How often do you reflect and think about what inspires you? If you’re like most people that question does not arise very often but it is something worth reflecting on.
Most people don’t have the bandwidth to manage the demands of their regular day without the added pressure of self-reflection. That said, I believe seeking ‘inspiration’ is a probably one of life’s most important considerations because harnessing its potential can create some pretty spectacular outcomes.
Consider first the difference between inspiration and motivation. While there are some similarities from my perspective they are quite different. Motivation is what gets you out of bed in the morning, drives you to work harder and be better. It’s that inner voice that pushes you to succeed. Motivation feeds your needs and wants. It is most often a tangible, measurable outcome that you can quantify and milestone, charting incremental steps forward on your road to that goal.
One of the benefits of motivation is you can often identify what motivates you with little struggle because its nature is highly measurable. For example, if you are motivated to be at the top of your professional you might work longer hours, take on more responsibility and be more engaged than your colleagues. By contrast, if you are motivated to take care of yourself because you have a family history of health concerns you might work less, exercise regularly, practice yoga or meditate, eat a healthy diet and make holistic wellness your priority. The desire to take care of your family is also a significant motivator for both men and women leading you to take actions that best achieve that result.
Motivations can drive you to accomplish amazing feats, never miss a day of work (even when you are ill) or push harder to be the best you can be but inspiration is the secret sauce that makes that journey fulfilling. Finding joie de vivre (joy of living) as a result of being inspired is a key to day to day fulfillment and long term well-being.
A study from the University College London (UCL) suggests that the more you are able to enjoy life, the longer you’ll live. This study demonstrated that a reduced mortality rate is directly linked to a long term sustained sense of satisfaction and life enjoyment.
Finding inspiration, creating the potential for fulfillment outside of the needs or wants of motivation can transform more than your outlook – it can lead to a longer, happier life.
Inspiration is the magic that feeds the soul.
We’ve all met people who are remarkable, people who by their actions or simply through their energy have a profound impact on us. Sometimes it’s what they have accomplished that inspires us or their story of triumph over adversity. They never quit regardless of the odds and they say and do things that make us think outside the box. Exposure to people like this often moves us to be better, do more or reach for new heights. What I have noticed is those inspirational people all seem to be inspired themselves, I don’t think that’s a coincidence.
If your strategy has been to wait for an epiphany you might be waiting a long time. What do you have to lose by actively taking part in a search for inspiration? Music, literature, travel, spirituality, people, art – there are so many places to find inspiration if you only look for them.
For many of us slowing down and taking time to actually think it is the real problem, especially people in business who are not usually programmed to think in terms of ‘me time’ and ‘what makes me really happy and fulfilled’. However there is simply no denying the importance of the mind body connection to the maintenance of wellness for the long term.
Why not make 2019 the year you find your joie de vivre. Take the first step, create the intention to seek positivity and inspiration.
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart”. Helen Keller