Day 8: What inspires you?
Inspiration can come in many ways, shapes, and forms. It can be something outside of yourself, a song, a movie, a poem, a person you meet. It can be in the way the sun shines after a storm, the way a cancer patient always finds a way to have a smile on their face. It can come from the most random or least expecting places. But when you find it, you just know. You can feel it. When something inspires you, it moves you, it moves something down deep inside of yourself. It creates a beauteous reaction in the depths of you, that moves you to action. Inspiration, in whatever form it takes, sets a fire beneath you, causing you to have no choice but to respond and to move.
The reality is that we all find inspiration in different places, at different times, for different reasons. But I think we’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t felt inspired at some point in their life. I know for me, when I get my head out of the clouds, or stop focusing on myself or my problems, I’m able to take in everything that goes on around me that much more. It’s a beautiful thing when you open your eyes to see the world around you. The more you close yourself off, or lock yourself in to your own thoughts, feelings, and problems, the more you can start feeling overwhelmed or even depressed. I know for myself, when I get focused on one particular problem or thought that causes concern for me, it quickly becomes all consuming. I get so caught up in thinking ‘woe, is me!’ that I start feeling sorry for myself and all my troubles. But the minute you allow yourself to step outside of your own life and the things you deal with and open your eyes to the world around you and see what others are facing in their lives, it can be a very humbling and moving experience.
The times that I am able to get outside of my head and my world are the times that I usually find the most inspiration. Sometimes you need to look for it, to really search it out. Other times, you can just happen to stumble across it, when you least expect it. It could be something that happens on your way to work one day, a story you hear on the radio, a person you pass on the side of the road. It can be just as simple as a change in perspective, over something small, or a change in thinking over something much larger. Inspiration is all around us, if you’re daring enough to look for it. I say ‘daring’, because I feel that with being inspired, there is a risk we take. Inspiration moves us to action. When we are inspired by something or to do something, we usually feel the need to act. That can be a scary, unknown world we are opening ourselves up to. It can mean stepping outside of what it safe, or what we have known, and take a risk. It can often allow us to push ourselves outside of our comfort zone. To be brave. To really, truly, honestly learn to live.
For me, I find inspiration in all sorts of places. I find inspiration in the stories I read of others who despite their plight in life have such an optimistic attitude, or even just have the mentality to keep going each day. I find inspiration in a song, in the words that speak to me or the melody that moves me to tears. I find inspiration in a fleeting thought that comes to mind, of hope, happiness, a look toward the future. I find inspiration in the lives and experiences of my friends and family. I find inspiration in the pages of a book, telling a story of life and living. I find inspiration in the moments I’m brave enough, or selfless enough, to turn off all the negative or problems I have, and embrace the world around me. I find inspiration when I take that leap of faith, jumping into the unknown, submersing myself in a world that can at times be scary, but at other times can offer so much hope and light, even in the darkest of hours. I dare each of you to take the risk of stepping outside of yourselves, to embrace the world around you, and be a novice to being inspired. Let it mold you, change you, push you to step outside of your comfort zone and live. If you let it into your world, you will never be the same again.