Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Achievement Amidst Adversity + #MotivatingMonday Link-Up

John James Audubon is the world famous advocate and promoter of bird life. He is credited with discovering several new species of American birds. His drawing books are in rare museum collections around the U.S. His depictions of avian life are the standard for all other bird images. I saw one of his books at an exhibit and was blown away by the detail and life-like look of his drawings. 
 But it wasn't always such great success for him. In fact, most of his life was fraught with financial troubles, and disasters. After years of work, he enlisted the help of a good friend to keep some 200 of his best drawings--those that he planned on putting into a larger, comprehensive collection. When he returned for his drawings, he was horrified to discover that a rat had chewed into the chest where they were stored and had eaten through all of the drawings. It was a huge loss and he contemplated giving up. But he took some time to re-group, recover, and think about why he did what he did, and what he might do to maybe make even better drawings. Thankfully, he decided to start over and because of that, he was rewarded with recognition and fame all over the world. And we are gifted with some of the most beautiful drawings of birds we may never see ourselves in real life, but have the next best thing, drawings by John James Audubon.

This past weekend I attended the Uplift Families Conference, all about what it is that we, as parents, can do to give our kids the best tools to make them incredibly successful and happy human beings. My favorite speaker was Brad Barton, a motivational speaker who practices what he preaches. He does these cool magic tricks to illustrate some of his key points! He spoke about his struggles at trying to do something extraordinary, since he talks about how it's within all of our reach to do so. He had just missed making the 1992 Olympic Team in the steeplechase because of a fall, and even though he had been retired for 16 years and was considered "old" (that stereotype makes me mad), he trained and pushed forward with a new goal. Breaking his ankle in the process of his training, but finally in 2014 he ran the fastest sub 4:20 mile that anyone his age or older has ever done--4:17:54! Not to mention that he would have beat 90% of athletes 27 years his junior.  He says, "I preach the doctrine of getting better. Let's do something hard--get on the learning curve. The happiest times of our lives are our most challenging times. Then we settle into an easier, comfortable life, but we need those challenges." 

These examples make me want to kick it up a notch and find more pinnacles to climb, more personal bests to attain. It's hard, because fall is coming and that hot chocolate and Jimmy Fallon in the evenings are calling quite loudly! We'll see how it goes!
Today is Motivating Monday!  We all need a little motivation!  I, for one, love to explore other sites for motivating, mostly non-sponsored posts, tips, pictures and videos!  If I happen to find a great one, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MotivatingMonday hashtag!  It's like being featured!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize! Don't be shy--I'm really very supportive!  Remember, any link to your posts helps your blog numbers increase!

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