I once read a book that said that the source of unhappiness comes from the distance or gap between who you are and who you know you could be. Caving on your potential is what causes an uneasy feeling.
So if everyone knew that fact, and agreed with it – would it mean that suddenly everyone would be inspired and engaged?
And my answer is: probably not. It’s not enough to know it – you have to believe that your choices can lead you down a path to close that gap I will call personal purgatory. Sometimes, or arguably most times, life gets complicated – work, home, kids, friends, relationships of every kind – and exhaustion sets in. But what keeps the truly inspired…well, inspired?
Thinking about this has me traveling back to my days of studying psychology. Is it nature versus nurture? Are some people just predisposed to excitement and inspiration while others just put their heads down and just go?
And if companies and leaders could help source inspiration, what would happen? I know this is becoming a blog that basically asks great questions; and while I don’t have all of the answers, I do have opinions. Who doesn’t? (there I go again!)
Inspiration comes from the heart. It is a feeling that leads to action and should be felt, pondered, and explored. When you think about who inspired you as a child, it was usually someone you admired. The admiration in watching this inspired role model led to action and a belief that you too could be that dynamic person who achieved greatness. My 7-year-old son is so inspired by watching athletes. He sets foot on that baseball field and puts his feet in the ol’ professional athletes’ shoes and swings his heart out. His inspiration here is obvious.
So fast forward twenty years – what will inspire him then? Scary.
I think today we are lacking role models. We have forgotten all about those great ones who inspired us when we were young. And in doing so, we’ve become jaded in thinking that somehow we are not like them and that therefore, we should give up on our dream to be like them. Socially we see so many uninspired individuals (if you ever take public transportation, the look on people’s faces would tell you that right away).
But what if, for a second, we took a day to be in awe? To marvel at the people, the earth, the stars, the experiences all around us. To care for our ideas and dreams as we do for our children. The funny thing is that inspiration is one of a few things that can never be taken from us, yet we don’t always keep it alive. Shame on us. None of us can deny that watching the truly inspired is inspiring. My call to action – find them. They make all the difference in our lives, professional and personal.