Positive Outreach
By Katie Allen Berlandi

The Importance of Inspiration

Inspiration has been on my mind a great deal lately. How often are we inspired? What do we do to inspire ourselves—and others? Do we allow inspiration to change our thinking or direction?

This past Sunday I ran a half-marathon in Newport, Rhode Island. It was a glorious run, with lots of sea air and beautiful sights. But the most glorious thing was being in the presence of 5,000 people who were there to challenge themselves. Was a half-marathon on their bucket list? Were they running to raise money for a good cause? To get healthier? To encourage a friend or family member to accomplish his or her own goal?

Whatever the runners’ motivations, I found it inspiring to be among this group of athletes. Like the man who pushed his physically challenged brother in a wheelchair the entire way. Or the older gentleman whose T-shirt read, “1,000 Marathon Larry”—and who has, in fact, completed 1,000-plus marathons. I couldn’t help but give him a fist pump. The smile I received in response propelled me along, for sure.

I’m so grateful for my half-marathon training partners and friends, Kelly, Amy and Maryanne. Running with them is something I look forward to (even at the crack of dawn!). We support one another and learn about one another. Kelly has done so much to bring women together to run. I am not sure she quite realizes how many women’s lives she has enhanced through running and friendship-building. That inspires me.

Here are a few other recent inspirations in my life:

  • Tina, the German shepherd rescuer who drove 25 1/2 hours to save a puppy that was slated to be euthanized, getting to him just in time. That puppy, now known as Cooper, was adopted by our family. We love him so much. Thank you, Tina, for Cooper and for inspiring us with your devotion and commitment to rescuing dogs.
  • The 14-year-old cancer survivor who got up onstage at Lincoln Center at a gala for the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp three weeks ago. She told her story of losing her left leg to cancer when she was nine and how going to the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford, Connecticut, taught her to never give up. “I live my life without limitations,” she declared. With that, the music started and she performed a beautiful solo dance in front of a thousand people.
  • Anti-bullying programs, especially the ones developed by students. I recently learned about a program that uses Post-it notes in high schools. Students write encouraging words on notes and stick them on their classmates’ lockers, bags, books and backs. What a clever way to put a positive spin on those demoralizing “kick me” signs!

Guideposts provides me—and, I hope, you—inspiration in spades... through magazines and other publications, through this website, through Guideposts Outreach programs, through my grandfather Norman Vincent Peale’s book The Power of Positive Thinking. The Guideposts family is here to do whatever we can to bring inspiration to as many as possible.

We all need inspiration, no matter who we are or what we do. I’m sure that each of you offers inspiration to others. Thank you. You never know who might be touched by your actions.

Katheryn (Katie) Allen Berlandi is the seventh of Guideposts cofounders Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and Ruth Stafford Peale’s eight grandchildren. She is a clinical social worker with a private practice focusing on children, adolescents and families, and a consultant for Guideposts and the Guideposts Foundation. Katie lives in a small town in Connecticut with her husband, two daughters and son.

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Your Comments (4)

I am happy for you that you own this dog. It makes me sad to think that so many dogs are put to sleep because they were not adopted. And I am a very big fan of Norman Vincent Peale. Life delivers many setbacks but each day has special meaning. Thank you for sharing your insight. :). It is appreciated.

I love it Katie! I hope you know what an inspiration to others you are!

Well said.

Katie, you write in such a beautiful way!! You have an enormous heart and always find the positive in situations and people. It is inspiring to be around you and read your articles! Your article was heart warming and truly inspirational to all!!