The best gift I've ever received...

In the convoluted filing system that is my computer I have a file that is simply labelled “sayings” — it is the home of a collection of quotes and sayings. They were curated over almost a year; a dear friend would send them to me and I faithfully saved them. The topics range the motivational and inspirational spectrum: travel, inspiration, life, love, friendship, success, work, adversity, pithy quotes, and pithy insight. The file encompasses the human condition. Over the years I have used these quotes for inspiration, source material, motivation, and fond memories; sometimes I share them and sometimes I keep them for myself.


It’s a very dull day today, and although nothing is going wrong, nothing is really going right either so I found myself scouring my favourite file — as always it invoked grand memories of a deep friendship, and still inspires me to something bigger than myself. It has never failed me.

I settled on this quote today for no particular reason other than it felt right —

The greatest battle is not physical but psychological. The demons telling us to give up when we push ourselves to the limit can never be silenced for good. They must always be answered by the quiet the steady dignity that refuses to give in. Courage. We all suffer. Keep going. — Graeme Fife

As I ponder this I find myself focusing in on the words, “… answered by the quiet the steady dignity that refuses to give in”. A reminder of a strong character trait to be sure, but also a reminder of a cherished friendship that even after all of these years still encourages me be a better man. Innes was always good that way.

I have always cherished my friendships but at this time of the year I honour these gifts even more — some of my friends are no longer with us; some, because of time and distance, have become buried with my past; some are a phone call away — all have shaped who I have become, and I believe they have done a very good job.

A sincere thank you.