Hey, Internet: Stop Trying To Inspire Me
Jamie Varon

Hi Jamie! Thank you for sharing!

Though I would argue: Isn’t making people feel ok with themselves a form of inspiration? A lot of people need some kind of intervention or realization that what they’re doing isn’t all wrong and fucked-up compared to the rest of the world.

Sometimes it’s really important to hear that what you’re doing is ok, and that the way you feel is normal and ok. That, I believe, is a form of inspiration in itself.

Feeling ok with myself and forgiving myself is something I learned much more intimately when I was learning meditation. In meditation, you are taught not to get frustrated with yourself for your wandering thoughts, but rather to acknowledge them, be aware and try to bring yourself back to focus.

This is something that I later realized had a very direct parallel with many parts of my life where I would feel inadequate/unsuccessful/ unattractive/inattentive/etc. From my experience in meditation, I learned to use the same mindset in various other aspects of my life: Take any negative thoughts of inadequacy/failure/anger etc, acknowledge them and let them surface, then be conscious and mindful that these are a feelings you are having. Once you have come to terms with the emotions you are feeling and decide to accept them for what they are and that its ok for you to feel that way, you are then ready to return the focus of your life to whatever it is you were working towards.

All that being said, I do still think that there is value in the ‘feelgood propaganda’ articles and videos we encounter on a regular basis on the web. The value of these though, doesn’t lie in the core source, but in how it spreads.

In my case at least, I think seeing those types of inspirational and motivational acts of kindness both online or in real life do inspire me to grow into a better person and actively seek ways to give back to the community, do good things, and inspire others in turn. I’ve seen this happen in a very direct way that has impacted people’s lives in very meaningful ways as a result of something I’ve said or done (encourage people to quit a dead end job, inspire someone to apply for a school or program they never had the courage to do, and helping and mentoring people in the same way that I did to them).

This, to me, is where the more concrete sense of fulfillment and happiness lies: Not when you are inspired by others, but rather when you are the one impacting peoples’ lives with your actions.

Some words to live by:

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
- Buddha