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TATTOO TALES: AN AMPUTEE TALKS ABOUT THE FORTUNE IN MISFORTUNE

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While serving in Afghanistan as a Royal Marine, Andy Grant took a wrong step and found himself on top of a mine. It was that misfortunate step that led to him having his leg amputed but this is where his story gets interesting.

He had a tattoo on his leg which said, “You’ll never walk alone“, and the amputation required the removal of a the part of his kneecap, which happened to contain the word “alone” – thus leaving him with a  tattoo that now says, “You’ll never walk“.

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Since then, the 26 year old has undergone major physical therapy and has learned how to walk and his ability to do so has been earned him a few Gold Medals at the recent Invictus Games.

During a recent interview with the BBC, he mentions, “I am a huge Liverpool fan so I had the Liver bird and the words to the song You’ll Never Walk Alone on my leg.

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“The tattoo that I have been left with has always been a bit of a joke. I use it in my motivational speeches.”

Now the Royal Marine has his sights on a running world record.

“It is ironic that it says I will never walk as I have gone on to run 10 km in 40 minutes.

“At the moment I am just two minutes off a record for the 10 km for a single leg amputee and I have that in my sights.”

PILOT WITH NO ARMS SETS A NEW RECORD.

It’s really easy to complain. Actually, it’s become the favorite past time for many to pass the blame, and cook up excuses, but Jessica Cox is sure to teach us all a little something about life. You see, she’s not your average pilot, the 32-year-old, was born with a rare non-genetic birth defect that left her without arms, yet she has never let her disability hold her back one bit.

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Instead of sulking in misery, or using her disabilities as an excuse to fail, Cox decided to live her life to the fullest and she’s turned every reason to fail – into every reason she needed to succeed. Growing up she’s learned to swim, participated in the girl scouts, modeling, tap dancing and Taekwondo — and at the age of 14, she’d already earned a black belt.

Now she’s even learned how to fly a plane using her feet.

Becoming a pilot wasn’t always a dream for Cox, but after going up in a single engine airplane with a fighter pilot several years ago, she was inspired to overcome her initial fears.”Being up in the air put me on edge, but that quickly went away,” she said. “It still keeps me on edge, which I like.”

In 2008, after extensive training, she earned her Light Sport Pilot Certificate, and in 2011 she nabbed the Guinness World Record for the “First Armless Person in the World Ever to Have Obtained a Pilot’s License.”

Cox has now traveled to 20 countries on six continents to share her inspirational story. She believes anyone can excel, regardless of disability, with encouragement and support.

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Not only is Cox the first person to fly a plane without arms, but she also holds the title of the first person without arms to receive a black belt in the American Taekwondo Association.

Cox said that while titles and awards are “the icing on top,” they’re not the driving force behind her career path. She takes pride in knowing that she inspires others to see past physical limitations that people tend to put on themselves.

“I do what I do because I love to do it,” she said “and I don’t give up.”

Via Today.

THE ROCK: THE MEANING OF TATTOOS.

The Rock gives a break down of the meaning of his tattoos. What does your tattoo mean to you?

The permanency, the pain and the ritual of getting a tattoo runs more than skin deep. Tattoos are significant to each person because of the connection they have with the idea, the inspiration and the meanings behind them. In this short clip The Rock talks about his own tattoo and how it revolves around his warrior spirit, his need to protect his family as well as the incorporation of his heritage, his struggle and the strength of the women in his life.

Every client who walks in wanting a tattoo, has a meaning or a reason behind their tattoo. At worst case it may have just been a bad decision, but that decision still marks a moment in that persons life. Tattoos are an anchor of moments in life, and if you dig just a lil’ deeper (and ask some questions) you’ll get some pretty interesting stories of which are inspiring and sometimes funny.

What do your tattoos mean to you?

 

IF YOU DIED TODAY, WHAT WOULD DIE WITH YOU?

If you die this very moment, what will die with you? What dreams? What ideas? What talent? What greatness? Please don’t allow the fear of failure and the attractiveness of playing it safe in life to draw you in. You can’t get out of life alive, you gotta die to leave here. Stop being average and get yours. Please take the time to watch this well edited video and chase your dreams. Refuse to be average.

 

MOTIVATION: A BLIND VISIONARY

You can have sight yet still be blind. In the same breath, vision with no ambition is a waste of talent. With each passing day brings about an opportunity to go out and explore not only the world, but your options, your talents and yourself. You see, self awareness is the key to living a compelling and complete life but first you have to focus on what you really want. You need to do some soul searches and find out what makes you happy and what defines the life of your dreams.

We all dream. We all have visions, but what separates the dreamers from the achievers is the ambition to make a change in your life. Whether that change comes in the form of being kinder, richer, or a better artist, the choice is yours.

Here’s a prime example that proves that there’s much to gain after a significant loss. After losing his vision, this guy thought that a blind man who paints would be absurd. But through a little creative measures, and much practice, he is now an artist whose work has achieved mass appeal. He know showcases at galleries and one of his pieces can be found hanging inside the residence of Steven Speilberg.

WALT DISNEY COULD TEACH US ALL A FEW THINGS.

The name Walt Disney Company is a multinational mass media corporation, brand and youth icon that’s valued at just over $45 Billion. As the second largest broadcasting and cable company in the world, it’s the babysitter of America’s youth and the parent of all things innocent. It has shaped the childhoods and pop culture of millions, probably billions of people. Quite simply it is the most well known company in the history of the world.

And it all started with one man.  

Looking back. There are a ton of things you can learn from Walt Disney but here’s the four that caught our attention.

1. Leadership is inspiration, innovation and focus.

“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality”. -Walt Disney

The key to Walt Disney’s leadership is that he was an incredible storyteller. It’s one thing to tell your employees to do something, it’s another to inspire them to action. Walt would tell them a story. He would go into extreme detail and make it come alive for them. He would inspire his workers and make them a part of that story and as a result he would get more from them. When he was first pitching his animators on the story of Snow White, he went through the entire story, acting out the characters, even doing their different voices and movements. Walt had a unique ability to hire people more talented than he was and to focus and coordinate their attention towards a common goal. He admitted that he was a terrible animator. So he hired the best he could afford and focused on innovating the company. He also knew his workers. He knew what they were capable of and didn’t accept anything less than their best. He may not have been quick to compliment, but he was always clear about what he visualized and expected.

2. Change your attitude towards failure.

“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” – Walt Disney

As with most highly successful entrepreneurs, Walt Disney failed, and he failed a lot. His first studio, Laugh O’ Grams never made a profit. But the most notable is the fiasco of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. In that ordeal, Walt lost everything. He lost his studio, his equipment, his animators and his creations. But once the smoke settled and the ashes cleared, he was back in the zone and while on the train home from learning he had lost Oswald, Walt created Mickey Mouse.

3. Believe in yourself, even when everyone say’s you’re crazy.

“When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way. Implicitly and unquestionable” – Walt Disney

Walt was told he couldn’t do a lot of things but he thought otherwise. He was told  that he could never mix animation with real life actors. He was told his idea for a theme park would fail miserably. Someone even told him that Mickey Mouse was a bad idea because a mouse would frighten women. He proved that just because it hasn’t been done before doesn’t make it impossible. Impossible is a word of a small minded person and Walt Disney dreamed big. He had an unshakable belief in himself and what he was doing; that was all that mattered.

On the opening day of Disneyworld, five years after Walt’s death, someone remarked to creative director Mike Vance that it was too bad Walt Disney didn’t live to see this day. Vance replied, “He did see it. And that’s why it’s here”.

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4. Resiliency is an entrepreneur’s best friend.

“The difference in winning and losing is most often not quitting” – Walt Disney

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It took Walt 16 years to get the rights to make Mary Poppins, now considered one of the best films of that time. The problems he faced with author P.L Travers are so infamous it has been made into its own movie. He was turned down 302 times when trying to find financing for Disneyland before striking a deal with the television studios. And in the most unbelievable story, he was fired from his first job ever at a newspaper for not being creative and innovative enough! He went on to own that same company. Resiliency is the ability to withstand or recover quickly from difficult circumstances. Walt faced many difficulties that would have made the average person give up. Walt was able to keep pushing because he believed in himself and in his dreams, giving him the resiliency to work hard and make them come true. He believed in doing whatever it took to get the job done and, therefore, he got results that far exceeded what anyone else could have imagined.

When Walt was asked what the secret to his success was, he thought for a while and then he said this: “I dream, I test my dreams against my beliefs, I dare to take risks, and I execute my vision to make those dreams come true.” Today the rules of success are no different. If Walt Disney, a man with limited education from a poor family, could create an entertainment empire from almost nothing, what’s stopping you from dreaming just as big?

IF YOU'RE NOT FAILING, YOU'RE NOT GROWING.

Success  doesn’t come overnight. In it’s simplest form, success is the result of a series of failures. I don’t know of anyone who’s struck it rich the first time around, but I do know many who have lost it all just to make it over and over again. It’s about fixing our mistakes quickly rather than getting it right the first time around and when it comes to failing, well that’s a whole other process.

When it comes to failure, our egos are our own worst enemies. As soon as things start going wrong, our defense mechanisms often kick in, tempting us to do what we can to save face. These very normal reactions — denial, chasing your losses, playing the blame game, shit talking — wreak havoc on our ability to adapt.

Long story short you have to be resilient and keep your eyes focused on the prize. The snide remarks, playing the blame game, and trying to get people to cosign your movement is a game for rookies. Failure is a grown mans game and you should always play your best hand. In short, act your wage and work for a cause not applause because respect is given when people recognize your work.

Here’s a few infographics that show the process behind some of today’s biggest brands:

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HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO GIVING UP?

Giving up comes as a result of frustration. But before you give up, you have to do some soul searching and ask yourself why it is you held on so long. You see, sometimes it’s right before you give up that miracles happen so don’t give up on what you want, and remember that there’s a fine line between what you give up and what you really gave up.

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WHEN SIZE DOESN'T MATTER.

Living proof that sometimes size just doesn’t matter. Here’s a few videos that are proof positive that creativity and the willingness to overcome size limitations are all you need to make magic happen.

A Hong Kong architect turns this tiny apartment into 24 different rooms. 

WHAT'S YOUR EXCUSE?

Nick Santonastasso is nothing short of pure inspiration. His postiive attitude is contagious, his humor is uncontested, and he’s a role model for so many, including us. Born with Hanhart Syndrome, the rare genetic disorder is the reason he was born with only one arm and no legs. But has his disabilities stopped him from living his dream and achieving what most full-bodied beings only dream of? Absolutely not.

Nick has appeared in countless prank videos, has been invited to prank the cast of The Walking Dead, and his compilation videos on Vine and Youtube are hits. Just take a look at a few of the videos below and he’ll have you motivated and inspired!

You can follow him on Facebook by clicking here.