- an inspiring or animating action or influence
- something inspired, as an idea
- a result of inspired activity
- a thing or person that inspires
Inspiration comes in many shapes and forms, from a variety of sources, often striking when you least expect it. You may or may not have sought it, but either way it found you and propelled you to take action or consider thought. It may have been as simple as the encouragement needed to make small changes in an aspect of your life or as major as a monumental shift in direction.
I believe we have all experienced pivotal moments in time where inspiration has struck to such a degree as to have had an effect on the future shape of our lives. Be it an individual, a community or a piece of writing. In writing this piece I realised there were countless forms of inspiration in my life, and far too many to discuss here, so following are two stories encompassing various forms of inspiration, each one vastly different from the other, but each with considerable impact around people, community and the world of work.
The first is one of inspiration through help, dedication and giving back – and I admit there are literally hundreds of similar stories, all with equal merit. I know an incredible individual who gives up countless hours of her time to help others, so much so that if I were to list the areas in which she freely gives her time, resources and beautiful smile to enriching and enlivening the lives of others I’d surely miss something out. But to give you an idea, this is one millennial thoroughly practising mindfulness through the likes of soup kitchens, gardening, caring for the elderly and volunteering in orphanages, all outside of her 9am – 5pm role. And this week I encountered Tinaya Johnston via this NZ Herald article – proving one incredibly inspiring woman has the ability to impact and change so many lives on a daily basis through one simple idea and her time. Both of these people have inspired work and community – one through motivating the people in her workplace to do more in their local communities as a result of her efforts and the other giving back to her community and in turn moving others to behave in a similar way.
The second is more professional in its inspirational nature. Beginning with an Executive Leader who spotted potential in an employee and enabled a situation whereby it was possible to take action. Followed through with the employee who accepted the challenge, stepped up and continued the professional development through mentoring and accredited education. This individual has turned their life around in a phenomenal way and whilst that mentoring relationship and formal education is long past, they have continued to mentor with others, complete further education and seek alternative forms of development through the inspirational relationships and people they have met along the way and accepting personal responsibility for their own future path. This person has unwittingly become an inspiration in their own right; having faced numerous hurdles and adversity along the way and still coming up trumps and is now so recognised for their expertise in their field they too are being asked to speak, mentor, train and develop others.
This is a somewhat philosophical post, a reflection in many ways and a nod to all those who have inspired me. However it’s also very forward looking as I know there will be many more stories of inspiration to come; with the world both personal and professional becoming a much smaller space through the development of technology ensuring we have the opportunity to be inspired every day in thousands of ways from thousands of directions and sources. And so I ask you this, what inspires you, where will it lead and how will you use it? And secondly – do your inspirational sources know the affect they have on you? If not – maybe it’s time to give back, feedback and recognise?