Reverb13 Prompt 9: Inspiration
Who inspired you in 2013? And why?
What gifts did they give you? And how will you carry these forward in to 2014?
I almost punted on this one. I have been thinking about it for an entire week and hadn’t come up with anything! There were certainly people in the world who did inspiring things, such as the young lady who stood up to the Taliban… but I am not necessarily inspired to do something like that myself. Inspiration for me must be much more grounded in my reality to make it actionable.
The last few years, I would have had any problem coming up with a list of people who inspired me. As I began my journey into self-employment and taking charge of my life, I encountered someone new at every turn who had done something that inspired me to be better. This year… not so much. I blogged in the prompt on community that I’ve come short on meeting new people in 2013. And maybe it’s cosmic, or just the fact that we’re all the same age and trying to find our way, but the people in my life that are closest to me struggled immensely this year with internal decisions. My emotions toward them would be better described as empathetic than inspired and they would probably say the same about me. And as far as people who seemed to be doing amazing professional things? In 2013, I saw a little too much behind the curtain.
But this morning, I went through my grateful160.com journal and had a revelation. Grateful160 is a service that will email you every day and ask you send ONE simple thing you are grateful for that day (160 is the number of characters). You can then log onto the site and view your history of gratitudes. I have been using the service every day for about 18 months and it has changed my outlook on life. I am always surprised at how MANY things I have to choose from, even when I am having a bad day.
My review taught me that I am inspired by all the people who I spent time with me this year, just ‘cuz, and in many cases helped me out… like the friend who dropped everything to come help with my flat tire without even feeling put upon or that I owed him. Or the people who made a big effort to come to my birthday party even though there were other more exciting things in their lives. My years in NYC made me forget that people operated that way, that people don’t pencil you in among a bazillion commitments for the same night. What I am inspired by is people who step up and cultivate relationships. It is easy to hang out with people when there is a party or there is a big cause behind your plans, but it takes a commitment to just show up as an authentic person with no mask.
In 2014, I want more of this, to be inspired by people living their values, every day and not by the big dramatic things they do with their work.