I am often inspired by small items of text here and there, and experienced one such moment a few days ago when I travelled with KLM from Schiphol (Amsterdam) to Entebbe, in Uganda. KLM gave us a small “dinner” snack, which these days comes in a coloured box, carrying a bit of motivational text. Here is the latest bit of “wisdom”, apparently written by someone called Flora Whittemore:
With additional inspiration provided by a small can of Heineken, I found myself not completely agreeing with Flora, whoever she may be. It may be true that the choices we make in life affect the directions we take, but I've found many of these choices to have been almost random in my own life. Certainly not planned in any strategic sense. And I may have been pushed or pulled through a door or two… If I look at my career (and my life) to date, it's almost impossible to compare it with my expectations at the time I graduated!
No, I think our lives are more determined by what we do once we have gone through these doors, and even more importantly, HOW we do it. While I was thinking along those lines, high in the air over Africa, I took inspiration from my family: Reinhardt, who won an award at his recent graduation because of his positive attitude, and his very wide and active involvement with the Hotelschool The Hague, it's students and staff. Quintin, whose approach to life and everything he does in it can only be described as super-enthusiastic! And Marcel, who is enjoying his sports science study, while competing flat-out in swimmining competitions. All three of them are seen by just about everybody as nice guys, real friends. Where did they get this approach? Well, Marina is very much the same, she doesn't do anything half-way either! As for myself, I see myself as much more of a thinker than a doer, pretty tentative at times.
So here is a decision: I plan to walk through the door marked with “Action!”, following in the positive footsteps of my family.