Last weekend I spent the weekend in Wales with my Nana and my parents to celebrate her 90th Birthday.90. Can you imagine? She was born in the twenties. That’s us all in the photo.

Today I wanted to talk about inspiration and in particular, who inspires you.

Whilst it’s great to have a really successful or famous person to look to for inspiration, it’s taken me a while to realise how great it is to have inspiration so close to home.

As a bit of background, my Nana has been her own boss as well as being a landgirl during the war (she hated it, but never complains too much about it – just said ‘we all had to do our bit’). About twenty years ago (maybe more – I was small) my ‘pa’ died of cancer. He was looked after by the wonderful people at Marie Curie in Woolton, Liverpool.

My nana was so inspired by the care both he and she received, she started volunteering, first in their little shop and cafe, then later as a ‘befriender’, what we now know as a grief counsellor.

They changed the set up of the centre and she had to stop working in the shop, but to this day she still volunteers to help bereaved people through their first anniversary of the lost of their loved one.

She lives on her own, with no help apart from a cleaner, still cooks all her own meals (yummy they are too) and gets the garden looking beautiful.

I’ll say it again. This woman is 90 years old.

So, I have a pretty amazing lady as my inspiration. She’s who made counselling real for me. She talked to me about how she helped people. How sometimes she got frustrated with it and sometimes it made her sad but she got up every morning and made sure she was reliable because, overall, it made her happy to know she was making a tangible difference in people’s lives.

I can call my Nana and speak to her whenever I want to. I can ask her to tell me stories about her life or ask her what keeps her mind busy and active so she doesn’t get stressed or sad when bad things happen. But most of all, I can have her in my circle. I can have her in my life to influence me, to remind me what it is to be an amazing person, and to give me something to strive for if ever I start thinking things are ‘good enough’.

You may not have someone as awesome as my nana in your life, and maybe you don’t have one specific person, but I urge you to look for the good qualities in the people around you and use them as inspiration for bettering yourself.

Having an on-line mentor or inspirational person is great, and with technology it’s easy to make contact directly with the most amazing people, but it’s not the same and sitting down and having a brew with someone face to face, someone you know.

Don’t ignore the people closest to you as mentors because they’re not famous or don’t have thousands of followers on twitter or a blog. Extend your circle and expand your mind. I guarantee you can find some awesome people in your life already. Give them a chance to inspire you!