Inspiration from Surprising People

While watching the Channel 4 coverage of the New York Giants vs Washington Redskins game, one of the questions which was asked in the #ASKMIKE hashtag was:

“What was the best piece of advice that you have ever received?”

Obviously, in this context they meant within sport. However, what they answered with could be mirrored into any other concept. For example, one of replies was:

“There are two types of people in the world: those who do, and those who stand on the sidelines and snigger.”

It’s nothing new– I’m sure many of you have been told exactly the same thing, or at least a paraphrased version. I have too, though mine normally went along the lines of walking in their shoes.

But it got me thinking– what was my best piece of advice?

Immediately, I have my mum pop into my head ranting about that fact I only have one sister. Of course she would say this after me and my little sister had been fighting and arguing over whatever the latest conflict was about. Not that that is probably the most important piece of advice, but it’s the one which sticks with me. 

Maybe it’s the fact that Christmas is coming up.

I come from a large family. Though I only grew up with my mum and my sister, I actually have a half sister and three half brothers on my dad’s side of the family. For personal reasons, I don’t associate with that side of the family and probably haven’t seen any of them since we moved when I was three– though the joys of social media meant that a few years ago my niece (now in her thirties with children of her own) tried to reconnect. That ended badly as well, so yes, in my eyes I do only have one sister.

But the fact that it was that sentence came into my head when considering the question proves a lot to me. Family is extremely important, and my sister was by far the first friend I ever had (ignoring the fact that when I first saw her when she was born, I was horrified that I was supposed to play with this squidgy, wriggly baby).

Not that we see eye to eye all the time, even now that she’s in her late teens and I’m in my early twenties. We’re both young adults, though mature would probably be a bit of a stretch in terms of her life… In my opinion! And yet the majority of time we still argue about every little thing.

Then you realise that I’m the one who’s unemployed while at university studying for my masters… And she’s the only working 50 hours a week, juggling two jobs (one full time and one weekend cafe job) and yet successfully paving her career in childcare.

The roles, by far, have been reversed. My sister is probably my biggest inspiration– but tell her that, and I’ll deny it.


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