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Where does inspiration come from?

There are lots of self-styled gurus these days. Many state their “passion,” is “to inspire others.” I can’t think of anyone who sets out to be inspiring, or who calls themselves inspiring, who actually is. Inspirer is not a job title.

I don’t think there is any such thing as an “inspirational blogger.” There are interesting bloggers, like Tim Ferris. He offers a lot of value on a variety of topics. And there are motivational writers like Tony Robbins who jacks up crowds routinely. I don’t think that’s inspiration though. Inspiration moves us emotionally. We are inspired by experiences and by music,art and stories. Lives are inspiring.

Here are some things I find inspiring:


It takes a lot of guts to resist norms. I’m inspired by people who have the vision to see where they want to go, and the will to get there. We live in a day where many define themselves based on how they compare to others, which is why I hate the term “influencers”. Great artists and thinkers don’t set out to become influencers. Their influence is a byproduct of doing something that moved them. It takes more bravery than ever to follow your own path. You won’t find an article, even on Medium, that tells you what that path is and how to follow it.

Giacometti sculpture


We all fail at times. It’s how we react to these setbacks that differentiates us. It’s not easy to change, and it‘s frequently almost impossible not to repeat actions that have led to past bad outcomes. Bouncing back from something that seemed like a big deal at the time is very inspiring to see when someone else does it, or to experience yourself.


My neighbor is a firefighter. He trains every day for the moment when he might have to risk his life to save another’s. He runs through the neighborhood sometimes carrying weights and other times wearing a weighted vest. He’s also an all around super guy. I’m inspired by his daily commitment to improve himself to meet his goal when he’s called upon.


To accept others as they are requires respect, frequently for ideas that aren’t what you believe or actions that aren’t what would have done. I see this trait in great parents. They support and back their kids no matter what. They respect their individuality. I find examples of not judging others inspiring.


There is no boring life story. If you doubt that, read some obituaries or backgrounds of people you never heard of. Ordinary people have hard-to-believe amazing lives. Not necessarily the kind movies are made of or books written about, but really astounding. I find the confidence it took to pursue such diverse solo journeys without fanfare inspiring.

In conclusion…

You can’t nominate yourself for the Most Inspirational Hall of Fame.

You must be nominated.

If you found this post inspiring…Ha! Kidding! What inspires you?

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