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How Inspiring Others Leads to Inspiring Yourself

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United States

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“Have a great day!” We say this statement to friends and loved ones so often that it may become perfunctory. Just because it may seem cliché, does not mean it is not a sincere remark. I truly want the people in my life to have an awesome day all the time and I hope they share the same well wishes towards me.

Speaking of which, what is the first thing you do when you have great news? You tend to share it with others, right? Let’s say you just got a promotion at work; you can’t wait to call your partner or your parents or your priest or maybe all of the above. Happiness is worth shouting from the mountaintops for all to hear!

This proves a central philosophy of mine: joy is a shared emotion. When you are elated, it’s only human to spread the love to those around you until it ripples throughout your community. The very same fortune that smiled upon you deserves to elevate others with the news you received. In other words, you are inspiring, so please don’t hold back on giving others a sense of joy.


I don’t subscribe to the old saying that misery loves company. When I was struggling throughout the darkest days of cancer treatment, I would not have wished my pain and suffering on my worst enemy. Gasping for breath, unable to walk – it was a bitter nightmare, and I raged against it every day, screaming just to wake up.

The only way I could get through the trauma was to draw strength from other patients’ successes. When I would see a fellow cancer warrior get out of her wheelchair, it recharged my own legs, encouraging them to stand strong. When I heard about a friend’s lab tests showing significant improvement, it gave me hope for a similar outcome. When someone would finally get released from the cancer ward, I would make a silent promise to join him on the outside, like we were prison inmates planning a great escape.

The triumphs of other survivors fueled my resolve to not merely beat cancer, but to stomp it into submission. I [bleeping] hated it, but it taught me about the concept of shared inspiration. Even though I was too young to realize it at the time, cancer would drive me to return the epic favor that those other patients gave me… and I strive to do so with every initiative I take.



I’ll make a confession: when I started climbing mountains, I did it for myself. My body was craving the open air after being cooped up in a hospital bed during my adolescent years. I needed to rebel at the maximum altitude and challenge myself to make up for all the lost time.

But as I honed my climbing skills, I soon realized that they were reciprocal. You’re only as capable as your climbing partner and I felt a rush every time I helped another voyager up the steep rock face of a particularly grueling slope. The feeling of accomplishment was twice as gratifying because… well, there were two of us! We were seeing the most majestic sights on earth and we could turn to one another and verify that it wasn’t all just a fantastic dream.

The thrill of shared achievement was so enthralling that I started to seek it out more and more. The camaraderie I shared with other climbers was palpable, like a shimmering electrical charge passing invisibly from person to person, charging us up the mountain.

I was in heaven as I explored the heavens… but it really made me think. There was a child lying in a hospital somewhere wondering if he would ever be able to swim in the ocean or fall in love or even see another sunrise. I knew that kid because I WAS that kid. It prompted me to translate my passion for climbing into an outreach program for other cancer warriors. My vision would become the Cancer Climber Association (CCA), a non-profit organization dedicated to funding “impossible” dreams.

At CCA, we create adventure support grants, mobile camping trips, and visits to cancer centers around the world. If those patients want to climb a mountain, whether it’s in their hearts or in the great outdoors, I want to help them reach the summit.

It’s time for another confession: I thrive on the inspiration I get from CCA. The smiles on those kids’ faces propel me to new heights. Even though I serve as a motivational speaker at various CCA events, I’m actually the one who gets motivated.

Like most things these days, inspiration is moving online. Even when we can not gather in person, we can assemble on Facebook to share stories, affirmations, and even a simple “Hello!”

Whether you wish to join a breast cancer support group, a prostate cancer support group, a rock star advocacy group like Stand Up to Cancer, a yoga and meditation page, or a group for families and friends of cancer patients, it’s all a click away on Facebook.

You can never have too much inspiration in your life. I find myself going down the rabbit hole of social media connectivity every time I log onto my Facebook group, Inspiring Others: Reaching Your Personal Summit. We share pictures, anecdotes, and genuine compassion with every post we submit. I would love it if you joined us and I can not wait to hear about your personal triumphs and everyday inspiration.

As always, I do my best to “pay it forward” by sharing tidbits from my life as it unfolds. My Facebook group is like a window to SeanWorld, a window that changes perspectives every time I go on a trip or get a crazy idea in my head. It’s an honor to bring you along as I journey to new vistas of inspiration. Let’s start a conversation and hear how it echoes through cyberspace, returning back to you a thousand times stronger. That’s the power of shared inspiration.

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