02/19/2014 02:14 pm ET Updated Apr 20, 2014

Who Can You Touch? Finding Inspiration Close to Home

Think of an area in your life where you'd like to make a change. Is it family, health related, professional? No matter where the need for change lies there is a starting place for all of it...finding motivation.

Today the Internet and television are flooded with stories of motivation and stories of hope. You can easily access countless tales of how others have overcome struggles similar to your own. And yes, they can be very motivating. However, I've tried to take a different approach.

When I am at a point of needing motivation and encouragement I look to the people who I have in my life. I focus on the ones who I can reach out and touch. When I feel like I'm struggling with faith, I think of Dad. In his early '70s his battle with kidney failure became much worse. He went through dialysis and finally a kidney transplant. Through it all, his faith gave him hope and peace. It was an inspiring thing to walk through with him.

If it is strength or love that I need to focus on, Mom is the first one I think of. We unexpectedly lost my older brother when he was 18. Somehow, despite the heart break, Mom found a way to heal. Not only did she heal, but also she remained to be one of the most thoughtful and compassionate people I have ever met. To have that kind of hurt in your life and not let it harden your heart takes incredible courage.

Not all of my examples would be quite so serious. Sometimes it is a work ethic, an unyielding positive outlook on life, or a healthy lifestyle that I would like to model. Whatever it is that I find important in my life, I love seeing those values alive in the people around me.

Who in your life can you look to for motivation? What incredible traits have you possibly overlooked in the people around you? Think about who makes you better. If you still don't feel like you can reach out and touch motivating people from where you sit, it might be time to get up and change seats.

Gratitude is something that I always pray about. I ask God to keep me from taking the wonderful things in my life for granted. I think not taking the people in my life for granted is a great place to start. When I focus on the people around me for motivation, I find their stories more real and easier for me to connect to. It also makes me feel so lucky to have them as a part of my life.