How did you change the world in the last 48 hours?
Or do you believe that you have to change the world in a big way otherwise it’s not worth even trying?
I had a truly inspirational day yesterday when I joined hundreds of thousands of other people cheering on the runners at the London Marathon.
I am not often lost for words, but yesterday I was really blown away by my experience. So I will try and describe the day as best as I can.
“The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones that do” – Steve Jobs
Call them mad, call them crazy but you really have to admire anyone who is willing to put so much effort into pounding the streets of London for just over 26 miles.
And yesterday there were over 35,000 “crazy ones” who spent up to 8 hours and ran/walked/pushed/staggered their way around the course.
What was also amazing was the costumes these crazy ones wore!
It was a record year with over 35,000 runners completing the course and lots of world records broken for zany costumes and other fun things.
The London Marathon has now become the largest single fund-raising event in the world with millions raised ever year. The slogan used by the main sponsor Virgin summer it up – “Every penny raised, everyone’s better off”.
What is equally impressive and inspiring is the sheer herculean effort, commitment and organisation it takes to put together an event of this scale.
For a few hours, one of the biggest and busiest cities in the world is brought to a complete standstill – just think of all the logistical and organisational requirements.
At the same time, the authorities have to look after the security and wellbeing of people, with over 2 million spectators in a tiny area.
It seems like it was only yesterday that I too was taking part in the London marathon a yar ago by walking the entire course of over 26 miles, wearing a red wig:-)
This year I was a spectator, cheering on the runners as well as supporting WellChild, the charity I ran for a year ago. Yesterday, I wished I had been running too – and I am really inspired to take part in next year’s event.
As I watched all these runners run pass me in their zany costumes, I was in awe of what it takes for so many people to come together in such a momentous way.
The runners came in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colours, and represented every group of people and culture from around the world. It was a sea of humanity united in a common cause of contribution, challenge, fun and perhaps even madness.
One of my friends, Phil Bolton, ran on Sunday and you can read his enthralling account of how to be an everyday superhero.
Having done it all myself a year ago and though I walked all the way, I know just what it takes to take part and complete a marathon.
I wrote about this a year ago – and do check out my 10 life lessons from running the London Marathon.
Most runners raise money for their chosen cause and at the end of the day, millions will be raised for all sorts of worthy causes and charities, small and large.
What was clear was an overriding sense of unity and togetherness towards a greater cause, a higher and noble goal. People were incredible in their encouragement and appreciation of all the effort put in by the runners.
When the runners get to the finish line and receive their medal, it is a truly amazing feeling – and I can’t even begin to describe just what a great feeling that is. You will all just have to experience it for yourself one day:-)
I really love attending such events and seeing people at their best and most inspiring. It just shows what’s possible if and when we put our minds to it.
3 things I have learnt is this:-
1. The human spirit is incredibly powerful – we can get through almost any challenge facing us.
2. We are far more able and resourceful than we give ourselves credit for – we can do almost anything once we put our mind to it.
3. We all want to contribute and give back to others in our own way – we are born with a desire to make a difference to others.
Change the world, don’t wait for the world to change.
The most important thing is this – some of you will be glad to know that you don’t have to run a marathon to make a difference and make the world a better way.
Start in your own small way, in whatever way works for you.
And don’t let your fears hold you back either.
The rewards for changing the world come in their own way – just doing so is a worthy reward in itself.
So how will you change the world in your own way?
Start with something small – start wherever you are now and do something today. At the end of the day, you will get such a kick out of it doing so. Take up whatever cause appeals to you – at the end of the day, it does make a difference to all of us.
And maybe in a year’s time you can join me and also run the London marathon too:-)
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