Thursday, January 26, 2012

Optimism is Life's Greatest Motivator

I was sitting in class today and the Professor was talking about emotional intelligence. She has "none".

Those are not my words - that's what she told the class. I don't believe her - she seems really kind and empathetic and willing to work out conflicts or any problems that may come up in class. Anyway, she went on to say how emotionally intelligent people are self-motivated and that "optimism is life's greatest motivator".
But what do you do when you get those 1-2punches in life and don't feel very optimistic and you are not very motivated? My Mom-in-law (Phyllis) used to use an expression, "It's feel bad for Phyllis day." I often think of her words when the "rain" comes and unmotivated feelings start to creep in, you know, the ones that make you feel tired - even when you've had enough sleep,
.... it's just a "feel bad for Half-Crazed day."
Recognizing your feelings is always a good start - it's actually "emotionally intelligent". So, yeay for me, I get an "A" for knowing I'm in a slump!

Shame on me, though. How could I be in a slump? Crap, just last week I read an incredible story on Julius Achon. It was in the January 12, 2012 issue of Runner's World. The story is absolutely incredible - it's raw, it's sad, it's inspiring,
... it's one of unmeasured optimism.

Julius Achon, himself was inspired by another Uganda runner, Akii-Bua. At only 10years old, when he heard stories of how Akii-Bua broke the chains of poverty by running, Achon was inspired and started running.

At about 13, he ran 42 miles to compete in a foot race. He ran this race barefoot ...and he won. Wow. No shoes for those 42miles, and then the race! I complain when my sneakers are 6months old! Oh, yeah, and his "sports nutrition" that day - he sucked on some sugarcane!

The next race he won he received a prize: a five-gallon jug for hauling water! He was delighted! That's just crazy! I can't even imagine what he had to endure to get water on a daily basis before having that jug?

He also won a school scholarship - otherwise, he was too poor to go to school. Nonetheless, before then, Achon, from time to time, would sneak into school - he so wanted to learn. And yes, my children are already tired of hearing me talk about this when they complain that they have "too much homework!"

The story goes on to show how Julius survived the civil war in Uganda, but not just by surviving, but by rising up, forging ahead and unselfishly devoting himself to help others.

In 2003, Julius, who had been living in Portugal, returned to Uganda. During this trip, he stumbled on orphans. Since that trip, Julius has dedicated himself to support these orphans. He has built a home for them, fed and clothed them. He even installed a private pump to supply the house with water!

The orphans changed Julius's life and since then, he has established the Achon Uganda Children's Fund.

Amazingly, this fund has provided the monies for the much needed construction of a medical clinic. Now, so many children, who would succumb to malaria fevers, will be able to receive the necessary medicines.

And, Julius Achon's future goals: A village school.
Wow! Julius Achon, you are an amazing person!

So much optimism - even in the eye of despair! 
What an inspirational story!
One to focus on - to promote optimism - to stay motivated - 
 to rise up from the "feel bad for _____ days!"
and keep striving to reach your goals!


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