The Importance of Seeking Inspiration
Humans are incredible and have achieved – and will continue to achieve – incredible feats.
It is no wonder, then, that it also seems instinctive to use others as sources of inspiration for anything from our dreams and aspirations, to small, everyday decisions.
There are a number of ways I use successful, top-of-their-game people to inspire me: to give me hope that I can achieve my long-term aspirations; as reassurance when I have lost motivation or face seemingly insurmountable barriers; or for opening my eyes to different ways of doing things and different potentialities.
Yet the issue with relying on these people for inspiration is that they are at a completely unrelatable stage of their life to me as I am only just beginning.
What initially seems like a good source of inspiration can easily turn into a source of discouragement if I doubt my ability to emulate their success. Too often I find myself thinking that I could never achieve anything like these incredible people have!
Maybe that is the paradox of using people for inspiration – we create a perfect, superhuman example to motivate us, but in being perfection and superhuman, they just highlight our flaws and make us question the feasibility of our dreams?
What separates me from these people is that they have already undertaken the potentially arduous and gruelling journey which got them to where they are today. They have gone through the learning process and already put in all the hard work that I have that to come. As Nietzsche says, ‘he who would learn to fly one day must first learn to walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.’ They are flying, I am just learning to walk.
Therefore, when it comes to finding sources of inspiration to motivate me to get started, I need to find people I can directly relate to – who too, are learning to walk. Indeed, by virtue that they’re starting and facing the long journey head on is enough to make them inspirations!
Those people are the youth involved in Peace Child International. Or, for me, they are my friends I really admire. They teach me three important things:
Firstly, to value what is directly around me and to appreciate it is a source of innovation, inspiration and joy.
Secondly, first steps which seem not to get me anywhere, are actually vital. When I see my friends taking their first few steps, I admire their patience and diligence and recognise that it will pay off in the long run; yet when I take them I feel frustrated that I’m not making progress. Instead, I should learn to recognise their long-term importance and value, like I do when seeing my friends start their journeys of discovery.
Lastly, but just as importantly, mutual support and encouragement is the best thing to spur you on and keep you dedicated to what you’re doing and, importantly, to what your friends are doing.
And so while it is good to have those who inspire us for our long-term goals, it is equally important to have people to motivate and inspire us to walk before we can fly.
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