Every day, every week, I seek inspiration to understand my role and why I do what I do. I have learned I need personal experiences to lift my eyes and my mind to the greater purpose of my work. When you look for something, you usually find it! Waiting to be inspired is the couch potato approach to life. The "maybe something interesting will happen today", is the lottery ticket approach to life.
The pursuit of inspiration is a relentless and inexorable process. My own journeys toward the inspirational light have taught me that the most powerful inspiration does not come from famous speeches or philosophical books. It comes from a closer examination of self and the lives of people you encounter. My search for inspiration is not on the internet or by endless referrals. I find it occurs when I open my eyes and see what is right in front of me, the people, their stories, the challenge, the cause and of course the unmet need. The fuel of this process is accepting and pursuing the natural invitations in life. I do agree to meet with and go to, almost anybody and anywhere. I truly believe the Ubuntu philosophy that we become what we experience and who we meet.
Here are the top excuses to avoid experiences or meeting people:
I am too busy. (I have a complete life)
I am tired and need time to myself. (I am lazy)
This is not a good time for change. (I am never ready)
I am uncomfortable meeting new people and doing new things. (I am afraid)
I have nothing to offer others. (I have a lack of self confidence)
I hear these excuses almost everyday. It makes me want to scream. Because these are the same people that tell me that they want more! They want to grow! They want to advance their lives and the lives of others! This conflict of words, thoughts, and ultimately actions leads to horrible consequences. Mostly regrets and a sense of falling behind your dreams and goals. We can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. And we can't let "good enough" be our goal. And we can't let all of the warning signs disrupt our journey.
As I say all of the time, the "Wait and See" strategy is the most personally damaging tact one can take. You the know the endless hesitation to jump into the moving waters of life. One of our favorite places is the north shore of Oahu–Shark's Cove, Haleiwa, and Waimea Bay. Beautiful waters and beaches. In Waimea Bay there is a giant rock just off shore. Dozens of signs warn visitors of the prohibition and dangers of jumping from the rock. Yet every day you go there hundreds of people of all ages and shapes are climbing and jumping from this rock. Some do high dives called "suicides" and others jump in feet first. But inevitably there are a few people young and not so young who freeze on the edge of the jumping off place. People on the rock encourage them and people in the water tell them it is okay. But they stand there for what seems like an interminable time. One young person stood there for 5 minutes! Then, they jumped in from various perches over and over again. It is that first leap that can be the hardest. Once you realize how exhilarating it is, how warm the water can be, and how it strengthens self confidence–you need and want more.
Living at risk is jumping off the cliff and building the wings on the way down. –Ray Bradbury
The process of taking little jumps leads to bigger jumps. Jumps in your relationships, your career, and your overall satisfaction with your life.
Look around you and pursue what interests you, what is different from you. Reach out and get to know people you encounter. Find out what they do. Go and see it. All such experiences open our eyes to something new. And each one of these moments informs you of what you value, care about, and want to pursue. Every answer creates more questions. If you think you know it all, then you know nothing. Learning what we don't know is the greatest leap of all.
Otherwise, when you open your eyes you may only see your couch and your cubicle! Yes, being comfortable is important. But complacent?! But regretful?! And unfulfilled?!
If you don't jump into inspiration that is right in front of you. How will you get inspired?
Start by doing what's necessary, then what's possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible. Francis de Assisi
Thanks for jumping and reading. John