Source: Lapham’s Quarterly
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Bryce Courtenay died yesterday. He was the author of one of my favorite books: The Power of One. The Guardian writes the following about Courtenay: He was born into poverty in South Africa and studied journalism in London. He started writing late in life after a 30-year career in advertising. He was known for his dedication to work and prolific output, often writing for 12 hours a day and usually producing one new book at year. This short < 1 minute clip was produced by Courtenay a few days ago before he died. Take a moment and watch…it is inspiring and moving.
And here are two of my favorite passages from “The Power of One“: [Read more...]
“…maybe that’s the lesson for me today. to hold on to these simple moments. to appreciate them a little more. there’s not many of them left. i don’t ever want that for you, finding things that make you happy shouldn’t be so hard. i know you’ll face pain, suffering, hard choices, but you can’t let the weight of it choke the joy out of your life. no matter what you have to find the things that love you; run to them. there’s an old saying: that which does not kill you makes you stronger. i don’t believe that. i think the things that try to kill you make you angry and sad. strength comes from the good things: your family, your friends, the satisfaction of hard work. those are the things that keep you whole, those are the things to hold on to when you’re broken.”
~ Jax Teller, Sons of Anarchy
John E. Smith @ strategiclearner is a frequent inspiration stop for me. Here’s another one of John’s great shares. Henry Rollins speaks to college students in this clip however I believe his remarks are inspirational to all of us. He shares an important message that needs to be heard, shared and passed along. It’s worth 5 minutes of your time. You’ll find the transcript below.
Transcript of Henry Rollins’ remarks:
Young person, you’ll find in your life that sometimes your great ambitions will be momentarily stymied, thwarted, marginalized by those who were perhaps luckier, come from money, where more doors opened, where college was a given–it was not a student loan; it was something that Dad paid for–to where an ease and confidence in life was almost a birthright, where for you it was a very hard climb.
You cannot let these people make you feel that you have in any way been dwarfed or out-classed. You must really go for your own and realize how short life is. You got what you got, so you have to make the most of it. You really can’t spend a whole lot of time worrying about his. You really have to go for your own. If you have an idea of what you want to do in your future, you must go at it with almost monastic obsession, be it music, the ballet or just a basic degree. You have to go at it single-mindedly and let nothing get in your way. You’re young. That’s why you can survive on no sleep, Top Ramen noodles and dental floss and still look good.
All the people you admire, from Mohamed Ali to any politician, they work and work and work. Your president right now is a man who got where he is through very hard work and scholarships, mainly hard work and application and discipline. If these people can do it, why not you? [Read more...]
Andy Roddick is retiring this season after being “the face of men’s tennis in the U.S. for more than a decade.” What wasn’t obvious to me until reading this article from the NY Times, was the depth of his character, his integrity and his drive. With so many bad actors in professional sports, this story was inspiring. Here’s a few excerpts:
“He’s a study in contradictions: a born entertainer who doesn’t like to leave home; a team player in an individual sport; a deep feeler who is quick to give you a piece of his mind or the shirt off his back; a lunch-pail prodigy.”
“He was precocious, yes, but his defining characteristic has been his persistence. Roddick never had the luxury of coasting, of taking his gifts for granted. How else but through grit and guts does a player with a balky backhand and a butcher’s touch at the net finish in the top 10 in the world for eight consecutive years?”
“Roddick’s serve is such a blur, people have a hard time discerning where his talent ends and his work ethic begins. He’s a classic overachiever who was cast as the suave leading man of American men’s tennis, a role that, true to his nature, he worked earnestly and endlessly to wholly inhabit.” [Read more...]
Rebekah, thank you for sharing.