What Inspires You?
According to Webster, inspiration is “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative." For those of us in the medical field, inspiration is also “the drawing in of breath.” To me, both definitions are really one and the same.
What I mean by that is this… have you ever looked at something beautiful, for example, that caused you to take a deep breath while a feeling of inspiration took over?
See…there is a correlation there! In fact, I read once that artists and composers view inspiration as a breathing in of the creative spirit. I like that!
When I started thinking about and listing the things that inspire me, I couldn’t decide whether these things were actually inspiring or just things that I love or that I felt deeply about. So I decided to refer back to the definition of inspiration and I realized that the things on my list actually inspired me because I love them.
With this realization, I created my own definition of inspiration: “the process of loving something or having a deep admiration for something so intense that one feels a deep desire to create or do something amazing”. I know it isn't much different than Webster’s definition, but I had to add the loving and deep admiration part for my own satisfaction.
When I started to think about it, the things that inspire me are probably the same for a lot of people. But everyone's list is based on different reasons.
Some of the things that inspire me are:
The Word of God
The beauty of nature
My desire to help others
Other’s stories (especially God stories)
The reasons these particular things are on my list is because each one hits a different feeling for me. My family and friends inspire me because of the support they show me in everything that I do. They make we want to be better than I am and that in itself is inspirational to me.
Praying and studying God's Word inspires me because when I do each one, I am overcome with a longing to be everything that God created me to be. It makes me strive to live a life that is pleasing to Him and that to me, is inspiration.
Simplicity is inspiring because when I think about how I have a tendency to over-complicate things, I have to remind myself that I am ultimately in submission to God and that His ways should be my ways. This inspires me to strive to be in His will and that is inspirational.
When I am inspired, my mind is receptive to things that I cannot always comprehend. For example, how is it that simply being in a beautiful place or seeing a sunset or feeling the warmth of the sun be so inspiring? It is so awesome to me that some of the best feelings are those that you can't describe with words.
Have you ever felt yourself filled with an overwhelming sense of joy or inspiration while listening to a certain song or reading a particular verse of scripture? The feelings that I get when I experience these things are sometimes so hard to describe and are followed by a sense of awe that is just hard to explain. These are the times that I purposefully look for in my life and cherish every one of them when they occur.
For some people, finding inspiration is a process. It goes beyond just seeing and hearing things around you; it is actually taking time to recognize the beauty in the little things. It's like the old saying.... sometimes you have to stop and smell the roses. We have to actually take the time to look for inspiration in the midst of our hectic lives.
God has given us a backdrop of beauty, not only in our physical surroundings, but in the people we love and others around us, even those we don't know. It should never be hard to find inspiration with so many wonderful things around us. It's important to be open to receiving inspiration. Opening your heart to experiencing new things and to feeling joy deep down is so important in the steps to being inspired.
Take the time to silence the loud things around you - if only for a few minutes a day. When I say loud things around you, I'm not just referring to the television or the radio, I'm talking about the negative thoughts that go through your mind. Silencing these thoughts are imperative to hearing that still, small voice that comes from a loving God. Listening is key. The insights He gives during these quiets times are inspiring and will steer you in a positive direction.
When you take the time to listen, the evidence of inspiration is the smile that comes to your face and the awe you cannot explain. Constantly fill your mind with positive thoughts and I promise, you will find inspiration in almost anything.
If you find it difficult to find inspiration, consider these questions for a moment…
What are some things that give you emotion?
What “moves” you?
What makes you smile?
What makes you want to give back to others?
What things cause you to want to do more and be more?
Find things that make you feel happy to be alive. The inspiration and motivation will surely follow.
The most rewarding aspect of inspiration to me is when the things you do or say and the examples you set by the life you live are motivating to others. In my opinion, there is no better reward in life than to be the one who inspires another.
Whether you realize it or not, there are people that you unknowingly inspire just because of who you are; and because of this, be fundamentally aware of what you bring to the world.
Here's to a life full of inspiration!