Follow good advice and change your life for ever, says London
Something special happened to me in November: Brown & Co suggested I do bi-weekly signings of my latest release, From Siberia to Bermuda: Live, Love, Laugh in their book department.
It became the perfect opportunity for me to meet, not only my readers but, with many other visitors who came to the store. During this time we shared many remarkable life stories and our face masks did not stop us from smiling.
My table was set up next to a giant pile of thick books. The display was as tall as I am. On top was a black and white picture of the handsome, smiling face of one of the most respected men in the world.
It was Barack Obama on the cover of his new bestseller, A Promised Land.
In 768 pages he chronicles his life in politics, including his first years as president of the United States. Despite the imposing size I noticed, with admiration, that almost every person who entered the store bought his book.
It seemed whenever I was not speaking with shoppers, I was looking at his eyes in the photo and thinking about what a remarkable president he was. One quiet day, I took the book and opened it to a random page. His words were so in tune with my New Year’s mood!
Obama was the youngest senator in Washington DC with only two years of service there under his belt, yet his powerful speeches and deep intellect had made him a phenomenon.
He was encouraged by many in the Capitol to run for president, but he had strong personal misgivings. Things were happening far too quickly. He felt he was caught up in a national sweep of emotion, a yearning for change and opportunity that far outpaced his experience. It seemed impossible to him that scarcely two years ago he had been fighting modest political battles at the local level in an obscure area of the American Midwest.
One day, senator Edward Kennedy, asked him to stop by his office. Known as “the lion of the Senate”, he was a living legend and the longest serving democratic senator in Washington. His office reflected decades of American history with countless photos of world leaders starting with his brother John, the 35th president of the United States.
After some “get to know you” small talk, he turned to Obama and spoke straight from his heart.
“I can tell you this, Barack,” he said. “The power to inspire is rare. Moments like this are rare. You think you may not be ready, that you’ll do it at a more convenient time. But you don’t choose the time. The time chooses you. Either you seize what may turn out to be the only chance you have, or you decide you’re willing to live without the knowledge that the chance has passed you by.”
Obama took that powerful advice and his decision changed American politics for ever. A black man became president, and for eight years he served with careful and measured grace and indisputable integrity.
I thought how often we ignore the best advice. We think we know better.
I made my New Year’s resolution right there and then.
I want to speak to the many women who are overwhelmed, who feel lost and uncertain and cannot find their path. I want to give good advice when it is needed the most because I understand that good advice at just the right moment can change the course of a person’s life for ever.
In 2021, I want to see more sparkling eyes and hear that jubilant phrase, “I did it!”
Dear readers, the power to change is in us all. When someone gives you good advice, please listen!
Nina London is a certified wellness and weight-management coach. Her mission is to support and inspire mature women to make positive changes in their body and mind. Share your inspirational stories with her at www.ninalondon.com