What inspires you to do what you do?

May 4, 2016 Helen Eassom

The work you do is incredible.becauseofyou.JPG

Here at Wiley, we’re celebrating the remarkable work carried out every day by you - our authors, researchers, reviewers and editors. We want to know what drives you to make new discoveries, overcome challenges and make a difference. That’s why we’ve launched our ‘#becauseofyou’ campaign, and we’d love to hear your story.

Below we reflect on what inspired a few famous people, and share some of your stories as well. Why do you do what you do?

Perhaps you were inspired by your family and friends?

Microsoft founder Bill Gates credits his mom with inspiring his philanthropic spirit: "My mom was very involved in the community, always gave a lot of time in non-profit activities more than anything else. And she thought that given the success, which was just starting then, that responsibility was commensurate with that." Today the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donates millions to improving the lives of others worldwide.

Malala Yousafzai, the schoolgirl shot by the Taliban when she was 14 for campaigning for women’s education, was encouraged in her activism by her father, also an educational activist. Her father encouraged Malala to become a politician and allowed her to stay up at night and talk about politics. In 2014, Malala became the youngest ever Nobel Prize laureate when she won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg says her group of friends were the inspiration for the Lean-In Circles initiative, and helped her get through one of the most difficult periods of her life- "My Lean-In Circle will help me stick to my resolution and I will help them stick to theirs. Together, we are stronger than we are individually. And because of them, I know I am never alone."

This story from our #becauseofyou campaign shows that many of you are also inspired by family:

"I came from a poor family and my late father passed away a few years ago due to terminal stage of lung cancer when I was pursuing my undergraduate degree. My mother is the breadwinner yet she is illiterate. She works hard to support me for my higher education yet I am the only son in the family. Undergoing a PhD is challenging and I wish not to disappoint my late father and mother as I believed they want to witness my success in completing my PhD as well as being a successful person in the future."

Chuck Chuan Ng

Or a great teacher?

Professor Stephen Hawking has spoken of the former teacher who opened his eyes to mathematics: ‘His classes were lively and exciting. Everything could be debated. Together we built my first computer, it was made with electro-mechanical switches,’ said Prof Hawking. "Thanks to Mr Tahta, I became a professor of mathematics at Cambridge, a position once held by Isaac Newton."

Former President Bill Clinton cites one of his high school teachers as a great support and influence, instilling in him the belief that he ‘could organize and run things’, doing whatever he wanted to in life.

Maybe it’s been the work of others that you’ve been inspired by?

Marie Curie was inspired to make radioactivity the subject of her thesis and subsequent further study by the discovery of X-rays by Wilhelm Roentgen and Henri Becquerel in 1896.

The work of Charles Darwin was also heavily influenced by other scientists, including geologist Charles Lyell. By building on Lyell’s ideas, Darwin made important discoveries about the geology of South America and the formation of coral reefs during the Beagle voyage.[ii]

This story from our campaign highlights how we can be inspired from an early age:

‘I first fell in love with science when I was 7 years old. I read my first Chemistry book and I was amazed that anything could be so beautiful and, at the same time, so useful. I now work in corrosion science which, although not as high profile as the medical sciences, does work to save countless lives. Think of all the accidents that can be avoided by preventing corrosion in aircraft, automobiles and bridges. This is what inspires me.’

Ruth Bingham

Or perhaps you’re inspired by the people you meet through your work?

President Obama has spoken about the inspiration he gets from the people he meets on his travels-"...hearing their stories, seeing the hardships they overcome, their fundamental optimism and decency."

Another example from the #becauseofyou campaign:

‘Before working in emergency medicine for 20 years, I was a ‘kitchen girl’, a nurse’s aide, and then an RN for 20 years. I am inspired by my mother (a social worker), other physicians, nurses, hospital staff, my patients and their families. In this challenging service, there is no greater privilege or blessing than to see the smile return to people’s faces after illness or injury and to be in the presence of families at time of serious illness or death.’

Safia Rubaii MD RN, Emergency Physician Indian Health Services

Inspiration can come from anywhere- from the people we know and love, the difficulties we face in life, music and art, education, or simply the desire to make the world a better place. Now you’ve seen what motivates others, we’d love to hear what inspires you.

Visit our website, watch our video and then share your story for a chance to win $200 worth of Wiley books.

Your work is changing the world, and we do what we do #becauseofyou.




About the Author

Helen Eassom

Author Marketing, Wiley // Helen is a Marketing Coordinator working within the Author Marketing team for Wiley's Global Research division.

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