Be driven, be inspired, but be……
Now that you have embarked upon your journey to success (and the fact that you are reading this, or indeed any other likewise book means that you have started that journey) means that you will need fuel for the said journey.
Now better writers than me have and will continue to, write about the importance of diet to sustain us and they are quite correct. However, as well as the food we put into our bodies, fuel can also be taken on board as a mind and spiritually nourishing diet.
We need to be both driven and inspired toward our goals and this chapter will, hopefully, show you how to spot the difference and best utilise the two.
I’ll start with driven, and I make no apologies if this sounds judgemental. Each person chooses how they live and behave. This section isn’t about me judging certain factions of our society nor is it to suggest that they aren’t happy with their chosen path. It is merely to show how their way drives me on.
I try to avoid programmes like The Jeremy Kyle Show and their counterparts. I find them negative, insulting and degrading. My opinion is that the people on there are exploited and are probably given the incentive of a small cash deal to pour out their souls, humiliate themselves on national TV and succumb to the inevitable DNA test.
On the odd occasion I do stumble across the show, if I have the TV on in my office as background noise as I work in the day, I half watch and offer the prayer ‘There but for the grace of God.’
Listening to the abuse hurled back and forth as Aunty Doris realises she is actual the Father (yes, I did say father!) of her mother’s uncle’s cat (Okay, I am exaggerating on that front) only enforces my thanks to the Lord. I offer the same thanks when I see for example,(as I have indeed done so recently) a former work colleague, who is years younger than me, standing outside the local pub, smoking and drinking pints of beer at 11.30 in the morning. Whilst younger than me, he looks much, much older. He only breaks from the pub to visit his local bookies to place the bet that is going to ‘earn’ him a fortune.
Whilst waiting for his horse to come in, he will bide his time with a couple of frames of snooker, the TV on in the background tuned to ‘The Racing Channel’. As the black ball hits the pocket of the snooker table, he turns to the TV in the realisation that his horse came in to a photo finish. Sadly though, it was so slow they had to wait 24 hours for the film to develop.
He consoles himself with a trip back to the pub and the attraction of the slot machines. And of course a few more pints before a takeaway and a night in front of the TV, where, if he is lucky, his ‘missus’ will have taped today’s Jeremy Kyle. You never know, he might see someone he knows on it! That is of course should he make it through the first half of the programme before passing out. Never mind, it will all start again in the morning. The cycle of the day that is, not the show.
Now these people may be deliriously happy with their lives and I hope they are. I want people to be happy. But sadly, the drawn look on their faces and the slumped shoulders speak otherwise. However, they never seem to want to do anything to better their lot, improve their lives and achieve their dreams. Again, this is not a judgment more an observation. We all start of with a clean sheet and we all have the same hours in the day to make a go of things.
Now these people frighten the life out of me. Why? Because I do not, will not become one of them. You see, they drive me on.
It has not, by any stretch of the imagination, been easy for me becoming a top Martial Artist and a aspiring writer. Nor did it come easy to me achieving the privilege of having one of my books go into development as a film. It was damn hard work, as it will be to bring the film from the development stage to the big screen. It was also damn hard work learning to take the hits and give the hits that make me a leading Karate Instructor. Sure, I caught a break or two and had good friends help me on my path, but I seized every opportunity that came my way. and I made that way.
Now what drove me on when I didn’t think I could do one more round of sparring? What kept me going when I didn’t want to drive hundreds of miles to the other side of the country to fight, wrestle, learn and develop? When I write, what drives me to scrawl out the next page, chapter or article?
Well, the answer is this; I look into my mind’s eye and see the guys outside the alehouse, the ladies with the large girth on Jeremy Kyle, screaming abuse back and forth from the safety of their stretch leggings and bad breath and I promise myself I will not succumb to that life. No way.
The rain pelting my face whilst I am running, the cuts on my hand from the hitting the bag and the headaches from constantly pounding the keyboard and writing in my notepad can take their best shot. They are nothing compared to the fear of becoming a person who spends the rest of their life saying ‘if only’. I will not succumb. I will not grace the sofa on Jeremy Kyle, I will not be seen blowing the last of the weekly shop money in the bookies. This is what ‘drives’ me on.
But then there is the other side of the coin. It is a nicer side. It is Inspiration.
When I see the greats in Martial Arts perform a fantastic Kata (a form of shadow boxing) or I see a boxer break the pain barrier to achieve championship status, I feel for them. I want what they have and I am prepared to do what they have done to get it.
Any victory against the odds in sport can see me through another day of training. The famous 2005 Champions League Final between Liverpool versus AC Milan, still brings a tear to my eye, and not just because I am a Liverpool fan.
Three nil down at half time and with seemingly no way back, they dragged themselves off the floor, to the sound of their faithful fans singing them, willing them on, bringing them back to life, to triumph in the most spectacular circumstances. That victory went down in history. Now that is inspirational.
When I read a book that brings tears to my eyes, or sends shivers down my spine, I aspire to be like the writer. I want to have, and will have, a New York Times bestseller. I will share the shelves with John Grisham, Stephen King and the other many, many authors who have inspired me.
I can’t sing for toffee but music both inspires and uplifts me. I constantly listen to songs of hope, victory and love. The theme to the movie Gladiator is a most uplifting, soul soaring piece of music. It can inspire me to get my bum off the couch and into the gym.
I listen to music whilst I train, drive, write or sit and read. More often than not, this replaces the Jeremy Kyle show as my background of choice in my office.
Certain songs can bring out that extra lift needed to complete a specific task. And completing specific tasks, equals reaching our goals. The closer I get to my goals the more room I put between me and Mr Kyle.
So have both as your fuel, drive and inspiration. Be driven, be inspired, but please, be………
This is taken from the book Dipping Your Toes in the Water by Simon Morrell, available here