A few months ago I wrote a post about Positive People Living in a Negative World. It seems that every day I see more and more examples of the negativity that infests our humanity. I usually read through Yahoo News in the morning, skimming the popular new stories, and usually finding a couple of interesting stories to read. Today I found a few stories worth reading, and two of these were about famous people. There are a lot of ambitious and positive people in the world, and when I come across a new item about people like this I like to read through it. These two stories were about two of the most ambitious people on the planet.
One was about Lance Armstrong, seven time Tour de France winner, and the other was about Abby Sunderland, a 16 year old attempting to sail solo around the world. Both of these individuals should truly be inspiration to all of us. They are living their dreams, which in and of itself should be inspiration enough. Beyond that however, they are following pursuits that are so unbelievably challenging that I can hardly imagine the effort that goes into the preparation and execution. These folks dream BIG and then they follow through with these dreams. To me, that is so very amazing and supremely inspirational.
Abby Sunderland Dreams BIG
Abby Sunderland’s had a big dream. She dreamt of being the youngest person to circumnavigate the world. She can tell you about herself better than I, so here is a clip from her website.
Not only does she plan to accomplish this feat alone and unassisted, she plans to do it without once taking refuge on land. Aboard an Open 40 racing sailboat, Abby will embark on her voyage in January 2010 from Marina del Rey, California. By June 2010, Abby plans to have made history.
A Lifetime of Training
Abby has an extensive sailing background, being raised in and around sailboats. She has accumulated thousands of miles of coastal cruising through a number of hazardous weather conditions. Team Abby, passionately led by Laurence, is dedicated to preparing her for the fearsome rigors of the southern seas and other anticipated challenges.
Records… Made to be Broken
Abby’s older brother Zac made worldwide headlines in July 2009 when, at 17, he became the youngest person to solo circumnavigate the world, sailing 27,500 nautical miles in 13 months. Not to be outdone, English teenager Mike Perham broke Zac’s record roughly one month later, completing his journey also at the age of 17 but two months Zac’s junior. Unintimidated by the success of two 17 year-old boys (and particularly motivated by her brother’s dethronement), Abby is vying to smash Perham’s freshly forged record.
She was well prepared for this trip. She had all the proper equipment, and years of training having grown up in this sailing family. Her brother had completed a similar trip and now it was time for his younger sister to have a shot. She should be an inspiration to all of us. This is the kind of story that should be international news; a young girl living out a HUGE dream.
Unfortunately her dream of sailing around the world solo recently came to an end in rough winter seas in the Indian Ocean. Of course when disaster strikes, the news jumps all over it. Not only that, they search for a negative spin. The article I recently read on Yahoo News more or less skirted the line between positive and negative. The headline read “Countries paying teen’s rescue cost defend sea law.” Apparently it is very expensive to rescue folks from remote parts of the ocean. I get that, and maybe that is news, but the heroism of the rescue and the bravery of this young girl should be the real story. I think Abby had an interesting quote on her blog.
Within a few minutes of being on board the fishing boat, I was already getting calls from the press. I don’t know how they got the number but it seems everybody is eager to pounce on my story now that something bad has happened.
So this story wasn’t particularly positive or negative. What always gets me about news stories on Yahoo News is the comments. Like my blog, Yahoo News has a section at the bottom of the post where anyone can add their comments regarding the news story.
Here are a few from hundreds of comments:
I could care less about the money. What parent in there right mind would let there 16yr old child sail around the world? Isnt that child endangerment? Yes, she still is a child.
I’ll say it then..she’s a stupid idiot, let her drown.
From the sound of it a spoilt and not very bright child of parents who are not worried by the thought of her endangering herself or the cost to other people of saving her. Indeed: selfish is as selfish does.
they should have left her to die it would have been cheaper or make the parents pay the bill for being so stupid.
There were some good comments too, but I feel a little sad when I see so much negativity. From reading her blog posts, she appears to be a very positive young girl. She is a positive person living in a negative world. She ignored the naysayers and pursued her dream. We all could learn a lot from her example. One final quote from her website to sum this up.
I had begun to think that dreams are meant to be no more than dreams, and that in reality dreams don’t come true. Then my brother (Zac) left on his trip. It was amazing to see all the support that he got from around the world and to see how everyone worked together to help make his dream reality. Watching him do this really made me believe that I could too.”
Lance Armstrong dreams BIG
The second story I read was about Lance Armstrong. He recently appeared on a magazine cover and the magazine editors altered a photograph to add a slogan to the front of his shirt. The slogan read “38. BFD,” which stood for his age of 38 and BFD meaning Big Freakin’ Deal (or something nearly equivalent.) I can understand his frustration, I dislike altered photographs to begin with, and wearing a t-shirt could imply things about that individual.
Here are a few of the comments, and there were far more negative comments on this story than on the Abby Sunderland story.
Are you sure thet didn’t photshop that BIG head on that little body? That’s what sticks out to me!
I think they overinflated his ego…..
The moron is on dope so much that someone probably had to explain it to him !!
Lance Armstrong is a hero. He followed his dreams to seven wins of the Tour de France AFTER beating a cancer in which he was given a less than 50% chance to survive. Let me repeat that: He beat cancer and then went on to win the Tour de France seven times. This is a man that dreams BIG, and follows through to reach those dreams. Not only does he dream for himself, he dreams for others. He established the Lance Armstrong Foundation and LiveStrong.org to help support those affected by cancer.
Lance himself says it best:
To all the cynics, I’m sorry for you, … I’m sorry you can’t believe in miracles.
I mirror those thoughts. To all the negative people, I’m sorry for you,… I’m sorry you can’t live positive, dream big, and be happy.
Actually, I have to modify that comment a little. I believe that negative people can change if they are willing to. It has to come from within though; we do not have the ability to change others, they much choose change for themselves. If you are feeling a bit negative, then my recommendation is to just take small steps towards positivity.
- Read a positive article.
- Anticipate a negative comment before you speak and replace it with a positive comment instead.
- Say something nice to someone.
Small steps will lead to big steps. We can change this entire world for the better with small steps of positivity.