My name is Gail Lynne Goodwin and I’m the founder of Inspire Me Today®. I have always been a seeker of information, especially that of a spiritual or motivational nature. I discovered that on mornings that I went to the gym with something motivational or educational on my iPod, my entire day went better. I discovered that my daily performance was directly tied to the level of my morning inspiration.
The challenge began to find a continual supply of dynamic, high-quality daily inspiration. When I realized this search was becoming a part-time job, I knew there must be others looking for the same thing. In 2004 I booked the name InspireMeToday.com with the intention of launching the site in early 2005. But life sometimes has other plans for us, and in my case, I put my dream on hold to help my daughter, Carly, an aspiring recording artist.
With Nashville songwriter Gerald Smith, Carly and I co-wrote the song “Baby Come Back Home”, honoring the unrecognized, often unnoticed, sacrifices of a soldier’s wife. From the success of a simple audio postcard containing the song, released on the Internet, we accepted invitation and visited our US bases across America, entertaining troops and their families.
During a trip to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, I was challenged by a Marine who lamented that America had forgotten the troops. Inspired to prove him wrong, we set out on a trip across America. Gathering personal messages of love and support on newspaper scrolls, we amassed more than 18 miles of messages on the Baby Come Back Home Soldier Scrolls.
Just after Congress signed the scrolls on the floor of the US Capitol building in Washington, D.C, we departed on a 29-day tour to Iraq and 6 other countries in the Persian Gulf, literally wrapping the love and support of America around each of the 18 bases on the musical tour.
After a concert at Al Q’aim, a remote base in Iraq, a young Marine named Jesse approached me with a simple request for a “mom hug”. He explained that he’d been off the base for 37 days, hadn’t had a shower and asked if he could still have his hug. He explained that he’d just turned 19 and hadn’t been touched in 9 months and 4 days. As I hugged him, wiping tears, Jesse explained that his job required him to live in a ditch- alone for 30-40 days at a time. More than 800 other Marines guard this stretch of desert and do the same thing, coming back to the base for only a few days every month or so. Jesse explained that he survives the solitude by listening to his iPod and shared that he’s “always looking for good inspiration”.
Feeling like I’d been hit by lightning by Jesse’s request for inspiration, I returned home and followed my dream, founding InspireMeToday.com in April of 2008. In an effort to give to a special cause each year and as a thank you to Jesse, InspireMeToday.com gave free Premier Memberships before our launch to our troops- all 2.5 million of them- so that Jesse’s iPod would always be full of great inspiration.
Then, shortly before our first birthday, we realized that we wanted everyone to be able to fill their cup from our little stream of inspiration, without any barriers- especially financial ones. Knowing the difference quality inspiration can make in our individual lives and collectively, we decided to make the daily content on InspireMeToday.com totally free for everyone.