to play hockey, ride bikes and enjoy other sports. All because Derek followed his dream.

Recently, the community found a way to say thank you to the tireless 75-year old. At the Rotary Club of White Rock Christmas party on December 8, the mayor proclaimed the day “Derek Lucas Day”. How many of us will ever have a day named in our honour?

While working so hard on behalf of others, Derek has been facing a few challenges of his own. He was diagnosed with leukemia in April 2011. His chemotherapy treatments have now ended, and doctors feel they have nothing else to offer. Rather than becoming discouraged, he continues to approach each day with a sense of humour. As he says, his health issue has made him less of a procrastinator!

His positive attitude is infectious. As he says in this newspaper interview, “You can’t roll over and play dead. There’s a card that’s been dealt to you. Deal with it.”

When I contacted him last week to see if I could include an update about him in this blog, he was happy to oblige. He wished me a happy and successful year and added, “Incidentally, I still feel it’s important to keep following your dream and planning ahead.”

Thanks for the inspiration, Derek!!

Visit www.recforkids.com for more information about Rec for Kids.

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As we enter the first full week of 2013, I’ve been developing my dreams for the coming year. For me, the first step is the most fun – the dreaming part. This is where I get to spend time envisioning what might be possible. There are no limits here, no editing to be done. Gradually, the vision will become more clearly defined, and that’s when I’ll focus on steps to take toward that dream.

Until then, I’m very selective about who I talk to about the dream. If I mention it too soon, well-meaning friends and family may trample all over my emerging ideas with comments like, “you’ve got to be practical.” Or “how can you make any money at that?”

Once I have a plan, then I’ll seek the support of someone who believes in me and my dreams. But until then, I’ll keep the magical visions to myself as they dance, swirl, merge and morph into my dream for 2013.

Apparently I’m not the only one. As I discovered today, there’s another dreamer out there just like me. Tonight, Shannon Skinner will debut her Extraordinary Women television show on Rogers TV Cable 10 and 63 in Scarborough/Toronto. She describes her journey to achieving this dream in her recent blog in the HuffingtonPost.

So dream on, all you dreamers! There’s strength in numbers, and there’s no telling what we can accomplish this year!

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In 1980, the American Helicopter Society International established the Igor I. Sikorsky Prize to develop a human-powered helicopter. It’s an international competition with a prize of $250,000 pledged by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation for the first controlled flight that meets stringent requirements.

The flight must last 60 seconds and reach a height of 3 metres (9.8 ft) while remaining in a 10 metre (32.8 ft) square, and it must be certified by a member of the Federation Aeronautique Internationale.

To date, no one has been able to claim the prize, although many attempts have been made.

Competition is currently close between two contenders – the Gamera II designed and built by students at the University of Maryland, and the Atlas designed and built by AeroVelo, a team of Canadian students and professionals.

On August 28, 2012, the Gamera II unofficially flew for 65 seconds on one flight, and reached a height of 8 feet on another.

On September 3, the Atlas demonstrated the first controlled, non-tethered flight of a human-powered helicopter, lasting 17 seconds.

Both teams continue to refine their design. The Atlas is powered by national speed skater, Dr. Todd Reichert, on a super-light bike frame designed by Toronto’s Cervelo Cycles. He performs endurance and power cycle training for three hours a day in order to prepare for “take-off”.

“Many people have said this prize is impossible,” Reichert says, “but if we succeed, that has the power to inspire.”

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Go ahead. Make my day. Not in the way Clint Eastwood insinuated with that glint in his eye and the gun in his hand.

You can make my day by sharing a good news story. I love hearing how people take the time to surprise someone with delight, or make a dream come true.

Here’s a story that made today special for me.

For two years, a 10-year-old boy in Massachusetts had been saving his money for a particular Lego set. He plays with Lego every day, and has been since he was four. He had seen the Emerald Night train set online when he was eight and decided he had to have it. His parents insisted that he save his money for it.

“I kept all the money I got for birthday and holiday gifts, some of my allowance and some money I got for a research project (he has Asperger’s Syndrome). At last, a couple of months ago I had my $100 and was ready to buy the Lego set of my dreams.”

That’s when he learned that the set had been discontinued. He and his parents checked Lego stores in their area as well as online. The only place they could find them was on Ebay, and for double the original price.

So he wrote to corporate headquarters and asked if they had one there. The reply letter confirmed that Lego was no longer making that set.

Disappointed, he decided to use his money to buy a different Lego piece, but he couldn’t forget about his dream set.

Two days before his 11th birthday, a package appeared on the family’s front door step. It was from Lego. Apparently they had managed to locate one Emerald Night train set and had shipped it to the unsuspecting boy.

To say he was excited would be an understatement. His dream had come true.

So, go ahead, make my day! Share a good news story with me.

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