Motion and Inspiration With Rick Hansen

Abundance Contribution Purpose


Key Point: I read an article recently that said daily inspirational quotes sent to students showed no empirical evidence of academic improvement. The quotes may be interesting, but do little to cause people to achieve better results. Real inspiration causes a burst of positive action. One definition is: “The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something.” There is much written about inspirational leadership – individuals having vision, integrity, clearly stated values, etc. However, in this blog I want to focus on the mysterious but wonderful connection that happens between the inspired and inspirer.

Last Friday evening at a brilliant gala celebration of award winners at the company I’m privileged to work for, I watched one of Canada’s heroes, Rick Hansen, roll on stage as key note speaker and magically connect with several hundred people.

Many throughout the world know Rick for his Man in Motion Tour. 25 plus years ago, with a hope, dream and few resources, he propelled his wheel chair 40,000 kilometers through 34 counties raising $26 million for spinal research. By the time the tour was over, 60,000 people filled BC Place in Vancouver to joyfully welcome him home. Rick is of course wheel chair bound, but I believe his inspirational genius has little if anything to do with his disability. Millions of people are unfortunately in wheel chairs. Rick has something else. And it is more than vision, values, integrity, and other desirable characteristics. Most people, thank goodness, think and behave with a solid combination of these traits. I believe true inspiration happens at the connection point between the inspired and inspiree. There is transfer of energy that takes place that seems to cause someone to do something based on what is seen and heard. Rick has this energy wand at his fingertips. He is catalytic.

I watched Rick during the evening. He challenged all of us to be “difference makers.” And he absolutely makes it clear that difference making is accessible to all. On the stage he never stops moving his wheel chair. He is a metaphor. He is a man in motion. And somewhere in the relationship, it seems to happen. In that rolling back and forth, in that challenging stare from those lake blue eyes… It happens… You can’t help but think, “I can do it too,” “I can be a difference maker,” “I need to be in motion.” As I’ve noted many times before I believe WE are “verbs” more than “nouns.” It is a human need to move… To roll… Towards others… Which ultimately and deliciously rolls back right towards us, filling us up to continue our journey.

Character Moves:

  1. Search out those who inspire you. What about their motion makes you want to move? Recognize that all of these people are flawed just like you and I, but are in motion for a higher purpose. They are in service.
  2. Know that you will be an inspiration when you move and contribute to others. Not many of us will be Rick Hansen’s and inspire millions, but we can inspire those around us… Not simply by our intent, but by where and how we put ourselves in motion. We will be surprised who we touch, and how that handshake translates.
  3. Recognize that our forward purpose driven motion is culiminative. Over time we travel many miles and in serving others, this becomes a tour… Our tour.

Thank you Rick.

In motion in the Triangle,