Originally published 05.24.08:
I spend a lot of energy reading about real estate trends, marketing, public relations, and the like and in this instant gratification culture we have where we (okay, maybe just I) rely on the Treo to run our day, it is good to stop and reflect how you’ve gotten to where you are now. I’ve never met Oprah and I don’t read her books so she’s not on my list, but I want to share with you the five people that have served as inspiration in shaping my personal life. Who are YOUR Five Inspiration People?
St. Thomas More
St. Thomas More has always stood out to me as one of the most courageous men of all time. On the scaffold where he was hanged, one of his last statements was that he was “the King’s good servant, but God’s first” and thus he died protecting a tenet of his faith when all he had to do was sign an oath that he supported King Henry VIII’s divorce. Select few know that in my journey from my Episcopal (the faith fathered by King Henry VIII) upbringing to my now Catholic faith I have encountered persecution by my own family. It just so happens that St. Thomas More is the name of the church I was confirmed in this Easter. I pray that I can be as strong in my faith as he was in his.
Guys Named Benn
Everyone knows my husband Benn but did you know that I married him because I aspire to be as generous, intelligent, kind, business savvy, faithful and humorous as he? Did you know that he stood up for me when some of my family turned their back on me? He serves not only as a personal but a business inspiration to me- he has given me all the bravery and confidence in the world.
I was close with my grandfather who died a few years ago, and he told me as a child “just be the best Lani you can be.” While I was struggling with a personal issue when Benn and I had just started dating (just a few weeks after my grandfather died), he looked at me and said “just be the best Lani you can be,” and my heart leapt. I’m very lucky.
My father is named Ben, thus making this a two-fer; he’s the big headed kid pictured above on the right, circa 1960. If you want to know why I am as snarky as I am and why I find stupid things funny (like ichc and fotc), you now know who to blame (as evidenced here in the blog he runs (ignore the photo of my family flipping the camera off)). Dad raised us as a single father who was very strict but never physically disciplined us (but I was grounded for life in third grade). He’s the one who told us “no one likes a tattle teller,” “stand still or I’ll nail your foot to the ground” (leading me to believe I’d be stuck walking in a circle for life), “do you want to go to the car?” and “they made me drive all the way here so I could throw your mouse away. Don’t bring dead things to school.”
Oddly enough, I ran into my high school journalism teacher recently but I was too shy to run up and tell her how she changed my life by giving me the desire and ability to write (although I did email her insisting that I can’t call her Deanna and she’d have to live with “Ms. Roy”). She’s a big part of why I’m even a part of agentgenius.com because without her fostering my very young writing as a teen, I would never have the confidence to write for such a popular site. She is a professional photographer and writer, and she has a blog that helps parents who have lost a baby through their time which was a silent support for us once upon a time. And the crazy thing is that she has no idea what an influence she had in her short time teaching at my high school.
Mitch Albom’s novel “Tuesdays With Morrie” is my favorite book despite studying literature at the University of Texas. If you haven’t read it, do. It keeps me grounded as I remember the unimportance of material things, reminds me to be kind and giving and live in the present not the past. I LOVE the line, “why would I want to be 16, 25 or 45? [because I’m 77,] I’ve already been those ages.”
Leave a comment telling us all who inspires YOU!