How do you become inspired?
Do you associate inspiration with classic external influences like heroic deeds and nature with its spectacular sunsets and much more?
In reality, whatever your setting, environment, or context, inspiration starts within each of us.
Inspiration is a conscious awakening of creativity, problem-solving, or your special interest or thinking style to reveal otherwise overlooked or untapped potential.
Inspiration involves stimulation of mind and emotions in response to something or someone when we pay attention. Observe something, someone, or some event and react to it by opening your mind to wonder: “How can this experience be interpreted or applied in a different context or to solve a different problem?” Now you’re inspired!
Inspiration is always all around us and within us. An endless and often surprising array of things, activities, problems, or creativity abounds to act as stimulus for a wide range of inspiration.
Summits and conventions are a significant source of fast-forward inspiration for me and my clients. An invitation to attend the recent 109th Rotary International Convention held the added attraction of its theme: “Inspiration around every corner.” I joined 24,000 Rotary members from 175 countries—a mini-United Nations.
- International big-name speakers and special projects like peacebuilding and end polio inspired many. The showcase of projects presented tradeshow-style as the House of Friendship was inspiration central for me and thousands more.
- Large-scale events charged up many attendees, but there was inspiration all around us. A chance happening really touched me. A few hundred Nigerian Rotarians, most in native dress, spontaneously burst into their national anthem as the picture-only broadcast of a World Cup Soccer match featuring Nigeria began. Their obvious joy at singing together was only second to my amazement that they all knew all the words and sang them with gusto. Maybe helping people learn to sing their national anthem with obvious enthusiasm is a worthwhile project?
- I learned a lot from the many Rotary members from around the world that I met. When I asked, “What inspires you about this Convention?,” they all exuberantly told me. The most common response revolved around meeting and re-meeting friends and colleagues they had worked with and stayed with around the world. The many other inspirations gave me food for thought and helped me see fresh opportunity around me and for my clients.
What I am reminded of time and again is that self-inspiration or training yourself to remain curious and to wonder about everything is a powerful and under-utilized skill.
Instead, of keeping your eyes on a screen where things—largely marketing—are fed to you, maintain curiosity and wonder as you move through the real world. Consciously, take this constructive stance at least part of each day and you may get hooked.
About Rotary: Rotary ( rotary.org ) brings together a global network of community leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. We connect 1.2 million members from more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in almost every country in the world. Their service improves lives both locally and internationally, from helping those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world.