Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What Inspires Me

At, Russell Simmons has placed a call to the blogging community "to think about the importance of inspiration." They are featuring a special editorial theme around the fundamental question, “What inspires you?” Please read Mr. Simmons' post at:

To inspire means:

1. to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence;
2. to produce or arouse (a feeling, thought, etc.);
3. to fill or affect with a specified feeling, thought, etc;
4. to influence or impel;
5. to animate, as an influence, feeling, thought, or the like, does;
6. to communicate or suggest by a divine or supernatural influence;
7. to guide or control by divine influence;
8. to prompt or instigate (utterances, acts, etc.) by influence, without avowal of responsibility.
9. to give rise to, bring about, cause, etc.;
10. to take (air, gases, etc.) into the lungs in breathing; inhale.
11. Archaic. a. to infuse (breath, life, etc.) by breathing (usually fol. by into).
b. to breathe into or upon.

Of all these definitions, I am most intrigued by the idea that inspiration can literally breathe life into something. When I am struggling with a seemingly hopeless situation, I strive to look beyond my circumstances and lend a hand to someone else. Helping others is empowering and it allows me to see my own situation more objectively. I am inspired by helping others to also help myself. I am inspired by those who give of their time and talent in an effort to improve the lives of those around them. If the people in your circle don't inspire you to action, get a new circle. You are dead without inspiration.

I am inspired by creativity and those who embrace it. The creative mind is patterned after the same mind that created man, earth, the universe, and all that is in it. Creative people focus on the inner workings of things. They are more concerned with the process that results in something new. Creative people work within their own structures and set their own boundaries. They see the value of hard work through exercising their passions. They are not just musicians, artists, and poets. Creative minds exist in entrepreneurs, teachers, parents, landscapers, novelists, and chefs. Every human being has creative potential, but few do much to nurture it. While imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery, copycats sell themselves short every time. Creative people are confident in their God-given talents and little can distract them from their process. The more time an individual spends with creative people, the more inspired he/she will be to create. Rather than replicate the fruits of someone else's labor, the key is to take the inspiration and create something all your own. And what is the force behind creativity? Love. It is love of self while in service to others.

A client once said to me that in regards to her children's education, she would much rather be respected than liked by their teachers and school administrators. Parents quite often have to make unpopular decisions and huge sacrifices to ensure the overall health and welfare of their offspring. Parenting is often met with a mountain of unsolicited advice about what a parent should do with his/her own children. Great parents follow their own minds and perform this job courageously and willingly and without apology. They defend and protect their children at all costs. Parents love unconditionally while providing structure, discipline, and direction. They lead by example. Parents give children a safe place to figure out who they are and what kind of people they want to be in life. The hands that rock the cradle rule the world. I am inspired by parents who strive to be a good set of hands.

I hope that you will take a few moments to ponder what your sources of inspiration are. In doing so , I learned a little bit more about myself today. That's always a good thing. Thank you, Mr. Simmons.

Be good to yourself! More next time...

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