Inspirational Messages For LIfe

Hypeless Messages To Show Life Is Not Hopeless

Words For Motivation From Jim Rohn

 
 

Young Audience Listening To A Motivational Speaker

 
There are a great many authors and speakers in the world who can provide the words of motivation we need to improve our lives. One of the greatest providers of inspiration messages however was Jim Rohn.

Born in Washington State, USA, on 17 September 1930, Emanuel James Rohn spent most of his younger years living on his parents’ farm in Idaho. After school, he went to college for 18 months but, full of youthful over-confidence, he left to claim (as he put it in his classic book, ‘Seven Strategies for Wealth and Happiness’) “a good-sized chunk of the American dream.”

He admitted he made a great many mistakes in those early years. He found himself a job as a stock clerk for Sears but found himself struggling for money. He also got married and found himself promising his wife that the good times were just around the corner. The reality seemed to be quite different however: Rohn had now become a father and was finding his small salary stretching even further.

One day a friend suggested Jim attend a sales conference for the AbundaVita Company. One of the speakers was James Earl Shoaff, a leading distributor and entrepreneur for the company. After the seminar, the young Jim Rohn nervously introduced himself to Shoaff. “I cannot tell you what he said that evening that captivated me so, but I can still remember thinking to myself that I would give anything to be like him,” wrote Rohn.

Shoaff left AbundaVita in 1957 and started the Nutri-Bio Corporation. Jim Rohn followed him and did so well that he was a millionaire by the age of 31. Soon after Nutri-Bio went out of business and Rohn went from a $2.3 million fortune to nothing almost overnight. Soon after, Earl Shoaff died from pneumonia.

Nonetheless, Rohn had learned enough from Shoaff to be able to start over all again. “I had learned from the wisdom of his philosophy of life and his fundamentals for successful living: how to be wealthy, how to be happy.”

Having moved to Beverley Hills in California, Jim was asked by a friend to make a speech to the local Rotary club on his ‘rags to riches’ story. The talk was a massive success. From this first success, he began receiving invitations from all over the country to share his words of motivation.

Rohn was hired by the Bestline Products Company and Standard Oil to conduct motivational seminars for them and share his inspiration messages with their employees.

Around this time, a young Tony Robbins worked for and was mentored by Rohn. Robbins of course went on to be one of the most powerful motivation speakers of all. Mark Victor Hansen, Jack Canfield and Brian Tracy all credit Rohn with the words of motivation they needed to become great authors and speakers.

Jim Rohn went on to speak to more than 5 million people at seminars and to author 25 books and audio programmes. He had the skill to examine human behaviour and find the words to influence so many to improve their lives.

Sadly, in December 2009, Jim Rohn lost a battle with pulmonary fibrosis and died.

Few people can really claim to have given so many people the words of motivation to change their lives for the better. And the wonderful news is Jim Rohn’s words still do so much good in the world.

Find out more about Jim Rohn and learn more of his teachings at JimRohn.com.
 


 
 

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Louis Smith Gives Words of Motivation to Students

 
 

Colourful View of Peterborough in Cambridgeshire

 
In this time of complete media coverage, world-class athletes have to learn to deal with a lot more than winning medals. For Louis Smith, silver medal winner in the 2012 Olympic gymnastics, he has had to learn to learn public speaking to share words of motivation to others.

Having also won the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing competition, Louis has some real inspiration messages to share. He has been doing just that by touring schools in Cambridgeshire, close to his hometown of Peterborough.

Talking and meeting school children can be problematic but Louis, who was awarded the MBE in the New Years honours, seemed to enjoy the experience. A hero to many, Louis started the tour by visiting and talking at the schools he attended so the experience brought back memories too.

During his visits, he passed words of motivation to many children. The purpose of the talks was to encourage children to follow him into sport but it seems he has become a hero to them and has inspired them to do better in anything they do.

Louis Smith certainly seems to be living up to the motto on his tattoo: ‘What I deserve I earn.’
 
Read about Louis Smith’s school tour on the ep24.co.uk, Peterborough Today and BBC websites.
 
 

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Walt Disney: The Man of Inspiration Messages

 
 

Walt Disney Showing Plans Of Disneyland To Officials

 

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
 

Walt Disney
 
 

We all like to dream and find the inspiration messages to project ourselves into a better life. The cinema has always had the ability to transport us to somewhere else – even if only for a couple of hours.

One of the greatest dream makers the world has ever produced is Walt Disney. His name is known all over the world and his movies, characters and theme parks are as influential now as they ever were. But who was the man behind the fantasies?

Walter Elias Disney was born on 5 December 1901 in Chicago, one of five children. He had three brothers and one sister. His father, Elias was Irish-Canadian and his mother had German roots. Soon after Walt’s birth the family moved to Marceline, Missouri where the young Walt took a keen interest in the rural life, including the animals around him.

From a very early age, he loved drawing and sold sketches to friends and neighbours. His uncle worked on the Santa Fe Railroad and later Walt worked selling newspapers and refreshments to passengers. During this time he also developed a love of the railway.

At high school in Chicago, the young Walt continued his interest in art and a new-found love of photography. He contributed illustrations to the school newspaper and took a course at Art College in the evenings. He was profoundly influenced too when he saw his first movie in a small early cinema in Marceline.

During the closing year of the First World War, the 16-year-old Walt travelled to France to work with the Red Cross. The ambulance he worked in was covered in cartoon drawings!

Back in America, Walt was fascinated by the idea of animated drawings. His brother Roy found him a job at a Kansas City art studio and then at an advertising agency producing animated commercials. Still enthusiastic about animation, Walt started his own company with a colleague, Fred Harman.

The two began to produce cartoons and to show them at a local theatre, calling them ‘Laugh-O-Grams.’ The shows were extremely popular so the pair hired more employees and produced more shows, including some combining cartoons and live action. Sadly in 1923, financial problems forced Disney to declare himself bankrupt.

His natural enthusiasm meant Walt was not cowed by his failure and he joined his brother Roy, who had moved to California. Together with a former employee of ‘Laugh-O-Gram,’ Ubbe Iwerks, the pair borrowed $500 and set up a studio in an uncle’s garage. They produced a short movie, ‘Alice In Cartoonland,’ which they sold to a New York company and a series of shorts based on the character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

After some success, Walt discovered the New York distributor had stolen the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit along with most of their illustrators. Nonetheless, Walt’s enthusiasm kept them going and the two brothers, along with Iwerks, started work on a new character Walt had created called Mickey Mouse.

In the meantime, in 1925, Walt had fallen for one of their employees, an artist named Lillian Bound, and the pair married. Both the brothers’ wives worked in the new company and, after failing to find a market for their silent Mickey Mouse films, the advent of talking pictures enabled them to create, and distribute, a new short movie, ‘Steam Boat Willie.’ Walt provided the voice of Mickey and the new film, the first of its kind, was a massive success.
 

Statue Of Walt Disney And Mickey Mouse At Disneyland

 
The next few years were ones of great success for Disney. ‘Silly Symphonies,’ produced in 1929 introduced more of the characters we associate with this great dreamer, Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse, Pluto and Goofy. Walt’s first of 22 Oscars was won by ‘Flowers and Tree,’ the first animation produced in colour, and ‘The Three Little Pigs’ included the song ‘Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf.’

Disney produced the first full-length musical animation in 1937 with ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.’ This movie cost an astronomical (at the time) $1.4 million but quickly earned more than $8 million, rapidly becoming a milestone in the history of the movie industry. The film is still hugely popular today.

Now began among the most successful years of Disney productions with films like Bambi, Dumbo, Pinocchio and Fantasia wowing audiences all over the world. A new studio complex was opened in 1939 but there were also two events that shook Walt both personally and professionally.

In 1938, his mother, the source of most of his words of motivation in the early years was accidentally killed by carbon monoxide in her home. Walt felt this terribly for the rest of his life.

A large number of animators went on strike in 1941, halting production. Unfortunately many of them left the company and it was some years before the company resumed full production although during the war years most of the output was for training, health and propaganda films.

After the war, Walt Disney found his stride again, producing a new strain of live-action movies using animals as both a source of entertainment and education. He also produced some memorable mixed animation and life action movies, including ‘Mary Poppins,’ which was the last film produced by Walt. The studio also began its venture into television with some success.

A new dream drew Walt Disney’s enthusiasm. In 1955 the $17 million Disneyland Park opened to the public and very quickly returned an income many times the money invested. In it’s first 25 years, Disneyland had over 200 million visitors. The next idea was for a huge theme park in Florida. With an area twice the size of Manhattan, the park was to be a resort encompassing education and entertainment. It took more than 7 years to plan and construct.

Walt Disney died of lung cancer in December 1966, five years before the opening of Walt Disney World. His brother, Roy, oversaw the completion of the project.

The legacy of Walt Disney lives on in our hearts. Few other people can have inspired and entertained so many people and the Walt Disney Corporation, formed in 1923 by Walt and Roy with a $500 (plus $250 of their own savings) now has an annual revenue of more than $25 billion.

What can you achieve with a dream and enthusiasm?
 
 

“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
 

Walt Disney
 
 

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Inspiration Messages: The Parkinson’s Disease Bag

 
 

Inspirational Avenue of Tree In Pune, India

 

A debilitating disease is hardly where you would expect someone to get inspiration messages, but that is exactly what a design student in Pune, India did.

Vidhi Bhargav had watched her father fight Parkinson’s Disease from when she was one year old. In her final year of college she was expected to come up with a new fashion design and had no hesitation choosing.

The 21 year-old student immediately set about designing a bag for sufferers of the condition so they might carry important items without dropping them. Her design incorporated all the elements required to make it useful for those who had reduced control of their hands.

She presented her idea at a Parkinson’s Disease event and it was warmly received.

It is wonderful that this enterprising person found the inspiration messages to not only develop her dream but to help other people along the way.

We wish her the very best of luck with her design.

Find out more about Vidhi Bhargav and her bag on the DNA India website.
 
 

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Molly Burke Provides Inspiration Messages

 
 

Schoolgirl in Grey Pullover Looking To One Side

 

School bullies have been responsible for breaking quite a few of their victims but some who have been bullied have turned their tormentors words into words of motivation.

Molly Burke of Ontario, Canada was four years old when she was diagnosed with retinitis pigments, which lead to a total loss of vision in a matter of years. Eventually she had to use a white stick and then was assigned a guide dog. In the meantime the bullying began and one child even suggested Molly kill herself. She did consider ending her own life, suffered depression and started to cut herself.

One day she fell and broke her ankle. She had to use crutches to get around and so was unable to take the dog with her. Other school girls lead her to a nearby forest, took away and smashed her crutches and ran away laughing.

Molly changed schools but the bullying continued. Eventually she found the courage to talk to the principal, who alerted her family. It was then that the young schoolgirl discovered there were people in her life who loved her enough to support her and provide words of motivation for her.

This inspirational young woman is now 18 years old and is one of Canada’s most popular public speakers. She talks on behalf of the Me to We company, which provides ethical products, experiences and speakers. Molly spreads words of motivation around schools across Canada, particularly to combat the bullying too many children experience.

Many of us could learn so much from such an inspirational young woman. As she says on the Me to We website: “If I can get up every single day motivated and able to inspire just one person, then everything I’ve been through is worth it.”

Find out more about Molly on the CTVNews website.
 
 

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Short Inspiring Stories: The Struggle of Orlando Bloom

 
 

Orlando Bloom In Black Tie And White Shirt

 
How many of us have a dream, only to give up when things get a little tough? One person who had such a dream, faced many obstacles on the way and yet still found inspiration messages enough to press on and achieve that dream was the actor Orlando Bloom.

Born on 13 January 1977, in Canterbury, Kent, Bloom was named after the 16th century composer Orlando Gibbons. He had one elder sister, Samantha, and was the son of Sonia and Harry Bloom. His mother had been born in India and Harry was a South African born Jewish anti-apartheid novelist.

When Orlando was four, his father died of a stroke and nine years later it was revealed to him that his real biological father was a family friend, Colin Stone, who became Orlando’s guardian.

Orlando Bloom is dyslexic but, with words of motivation from his family, he managed to get through school in Canterbury. A key turning point for the young man was when he realised that the characters he had watched in films or on television were simply actors playing a part. Suddenly he wanted to play his heroes and his dream to be an actor began. Initially he was active in school plays and the local theatre company and became interested in poetry and prose.

Pursuing his ambitions, the young Orlando moved to London in 1993 and began to work with small parts in such television dramas as ‘Casualty’ and ‘Midsomer Murders.’ Initially studying at the Fine Arts College, Hampstead, he spent two years at the National Youth Theatre, before receiving a scholarship with the British American Drama Academy.

In 1997, Orlando played a small part as a rent boy in the acclaimed movie, ‘Wilde,’ which starred Stephen Fry. Although he was then offered various other film roles, he decided to do more theatre and eventually began a new course of study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

In 1998, Orlando was visiting a friend when he climbed onto a gutter to fix a jammed balcony door. He lost his footing and plunged three stories to the ground. Rushed to hospital, he underwent six hours of surgery that left him with plates and bolts in his back. His doctor broke to him the news that Orlando may never walk again.

But Orlando Bloom’s dream was stronger than that. He provided his own words of motivation, deciding that he would make himself walk again and would never let fear restrict his life.

Two weeks after being admitted into hospital, he haltingly walked out again. He resumed his studies and began acting on stage in such plays as ‘Twelfth Night.’ One night in 1999, the audience for one of the plays included movie director Peter Jackson, who approached Orlando after the show and asked him to audition for a film he was casting.

A few weeks later, the young actor graduated from college and went straight out to New Zealand, where he spent 18 months playing the physically demanding part of Legolas in the massively successful ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy.

Orlando Bloom is now one of the most sought-after actors with parts in several major movies such as ‘Black Hawk Down’ and ‘Pirates of the Caribbean.’ In 2005 he was finally cast in a leading role in the medieval epic ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ when he played alongside such greats as Jeremy Irons and Liam Neeson.

He is never too busy however to return to his roots in theatre. In 2007 he appeared in ‘Celebration,’ a play by David Storey, and is always happy to try new plays and films that are a bit different or low budget.

In 2010, Orlando Bloom married Miranda Kerr and, early in 2011, a son, Flynn Bloom, was born to the couple in Los Angeles.

Orlando lives most of his time in London however and regularly makes time to be with his family and friends away from acting. Despite his earlier experiences, he admits to being an adrenaline junkie; he regularly took part in bungee jumping, skiing, surfing, Rugby Union and skateboarding. He is a practising Buddhist and in 2009 was named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, visiting schools in Nepal to support education and sanitation programmes.

Although one assumes fatherhood has toned his adventurous spirit, Orlando still has an insatiable zest for life, despite having broken his back, an arm, both legs, a wrist, a finger, a toe and his nose in various accidents. His philosophy provides words of motivation for all of us but Orlando Bloom is still phlegmatic about life: “People come into your life and people leave it… you just have to trust that life has a road mapped out for you.”

 

“I know you can be up one minute and drop the next, so I’m trying to maintain a steady course so I can have some longevity.”
 

Orlando Bloom
 
 

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Margaret Thatcher: A Source of Many Words of Motivation

 
 

Margaret Thatcher In Salisbury July 2005

 

“If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.”
 

Margaret Thatcher
 

Margaret Hilda Roberts was born on 13 October 1925 and died on 8 April 2013. Sadly some of her political opponents have made an attempt to disguise the extraordinary life of this tough woman, named ‘the Iron Lady’ by a Russian journalist, but her achievements will still be remembered by history.

She was born to Alf and Beatrice Roberts in a flat above one of his two grocery shops in Grantham, Lincolnshire. Alf was a Methodist preacher and an Independent alderman on the local council. Eventually he became the town Mayor.

Margaret went to the local school and received a scholarship to Kesteven and Grantham Girls School. She applied for a scholarship to study chemistry at Oxford but was rejected. Fortunately another student withdrew and Margaret studied for, and received, her degree. Her political career began at university, with the young Margaret becoming President of the Oxford University Conservative Association.

She began work as a research chemist and was selected as the Conservative candidate for Dartford in Kent. At the dinner after her selection she met the man she was to marry – Denis Thatcher. They married in December 1951 after Margaret had been beaten in two general elections.

This determined lady then studied Law and qualified as a Barrister in the same year as she gave birth to twins, Carol and Mark.

Once again she was defeated in another election before being elected Member of Parliament for Finchley in 1958. She rapidly made her mark in the Conservative party, working in the Ministry of Pensions before becoming the party’s spokesperson on Housing and Land. Other roles followed before she became Minister for Education in 1970. Throughout her career, Margaret was involved in economic and international discussions, attending lunches at the Institute of Economic Affairs.

In 1974, Margaret Thatcher succeeded Edward Heath as leader of the Conservative party. In 1979, after a loss of confidence in the Labour government, she became Britain’s first woman Prime Minister.

During her time in office, Mrs. Thatcher’s determination and strength were obvious to all. In many ways, she was the last Prime Minister with charisma and a belief in her policies. Her strength was particularly reflected in her determination to disrupt the power of the unions, who many felt had been at least partly responsible for the country’s economic woes in the 1970s, in her attitude to the terrorists in Northern Ireland and the Argentinian invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982.

In 1984, Mrs. Thatcher narrowly escaped a bomb attack by the IRA in the Grand Hotel, Brighton. Five others were killed. It was characteristic of the woman that when the attack took place, at 3am, she was still in her study working. She was due to give a speech to the Conservative Party Conference next day and duly gave it as planned.

Throughout her premiership, Mrs. Thatcher was instrumental in foreign affairs, including the break-up of the USSR.

After a remarkable 11-year period in office, during which she achieved many of her aims and made many friends and enemies, Margaret Thatcher faced one too many leadership challenges and had to resign.

Her strong personality has resulted in many anecdotes. Lech Walesa, former President of Poland, remembers some advice Mrs. Thatcher gave him: “Write down the 10 steps from where you are now to where you want to be.” But she also had a human side too; Left-wing politician Tony Benn recalled seeing her at the funeral of Labour MP Eric Heffer, “I thanked her for coming and she burst into tears. She had come out of respect for someone whose opinions she disagreed with.”

If you want to know more about this charismatic politician, visit the Margaret Thatcher Foundation website.

 

“Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction.”
 

Margaret Thatcher
 
 

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Short Inspiring Stories: Emily Maguire Overcomes The Odds

 
 

Black And White Image Of Emily Maguire Performing

 
The music industry is a tough place to be. Anyone wanting to become a successful musician needs all the inspiration messages they can get, so to start out with a disadvantage makes the journey all the more tough.

Emily Maguire was born in South London in 1975. Growing up alongside her loving sister and watching no television, Emily developed a passion for poetry and music early on. She learned to play the piano, flute, recorder and cello and loved reading books.

Her early passion was for classical music and it seemed like she was destined to be a professional cellist. The young Emily was a normal sight at competitions and even took a master class with famous cellist Paul Tortelier.

Sadly Emily’s teenage years were stressful, due to problems at home, and at the age of 16 she left college and moved into a flat in Cambridge with total strangers. She soon started to show the signs of acute depression, considering suicide and writing disturbing notes. Emily lived on nothing but Crunchy Nut Cornflakes for some months and listening to Bob Marley tapes.

A psychiatrist had to bully Emily into taking medication and eventually she began to recover.

After a period in France, Emily moved in with her mother and returned to college. A car crash soon after however triggered fibromyalgia pain syndrome, which left her only able to move on walking sticks and in great pain.

For her birthday, Emily’s mother gave her a guitar: this was the saving moment for Emily. A friend suggested she tried combining her loves of poetry and music by writing songs. Incredibly having time on her hands else became an asset to Emily as she began to write constantly.

Emily tried many therapies and drugs to alleviate her condition but found only cannabis made any difference. At the age of 21, Emily found herself sat in a hospital garden in total despair when words of motivation, saying ‘I can, I can,’ sounded in her ears. For a moment, she felt utter joy for the first time for a long time.

In 1998, Emily dislocated a rib, which caused seemingly impossible pain. She chain-smoked cannabis, stopped eating and sleeping and wrote constantly. At the age of 23, she was taken to a mental hospital and was diagnosed with an extreme case of bipolar disorder.

For weeks she was kept in a ward with other mental health patients, wanting to talk to doctors but the drugs she was given made her unable to speak.

Eventually she was allowed to go home, where Emily decided to find an alternative to drugs to help her recover. She found inspiration messages in ‘The Way To Freedom’ by the Dalai Lama and visited a Buddhist teacher. He taught her how to meditate and this helped her tackle each day more easily.
 

Emily Maguire At The Microphone

 
After a few months, Emily expressed her feelings in a song called ‘I Thought I Saw’ and then ‘I’d Rather Be.’ After 10 years of pain, she found natural treatments that alleviated her pain and began to consider singing in public.

Her great-uncle bombarded her with words of motivation and forced Emily to sing her first concert at the Square and Compass pub in Dorset. This lead to several other gigs and eventually she ended up nervously singing in the Half Moon in Putney, London. Emily was amazed when she received thunderous applause.

Sadly in 2002, Emily returned to a mental hospital. This time however, she was given fewer drugs and was encouraged to play her guitar. Nonetheless Emily tried to escape several times but even so she began to recover slowly. In hospital she wrote the song ‘Falling On My Feet.’

Eventually she moved in with her father near Cambridge and then back to London. Suddenly she received a phone call from an Australian musician and producer she had met some years earlier. He invited her to visit him. By chance, Emily found she had just enough money to fly to Australia – so she went.

Christian, her friend, lived in a shack in the bush and Emily felt immediately at home. He gave her the words of motivation she needed to start playing again and together they recorded all her songs.

Emily’s visa expired so she returned to London. The draw of Australia was too much however and she was back in Australia in 2003. Emily was encouraged to release an album (‘Stranger Place’) and was astonished when it was a hit, leading to several engagements in the area.

News of her success reached London and suddenly there were invitations to play in England. Nationwide tours resulted before Emily returned home to record her second album (‘Keep Walking’).

Another tour of the UK led to an appearance on BBC Radio Two. As a result, Emily started a further tour of the UK and Ireland with Don McLean. Suddenly she found herself playing to up to 4,000 people at a time and having to deal with interest from the media.

Emily now regularly plays to audiences of different sizes and has released a third album (‘Believer’). She still lives under the threat of reoccurrences of her mental illness and has to take medication and meditate to combat this.

Interestingly, Emily is recording a fourth album, which is being financed largely by sponsorship from fans. Her work has always been encouraged by inspiration messages and money from fans. This extraordinary woman has overcome the most amazing challenges, both from mental health and finances, to become one of the most talented singers around.

The inspiration messages she gives us mean nothing seems impossible anymore.

Find out more about Emily Maguire on her website. You can also see her at several venues, including her return to the picturesque Square and Compass, Worth Matravers, Dorset on 1 June 2013.
 

“Well I’ll say,
Go slow, be kind, be wise
Start over again, just start over again.”

 

Emily Maguire (‘Start Over Again’)

 


 

 
 

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Inspiration Messages From Aung San Suu Kyi

 
 

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Talking To British Government Ministers

 
It sometimes seems that figures from the past offer the most effective words for motivation but there are many people alive today whose stories provide inspiration messages for all of us.

During the 1970’s a young mother was listening to the radio in her home in Oxfordshire with her young son. Together they listened to the BBC programme ‘Desert Island Discs.’ On this programme, well-known people are interviewed and asked what items they consider so valuable that they would them amongst the few possessions they could take to a desert island. Primary among these items are pieces of music they hold dear.

The son turned to his mother and asked if she thought she would ever be invited to speak on the programme. She answered “Why not?” The little boy was curious why his mother might be included. “I considered this for a moment and then answered: ‘Perhaps because I’d have won the Nobel Prize for literature,” and we both laughed. The prospect seemed pleasant but hardly probable.”

This story was recounted by Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese campaigner for democracy, during her speech made in Oslo on 16 June 2012 to accept the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to her in 1991. It provides words of motivation for all of us.

Suu Kyi was born on 19 June 1945 in Rangoon, now known as Yangon. She was born into Burmese politics as her father, Aung San, oversaw the countries independence from Britain in 1947. Sadly he was then assassinated that same year.

She had two brothers, although one was drowned at the age of eight, and she was initially educated in the country of her birth. Her mother became a leading political figure herself and the young Suu Kyi met a wide range of people from different backgrounds and beliefs. Khin Kyi (the mother) became ambassador to India and Suu Kyi went to school and college in New Delhi, emerging with a degree in politics.

Suu Kyi then went to Oxford and gained a further degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics before moving to New York to work at the United Nations.

In 1972, she married Dr. Michael Aris, a leading scholar of eastern culture and they had two sons, Alexander and Kim. The family lived in Oxfordshire and, in 1987, Suu Kyi gained a Masters degree in Burmese literature from the London School of Oriental and African Studies.

Suu Kyi returned to Burma in 1988 to visit her ailing mother but stayed to lead the pro-democracy movement. At the time a dictator, U Ne Win, who slaughtered any opposition to his rule, dominated the country. Suu Kyi began to give words of motivation to democracy and human rights campaigners. Although all protests were entirely non-violent, in 1989 Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest and spent 15 of the next 21 years in detention.

U Ne Win renamed the country the Union of Myanmar in 1989 and told Suu Kyi she would be freed if she agreed to leave the country. She refused saying that she would oppose the government until a democratic regime was in place.
 

Young Burmese Pro Democracy Protestor Holding A Placard

 
In 1990, an election was held and the National League For Democracy won more than 80 percent of the vote. Predictably the government ignored the result, eventually declaring it void.

Suu Kyi was released in 1995, set up an alternative ruling body and was placed under arrest once more in September 2000. In 2003 she was released again until the democracy movement clashed with government supporters and Suu Kyi returned to house arrest.

Sadly Michael Aris only saw his wife five times during her time in Burma and died of cancer in 1999 and her two boys did not see her before 2011, when they were allowed to visit her.

International pressure grew around the time of Aris’ illness and the United Nations and Pope John Paul II put pressure on the Burmese government to allow a visa for him. This came to nothing but with the new century came calls for Suu Kyis release from all around the world.

In 2008 a cyclone hit her house and she lost all electricity, repairs were only planned the following year.

Eventually, in 2010, another election was held but the National League for Democracy was disbanded just before so the ruling junta won the election unopposed. Suu Kyi was finally released six days later. The following year however the NLD reformed and, in the light of increased international pressure, forced a new election, which took place in 2012. Suu Kyi finally won office.

Having won a wide variety of awards, in January 2013, Aung San Suu Kyi finally appeared on the BBC Radio 4 programme, Desert Island Discs. Of course she had words of motivation for us all. A committed Buddhist Daw Suu (‘Mother Suu,’ the name the people of Burma have given her) is phlegmatic about her life. “I’m not terrible fond of melodrama,” she said, “When people have chosen a certain path, they should walk it with satisfaction and not try to make it appear as a tremendous sacrifice.”

On her website Aung San Suu Kyi dispenses some essential words of motivation: “It is not enough merely to call for freedom, democracy and human rights. There has to be a united determination to preserve in the struggle, to make sacrifices in the name of enduring truths, to resist the corrupting influences of desire, ill will, ignorance and fear.”

The life of this great heroine should offer all of us inspiration messages to help us understand that we should find a worthwhile cause and pursue it.
 

“It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

 

 
 

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Words For Motivation: Sophie Christiansen Rides High

 
 

Sophie Christiansen At The Paralympic Victory Parade In London 2012

 
The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are now a memory but it would be a pity if we lost the inspiration messages the events of last summer gave us.

As we all know, there are many challenges to be faced in life and we all need words for motivation to overcome them. Many would find a major disability too much however. In November 1987, a baby daughter was born two month premature and was found to have cerebral palsy, jaundice, blood poisoning, and a collapsed lung. If that was not enough, the new baby then had a heart attack.

Despite all these challenges, the baby grew and her parents sent her to a normal school with a special unit attached where she was encouraged to enjoy sport, playing football and hockey at break times. Nonetheless she was shy and suffered some bullying. At the age of six, Sophie Christiansen began riding near her home in Berkshire and then with South Buckinghamshire branch of the charity Riding for the Disabled as a form of physiotherapy. She had at last found a sport she could compete in and was hooked.

In 2004, the 16 year old Sophie competed at the Paralympic Games in Athens and provided us all with inspiration messages by winning a bronze medal in the Grade 1 (severe disabilities) dressage behind fellow Britain Lee Pearson, who won the gold medal. Writing on the HorseHero.com website, Sophie explains how things changed: “I learnt the importance of teamwork, became more confident and less self-conscious due to the amount of interviews I had to do, and generally grew up. Athens did more than years of speech therapy for my confidence in communication. ”

Sophie continued by winning three gold medals in the 2005 World Championships in Hungary and a gold and a bronze in the 2007 World Championships.

The 2008 Paralympic Games were held in Beijing of course but the equestrian events took place in Hong Kong where Sophie won a gold medal in the individual freestyle dressage event and silver in the championship dressage. As if this was not enough, she then won gold in the team event.

In recognition of the words of motivation she gives to other people, Sophie Christiansen was named the BBC London Disabled Athlete of the Year in 2004 and was given an MBE in 2009 in addition to other awards.

The medals continued to come throughout 2009 and 2010 before she faced her home crowd at the London 2012 Paralympics. What great inspiration messages she gave us there. Sophie won three gold medals in the Individual, Freestyle and Team events, racking up a personal and Paralympic record score in the Freestyle event and winning the hearts of millions.

At no stage does Sophie allow her disability to get in her way. At times she has competed in wheelchair half marathons, winning the Windsor event in 2002. She refuses to be wheelchair bound but does use an electric scooter to travel longer distances. Away from sport, Sophie gained a Masters degree in Mathematics from Royal Holloway University early last year and worked part-time as a statistician.

In the 2013 New Years honours list, Sophie Christiansen was awarded an OBE and is coming to terms with her newfound status as a celebrity. Her career away from sport is on hold while she adapts to her new life: “Having had the success I’m determined to live with it.”

Sophie ensures she puts something back too: she has already been giving talks and words of motivation to schools, campaigns to have those with disabilities accepted and is supporting charities such as BLISS, who work for babies needing extra care.

Sophie Christiansen has a bubbly sense of humour but is also careful that her experiences send out words of motivation to others. “I hope the Paralympics will educate people in disability and also inspire them to go out and achieve their dream, no matter how difficult it is.”
 


 
 

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