Thoughts on… Inspiration

19Jul12

Someone asked me the other day who had inspired me in my life, and I couldn’t think of an answer.

This may have been down to the fact that the person asking the question was a veteran of the conflicts in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan, where he worked as a bomb disposal expert for more than 20 years.

It would have felt a bit trite giving him an answer like Steve Jobs because – much as I admire Mr Jobs’ contribution to the world – he never had much of an impact on the life of someone putting themselves in the line of fire like that every day.

On the other hand, I realised that actually what’s inspired me in my life isn’t a person, but an insult that someone threw my way back in the 1980s at a design awards banquet in London when I was working in the design industry. As I walked to my table and passed by a group of people from a rival creative agency one of them said, loudly, to the others: “Here comes yesterday’s man”.

Those words still ring in my ears every week, decades later, and inspire me never to be yesterday’s man.

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