RYU TEAM / Dec 17, 2018

‘Tis the season of giving gifts, but we’re trying to shift the focus to staying present and being mindful. Gifting RESPECT isn’t about an item or purchase, it’s geared towards inspiring a feeling of gratitude and empowerment. Our hope through this initiative is to create a ripple effect of positivity, conversation and connectivity and to encourage you to gift RESPECT to the people in your life who light you up.

We reached out to our community to ask them who inspires them and why. Read on to hear what they had to say about the incredible people in their life.


Who inspires you?

My girlfriend and my brother.


My girlfriend is someone who I respect her so much. She never gives up and goes after what she wants. Most of all, she sees the true inner beauty in everyone. She’s one of the most lovable, kind hearted people I know. I can honestly say that I’m blessed to have her in my life.

My brother is a warrior – there’s nothing he can’t do once he makes his mind up and sets a goal. He’s one of the most humble people I have met. He sees the good in every person and doesn’t judge anyone on what they wear, how they live their life or what happened in their past.


Who inspires you?

My mother is the person who has made the most positive impact in my universe.


Without a doubt, she has been my number one supporter throughout all 25 years of my life. She gave me and my two younger brothers the opportunity to immigrate to Canada from Taiwan when we were young. She gave us the chance to be exposed to new cultures, pursue a Western education and enrich our lives with happiness and opportunities.

She enrolled my brothers and I in sports when we were kids. We played baseball, basketball and hockey. While we had fun playing, our experiences helped us build character, created new companionships and we learned to become better people. Through sports, we were given the chance to travel and see parts of the world that were new to us.

She’s always been a “go-getter” and the hardest working individual you’d ever meet. This has influenced me to chase after my goals in life because she believed in my potential. When things didn’t go the way I wanted, she reassured me that it was ok to fail and try again or move on to try something new. She also taught me the same about friendships and past relationships. From her impact, I strive to work hard in life. It motivates me to positively impact my friends, family and the community.


Who inspires you?

Johnathan (a previous manager of mine).


Johnathan was leaving the company I worked at to join a local start up as their Director of Marketing. On his last day he called me into his office and said the best line that I’ve perhaps ever heard:

“Tom, I see you on the same path as me. I had a great mentor to get me to this point, and I want to offer the same to you – I want to be your mentor”.

That was 18 months ago and a lot has happened since then. He has started a family, we both have burgeoning careers and social commitments (that take up much of our time) and we live some distance apart. However, we ensure to meet up for a beer and a chat every few months at various breweries around Vancouver. Whenever we meet up, it‘s like nothing has changed – we joke, we drink, we consult, drink some more and solve our life and career problems together.

True friendship, let alone mentorship, is hard to come by in this life and this city especially, but when it clicks, it’s frikkin’ awesome.

RESPECT to you, Johnathan.


Who inspires you?

Marco (my former boss), Bruno (my dad), Lina (my mother), Meri (my sister) and Monica (my wife).


Marco taught me to control my passionate instinct, to act immediately and to balance my energy. He inspired me to think in times of crisis and difficulty. I will be forever grateful to him for his guidance, inspiration, trust and the universe he opened up for me.

Bruno, my father, is an extremely hard worker who has persevered through many years of adversity. He dropped out of school at the age of 10 when his father passed away to support his family.  

He was determined to live a better life. He was so steadfast to succeed that he worked extremely hard to obtain a regular paying job at a big company. He was married at age 22, had his first child, worked 6 days/week, attended night school for primary school, secondary school and pattern studies. Eventually, he and my mom opened their very own factory in 1984.

That’s why he’s my inspiration. He was born with absolutely nothing and he created the opportunities to get the life he wanted, no matter how many obstacles he had to power through.

Lina, like all moms, I guess she softened my universe. She taught me to be kind, generous with people and to always respect others.

Meri, my sister, is like my second mom. When we were growing up, she surrounded me with so much love and kindness. She literally taught me to respect my universe, even if she never used those exact words.

Monica and I met fifteen years ago and since then she has been and still is my source of countless inspiration. She motivates me, tirelessly makes everything from scratch and good health, inspires me, and she supports my passions (even if they keep me far from her). She is my universe.


Now it’s your turn. Who inspires you? Motivates you? Makes you want to be a better person?

We want to hear your story! Tag us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Let’s keep the conversation going.