One night recently, a friend asked a group of us a question that I didn’t have an answer for. It was one of those questions that you ask when getting to know someone and it’s one of those questions that you either know the answer to right away or you don’t. And while everyone in our group shared, one by one, I was scared that by the time it was my turn, I wouldn’t have an answer to share myself.
The question was: Who inspires you?
It’s a simple question, one that you can easily answer by choosing someone close to you who’s made an impact in your life or someone throughout history who has a quote that’s listed on a mug they sell at Barnes & Noble.
But sharing the name of someone who inspires you is like revealing the recipe to your secret sauce. It tells your audience—who honestly may be your best friends—who makes you tick, who motivates you, and who kicks you in the ass and tells you to get the fuck moving forward. And it gives your enemies the plans for how they can take you down.
So here’s another way to think about answering that question. My friend, Mouyyad Abdulhadi of Magic Carpet Blog, gave a talk at IgniteDallas about this subject. His talk is called “24 Years, 24 People, 24 Lessons” and is a snippet from his Ebook of the same name. The premise is he shares stories about 24 people in his life who have taught him something and inspire him daily.
The difference about how Mouyyad answered this question is that he found inspiration from a place that we all know but we always undercut – those we know in our daily, real lives. He also helps bring the question of “Who inspires you?” down from the podium that question has been cast upon. He shows that you can find inspiration not only from one person, but also from multiple people, and each can provide their own kernel that can move you.
I like this. I like that I don’t have to search for one person for all of my strength. I like that I can look to people in my real, every day life and I can admire things that they have done as a way to challenge myself.
If you ask me that question today, I will answer it differently than how I will answer it tomorrow, because inspiration has the ability to change, just like my goals, thoughts, and fears.
So now I turn the question to you, who inspires you? Or how do you see inspiration?
Photo Credit: Louwuselchen