Sitting in the office feeling sorry for myself as I recover from the flu and post skin cancer surgery, I received a message from a LinkedIn connection saying how much they enjoyed my posts. The message was unexpected, humbling, and inspired me to write this post. I received a boost from this message, a simple message, yet one that had a profound positive impact.
Reflecting on this point, it is often the case that inspiration comes when we least expect it and often from unexpected sources. How often have you felt down, sad, isolated and then from seemingly out of the blue comes a shot of inspiration? All the time I suspect.
The demands on us today have never been so intense in the history of civilisation. That is why anxiety, depression and suicide are far more prevalent today. The human brain is a fantastic thing but is not 'contemporary' enough to face the onslaught from today's hectic pace.
Inspiration motivates us, inspiration energises us, and inspiration allows us to keep up with life's fast pace. Here are some ways to inspire yourself and those around you;
- Challenge yourself and others - setting goals, beating targets, doing something that scares you, and going beyond your comfort zone will generate dopamine and many other 'feel good' chemicals in your brain.
- Send a message - take 2-minutes to send someone a message telling them how much they mean to you, how much they inspire you, or just thank them for being who they are.
- Be charitable - give something away, volunteer for a cause, offer to help someone, visit your neighbour, do something where you expect nothing in return.
- Show emotions - cry, laugh, sulk, or by all means get angry if you must. These are all human emotions which are part of who we are. Suppressing emotions has a negative impact on our wellbeing. Be careful with anger, get angry with what happened, not with yourself or with others.
- Listen - listen to someone when they talk with you, listen to the sounds around you, listen to silence, just listen. Listening slows down our thoughts and provides the opportunity for new thoughts and ideas to enter your mind.
- Show your good traits - be humble, be respectful, be compassionate, treat everyone the same, suppress your ego, and allow others to take the credit.
- Eliminate negative words - replace 'but' with 'and', 'can't' with 'can', 'won't' with 'will', and 'I' with 'us'.
- Acknowledge problems - life is full of solutions for things that challenge us, go and find the solution rather than focussing on the problem.
- Lead by example - have a positive mindset, be confident, pay attention, and always be in the moment. If you must, fake it until you make it.
- Smile - This is the most important thing that you can do to inspire yourself and others, smile. A smile is infectious, a smile reduces tension, a smile generates endorphins and serotonin, a smile provides your brain with a 'happiness feedback loop', and a smile reduces negative thoughts. The bonus, a smile is free to use at any time and for as many times as you wish to use it.
Time is not going any faster today than it has previously, it is simply that there is more going on in our lives than ever before. The way to keep abreast of this fast pace and meet life's new challenges is to 'inspire'. Inspiration equals motivation, motivation equals energy, and energy equals inspiration.
What are you waiting for, get inspired, be inspired and inspire others.