A few weeks ago, I was asked, “What inspires you?”
My immediate response was, “Probably not what you think.”
I find myself inspired when I see a strong sense of duty in others. When I witness someone pursuing an ambition or undertaking a cause, particularly a selfless one, I instinctively want to join in the effort. This is in part born of admiration, but true inspiration comes when I see people step forward and say, “Yes,” simply because it’s a task that needs to be done. Even if it’s not a task I can undertake, I want to do something related or supportive of those who are seeking to do the right thing.
Inspiration also comes to me when I see a demonstrated commitment to a value or principle that is greater than one’s own interest or concern. I value steadfastness and a commitment to integrity. When I see the wise application of a principled idea, I am reminded that things are sometimes complicated and inspired to work for the greater good.
I am inspired by those who actively seek to be part of the solution. Critics abound and criticism can be abundant. Inspiration wells up in me when I see constructive engagement lead to creativity and innovation. These are the people who keep the focus forward. The most inspiring people in this category have an amazing capacity to generate positive energy. This makes me want to stand with them and contribute to their success.
Perhaps most commonly I am inspired by people who work really hard. They are focused and disciplined. They never do anything halfway, even if they can only get halfway to the goal. They will not have fallen short due to any lack of effort. We are all talented and able in unique ways, but seeing someone give it everything they’ve got in service of their ambition is truly inspiring.
The simple truth is that I am inspired by the goodness I see in people every day.