An inspiration bank is a collection of ideas that propel people forward when the going gets tough. Everyone has an inspiration bank; some just don’t realize how powerful it can be. By diving into a great story and keeping it with you, the inspiration is yours to cash in on when you wake up one miserable Tuesday morning and cannot see a way to put your feet on the floor, one in front of the other. Recently, my nephew TJ deposited a pretty good story into his inspiration bank. It seems like a story about hockey, but it is not. It’s about hard work and bad luck and people achieving improbable goals.
I’m always on the lookout for an inspirational win that I can become a part of. The movies Miracle (Olympic hockey) and Secretariat(horse racing) come to mind. For a while the adventures of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton provided both fascination and inspiration, as did the Minnesota Twins when they won two World Series championships in just a few years. Recently, I watched some American guys skiing down Mount Everest. I couldn’t tear myself away from the show, but honestly, the idea that I could ski Mount Everest never crossed my mind. The strong idea that went into my bank was that with practice, planning and purpose, a person can do anything.
That’s the beauty of being caught up in something beyond your daily work, your job search, your career plan, your profits and losses. People accomplish amazing feats every day. Taking part in others’ stories makes accomplishment part of your possibilities, too. Theater, music, sports, art and books are all good sources for inspiration and possibility.
Whether you meet your nemesis in hockey, basketball, piano or ice fishing, if you compete to win, you understand the exhilaration of the game. Even those on the sidelines can get caught up in the action, feeling like you’re part of what’s happening in front of you. Tests have shown that after a football game the adrenaline level of a man in the stands can be equal to that of the players. Engaging makes something real; a fan is more than a spectator… he’s part of the game, which makes the game a part of him.
TJ’s story came via the MN State High School hockey tournament. Well documented across the internet is the fairy tale of Benilde-St. Margaret’s high school hockey team, a tragic on-ice accident that left a student paralyzed and the community that rallied around him, his team, and each other to ultimately win the State High School Hockey Championship. With class and with focused intention, TJ and his teammates accepted the hand they’d been dealt. They surely reached deep into their own inspiration banks for the physical and emotional resources required to meet the challenge.