Meghan Mutrie is most often seen with a microphone and camera in her hand interviewing the global sporting elite but her career as a sports journalist for shows like the Crowd Goes Wild and events like the Rugby World Cup 2011 barely scratch the surface of what this motivated individual is capable of. Mutrie was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Governor General in Canada for her work with Right To Play and she lives each day with the fullest understanding of what it means to overcome adversity and why it matters to give back to your community. We asked her to tell us more about what she believes in when it comes to living the good life.
What’s happening in the world of Meghan Mutrie for 2013?
In a word? Change. It's time to get uncomfortable again and push myself with something new. Previously, Derek Sivers masterfully described the different stages we go through in life and this interview has caught me at the top of a pendulum swing. I've had my head down for a while now, working hard and keeping busy with my everyday life and it would be easy to stay the course and let a few more (good) years roll by.
I read a quote somewhere, "Keeping busy is just another form of laziness." It stuck with me. Making choices and taking chances scares me – no, terrifies me – but so does waking up one morning and realising that I 'kept busy' for 10+ years.
There is a time to throw yourself into your work and a time to pull back and reflect, reassess your goals and then get after it again, refreshed and refocused; an improved version of you. I'm somewhere in there. 2013 holds a lot of promise and some big, honest decisions – eventually. I definitely have goals and plans, both career-wise and with Right To Play but first, I need to be a sloth-like homebody in the company of family and good friends; enjoy the NZ winter (South Island road trip with my mom!) then the Canadian summer (our cabin on Shuswap Lake, BC).
Name an everyday action that makes the world a better place, yet is underrated.
Manners and little, genuine compliments. I am guilty of that tunnel vision, which creeps in when life gets crazy and hectic, and your to-do list acts as blinders to the people around you, but try to slow down and look around. Breathe. Smile. Your life isn't over if you let that car in front of you in or if you smile at the apologetic mum with a crying baby in the supermarket. If you think someone did a good job, tell them. If you think someone has a nice smile, tell them. It's impossible to do all the time and you don't have to be phoney, but get off autopilot and humanise little interactions and take the time for others. Years ago, a kind neurologist gave me some advice with a smile. It was in regards to my brain injury at the time but it continues to be great life advice too, "Get out of your head and get over yourself."
Describe the most generous person you know and how they have influenced you.
My mom and dad. They are the definition of everyday heroes in their all-weather-socks-and-Birkenstocks combo (Rosie) and 20-year-old dress shoes, resoled 12 times (Chief). Mom was a paediatric nurse for 35 years. She's retired now – except nurses don't ‘retire’, nor do they leave their work at the hospital. As a kid, I never fully appreciated her natural consideration for others, willingness to connect with strangers and to always find time for a simple gesture or to volunteer. She never tried to teach me. That's just who she is.
My dad is as equally generous as my mom but more specifically to our family. He is a fiercely loyal husband and father but modest and unassuming. I don't think I will ever know the true depth of what he does or how hard he worked for us, simply because he would never tell. His generosity and capacity to love and give is pretty humbling.
But hang on, I'm not meaning to make them out to be holier-than-thou. My parents are very much just ‘parents’ – bumbling, nerdy, repeat-the-same-stories, wear-the-same-shirt-all-week, embarrass-you-in-public parents – and the most warm, genuine and generous people I know.
Tell us three things that inspire you and why.
The pace at which blogs, websites, motivational quotes printed over landscape photos, and self-help books we should read are thrown at us, is overwhelming. And it all comes with a message that ‘THIS WILL INSPIRE YOU’. I can't bother.
Things that move me are just basic actions: human connection. Seeing a dad taking his daughter fishing, watching that cute old couple reading together in the car in the park, strangers helping each other, two old friends laughing over coffee with their phones put away, the bond between a hard-working farmer and his dog, a family playing barefoot cricket on the beach, conversations (and silences) around a wood-burning fire or on a long drive and a grandmother making lunches for the grandkids because her kid is exhausted. I am old-fashioned and simple but those are the things that make me smile and that's what inspires me.
View Meghan's impressive showreel HERE. – Image by Louise Hatton
Help us create a movement in generosity! Get Involved HERE.