We live in a world bombarded with distraction and obsessed with measuring talent and performance. This is why it is so easy to forget the fundamental role of inspiration in our lives. Inspiration awakens us and drives us to new possibilities to transcend our ordinary limitations. Inspiration is the necessary ingredient to put an end to apathy and move on to the possibility of what can become.
Many times, when we hear the word “inspiration,” we overlook it because of its association with something supernatural or divine. However, the latest research shows that inspiration can be activated, captured, and used to have a transcendental impact on our lives and legacies.
The truth is this: all great success stories start with inspiration. Even projects, businesses, or achievements that aren’t that great originally start with some sort of inspirational thought, even if the eventual outcome bears little resemblance to that original light-bulb spark of creativity.
Of course, long-term success depends on much more than sheer inspiration. Thomas Edison maintained, “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration,” and he certainly had a point. Looked at another way, this equation just underlines the fact that when it comes to achieving outstanding results, 100 percent perspiration is just not going to do it, even though it seems to be the strategy of choice for many business leaders.
For years, I have been fascinated with the word inspire. Not only do I have it as the license plate on my car, it is also written and displayed in different decorations and arrangements inside my house. Moreover, my wife and I decided to name our company Inspire International because of the power this word connotes in our lives and in what we do every day.
The word inspire translates to “in spirit.” Inspiration comes from within.
The word “inspiration” denotes thoughts or emotions associated with things that lead us to take action. However, inspiration has a much deeper connotation. The root of the word inspiration can be traced back to the Latin inspirare (“to breathe or blow into”), which is from the word spirare, meaning “to breathe.”
Some people watch hundreds of motivational videos, looking for inspiration. Tech entrepreneurs visit the latest technological advances every few hours, looking for new inspiration. Musicians, writers, artists, and everyone else all scour the world for inspiration. Yet most of them aren’t feeling inspired enough. They’re looking for more, thinking something else out there will truly inspire them. Why is this? Because nothing is truly inspiring unless you apply it to your work and life. (“Work” means your life’s output, whether creative, business, or personal.) In other words, your work itself is the inspiration. Everything created has been inspired.
You might hear something or see something that gives you a new idea. But it’s only when you stop and think of your work through this new perspective that you actually take action and go turn the idea into reality. That’s the real inspiration that everyone is looking for. Inspiration is not just receiving information.
Inspiration is taking action—applying what you’ve received. People think that if they keep reading articles, browsing books, listening to talks, or meeting people, they’re going to suddenly get inspired. For every bit of inspiration you receive, use it and amplify it by applying it to your work. Then you’ll finally feel the inspiration you’ve been looking for.
What inspires you? Remember, there is no inspiration if there is no action. Hence, the popular idea that artists work when their inspiration comes to them is terribly wrong and dangerous. If you are looking for inspiration and want to achieve long-lasting results, you must embrace the inspiration to propel you to take action immediately. Inspiration is a factor that can move mountains and change the direction of entire lives. It creates an energy and enthusiasm that are hard to extinguish and that can keep us going through the most difficult and challenging times to reach our goals. Inspired people are passionate leaders, and passion is the greatest motivator human beings experience.
Here are four I’s—strategies you can follow to help you get inspired:
Ignite. Inspiration works through all three dimensions of our lives: spirit, soul, and body. The inspiration can be ignited when our spiritual dimension is connected to God.
Ideas. An idea is the product of inspiration. Whatever has been manifested as an inspirational thought came in the form of an idea in our conscious minds. On a daily basis, we must cultivate and protect our ideas
Increase. The most inspiring leaders understand the power of increase to get inspired. Increase your energy by eating well on a daily basis. Increase the number of hours you spend doing what you love. Increase the quality of time you spend with your family. Increase your team with the right people who will work alongside you to make things happen, rather than issuing directives. Two of the most inspiring ways to increase are “we” and “together.”
Ignore. To keep yourself inspired, you will have to learn how to ignore those thoughts, even people, that want to sabotage or kill your inspiration. The worst enemy of inspiration is to not know how and when to ignore what raises against your course of action.
Challenge yourself to become personally inspired. The best you can do is set up the optimal environment for inspiration. Take action, and let others be impacted by the impact of everything you do.
Inspire is written by Ronald Joselin