I ask this to powerful people. I ask this to people who have persevered through tough times. I ask, "When you fall, and obstacles seem insurmountable, what gives you the courage to get back up again? How do you tough it out?"
I remember asking this to Mayor Parker although I don't quite remember her response. I've asked this to some of my mentors. It's a powerful question. I don't care about getting through the day-to-day. That's the easy part.
I ask what gives you confidence when in the face of everything else, it seems things can't get worse. How do you control your emotional happiness?
As a whole, I've heard a lot of things. And I think it really depends on the person to spark that strength that we all have. Every person is motivated by different things.
I know for myself it's taking lessons from people like Mahatma Ghandi, Mother Theresa, MLK, Rosa Parks and the like.
They have this quietness that is so powerful. It's almost intimidating. Their confidence and their spirit scream louder than the decibels of their voice.
I think about these individuals who dedicate themselves to conducting their behavior to be above the fray. Life is crazy and people get overworked and impulsive to forget their love for their fellow man to serve their own ends.
I think about the kind of strength it takes to not react emotively. I think about the practice and rituals to get someone to have such inner peace of mind, and the examples they've set, that my heart calms and my mind goes back to the basics questions.
So when I almost flip that switch to run around like a chicken with my head cut off, I check my conversation. What is really important? What am I focused on?
It never fails to keep my head on straight.