Tag Archives | inspiration

Inspiration and Insecurity – The eternal tug of war with greatness

greatnessIt is my firm belief that we all have greatness within us. Not everyone lives up to it, some people never try and others embrace it and go on to become known for their greatness.

Greatness, to me, is like energy in the universe. It’s never really created or destroyed. You can only add to or take away what you can do with it. In our case, it’s belief. Either we believe we have greatness within us or we don’t.

I often say that it’s not inspiration that makes you great, it simply helps you to see the greatness that is already within you. You believe a little bit more than you did before. That’s what I try to do. I don’t want to make you great, I just want to help you see that you already are.

Insecurity, on the other hand, is usually what keeps us from believing it. We doubt yourselves, we question ourselves, we refuse to believe others that tell us we’re great and the worst is when we’re bullied. And bullying comes in many forms including friends, parents, teachers and so forth when they tell us that we can’t do something or that we shouldn’t try or even make totally random comments just in our general presence that make us feel a little less important that we should. Our greatest bully though, is ourselves. When we dwell on something we did wrong or shouldn’t have said or we just sit and think about life in general… we bully ourselves so bad and tell ourselves the worst things sometimes.

But none of that, not the inspirational stuff nor even the insecurities will ever take that greatness away from you. Nothing can! It is there, it will always be there and not anyone can take it away or make it more or less than what it is. It’s in you.

The only thing that can change is whether or not you believe it. You believe it when you’re inspired, you don’t believe it when you’re feeling insecure. You believe it when you try something and it works but you don’t believe it when you try something and you fail. It doesn’t matter what you’re feeling or trying, that greatness will always be within you. It doesn’t change.

It’s up to you to decide what you will do with it. You need to understand that you don’t need inspiration and you definitely don’t need those insecurities.

All you need is who you are.
Because you’re great!


I know, you’re thinking that this isn’t really an autism post but in a way it sort of is. You see, I didn’t specify autism or any other special needs because I believe greatness lies within us all, regardless of gender, skin colour, medical condition or special needs. There’s greatness there. Realize your potential.

Don’t wait for someone to inspire you to recognize the greatness that is within you and certainly don’t let anyone make you bury it under it a mountain of insecurity.
Unleash it.

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An ode to the single parent

I’ve known a lot of people that are single parents. Actually, I think these days, we all know quite a few. It’s a very sad fact that marriages are breaking up more frequently than ever… with or without children. I’ve known some single parents that seem to just continue along as if they never lost their spouse and then I’ve known others that simply fall apart and can’t handle it.

Being more involved in the Autism community lately, especially through social media such as Facebook and Twitter, I’ve encountered even more single parents that don’t just deal with the every day parenting issues but with much larger issues… special needs children.

In them, I see so much turmoil, so much despair, so much anxiety…. and so much strength.

I’m getting ahead of myself, but when I talk to single moms (there are so few single dads, and with good reason), I am often talking to them about how they wish they could find a man, or had a man that would do the things that I think of as just every day chores, every day average things to do… such as dishes, laundry, cooking.. even playing with the kids.

You see, often times there are single parents living with a husband or wife. In those cases, the mother (or father) is doing all the parenting while the other person has little to no involvement. Yes they have a spouse, but they’re still a single parent. And to those who live in a marriage like this, I write this to you as well because you deserve to know this too.

I like to help out around the house and I really love to play with my boys. And when I share these things, I often hear words of envy or even sorrow from single parents that really makes me sad. Yes, because I feel bad for them but more so that they should consider me above average or ‘unusual’ in that I do all the things that I really think that should be what average men do.

Those people often say how they need to find someone, they need someone to help them… they can’t keep doing it alone. My response, usually, is that I disagree… I think they can keep doing it alone. Not that they should have to, but that they can because they are.

single parent

Single Parent

As a parent, I know how hard parenting can be.. as a parent with a child that has Autism, I know how hard that can be. And when I think, that even if I very generously gave myself a 50% in the ‘holding my own weight around here’ category, that’s still only HALF of it all and I would be the first (if not me then my wife certainly!) to tell you that 50% is more than generous. I do my fair share but my wife is the true rock of the family.

To stop and think, even for just a moment, what it would be like to take on 100% of it, is almost too much to comprehend. I simply know, completely and truthfully, that I could not do it. I can say, with absolute honesty, that I couldn’t do it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my boys to death and I’d do anything I could for them but I know my limitations. I just can not juggle parenting and work and special needs issues and everything else entirely on my own. I’d hit a breaking point eventually.

Here’s the thing… I think it’s safe to say that I speak for the majority of people out there. Most people, with the state of the world as it is today, could not handle being a single parent. And earlier I said that there are so few single fathers, it’s not that I am saying it’s not possible, but I think that men are simply less capable of doing it then women are.

What I’m trying to say is that these women, and some men too, that tell me that they need help, they can’t do it anymore… I see them as the true inspiration, the true warriors. They don’t need help, they want help. They can do it because they have done it and are doing it now. Some help would make it easier, some help would give them a much needed break but even if they never get help, I know full well that they’ll continue on being a great single parent without it because they’ve already proven they can.

We all have our failures, and sure, a single parent may have more than a co-parent might… but the successes they have are theirs alone. Think about it… toilet training? My wife and I were a team… racing to be in there at a moment’s notice. Doing that alone? Sure, we could have, but it would have been far more difficult. Late night illnesses, temper tantrums, refusing to eat, sporting events, first dates…. oh the list goes on and on. But you are reading this, you already know the extent of the list just as well, or better, than I do.

Single parents have tackled these things all by themselves and do not look forward to having to tackle the next ones… because they will be very hard to do all by themselves, but they’ll do it! Just like they did the last ones. And I couldn’t be more proud.

Are you a single parent? Do you have a husband or wife that doesn’t help? I am very sorry that you have to go it alone but please, never ever doubt yourself. You’ve done it, you’re doing it and that’s proof enough for me that you can keep doing it if you have to. Help is out there, but even if it never comes, know that I am proud of you. I am amazed by you. I sit here knowing full well that I’d never have even made it as far as you have and no matter what you might think of all the things I do around the house to help… you are my inspiration.

It’s because of you that I help my wife as much as I can… not as much as I do, but as much as I can. You inspire me by showing me what true parenting really is… the determination, the self sacrifice, the iron willpower to always be there and to always do anything and everything that you have to do for your children no matter what.

I have faith that everything your child may lack from having that second parent is more than made up for with the amazing role model that you are before them… that they will grow up to know exactly what a true long term commitment can do and what devoting yourself completely can make you capable of.

Believe me when I say, with no offence intended, that I really hope that I never have to go through what you’re going through but that’s only because I know I’m not as strong as you are. Don’t ever give up and more importantly, please believe me when I say you don’t “need” help, but rather you “want” help. Because when you make it a need, you become desperate and start to see it when it’s not really there.. possibly putting yourself in a worse spot than you were before. But that’s a whole other topic.

I sincerely hope you do not have to go it alone for much longer but for however long you do continue to be a single parent, know that I am proud of you, your children are proud of you, all of us parents could learn from you, not the other way around, and that no matter how hard it may seem sometimes, you can do it. You’re all the proof you need.

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The Source of my Inspiration

Spending most of my time online, I find a lot of people that are very good with words and are able to inspire and motivate people simply with the words they say. Some are just random people on twitter or facebook, others, like Temple Grandin, are reaching us through film, news or other means that being a celebrity can bring you.

While I do enjoy reading the posts or watching the videos, I find that they don’t inspire me anywhere near as much as my own children do.

I think that most of us take reading and writing for granted, and just assume that our children can do it and so we practice with them. But when you really think about it, how difficult is that really? Especially with limited motor skills, much less understanding of language?

That’s just one subject, think of ALL the things being bombarded on children to learn… and sure, we help them as best we can, but it’s a lot! And most of the time, we go through the motions with them without usually giving much thought into just how hard it must be for them.

Then you throw something like Autism on top of all the other problems… you see your child sad because they have no friends, they get frustrated easily because none of what you’re teaching makes much sense, they feel overwhelmed very easily, they have even less motor skills than what you expect they should at their age… and yet, despite the difficulty and despite the odds, they keep trying.

My son has done his first 5 days of his second year at school and has yet to get a single thinking chair or time out. He’s been doing well at learning how to read 3 letter words and can write his name. He even does addition and subtraction on numbers under 10! He has been verbal for less than half of his life and here he is overcoming so much… I think about it and wonder… would I keep trying as hard as he does?

Yes, I find all people with Autism to be amazing, yes I do constantly find myself impressed with the amount of support that parents give each other and yes, motivational and inspirational people move me with their words… but the real source of my inspiration, the ones that truly makes me believe that you can do anything…. are my children.

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You Can Shine No Matter What You’re Made Of

So I have tried to get Cameron to watch the movie “Robots” since he was really little, thinking the colours and over the top action of the film might catch his interest but it’s always had quite the opposite effect.. he wanted it off. It really kinda of disappointed me because this movie has one of the best messages I could ever want to convey to him.

You see, in the movie, this spare parts, old robot that is a dishwasher in a restaurant has a child and is so down on his luck that his child always gets hand me downs, even from female cousins. However, when it comes time that his child wants to head off to the big city with big dreams of becoming an inventor, instead of listening to his wife and ordering him to go home, he buys him a train ticket and tells him that he has greatness him in and to follow his dreams no matter what.

All of this comes from Bigweld, the “greatest robot there is” that believes that all robots have something to contribute, “whether you are made of new parts, old parts or spare parts, you can shine no matter what you’re made of.”

It really hit home with me from day one but has so much more now that I see my child overcoming huge challenges due to Autism… the fact that, even though he’s not a shiny, top of the line, brand new robot… he can still shine.

I tried again last night, it’s been a while since I’ve tried…. and he actually sat through it all and enjoyed it. He certainly didn’t get the message, nor walk away pretending to be any of them like he does Woody and Buzz.. but it’s certainly a start.

I think it’s a very important message, not just to the children but to the parents as well… don’t ever tell your kids that they can’t do something, or that something is out of their reach… or that because they have Autism, they’ll never be great. The fact is, no matter how hard it is right now, how bad it is or can be, there’s a whole life time ahead where anything can happen! There’s a whole life time where, if they believe it, if you believe it… anything can happen!

“You can shine no matter what you’re made of” is not just a catchy line from a movie, it’s the truth.

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