This week American writer and poet Maya Angelou died, at the age of 85. She was known for a number of inspirational quotes, here are some that I like.
“Nothing will work unless you do.”
“If you don’t like something change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude about it.”
“I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh.”
Most of us have triggers that inspire us … perhaps it is heroes, perhaps it is historical figures, or sports stars, or maybe it is just quotes and sayings that touch us.
Whatever it is that inspires you it is a good idea to find ways to tap into that inspiration on a regular basis.
One of the traditions in our company, as an “ice breaker” with new employees, is to ask them three questions. The intention is for their colleagues to get to know them a little better and to spark some conversation. One of those questions gets asked a few different ways, but basically it is “who is your hero” … past or present and (based upon experience) not one of your parents. Over the years the answers have been wide and varied, from serious religious answers through television stars and sports celebrities.
It really doesn’t matter who or what inspires you, but what is powerful is when you can harness that inspiration to change your circumstances.
Perhaps you are having a bad day so you “tap into” your inspiration, and you feel your mood lighten and your productivity increases as a result.
Perhaps you are in a sales slump and you use some inspirational quotes to remind you that, with the right effort you are capable of anything.
You might be training for some event and feeling like it is too tough, but your inspiration can help you past that roadblock.
I have a few sources of inspiration that work for me:
I get positively motivated by quotes and sayings that align with my own beliefs. I love quotes about “living your life” … such as James Dean’s “Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.” or the quote from the movie Braveheart, “Every man dies Not every man truly lives.”
I get inspired when I see the achievements of others … it could be a story of a life lived against the odds such as Nick Vujicic with his famous saying, “No arms, no legs, no problem”. It could be the story of a successful business man like Frank O’Dea who once lived on the street, but went on to found The Second Cup chain of coffee shops.
I get inspired to work hard using reverse psychology when I read about businessmen who failed, because of poor decisions. There are plenty of failed businesses to look at and I keep a file with a few stories clipped from newspapers … just to remind me that I can never be complacent.
People get inspired by their family and the desire to improve their lives. Others get inspired by their favorite golfer or tennis player or soccer team.
If you can get inspired, harness that energy you can get when inspired and focus it on your goals then you will see a positive impact.
What inspires you AND what are you doing with it?