I've been thinking, a lot, about inspiration & from where it comes. Inspiration to do what it takes to accomplish literally anything, is the inspiration I'm talking about. I suggest just such inspiration is all around us.
Of course, I believe in education & training - formal through institutions of higher education, & workshops, professional organizations along with colleagues coming together to share best practices. These are only a portion of what are obvious & somewhat comfortable methods for finding inspiration.
What are some other ways, maybe not quite so obvious?
It's like with this image of the skateboarder although that's not really anything I ever wanted to do...
He clearly loves the sport, has the necessary tools, practices, is fearless, & takes risks. It's easy for me to see - no matter what my goal is (to be a better leader, educator, storyteller, photographer, parent), I've got to be willing to take action & to do these same things & do them consistently. I watched him fall, regroup, & start right back again - perform, measure, assess, adjust, repeat - a familiar process for most of us driven toward excellence in life. The skateboarder had no idea how he was an inspiration to me as I passed him during my walk, but it's true all the same. I'm taking a narrating & illustrating class at this moment to grow in order to accomplish my life's goals & sometimes it would be so much easier to do none of these things, but giving up is just not an option...the goals are my calling & non-negotiable requiring practice, fearlessness & taking risks.
Dark road beside my house where I've often walked. Many times without thinking, or listening to some favorite music, etc., but not actively engaging with looking toward the light, or any really deep level of thinking.
My assignment was just to go practice, try something new, face fears & to take risks. I set out on a cold night recently planning for nothing interesting to surface. Clearly I predetermined there would be no inspiration of any magnitude. It started with camera settings I had been avoiding for fear of failure & not knowing how to recover, I was ready to just say, see? I knew I couldn't do it. I took several shots & the more I clicked, the more I could actually see through the dark to the light. The more still I was, the more the Light found me. The more still I was, the more I realized I've got to take the first steps & put myself on the road to begin with. Why would the path be any shorter (lonelier, harder, less rewarding) for me than for anyone else? I found inspiration in the feel of the night as I stood still & in overcoming a fear of failure.
Moments with friends & family - no words needed...the bond runs deep. This is MY tribe.
Those close to us - family, friends, colleagues, our networks of support - those who have taken the road less traveled along with us & willing to be in the arena with us. Too many times we overlook the opportunity to be inspired by taking these relationships for granted. I loved the leaning in, the listening, engaging & sharing represented in this image. Just as I was able to take the shot, they ALL got up in unison, & looked like a close knit band of brothers. They inspired me to not forget the importance of relationships throughout our lives.
No image for this next unlikely inspiration. Like so many, I have routines established so I can get as much done as possible. One includes going to a nail salon where I almost never say anything more than hello to customers on either side of me, & to the technician I always see. Last week, I thought would be no exception to this routine, but oh my, was I ever totally wrong. I glanced & smiled at the young woman to my left & quickly turned back to my own thoughts. Then I heard a baby cry & my world began to change, inspiration was right here, right now. Her name is Lauren, a high school junior from Burleson & we were in Fort Worth close to my house. I watched as she took the baby up close & began to soothe & take care of the "newborn" I later found out was part of a human development class she was taking. My initial thought was something to do with a sorority activity. Instead, she told me the baby had been up most of the night since 2:30 & she had been non-stop caretaker for some weeks learning what it's like to be a parent. People gave her dirty looks, could be rude & disrespectful, but she felt compelled to learn, grow & develop - and for the next several weeks, she would have a baby with special needs. The stories she shared with me inspired me to encourage her, to applaud the amazing growth even I, a stranger, could see. We continued to talk which was complicated with getting nails done & taking care of "her baby." I had to know what brought her to this particular place (I believe it's God, not chance - ever) far from Burleson. Lauren asked if I ever heard of F.F.A.? I was so happy to say, YES! Future Farmers of America! She had been showing her beloved goat at the Fort Worth Stock Show! A favorite place for me to go! The animals are often sold & then taken various places never to be seen again by those who deeply loved them such as Lauren. Her goat was a rescue & she had been heart broken when hers had been taken. Lauren's mom found & returned this beloved, now pet, to her. In fact she proudly told me how they were reunited which was incredibly moving to hear from someone so young, so full of heart! Talk about an inspiration sitting right beside me, a totally unexpected encounter! We follow each other on social, & my plan is to visit her in Burleson when she gets her next rescue with camera in hand! What an inspiration this experience was for me! I learned so much from this selfless young woman who is definitely in the present! No matter what people said about "her baby" she felt the experience deeply, powerfully & was totally committed to doing the right things - no matter what - the same commitment in her work with the F.F.A. Who knew this inspiration would be sitting right next to me in a nail salon. Lauren was definitely the educator that day & a very impressive one at that.
Authors waiting to be heard & whose work inspires us toward excellence with every written word.
Messages for whichever season we may be living...or remembering. These can be printed to touch & feel, audibles, & podcasts by experts. These may include our mentors & mentees. Regardless of form, inspiring all the same & all around us.
I really believe we can find the inspiration we need to accomplish anything - literally - all around us. A critical part is to know the why behind whatever it is we are driven to accomplish & to go forward with these 3 attributes to increase success rates:
1. Be teachable. 2. Be humble & able to admit at least something's not quite right yet - we're short of the excellence we strive for.
3. Be with heightened senses - to be open to be inspired & to be inspiring.
Where is inspiration all around you?
Call To Action:
1. Share within your network where you find inspiration to accomplish the goals you have set for 2020.
2. What other attributes would be important to increasing success rates?
3. Share your thoughts with others on the social posts, or send me an email at Sandireid@sbcglobal.net. I promise to join in a dialogue!