Inspiration can come from anywhere

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Last Friday was a great day. It was the last day of half term, I was going to a training day conference with all the other teachers from the local area, and I met one of the most inspirational people I’ve met in my career so far. Alistair Smith.

During the preliminaries, I was thinking about all the great things I had planned for my half term holiday. In the main, lots and lots of sleep. I was not prepared for what was to come. In short, I was blown away by the delivery, content and insights that the guest speaker gave me. The reason I was so inspired was because he gave me a glimpse of the life that wanted to create for myself. I was sat there thinking: I could deliver a speech in that style. I could engage an audience in that way. He wasn’t over the top, and he didn’t make me want to cringe throughout his speech. He spoke at a level that I could relate to, and then elevated my understanding of what the elite in our field do on a regular basis. He also used lots of practical activities that meant we were engaged constantly from start to finish.

About halfway through the speech, I realised that I had to speak to him and make some sort of connection. He was too great a character to never contact again. What in the world was I going to say to him? This was not my style. Then I told myself another story. If you want to become a man who has created his own life on his own terms, you need to be resourceful at all times. Don’t use shyness as some pathetic excuse to not step up.

So, as soon as lunch time was announced and everyone made their way to the massive queue for food, I made a bee line straight for the front of the room.

I started with a compliment, and that broke the ice. Then, he asked if he had met me before and that he recognised me. We hadn’t met before, but I played along to make a deeper impression on him. I asked for a business card as I wanted to contact him about something. He said that would be fine. Yes! I had done it. There had been a moment where I wasn’t going to bother, but I knew that within my discomfort lay my personal growth.

When I spoke with my mentor, he was pleased and we shared some strategies about how I could leverage this new contact and approach him with some ideas that he might be interested in.

Even if nothing comes from making initial contact,I’m glad that I did it and told him just how much of an impression he had made on me. He was a true inspiration, and a frame of reference for what my life could become with hard work, vision and ambition.

Who are the role models that you have in your life.

Do you have heroes who inspire you to become the greatest version of yourself?

I have many. Here are a few of mine: Sir Alex Ferguson, Robert Kiyosaki, The Roots, Outkast, Lionel Messi, Christiano Ronaldo, Tom Venuto, Chris Lopez, Alan Peat, Alistair Smith, Denzel Washington, Eric Thomas, Antony Robbins,Brian Tracey, Jack Canfield, Jim Rohn, Adam Wallis and there are many many more including my Mum.

Choose success

Shaun.