10 people who inspire me the most

Every day, we meet people who guide us, teachers, build us up as human beings and in still in his wisdom and life skills that they have learnt over the years.  I do this, you do this we all do this without even knowing.

A teacher and a guide is nothing more than a trusted and learned friend.

I have had many over the years. All played an important role in my life to this day.  Today I want to share with you ten of the most inspirational people that I have ever met. Some will be well known to you, others not so much. But each one has played an intricate role in making me that the man I am today.

1. Shawn Michaels

Shawn Michaels as a professional wrestler, from 1988 in the WWF all the way through to his retirement in 2012. The reason Shawn inspires me so much, is because we have similar personalities. Shawn struggled with his own demons just as many others do, including myself.  I think what inspired me about Sean was the fact that he was so personable, you really felt that he was being genuine.  When he left wrestling in 1998 due to a back injury, he went away to find himself an

d in 2002 return to the WWF as a born-again Christian. Currently, myself I was going through a similar conversion, in finding Jesus, or more to the point in finding me. The way Sean would teach, and guide people just do simple things that he would throw on TV, really began to instil in me the importance of a deeper walk.  Every person in our lives is planted there, somewhere more aware of and have a greater impact, some a lesser one.  Right up until the end of his career Shawn Michaels had a very deep and profound impact on the man I am.




  1. Pat Morita

Better known as Mr Miyagi or Arnold from Happy Days. Pat Morita came onto our screens about 35 40 years ago, and many remember his academy Award winning performance in the Karate Kid.  As a search who have wisdom myself, Mr. Miyagi’s teachings held and still hold a deep place in my heart.  Not so much the wax on wax off, but more teaching                                                             about balance and understanding balance.  Balance is key in all our lives, as I’m writing in my new eBook, balance is one of my three essences of life.  Many today find themselves without balance and completely out of control, when there’s a lack of balance there’s a lack of control.  Hearing the character of Mr Miyagi echo these words, give me confidence and hope to allow me to be the person who I always wanted to be and not have to live Behind the Mask.  Mr Miyagi also told me, a love for the orient in colour, way and life plus for my own walk in learning the importance of karate. It’s deeper meaning is so much more than just what people see on the surface.

I will always be thankful for the simplicity of this little man, who in the films had a big heart and help so many others at that time.





  1. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hulk Hogan, Sylvester Stallone

This might seem like a very odd combination for an artist to quote however, during my time as a bodybuilder these three men encourage me and inspired me through their writings and photographs in the potential in the world of muscle.

Sadly, I would never be able to attain naturally the kind of muscle mass that these guys developed, however I think I still did pretty well.  All three of these men went to be huge stars in Hollywood, and eventually even better human beings.  Sylvester Stallone it inspired me the most in his academy Award winning Rocky films, again the simplicity of this character, the story So Well written.  I’ve just finished reading Donald Miller’s “building a story brand” a book that walks through step by step, how films, books, ads, songs, and just about every other kind of creative outlet we see on TV, music, magazine, and film is built.

That’s why Rocky is such a powerful story.  The story of the underdog coming through, even when he is at his lowest.


Arnold Schwarzenegger had many Academy Award winning performances.  But for me it was the simple interviews that he would do later in life, when a lot of the ego was knocked out of him that would mean the most.

The man that is Hulk Hogan, Terry Gene Bollea, has also been through many struggles in his life.  However, he is a man who told me the simplicity of interviews, how to talk, and how to get my ideas across.  I never did go in for the whole ” brother, brother, brother” talking my interviews.


  1. Bob Ross

As many of you will know, Bob Ross inspired me in a humongous way about 15 years ago. I was channel surfing, out of work and needed a creative outlet.  I was searching for the next thing in my life, the next chapter it would take me to the next place that I felt Called to.  Seeing how simply he painted, this large gentle soul, talking an incredible way.  Unlock to me a world of colour and became one of the most inspirational men in all of North America.  He is sadly missed, as I so many of My Heroes.



5. Charles Stanley

 During the last half of my time as a youth minister, I was seeking teaching and to go deeper than I have ever done before.  The church unfortunately is good at preaching what everybody already knows, but not so good at preaching what they need.  And this was the same for my church.  I can recall a sermon, that wasn’t what I’d heard 15 years before. With Charles Stanley something was different, he was a man who lived it, breathed it and taught it every single day of his life. He would tell stories, about his life, the application of scripture but more importantly all of this was coming from a man who would done a ton of research, prayer, meditation and soul searching.   Stanley also inspired me for his no nonsense style attitude he would tell it as it was whether you wanted to hear or not.  Because you knew Charles Stanley will it be in his church, or via the internet, you felt a deep warmth, compassionate and loving man.  This is why Charles-Stanley, is one of my most inspirational teachers of all time.  Is great having wisdom, but it’s important to know how and when to use it.  Charles exemplified all those qualities for me.


  1. John Morris

No, it’s not me. John Morris, married to Ann Morris, is someone who I considered to be one of my best teachers, but also my best friend. He’s like a real-life Mr Miyagi.  I first met John, when I was in my first church, not long after I moved to Scotland.  He came up, introduced himself and that was pretty much it for a long time.  Then years later, we were working on a soup bus together, where we quickly hit it off and became best of friends.  John taught in a deliberate non mentorish way.  He taught life lessons, by just being him.  It showed me what it really meant to be a follower of Jesus, to be real, true and honest with what you’re experiencing.  John and Anne were and still are there for me walk too many difficult roads with me.  When I came back from the United States in 2012, I came back to find that my then ” best friend” had evicted me.  That’s it, kicked me out so as he could make more money.  I ended up living in a bed sit above Tesco’s in Ayr High Street, with a very Randy team to the left of my room, and two very randy couples, in the room across from me. Not to mention, the prostitute in the flat below and the drug dealers in the flat above.  It was an interesting time for me.  However, John and Anne made sure that I got through it.  They fed me, listened to me and gave me of the time so freely.  Folks, if you ever want to know what it means to be a true follower of Jesus, or just a true human being this is the example, that they set without ever deliberately saying so.  I appreciate the more than words can say, and I value them always.


  1. John Denver

Born Henry John Deutschendorf, John Denver will become a man who inspired millions, not only to music but also in life.

Like so many John’s struggle with depression is legendary.  However, he was able to create and cultivate an amazing body of work that is still talked about and enjoyed to this day.  Being a very visual artist, I literally could see a lot of what John loved and wrote about through his songs.

Is music not only inspired my artwork but also, my life. John had such a smooth voice, I think that’s what I fell in love with he talked about life living in the mountains but also one that was bigger than himself. That was a lie that I want to be a part of and it gave me the confidence and the courage to set about cultivating and developing a life that would help others in whatever way I could.  With the very simple kind of life, John Denver captured the hearts and imaginations of all who heard him but what always impress me about John, was the fact that he stood for something bigger than himself.  We are kindred spirits and lovers of people.  Wanting to help them wherever we can.


  1. Robin Mark

I first encountered this Celtic musician during my first church 12 years ago.  Coming from the Catholic Church background, this style of music to me was brand new.  It was a style that I loved from the first time I heard it.  Robin up and the world to me, which was special search is more Rocky song such as Days of Elijah, all is well, I will walk, and fly to his more tranquil songs such as:  Jesus all for Jesus, his rendition of I will sing the wondrous story and such as she, Robin had a wonderful way of telling stories and creating something that was really, special.  As a worship leader I took on his teachings, methods and practices again, focusing on the simplicity and spirit centred message that worship should be. Robin also wrote some very comical songs such as his wonderful “John Wesley” song that came out on the “fly” album.  I got to meet Robin during his time here in Scotland a few years ago, and he was one of the nicest most personable guys that a person could meet.  I found him to be very genuine and gentle, but with a dry wit, sense of humour too.  He inspired me to be more creative with what could happen in the church and not to stick to the same old same old lifeless drool that seems to go on when so many churches.


  1. Mollie Fleming

Like John and Anne Morris, Mollie is a name that you probably will have never heard of.  However, to me she is my adopted Gran, a wonderful lady of God and an even better friend.  I first encountered Molly when I moved to Scotland about 10 years ago, we met one night after a Youth Group event. It was like everybody else blurred out of view and she was the only one there.  We’ve been friends now for 10 years, and I’ve seen it all together.  From difficult family situations, problems with the church, relationship problems and health struggles.  We’ve been a source of prayer, and comfort for one another and continue to develop a friendship that stood the test of time.  Mollie originally came over from Ireland and Survive many of the scary situations that happened over there during the Belfast bombings.  She can certainly tell a story or two.  But to me she is always going to be quite simply like my adopted Gran.  What inspired me about her was her genuine relationship with Jesus, no farce, no finesse that was her attitude.  It’s an attitude I adopted a lot as well and always appreciate our time together.


  1. Jesus

It may seem kind of strange that I would save Jesus till last, however I knew that many readers would switch off if I put him first.  Don’t worry I’m not going to begin preaching at you either it’s not my way.  Oddly enough it wasn’t his either.  Yes, Jesus teach in large crowds, but I think he did his best teaching in the one-on-one situations that we often find ourselves in.  Jesus taught in an application and follow through, style of life. He knows what you need before you do.  Many find Jesus really threatening, often it’s because of what the church is talk and how they taught it one of my favourite mottos is “never get God and the church mixed up.”   oftentimes a preacher preaching the preaching there opinions not necessarily what God is saying.  The best way to hear from God it’s too spend time with them cut out the middleman.  Fellowship is important, and Jesus taught about this a lot but be quiet time with God is what I found to be most important. If you search for him, you’ll find him.

I first encountered Jesus when I was 13 years old, as I mentioned right at the beginning of this blog I have gone through some difficult times and some struggles as well which I won’t get into in this blog.  After an argument with my father, I remember lying on my bed and crying out that this is not how I wanted to live the rest of my life.  From that moment on it was like the power of Jesus Christ through the windows and into my life.  It sounds exaggerated story, but for those of you that know me know me well you know that I don’t lie, and I don’t make up stories I just tell it as I see it.  That night would be a night that changed my life completely, and then my relationship with God has changed over the years that should come as no surprise. For after all it’s not a stagnant thing.  A relationship with God is the same as a relationship with your husband or wife or boyfriend or girlfriend. For me it’s the greatest relationship I have.  It’s a thing that’s held me together when life’s hard times have been going down the crapper.  He’s the reason I’m still here and doing what I’m doing.

He inspires me because of his closeness, understanding and protective way He carries himself.  He’s always there to listen and to give advice in a non-threatening and non-judgemental way.  Folks you may have your own experience of Jesus, but this is mine and this is the one I’m sharing with you.


I hope you’ve enjoyed these brief snippets of the 10 people that inspire me the most and what they mean to me. I Encourage you to think about those people who inspire you. What makes them special to you?  What makes them stand out?  What makes them unique?  Hopefully they will all be positive influences over you.


Life lesson 10. A Mentor is never someone who seeks to mentor rather, is open to the Natural progression of friendship.


  1. Jacqui McLelland on July 10, 2018 at 6:37 pm

    Wow John thank you so much for sharing this I too was inspired by Shawn Michael’s Mr Myagi Charles Stanley Robin Marks and My Lord and Saviour Jesus and I also loved watching Mr Ross the artist wishing I could paint or even draw like him I have come through so much in my life and its only now as I am nearing 60 I truly realise how much God has been there for me and my 4 kids I thank and praise him for you too with all the beautiful paintings and music you bring May He continue to guide use and bless you abundantly xx

    • johnafthmorris on July 10, 2018 at 8:23 pm

      Thank you Jacqui. This means so much to hear 🙂

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