Inspiration is key to reaching our goals each day. Whether it be through a quote, a song or something that someone says to us, we can gain inspiration anywhere. One woman tells her story on where she finds her inspiration and how her life has changed because of it.
By Theresa Thaxton
There have been several women over the years who have inspired me to become who I am today and who I will become tomorrow. I hope you find their stories an inspiration as well.
First of all, my lovely grandmother Rodessa Battle was one of the most influential people in my life because she taught me the importance of hard work and dedication in every aspect of my life. She virtually raised a family of 10 children alone after my grandfather passed away from cancer.
Secondly, she went on to attend college at the age of 49 and obtained two degrees an AA and AS in early childhood development, and social human services. Boy did she have inspiration and motivation!
Thirdly, she helped raise me while she was still attending college and I was in high school; encouraging me when my grades were failing by saying these famous words: “If grandma can do it, so can you.” From that point on, my grades improved from C’s and D’s to straight A’s. This turn around in my life allowed me to attend college. Today, I have two bachelor’s degrees, and I graduated with straight A’s as a Suma Cum Laude student. Now I am about to start graduate school and later I plan on obtaining my PhD to become a communications scholar.
Where to Find Inspiration
Another woman who has personally given myself and my life inspiration is teacher and evangelist Joyce Meyer. First of all, like myself she is a woman of God who loves the lord. She is a prime example of how God can take an ordinary person who has many flaws and use them to do great things.
Recently, while watching her on television I was going through a very difficult time in my life and needed some inspiration. Joyce told the story of how she was an unknown minister who had big dreams of traveling around the world and ministering to people in need. Like Joyce I have similar dreams of doing motivational speaking to the masses in this country and around the world. However, being a new author I was feeling discouraged because the sales from my first book were not doing well.
While watching Joyce on television she shared the story of how she began her journey into what is now known as Joyce Myer’s Ministry. When she first began no one showed up to her conferences nor did they purchase her CD’s. In fact, at one conference the only people who showed up were the five people that she had brought with her. Also, at another conference she only sold one CD and later the person decided to return it. These incidents made her feel like a failure and very discouraged but she did not give up on her dream. She went on to say, “You should never despise the day of small beginnings because faithfulness is what counts.”
Today, she is a well known teacher and evangelist. However, it is nice to know that she started at the bottom like the rest of us, and if she can do it so can I. Her words inspired me to not give up on the days of small beginnings no matter how slow my book sales are, or if no one is inviting me to do speaking engagements because we all have to start somewhere.
Similarly, Oprah Winfrey has had a profound effect on my life because of her drive to help others live their best lives. Although I do not have the social platform or monetary means to help others like she does, I still enjoy encouraging people who come to me for advice or assistance. There have been many occasions where Oprah helped people in need such as in the Katrina disaster that brought me to tears. No, she was not giving these people hand outs she was giving them a hand up in life. I am a firm believer in helping other people fulfill their destiny and purpose in life.
We all need someone to help us fulfill our dreams or even to find our callings and purpose in life. We were all designed to meet the needs of others. There would be no need for doctors if there were no sick people. There would be no need for motivational speakers if everyone were always encouraged and had their inspiration. I am also a firm believer in learning from other people’s lives; wisdom does not come with old age, but it comes when we learn from our mistakes and make positive changes to our lives. This is why Oprah’s television series, called Life Class has been so beneficial to me and providing the inspiration I need.
There have been many stars on this program that have shared their personal secretes of success that have given me the wisdom and encouragement necessary to fulfill my own destiny.
Learn From Others Inspiration
Learning from their inspiring stories can enable me to achieve success a lot sooner in my own life. These are just some of the reasons why Oprah’s role as an African American woman, giver, entrepreneur and inspirational speaker has inspired me to live my best life.
Theresa answers our Identity Five:
1. What have you accepted in your life that took time, physically or mentally?
I have accepted the fact that it took me nine years to get my bachelors degree. However, I had to overcome both physical and mental barriers in order to achieve this goal. In 1985, I flunked out of college and had to endure the shameful feeling of inferiority and inadequacy that plagued my heart and soul. As a result, in 2004, I decided to go back to college to obtain my bachelors degree, but found it exhausting and nearly impossible because I was plagued with one illness after another.
2. What do you appreciate about yourself and within your life?
One of the things that I appreciate most about myself is the ability to care for hurting people even when I do not know them. Also, the thing that I appreciate most within my life is the ability to see because I started losing my eye sight several years ago, and I could have been completely blind.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What goals do you still have?
One of my most rewarding achievements in life is graduating from college with two bachelor’s degrees, while maintaining straight A’s and being a delegate to the 2012 International Scholar Laureate Program. This is an amazing achievement for someone who originally flunked out of college.
Some of my goals for the future are to obtain my masters degree and PhD in communications. This would allow me to become a communications scholar who writes books and travels around the world motivating others to fulfill their life pursuits. Also, I would like to write books that are made into movies.
4. What is your not-so-perfect way? What imperfections and quirks create your Identity?
One of the quirks that is unique to my identity is my unusual laugh. All of my life people have imitated my laugh because it is loud and irresistibly funny. However, sometimes in a foreign place filled with unfamiliar people my laugh can bring unwarranted criticism because it warrants everyone’s attention. As a result, this tends to be my not so perfect way.
5. How would you complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love my voice. For many years, I have resisted the way I spoke because I felt it was uncharacteristic of someone who was well versed in the English language. However, now that I am older I have come to realize that we all have unique voices that characterize who God has made us just like our DNA signifies the very fabric of who we are as people.
I hope reading this gives you the inspiration you need in your day-to-day life!