I have a new mantra; it’s a two word sentence: Be Inspired! It came up in a culture meeting at Rockhouse this week and it struck me as a powerful suggestion. Being motivated…is nice, being driven…is good, being inspired…is the most passionate description I can imagine that encompasses all the right reasons we are motivated and driven to achieve anything and everything. I like it, I’m keeping it, I want to live it!
Pantanjali, who is credited with developing yoga, summed up the premise of living an inspired life like this, “When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”
Yep, that’s the story ending I want; to be a greater person than I ever dreamed I would. I’m not sure how murky the waters are between inspiration and motivation or inspiration and desire, but when I weigh the words against each other, inspiration wins out on its unselfish and “bigger than me” qualities.
I am always curious to see the vast array of meanings when I look up definitions. My favorite meaning of inspire is: “to breathe in.” Its Latin etymology even suggests, “to infuse, to breathe life.” If you think of inspire as the opposite of expire, “to breathe one’s last breath,” “beyond one’s useful date,” “to come to an end”, it all makes sense.
This perspective helps me define how I can live an inspired life. I’m going to live the opposite of expired. I’m going to think of the word inspire as “to come to a beginning, to take a fresh breath and to reinvent the self to become useful.” It’s not that I don’t feel I’ve been useful all these years, but I like the idea of having a usefulness with greater intention than the ordinary. So how do we have an intentional day? What does that look like in realtime?
- wake up and be grateful for all the little things (bed, roof, clothing, air conditioning)
- because water has the divine power of connecting the heavens with the earth (in my opinion), I say make good use of that shower time by dreaming big things and asking big questions like how do I get there
- start an hour earlier than you usually do so you get the “junk mail” and silly stuff off your plate before you dig in
- come up with a reason (an inpspiration) every day as to why you are working so hard and what the real goal at the end of the day is (mine today is to make a positive difference in three people’s lives)
- take time to breathe in and breath out, especially when the Monday stresses come at you like gang busters
- respond with Grace
- end your day with another glimpse into what you’re grateful for, mainly focusing on the very little things that often get taken for granted
Inspiration, motivation and drive – all great words to live by, but the greatest of these gifts is inspiration! Be genuine, be intentional and most of all be inspired!