Browsing articles tagged with " Inspiration"
Jan 26, 2014
Jane Underwood

Poet Draws Inspiration From His Troubled Past

If life gives you lemons, make lemonade out of it, so goes an old adage.

What the adage simply means is that the only winning formula in life is turning challenges into opportunities.

This rings true for award-winning performing poet, Tendai “African Kid” Maduwa.

Turning 25 this year, the versatile actor, poet, writer and columnist who has won numerous awards, locally and internationally, is fast becoming a reputable name in the world of poetry.

Drawing inspiration from growing up as an orphan, Maduwa has perfected his eloquent hard-hitting language to become a voice for the voiceless through social and protest poetry pieces.

“As an orphan I experienced a lot of challenges, from poverty to lack of shelter. I was often moved from one relative to another,” he said.

“At one point, I dropped out of school and had a brief stint on the streets,” recalls Maduwa who hails from Mutoko but received part of his secondary education in Chitungwiza.

Maduwa said he had always wanted to be an artist from early childhood and at one point found himself selling his works of art on the streets to make ends meet.

Maduwa, who has been branded by some as a protest artist, says he is an Afro-centric contemporary poet who draws strength from his own life.

“Actually, I am not a protest poet but a contemporary performer who is motivated to inspire and uplift people through poetry since I have realised that some people lose their lives after they face problems, which I only see as challenges that pass,” he added.

He said he never enjoyed parental love after he lost his mother at the age of eight and his father a year later, resulting in him facing a lot of hardships.

“God did not create people to balance the ecosystem but for them to change life and bear fruits, hence my poetry is against child abuse,” he added.

Maduwa said his lowest moment in life was when he dropped out of school and briefly took to the streets trying to eke a living through his drawings.

He recalled how at one moment a stranger teased him for dropping out of school to live on the streets.

On stage he relives the sad experiences which liven his performances, often leaving his audience in tears.

A published poet whose work featured in a respected international journal, The Enchanted World, featuring 20 other poets from around the world and launched last December in Guntur, India, Maduwa says it’s time poetry vigorously claimed its place in the arts industry.

Maduwa, opened a poetry club, Poetic License at Book Cafe last year in a bid to promote local poetry. He urged poets to adopt a serious professional stance that includes vigorously marketing their work through holding live public shows.

He believes it’s time poets go around the country staging festivals, recording videos and selling discs, as well as producing books about their poems. Such activities, he says, have contributed to the success story of poetry in countries like Kenya.

Before venturing into full- time performing arts, Maduwa was part of the production team at ZBC’s Radio Zimbabwe’s poetry programme, Detembai Tinzwe.

He has also featured in local television dramas such as The Visit, Zero Budget and Zviri Mudzimba which were aired on ZTV1. He says he has gone through the hands of veteran artists, Stephen Chifunyise and the late Walter Mparutsa.

Maduwa, who is also the director of an arts community development organisation Awake Trust, has attended many platforms regionally and internationally including the Kistrech Poetry Festival in Kenya last year, graced by African and international poets.

He is currently working on an inspirational book that traces his life, called Nuggets of Success with assistance from motivational speakers like Rabson Shumba and Arthur Marara.

Jul 22, 2013
Ann Thompson

Speak Up With Jimmy: The Inspiring Story of Billionaire PA and ‘Wealthy Minds …

Can a young African American man from the South — after two felonies, no money, and living out of a truck — turn his life around? The answer is “absolutely, yes.”

Watch my interview with Billionaire P.A. about his life story of redemption and now inspiring others. From Alabama, two felonies and moving to California, Billionaire P.A. spent 63 days living out of a truck – where he wrote quotes that turned negative thoughts into positive inspiration. Today, he sells inspirational T-shirts through his company Wealthy Minds Clothing, gives motivational speeches and produces media content — all to encourage young people to “Speak Dreams Into Existence.”


Speak Up With Jimmy, a Web series, is available at

Follow Jimmy Nguyen on Twitter:

Jun 17, 2013
Frank Davis

Regret ‘rien’ on your fitness front

In the movie On the Waterfront, Marlon Brando – as Terry – says, “I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody. . .” Terry’s one major regret was that he never fulfilled his boxing potential.


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Flying back from the US a few weeks ago, I was sitting beside a woman in her 60s. She told me that she had always wanted to see the world, but the way she put it was, her husband “wouldn’t let her”.

One day she had this vision of her death bed and “her bag of regrets”. So she decided to cut loose and see the world. Her husband agreed, just so long as he didn’t have to go. She was now living her dream.

It’s a huge thing to die without regrets. A life fully lived is one that has discovered, usually through trial and error, what works and what doesn’t. We have a better sense of what’s valuable and enduring, and what isn’t.

An Australian nurse called Bronnie Ware worked several years in palliative care and routinely spent the last three to 12 weeks of her patients’ lives with them. She listened to their dying stories and recorded them in a blog called Inspiration and Chai, which she later compiled into a book. According to her, these were their five greatest dying regrets:

1/ They wished they’d had the courage to live a life true to themselves, not the life others expected of them. This was the single most common regret in Ware’s study.

2/ They wished they didn’t work so hard at things they didn’t love. This was about their work/life balance. No dying person has ever said: “My one regret is that I didn’t spend more time at the office.” Workaholics often sacrifice so much for so little, especially quality time with their families.

3/ They wished they had the courage to express their feelings and to speak up with the voice they were born with. Speaking honestly either raises a healthy relationship to a higher level or eliminates an unhealthy one. Either way, you win.

4/ They wished that they had stayed in touch with their friends. Old friends are irreplaceable. Even golden friendships fade with inattention or neglect.

5/ They wished they had allowed themselves to be happier. It’s sad how many people only realise at the end of their lives that happiness is an inside job, an attitude and not a particular set of circumstances.

When you come into this life, you have one body. Your daily challenge is to keep it fit and healthy. You can’t trade it in for a new and better model. This is it.

Make sure you die without regrets, especially fitness and exercise regrets. It is high summer – what better time to become the fit or the fitter person you want to be.

In this past year, I have watched people who previously were unable to walk for 10 continuous minutes become very proficient in the fitness stakes and even run-walk a number of 5k events.

The only difference between them and you is they made a decision to do something about their health, fitness, body.

They took the first step. Many of them told me that the secret was getting fit with a buddy or, better still, with a group. The Fit4Life concept has various guises up and running. And there is one near you which can transform your life. Whether you live in Bray or Ballyshannon, enquire and you will find a way to a fitter you is easier than you think.

Become a contender today in the fitness game of life and, like Edith, you will ‘regrette rien’.

Declan Coyle is a director of Andec Communications. His motivational techniques have been used by several All-Ireland winning teams.

Irish Independent

Jun 10, 2013
Jane Underwood

Student voices: Moving on

Talk about it

    If all goes as planned, this column will be published after I have graduated from high school. I’ve been waiting for this to happen for four years, but now that it has, I find myself asking: Now what? Obviously I have an entire summer vacation ahead of me, and I know that next year I will be going to college, but I still struggle to find direction with less structure in my life.

    I have heard a slew of advice and motivational speakers in the past few months. They all offer information useful for my future, yet I happened to find the most inspiration from someone who didn’t necessarily set out to give advice for students’ futures. This someone was Zach Sobiech — a Minnesota teenager who recently passed away from cancer. Zach’s story became a national story as he recorded a song titled “Clouds” as a goodbye to friends and family. The song ended up reaching the top of the iTunes charts. A documentary about his life has also gone viral on YouTube and is the main way I learned his story.

    I didn’t know Zach personally but I still feel a connection to him due to us being the same age and being from the same area. A particular quote he offered especially affected me: “You don’t have to find out you’re dying to start living.”

    Zach’s illness seemed to push him to make the most out of his life, which is evident through his music. However, he also sent a message about the importance of everyone doing the same, regardless of the conditions they are under. For me, this advice was the most relevant for my life after graduation. I am inspired to not wait around for opportunities or waste time but instead make my own experiences worthwhile, try new things as much as possible, and to not be afraid to take a chance on once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

    Now I am eager and feel more comfortable moving on from the familiarity of high school and the town of Rosemount that I have known for my entire life. I am grateful for the friends I have made here and the time I have spent in high school learning, performing, and discovering. Next year I will continue this at the University of St. Thomas and remember Zach’s message to get the most out of my future.

    high school, opinion, rosemount, commentaries

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    May 7, 2013
    Frank Davis

    Keeping Your Motivation Primed

    Keeping Your Motivation Primed image motivation 5394095518 63a29abcd7

    Without inspiration the best powers of the mind remain dormant.

    There is a fuel in us which needs to be ignited with sparks.

    Johann Gottfried Von Herder

    Everyone wants to do better; well, most people do. But staying motivated takes more that merely saying you favorite affirmations over and over, you must believe them. It means putting in the work and doing your due diligence, but you must also find ways to keep your motivation turned on, fired up, tuned into what you want to achieve. You have to help your mind want to stay motivated. Here are a few suggestions on how to do that:

    1. Make it and life fun

    When you are working on projects, either in your personal life or at work, you need to find some fun in the processes. Making things fun can help motivate yourself and others who may be having a tough time making it through. If you can find ways to make your work not feel like drudgery all the time, you will begin to enjoy it so much more. If you are the “boss” or the leader, and your employees or teammates are lacking in motivation, then it is up to you to help turn things into a more positive environment. This will help alleviate mounting issues of frustration that eventually lead to problems with hostility.

    2. Communicate

    Communication is an important way to remain motivated and to motivate other people. You need to be sure that all of the lines of communication are open and that there is never a disconnect. If there are potential brewing, make sure that people are keeping you and others apprised. The more aware and attuned you are to potential problems, the less severe the fallout will usually be. Awareness can also help you prevent some things from occurring also.

    3. Stimulate

    Stimulation is important. Be sure that you participate in something every day that is stimulating for you. Stimulation is good for the brain and body. If you do the same thing day in and day out, you will eventually become bored with it. This will ultimately make it difficult to concentrate on reaching your goal. Be sure you create a stimulating environment for yourself, even if it means just mixing things up a bit. Change some small things. This can help you become enthusiastic about what you are doing, and may present opportunities to change your perspective about the “big picture” of your life too.

    4. Continual improvement, not perfection

    Improvements are important. One of the things that you need to keep in your motivational toolkit is to expect some improvements as you go along. As you practice your motivational techniques you will need to find ways to improve your attitude and the way you do the things you do. If you are paying attention, you will be able to find specific areas where you can make small changes to make things better. As you notice these areas, you can create a focal point and set new goals too. This will help you keep motivated to work toward your larger and longer term goals.

    Expecting improvement is an excellent way to avoid stagnation. When people improve or you improve, don’t be afraid to raise the bar a bit. This helps people excel even further beyond what you or others might have thought was possible.

    5. Create

    Feed your creativity muscle. When you work on your motivational techniques everyday be sure you are creative. Never be afraid to use your creative side. It is healthy to be creative. Encourage creativity in others as well. Many of the people you encounter every day have a lot that they can teach you when you show them you are interested in seeing them and their creative side.

    Motivation takes some work. You must make conscious and conscientious efforts to keep yourself and those around you focused and on track. But remember, all work and no play makes you very dull… even to yourself. Have some fun. Mix things up a bit. Let your creativity flag fly every now and then


    Photo Credit: sirwiseowl via Compfight cc

    This article originally appeared on Martina McGowan and has been republished with permission.

    Find out how to syndicate your content with Business 2 Community.

    Apr 1, 2013
    Jane Underwood

    First US Face Transplant Patient Marries Burn Victim Girlfriend

    Jamie Nash Dallas Wiens Married

    What an inspirational story. Dallas Wiens and Jamie Nash overcame immense struggles and found love and hope in each other. Their wedding on Mar. 30 is a testament to human perseverance and the power of love. Congratulations!

    Before Dallas Wiens and Jamie Nash met each other, they were struggling to recover from unbelievably traumatic experiences. But they both proved how strong, supportive, and in love they are now during their beautiful wedding ceremony in Fort Worth, Tex. on Mar. 30.

    Dallas Wiens Jamie Nash: Their Emotional Wedding Ceremony

    Dallas and Jamie, who met in a support group for burn victims, showed that their love for each other was strong enough to withstand any physical pains, getting married in a beautiful ceremony at the same church where Dallas was injured.

    Exchanging their vows in front of a congregation of over 150 people, Dallas lovingly told Jamie, “I am blessed beyond measure that you have chosen me, and I love you with all of my heart.” Jamie responded in kind, “You gave me hope, and you gave me tender love that I will always treasure.”

    Dallas Wiens Jamie Nash Triumph Over Traumatic Experiences

    Their love for each other, and the strength they found in one another, is so inspirational considering the tragic things they have both gone through.

    Dallas was severely injured in 2008 working construction at a church when he accidentally touched a high-voltage power line. He was blinded and suffered serious facial injuries, and subsequently became the first American to receive a full face transplant. In 2010, Jamie suffered near-fatal burns on 70 percent of her body when her car burst into flames after an accident.

    Dallas Wiens Jamie Nash: A Source Of Hope Inspiration

    While being treated at the same hospital though, Dallas and Jamie found courage and support from each other, and their lives have been enriched ever since. “He’s marrying someone who can share about their pain that they’ve gone through, and their recoveries. They have fantastic attitudes about why they’re where they are,” says Sue Peterson, Dallas’ step-grandmother.

    This is the second marriage for both Dallas and Jamie. Dallas has a five-year-old daughter and Jamie has a ten-year-older daughter and a six-year-old son. They both travel as motivational speakers now, with Jamie focusing on speaking about the dangers of texting and driving.

    Their stories of near death to pure bliss are extremely inspirational, and they can both give hope to all of us. Congratulations, Dallas and Jamie!

    The Dallas Morning News

    – Andrew Gruttadaro

    More Inspirational Stories:

    1. Mother’s Inspiring Video Of Son Born With Severe Cleft Palate No Eyes — Watch
    2. Jodie Foster Is An Inspiration For Coming Out As Gay At Golden Globes
    3. Check Out The Trailer For ‘Fly Away’ — An Inspiring Story Of A Mother Raising An Autistic Child
    Mar 27, 2013
    Betty Stone

    Motivation Lies Within Us

    Each week we like to bring you motivational stories, inspiration and findings. Anything from the flowers blooming to the new world of Motherhood, motivation lies within us all. At Career Wardrobe we help women push their fears aside, open their eyes to the opportunities around them and inspire them to be the most beautiful and confident woman they are. We strive to make these women successful and independent. Several women at Career Wardrobe have shared their stories to motivate others. A few key points we stress to make a woman successful are; Opportunity, Inspiration and Independence.

    Take the opportunity. Learn something new. Travel the road less traveled. Learn from Dwanna’s opportunity; “I have been laid off four times in the past six years and have been in the position where I’ve been called for an interview and haven’t had a single thing to wear and no money to purchase new clothing. Career Wardrobe is a great program that encourages, empowers, and motivates women. When women look good, we feel good, too. And a suit gives us all the more power and confidence.” Dwanna, employed for two years as a title agent.


    Take inspiration from everything you see. From the beauty of mother nature to the crashing waves of the sea. Take time to smell the flowers. Breathe deep and love often. Be inspired by Valerie’s words: “Career Wardrobe truly changed my life. After paying for mistakes I made, I was unemployed with a criminal record when I came to them. The women at Career Wardrobe helped me to believe in myself again. They treated me with respect and encouraged me to pursue my dreams and goals. Walking into an interview with the right outfit and the right attitude is invaluable. There is no doubt in my mind I am working today because of the tools that Career Wardrobe has given me.” Valerie, employed and living independently.

    Use your independence. Use your confident and independent voice to show your professional style, your professional work ethic. Use your unique mindset to set you apart from the rest. Look to Erica’s words on independence; “I often say the suit I received from Career Wardrobe was my good-luck charm. It was the first suit I owned, and with it, I landed a job that would forever change my life — the same one I have today. Not only did the staff help me find a complete outfit, they also provided helpful tips on choosing the correct attire for an interview. They helped boost my faith in myself so that I could land the job and grow into the woman I am today.” Erica, employed for five years with Independence Blue Cross.

    ** Written by Heather Masse for Career Wardrobe
    **All Photography Work Copyrighted and Owned by Ashley Herrin Photography

    Follow Career Wardrobe on Twitter:

    Mar 21, 2013
    Jane Underwood

    Programme to Motivate Women Launched

    A group of 30 women professionals have launched a network of motivational speakers to build confidence and entrepreneurship spirit among rural women. Christine Gatsinzi, a Rwandan writer and one of the co-founders of Women of Worth (WOW), said they launched the network in order to connect women as worthy members of society.

    “We aim at inspiring women through a series of talks and motivational speeches to appreciate their worth throughout the country,” she said. At their recent meeting in Kigali, the women emphasised that inspiration and motivation are necessary for anyone to continue developing in life.

    They also shared life experiences and challenges to inspire the novices who had attended the meeting. Gatsinzi encouraged each woman to appreciate her virtues personally worth in dignity.

    Deborah Kagwesage, a counsellor, pointed out that women are key in healing the wounds inflicted in the day to day lives of their spouses and children. She stressed that this was every woman’s God given duty, so that the young generation could be raised within a legacy of wisdom.

    “Today, we are confident that we are sowing a seed that is being planted on fertile ground and we know women’s presence will produce harvest,” she added.

    Under the network’s initiative, women will meet every evening for 30 days to share ideas and life experiences in what is called ‘Women History Month’ which started at the beginning of March under the theme ‘Because I am a woman.’

    Mar 12, 2013
    Jane Underwood

    Men of Quality forum helps inspires JCPS students

    LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Hundreds of
    young men enrolled in Jefferson County Public Schools gathered for a day of
    inspiration on Monday.

    The 17th annual Men of Quality
    lifestyle choices forum at the University of Louisville brought
    African-American students from sixth grade to high school together to listen to
    motivational speakers and attend workshops to help them meet their goals.

    “Responsible choices, that’s what this
    is all about,” said Michael Shoulders Youth Service
    Center Coordinator for JCPS.
    “Making responsible choices throughout your life. I know there’s going to be
    some setbacks, but if you get a good foundation, you know, you can always come
    back to making those good, positive choices.”

    The program is offered in various
    middle and high schools throughout JCPS.

    Participating students meet mentors,
    attend regular meetings and gather for special programs.

    Copyright 2013 WAVE News. All rights reserved.

    Dec 12, 2012
    Jane Underwood

    Motivational Speakers from Africa Visit Coles High School – South …

    CORPUS CHRISTI (Kiii News) -

    Have you ever thought about the things we take for granted? That is what two young men from Africa were asking kids on Wednesday at Solomon Coles High School.

    The point was to get them thinking about how lucky they are to have the things they have here in the U.S.

    “We’re just trying to tell them that they are so blessed and take everything seriously, especially school, because it’s free education, and everything in our country is prepaid,” said Dzago Chatsama, a motivational speaker from Africa.

    Chatsama is one of two speakers who were in town hoping to inspire kids to make something of themselves, and in the process help others. He told the kids how he didn’t even get to sleep on a bed until he was 16, and didn’t get a phone until his 20s.

    He even used an Olympian as a good example of inspiration.

    “I was giving them an example of Michael Phelps, how he shined in Olympics and everyone was proud of him, and they can be Michael Phelps in their own areas of life and make a difference,” Chatsama said.

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