Photo credit: Ken Neoh
It’s funny that I struggled a little writing this as I have so many inspiring moments in my life, though it could purely be because I am old (young people feel more and more comfortable pointing out this fun fact to me).
My father is my greatest inspiration, and even after he went to the great beyond 12 years 11 months and six days ago (at time of print), I hear him chiding (at times not gently, but quite a forceful roar depending on how silly the path I am leaning towards is), and showing me the way by his life examples.
I have been blessed with inspiring leaders; one who had the courage to walk away from the empire she built when the circumstances had changed so drastically.
And yet another, Prof Datuk Dr Khairuddin Yusof, a doctor no one can accuse of “not practising what he preaches”–climbing Aconcagua, participating in triathlons till his 60s, following which he decided to participate in competitive latin dance competitions, and always having the best attitude welcoming all us ‘young ones’.
During my time with an NGO for women and children who had been trafficked and abused, some sold as sex workers, the depths of despair and level of trauma constantly boggled my brain. Still, there were examples of women who had come from not being able to sit across the table from a man to, after years of recovery, really taking charge of their lives and choosing to become counsellors themselves to help others.
Recently, my colleagues at Leaderonomics shared an example of how three teenagers were so inspired after attending the DIODE advanced leadership camp that they got together and decided to organise their own workshop! And I hear it was a great success.
In this collection of articles focused on inspiring moments and people, our contributors write about the importance of
There’s also a lot to be said about just breaking the mould, and becoming a leader who is not out of textbooks – read the article on Steve Jobs aptly called Inspirational Jobs (pun intended).
In our Women & Careers section, Raina Radzaif highlights inspirational women leaders who really blazed their own trail.
Another colleague talks about the importance of lunch in a busy workday, and I think that sometimes we need a long invigorating break from all things–which is why I found myself staring at the vastness of the Niagara Falls one day and getting a deeper understanding of what divine guidance is.
We really can choose to learn and be inspired by everyone around us, and pay it forward (unless it’s uninvited!).
First published in English daily The Star, Malaysia, 2 August 2014
Karen has rather bizarrely maintained a childlike side to herself – always keen to see, learn and do new things. Yet she has remained grounded on finding the best way to help people – especially those who have the skills and heart to do incredible things. To contact Karen or to request a soft copy of the entire collection of recent articles on Inspiration, do email firstname.lastname@example.org . Click here for more articles.