What do we need for inspiration?

“Ting Ting” my phone buzzed indicating that a message has arrived. It was one of those lazy Saturday morning in mid July and I assumed it will be a bank or advertisement SMS. Generally picked the phone to delete the message but found my running enthusiast friend “S” has messaged — “Best Wishes for the run next week”.

He was wishing me luck for the Half Marathon that I have enrolled, but something was wrong. This run was supposed to happen on last Sunday of the month and since it clashed with a planned business travel, I had mentally retired from the event. I messaged him back — “Not next week but two weeks away. Thanks anyway”. Immediate response — “Its 7 days away, check the event calendar”.

There it was. My lazy Saturday was turned upside down. I had excused myself from not preparing mentally and physically using a wrong date. Though I had run half-marathons in the past but had done nothing towards the fitness and diet for last 24 month. I was in two minds — ignore the race day as anyway I was not prepared or give it a shot — unprepared.

And that’s where “Sultan Ali Khan” a.k.a Salman a.ka. bhai for fans, as the ageing wrestler came to rescue. How? We had planned for the movie on Saturday evening and while watching the movie, its cheesy but whistle inducing dialogue which translated in English reads — “I have stopped wrestling but have not forgotten to fight” stirred something in me….Long story short I completed my 3rd Half Marathon after 24 months so “I may have stopped racing but not forgotten how to run”

Above story is not about me and my running but it’s about inspiration. What inspires you? Over the years I have been part of many such discussions, filled questionnaires and read responses. 9 out of 10 responses will be around a famous leader, industrialist, personality or sports person, parents and teachers. However sometimes there are moments in our life which may change the story line.

Protagonist of those moment are no big name or no one (in some case a fictional character like Sultan) but all it takes is that moment stirring emotions and bring a synchronization between head and heart. “Yes I can and I will” — That’s the only agreement (inside us) which is required to be inspired.

However there is always a context to such agreements. Getting inspired to run after long break is contextual inspiration but trying to jump into boxing ring is out of context. After Olympic glory of Indian golden girls, parents jumping to get their girl kids enrolled into wrestling, gymnastic or even badminton may be an out of context for kids who have no interest in these sports. However supporting the kids to pursue their dreams is a contextual inspiration.

Other key aspect is what we do after getting inspired. Call to action is needed. If we don’t even try to act and leverage that hidden untapped potential to achieve the target then it is almost akin to insulting that “inspiration”. At this point we need to be guided by the rational mind and move into “Plan” and “Act” model. I did plan to try practice runs before the main event to condition the body and did “act” by running 12 Km and 9 Km as practice runs on 2 days. It gave me confidence that 21 Km is achievable. We often get “inspired but try to avoid the “perspire” path to achievement

So what was your moment of “inspiration” and “call to action” that lead to an achievement?

On a closing note I remember till last year my 60+ year old mom was scared of escalators at shopping malls and use to struggle to get onto them. Issue was fear of moving stairs and indecisiveness on when to keep the foot. I asked her to remember another of Salman’s dialogue from movie “Wanted” — “Ek baar maine commitment kar di to main apni aap ki bhi nahin sunata (once I have made a commitment, I don’t even listen to myself”). Call to action — once you have decided to keep the foot on the moving step, don’t try to step back. Just move on. Well things are much easier during shopping….Bhai can inspire saala!!

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