Where do you find inspiration? Do you search for it in books, speeches or feel-good movies? I do. I am also sometimes surprised by inspirational people who pop up in my life, seemingly by accident. Now I’m defining “inspirational” as someone who restores your faith in humankind and makes you want to take action of some sort…someone you can compare your life to and say “Wow, if she can do that, what’s stopping me?”
When life starts getting rough and doesn’t go according to plan, I admit I sometimes get discouraged and feel, well… uninspired. At that point I have a choice to wait it out, hoping inspiration comes my way; or I can choose to go looking for it.
Today there are so many inspirational stories at our fingertips whenever we want them. Just google the word “inspiration” and you’ll find thousands of blogs and youtube videos offering stories of hope and survival and breakthrough. Really great stuff that is getting circulated at lightning speed through social media.
There is another untapped source of inspiration that has surprised me – my own family and friends. Recently I have dug a little deeper into the lives of the people I thought I knew. I have asked them what they have struggled with and how they overcame in the end. I have volunteered to share stories about my life here in this blog and received amazing stories in return.
In other words, you don’t have to go far to find inspiration… or to provide it. And if you sense someone struggling for inspiration, why not volunteer a solidarity story to give them a lift?
Why not be the source?
David – Great article! Thank you for your strength, kindness, motivation and support when others, including me, have leaned on you in time of need. I have shared your blog with many in order to spread the wealth of your advice and humor.
Kristie, the honor is mine 🙂 Congratulations on the new chapter in your life!
The links found when googling “inspiration” may give short-term inspiration to me, but I find that I get long term inspiration from the people in my life. This means people that I know personally or people that I have come to know in the cyber world. I think there is a stronger – and longer-lasting – impact with a personal connection.
Yes, there are “super stars” with whom I have no connection who I have found to be inspirational – but they are the exception rather than the rule.
Great idea you gave about digging deeper into people’s lives to understand their struggles better. Very often, people put up a facade of “all is well” when in reality it isn’t. Everyone struggles – and sometimes the ones with the biggest struggles aren’t showing it.
Thanks for the post, David.
Dawna, very well put….
“and sometimes the ones with the biggest struggles aren’t showing it.”
This is one of the reasons why I wrote this one 🙂
Thanks for passing it on!
Timely again, David!! I agree totally.
Here’s the key to inspiration – it’s slowing down long enough to hear the grass grow.
When we are rushed in the grind of daily life, we are ‘too busy to see’ inspiration that is around us 24/7, much less access it.
Some of my best inspirational stories have been around me my whole life, but it wasn’t until I got older, that I even appreciate the magnitude or the depths of what that inspiration TRULY defines as inspirational examples.
My parents were part of the Japanese Internment camps here in the U.S. And as a child, I would hear about ‘the camps’ … but now that my folks are gone and I look at how they ENDURED hardship and they remained intertwined in the idea of HOPE and FAITH and pulled out STRENGTH during time of war and discrimination and betrayal by the country they were born in… Wow! I realize my inspiration was right in front of me the whole time. They lead by example in how to ‘show up’ every single day and appreciate life in the present. And to NEVER GIVE UP.
I can’t ask for a better example of inspiration.
When my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease she would laugh at herself when she would forget things and say “I have Alzheimer’s… REMEMBER?!” HA! Talk about a positive attitude and affirmation of the fact that we laugh at ourselves. She even hid her own Easter eggs for her own amusement. And she survived breast cancer because she ‘forgot she had it.’
When I look at school teachers who show up each day to teach – who often every single day, receive little to no respect, crap pay and still show up because they feel the work they are doing is so vital and important to educate inspite of the odds, they are up against due to a crumbling system which supports them……. I can’t help but be inspired by the fact – courage and persistence prevails.
We still have educators.
And so when we think about inspiration – I think we just need to slow down and as Ferris Bueller says “Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t take a look around once in awhile… you could miss it.”
I’m taking a bit of a shortcut here, but since I wrote a blog post on this. I’m sending the link rather than regurgitate it here. Some practical real places to look to find that extra inspiration during tough times.
Thanks for the shortcut to some excellent thoughts on the suubject Mike!
I was inspired that I got one guy to write The President to stop the FDA from banning supplements. Supplements have caused not one death. Pharmaceutical medicines have killed thousands. Vioxx killed 40,000. I guess I am more humbled by it than inpired. But I am also inspired to do more if I could get one guy to act.