A Few of my Favorite Inspirational People

"Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die life is a broken-winged bird, that cannot fly."
 -Langston Hughes 
A picture I had taken of a beautiful evening.

It was recently brought to my attention by a reader of my blog that I should write about some of my biggest inspirations in life.  I think that during this strange time of rapid global unfortunate circumstances due to this COVID-19, a glimpse at some people who are inspirational as well as motivational for me might be refreshing and positive. Most of these people you will likely know, but I'll give a paragraph focusing on the positive inspiration that I receive from them, as well as how it applies to me personally.  Also, there will be YouTube videos provided that will allow you to see for yourself just how truly inspirational they are from their own mouths.  So here goes it!
Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington has been a major inspiration for me throughout my life.  Being an avid fan of his films, particularly the realistic way in which he acts, and his successful execution of every role has caused him to undoubtedly be my favorite movie star of all time.  The raw grittiness and unique villainess shroud he portrays in Training Day (2001) as the dirty cop, Alonzo, took everyone by a strangely satisfying surprise.  The passion and determination he exhibited as a parent doing anything for their child to survive in the emotional rollercoaster John Q (2002)definitely tugged on our heartstrings, as well as his portrayal as a police chief in the semi-humorous mystery 2003 drama Out of Timewas pure fun to watch.  Those are but a few of my favorites of his, but you can see that I am a fan who deeply analyzes his films.  However, despite being my favorite actor, he is also one of my favorite people and inspirations.  His insightfulness and wisdom have been very impactful for me as a learner and young man who is motivated to grow in life.  The video clip above will give you a glimpse into the type of person he is, and how he does not just talk the talk but walks the walk as well.
- Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai's intriguing story has not only captivated my attention but motivated/inspired me in a series of ways.  Her story is one of unparalleled courage, fearless tenacity, altruism at its finest, and affirmative success.  As a young Pakistani girl, she had endured such hardship due to discrimination, terrorism, and other factors that would try to withhold and dampen her chances of meeting her full potential.  Her survival story of being shot at point-blank range in the face, and then deciding to defy the odds and attend school in a courageous act of defiance to terrorist threats exemplified inspiration and determinative will.  She continued on to be a beacon of hope and action when it came to being a frontrunner for female education activism in places that would prohibit such actions.  Malala's strength in will power and overcoming such demeaning circumstances at such a young age gave me a reason to admire and find inspiration in her perseverance and natural spirit of good-will.  Her visionary gift of seeing a day where everyone, especially women, can be educated was even more inspirational to me considering that she did not just speak on the matter; she was in the trenches so to speak, paving a way for this to come to fruition.  Malala's actions spoke louder than her words to me because this demonstrated that regardless of how demonstrative her verbiage was for this detrimental cause, she used her successful platform as a means to create educational opportunities.  She later went on to become the youngest Nobel Prize awardee in history, published nine award-winning books, win fourteen other prestigious decorative awards, and even have a documentary made about her: He Named Me Malala.  She is a major inspiration and motivation for me to continue to strive to make a difference with my own gifts and talents in a tenacious altruist-driven manner.
-Hans Zimmer
Being a person who is a creative artist and a lover of music, I connected with this man's sort of "mad scientist" genius as well as with the passion and genuine energy that he brings to creating these film scores.  His drawing upon experiences and events that occurred in his life to produce raw emotion-driven auditorial pleasantries is not only amazing but also inspiring to me.  As a writer, one of my main areas of emphasis that I try to highlight throughout my works is the importance of getting through to my audience by way of the relation of my own personal experiences.  Like Zimmer, I am also very particular and meticulous about how I execute the end product of my writings as an artist. The attention to detail and ability to conjure human emotion through each note and sound he produces through symphonic language has resulted in iconic music scores such as Interstellar (2014)The Lion King (1994)Pirates of the Caribbean Series, Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception (2010), and a plethora of other Blockbuster films.  Zimmer's gift of creating sound from his own emotion and heart is inspirational to me as a person as well as motivational to me as an artist.
-Hedy Lemarr
Hedy Lemarr was one of the most recognized and decorated actresses of the twentieth century, due to her quality acting prowess and glamorous looks to match, resulting in classic nostalgic films.  This Jewish-Austrian performer had played in thirty-six films in her acting career, all of which appeared to be smashing successes.  However, I did not glean inspiration from just her immense acting portfolio, I was in awe of her after learning that she was one of the original founders of Wi-Fi.  Yes...Wifi! Lemarr was also a brilliant natural inventor in addition to being a world-renowned actress.  Finding out that she was multi-talented as well as having revolutionary inventing ideas that helped soldiers in World War II to "hop frequencies" without being detected by the enemy, I found to be mind-blowing.  Her having the heart to lend aid during the war despite her fame as an actress was not only admirable but inspiring to me.  Lemarr broke the mold and stereotypical narrative that simply being a pretty face in Hollywood is all that one is good for.  She became a pioneer in inventing and a visionary for the future technological age that we are currently living in today.  In 2017, there was a biographical film constructed about her unique life entitled Bombshell: The Hedy Lemarr Story.  Her inherent gift of inventing while also being skilled in acting was not something that you hear about every day, along with the fact that she was a people person who used to her talent to help others.  I personally found her ability to break the mold of the typical eye-candy "1940s Hollywood actress" occupation and become an innovator for the future, as inspiring and motivational for a young person who is, in turn, learning how to tap into multiple gifts and acquire skills that are beyond the normality of staying satisfied with just the mediocrity of a one-note occupational skillset.  
-Kobe Bryant
As seen in my About Me bio page, I mention that I come from a competitive basketball background which consisted of many hours of sweat, tears, and yes blood.  My fascination with the game became enhanced at a young age when I experienced watching the late Kobe Bryant play on television.  I was captivated by his unparalleled skill, graceful respect for the game, gritty unfiltered competitive spirit, and obsessive passion that he approached each game with.  I tried my best to pattern and incorporate some of his skillsets into my amateur basketball development, and even try to indoctrinate the same obsessive work ethic.  He was overtly my favorite player and unconsciously one of my favorite people as well.  As I became older and my competitive basketball chapter had seemingly closed, ironically around the same year that Mr. Bryant had retired from the game; I closely watched his transition to the next chapter of his life in 2016.  This part of his life was even more inspirational to me because he applied that same tenacious work ethic to his storytelling, film, and authorship endeavors.  His finding another passion led him to win an Oscar award just two years after he retired from the NBA for his animated short film, Dear Basketball.  This direct correlation to my discovering a new passion that is centered around writing post-competitive basketball inspired me to recognize that I am not one-dimensional and that I have an array of talents other than just one physical skill-set.  Kobe's devout work ethic and unwavering Mamba Mentality applies to every endeavor that I set foot upon and is self-fulfilling because I am working my hardest to refine and produce content that is imperative to inspiring and motivating people across the globe; especially during such a harsh time.
-Selena Quintanilla-Pérez
Selena Quintanilla Pérez simply put, was one of the most beloved and talented musical artists of all time.  Her upbeat jovial personality along with her blatant vocal skillset was a magnetic drawing card for fans.  Being a Latina recording artist whose grassroots start originated in Lake Jackson, Texas with her family, her humble beginnings appeared to develop into one of refined passion that revealed itself in her voice.  Her music crossover into the English language allowed the chance for many Americans to witness just how talented she was.  The joy, beauty, and the volume of satisfying content in her works drew me to become enthralled with this artist purely on a musical level.  Personally, some time ago I learned more about her life as a result of viewing the 1997 biopic film starring Jennifer Lopez, Selena.  This movie sheds insight into her past and unfortunately tragic future, which not only caused me to respect her more as a person; but resulted in me becoming inspired by her as well.  Her hard-working family which proved to be her main support system along with her own drive and joyous personality made me admire her as an individual even more.  From a fan's perspective, she had one of the most beautiful voices and lasting legacies that have produced classic songs and even inspired her own cosmetic make-up lines.  More about her life can be seen in The List article written by Christine Dixon: The untold truth of Selena Quintanilla.
There are more people from whom I draw inspiration from, but here are six I hold in high regard that you might find speak to you.  Personally, I try to grasp a lesson from each individual who inspires me in different ways and incorporate these lessons into my daily life somehow.  Hopefully, you enjoyed this brief glimpse at some inspiring people that you might not have known about which can be uplifting and motivational during these rough current times.  Stay safe, healthy, joyful, and inspired!

"The struggle you're in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow. Don't give up." 
-Robert Tew


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