I have a passion for writing

From a young age, my mom would encourage my brother and me to write stories (especially during snow days!).  My brother took his imaginative self to another level and I am still amazed at all the masterpieces he has created and continues to create to this day.  I was more of a rule-follower and structured child and usually relied on journal prompts to get me writing.  It wasn't until a few years ago when my friend, mentor & coach asked me to be a contributing author in his latest book where I discovered this passion to write freely.  Now I absolutely LOVE to write and feel my most authentic self.  With much encouragement from friends (especially my English teacher friend!) and family, I decided to share my thoughts.  I hope that something in these blogs, which come from a lifetime of personal experiences and years of walking alongside others' experiences, will resonate with you.  

Hard Work.

Friday • March 17, 2023

By Jaime Cunningham

I keep hearing how this generation of young adults is lazy. 

No work ethic.  

But I think that’s wrong…

I keep coming across young adults who do have a strong work ethic.  

We preached self-care for so long, especially through the Pandemic, that just because my generation can’t grasp it or adopt it and they did, doesn’t make them lazy.  

Did they figure out the formula of true life balance and we are just angry because we didn’t?  

Here’s what I think it is.  

They work hard for the things about which they’re passionate.  We all do, really.  My son is a prime example: school was not his thing.  Let me take that back–academics were not his thing.  He did pretty well, although I am pretty sure he charmed his way through most classes.  Baseball was another story.  He worked his butt off for Baseball.  Every single coach he has ever had talked about his heart, passion and strong work ethic.  The “Rudy” of baseball.  (If you haven’t seen the movie Rudy–watch it!).  This is why school involvement is so important.  As a parent, I used baseball to tie to every chore and obligation.  He would complete assignments, study, attend classes in order to make eligibility for baseball.  He had the privilege of becoming a college manager of a 2 time National Championship baseball team.  He kept the incentive to work hard through college.  Guess what?  He is now a PE teacher and coach and absolutely loves going to work.  He is living his purpose and passion!


So what happens when the incentive is gone?  We have to find our passion again as adults.  Like me with this new adventure.  My coach and friends had to keep reminding me of the goal of becoming a coach and starting my own business.  My reason behind it–to help young adults.  This kept me going through the mundane and through the stressful parts of this (which for me included all things technology.  My Google history of “How do I….”  is ridiculous). 


If you need help discovering that passion and connecting it to your everyday life, reach out and we’ll see how to make that happen!  

Previous Blog Posts

The Name. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

The Name.

The name Inspired Impact comes from a combination of things.  For my entire career I had the privilege of living what I was passionate about–working with students.  I felt it was my purpose (or part of it anyway) and it never felt like work. Inadvertently perhaps, this led me to having an overwhelming desire for others to feel that same way about their lives, too, to have a sense of purpose and inner peace.

Year after year, my students never ceased to amaze me with their inner strength.  What was equally amazing was watching kids not only overcome their challenges, but help others at the exact same time.  Whether it was my PAL students mentoring others, my grief kids in the midst of their deepest pain offering support to others along their journey, or my students volunteering in the community while their own home lives were falling apart.  One word was set on replay in my mind year after year, student after student.  That word was INSPIRED.

It wasn’t just the inspiration that was amazing.  I noticed something else.  Because I worked with students for 30 years, I literally watched a lot of students grow up.  I saw one of my abused students grow up to be an amazing mother and work as an advocate for abused children.  I watched a 12 year old on the verge of gang life, grow into an amazing father, mentor, coach and business owner.  I watched many of our elementary PALees (our mentees), become PALs their senior year of high school.  I watched our PAL students go out into the world, positively affecting everyone in their path.  And on a personal front, I’m watching how my son and daughter’s career choices are directly related to my dad’s effect on their lives, continuing even after he left this earth. My son is a teacher and coach exactly like my dad and my daughter chose a career in occupational therapy after helping him through his medical battles. It is this long lasting, life-altering IMPACT that each of us has upon another that brings meaning to life.  

Drop A Pebble

Friday, March 10, 2023

One of my favorite poems is “Drop a Pebble in the Water” by James W. Foley.  Here’s just part of it:


Drop a pebble in the water: just a splash, and it is gone;

But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,

Spreading, spreading from the center, flowing on out to the sea.

And there is no way of telling where the end is going to be.

James W. Foley


I love it because it demonstrates how far-reaching your impact can be and also that you will probably never know it.  Several years ago, we tragically lost a student in an accident.   While leading the crisis counseling groups, I will never forget the students in attendance sharing how this student impacted them.  One student, who had been sitting silently in the circle, finally spoke up and said “he was always nice to me and said hi to me in the halls.”  None of his friends or family knew who this shy student was.  No one knew how much his simple gesture of kindness impacted another human being in such a profound way that she was receiving crisis counseling after he was gone.

We all impact others and most of us will never know the extent. How excitingly meaningful is that?!  

As I bring Inspired Impact Coaching to life, I want to coach others to find their passion and purpose with the intent to cause that never-ending ripple effect.

Persevere with Grace

Friday, March 31, 2023

I’ve been struggling.  I preach Hard Work all the time.  I take pride in having a very strong work ethic which I attribute to my dad.  From a very young age, I learned that there was no other option than to work hard.  My dad suffered physically for as long as I can remember.  He was severely arthritic, diabetic, had high blood pressure and later in life had a stroke, an amputation and cancer.  Yet, he never missed work, a game, church (or a good party!).  My dad was the poster child for perseverance.  Push through no matter what.  

I have a rare autoimmune disease–Mixed Connective Tissue Disease–which is basically a combination of different autoimmune diseases which can flare at any time.  My combination is Lupus, Scleroderma, and Raynaud’s.  When I flare, the main symptom is extreme fatigue–like “I can’t lift my arms or hold my head up” kind of fatigue.  It’s super difficult to explain to people because from the outside, it just looks like laziness.  I don’t do lazy.  So you can imagine that my brain “Just push through!” does not quite sync with my body.  These past two weeks have been especially difficult physically, mentally, and emotionally.  Frankly, it just sucks.

My daughter had to remind me of a valuable lesson she learned as a child.  When she was 11 years old, she was diagnosed with Scleroderma.  By the time my daughter entered high school, she had endured 3 separate rounds–20 weeks–of chemotherapy/steroid infusions.  Talk about pushing through.  She was in competitive cheer and managed to find the strength to practice on the same day as her treatments!  Her extremely supportive coaches and gym owners were shocked, amazed, and a little scared.  Crazy inner strength.  Fast forward two years when she had another flare and another 8 weeks of chemo/steroid infusions.  This time, it kicked her butt.  She missed school, cheer and some days never made it out of bed.  Did this take away her inner strength?  Not at all.  Her reminder to me:  Sometimes you just have to quit fighting the things you can’t control.  

My friends and family have been trying to teach me that sometimes you just have to ride it out until it runs its course.  “Hang on!”, “Push Through!” and “Don’t Give Up!”--Absolutely.  But sometimes, you have to give yourself some GRACE.  When you can, get up and PERSEVERE!