Words to inspire

One of my favorite jobs at work is updating the inspirational quote board. I scour the internet, sifting through compilations of sayings designed to affect the reader in an uplifting way. There are quotes for hope, quotes for getting old, quotes for moving past a bad relationship, quotes for wisdom, quotes for inner-strength, and quotes to energize your spirit. These words of encouragement can really make a person feel better and more optimistic about whatever lies ahead. When I find a quote that seems appropriate, I'll usually run a little background check on the author before posting to the public message board. Mostly to quell my own curiosity, it's nice to know where the words came from, what era and if there are any discrediting characteristics such as bigotry or repetitious themes in his or her sayings. Oscar Wilde, for example, initially seemed like a real cool olden-times dude, but after reading a number of his famous quotes I became annoyed by his cynicism towards love and skepticism towards women. I tend to relay quotes with a positive attitude and a disposition similar to my own. In this regard, these quotes might not be rounding me out much, but they do indeed remind me of what I love about myself, which is good too. Generosity, humbleness, persistence (to the point of dogged belligerence), and hope are key qualities in phrases to my liking. Some of my favorite quotes come from Eleanor Roosevelt, Henry Ford, Sun Tzu, Wayne Dyer and Tony Robbins. Here's a supremely awesome quote from Sun Tzu's The Art of War:

“Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt."

It has been quite awhile since my last post and my skateboarding passion, while still burning strong, has been at bay. Other aspects of my life (raising kids and work) have taken precedence and the discovery of hockey has served well my appetite for physical enlightenment. Many aspects of ice skating and skateboarding are similar - both induce wind-in-your-face freedom and both provide the potential for poetry in motion. The smooth ice surface and sharp metal blades give ice skating a refined appeal, while the gnarly, dirty, bone-hard concrete jungle-land of skateboarding has an undeniable allure as well. The game of hockey adds much complexity to ice skating, i.e. other people. This dynamic, the team concept, is a fine exercise in patience and sacrifice. Fundamentally, skating is a method to escape the commitment-laden and sometimes monotonous grown-up world, and thus human interference might seem unwelcome, yet I enjoy the pairing and find that adding people and direction (a goal) to these pastimes only make them better and more meaningful. Hooray for camaraderie.

Today is my 28-month sobriety birthday and I'm so grateful to have discovered that alcohol and I don't mix. I brought booze with me for twenty years of this journey and found an enormous amount of misfortune. So, I decided to put the bottle down and try something new. What I've found is more precious than gold. What I've found is myself and my ability to share my passion for action and provide words to inspire.

"For changes to be of any true value, they've got to be lasting and consistent." - Tony Robbins