Thursday, May 9, 2013

Going The Extra Mile



We're all busy. I know that I certainly have lowered my definition of success over the years. These days, if I manage to get through all the items on my daily to-do list, I call that a major win. 

But in the past few days I've been reminded that there are folks out there who manage to get through the everyday list and then push themselves to do more. People who take the opportunity given to them and not only do it wonderfully, they transform it. 

Let me tell you about two of them. 
Brenda Novak is one of those people. Many of you may know that each May, Brenda runs a gigantic online auction to raise money for diabetes research. Brenda – an amazing author and speaker – has a son who has juvenile diabetes. Faced with that situation, all of us would immediately plunge into learning everything we could to help our child have the best life possible. Brenda did that and so much more, parlaying her position as an author into a platform to raise (thus far) over 1.6 million dollars for diabetes research. She is an inspiration and an amazing model of persistence, creativity, and going the extra mile. You can learn more about the auction here.

Commander Chris Hadfield is another such person. The first Canadian to command the International Space Station, Col. Hadfield has elevated the position to amazing new heights (no pun intended) and got people excited about space exploration again. Forbes magazine said that he is "perhaps the most social media savvy astronaut ever to leave Earth." He posts pictures of Earth to his Facebook account, has over 700,000 Twitter followers as of April 2013, and created one of the all-time top Reddit AmA threads. Most amazing to me, he has not restricted his efforts to science but has also lent support for music education. He took his guitar to the I.S.S. and is recording an album of original music during his free time. He and Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies co-wrote a space station-themed song, Is Somebody Singing (I.S.S.) and performed it together – Robertson in Toronto, Hadfield in space. Just this week, Hadfield led singalongs of the song with schoolchildren across Canada as part of the national Music Monday celebrations. Hadfield didn't simply go the extra mile. He went to infinity and beyond. 

I know that Brenda Novak and Col. Hadfield are far from the only people to take an opportunity and push it into something amazing. Who inspires YOU to go the extra mile?

16 comments:

Jane Myers Perrine said...

You do!

Rogenna Brewer said...

Kris, thank you so much for the reminding us there are amazing people all around us :)

I'm gong to have to agree with Jane that you're pretty amazing in my book!

kris said...

You guys are making me blush. Thank you. Anything I might do is all because I learned it from amazing women such as yourselves.

But enough lovefest :-) Let's list some more awesomeness!

Kristina Mathews said...

My neighbor inspires me. She has three daughters, one with special needs, and she has taken in twin toddlers and their 3 year old brother as a foster parent.

She is an amazing, genrous person.

kris said...

Oh wow, Kristina. She does sound like someone who knows what it means to give of herself.

Snookie said...

My dad instilled a love of community in me that pushes me to be involved despite how busy I am with work and life in general!

Mary Preston said...

My Mother - just because!!

liztalley said...

Wonderful post, Kris. I didn't know about Hadfield. Off to look him up and follow him :)

kris said...

Snookie, how wonderful to have such an excellent example so close to home. You are indeed blessed.

kris said...

Oh, Mary. How awesome.

kris said...

Liz, I am amazed by everything Col. Hadfield has done & is doing. The man is truly inspiring. Plus he can sing!

Beth C said...

My mom volunteers every week at the food pantry where she lives. Also a sweet teenager named Elizabeth, who died far too young, inspired me with all she'd done for others in her short life.

kris said...

Beth, good on your mom, and oh, sometimes it really feels like some folks know they'll be gone way too quickly & are trying to cram a lifetime into a few short years, doesn't it?

Laney4 said...

My BFFs inspire me daily. Last year our "word of the day" was "ruthless", as in getting rid of as much "stuff" as possible in our homes that we just don't need. This year our "word of the day" is "balance", still being ruthless, but trying to "get things done" most of the time AND scheduling "me time" and "girlfriend time" as much as possible too.

kris said...

Laney, those friends sound like the kind we all need. What a great idea!

jbiggar said...

I agree, those are two amazing inspirational people that we should definitely look to emulate. For me my Mom is a costant source of inspiration, she teaches my humility and kindness to others.She teaches me to be proud of who I am and what I've achieved and she teaches me to always strive for my dreams

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