Sunday, April 15, 2007

who will you inspire this week?

A few of you who read this know that it is your job to be inspiring. Not just to teach or to manage or to coach - to inspire. Most of you probably don't think inspiring is in your job description. You might not believe it is in anyone's job description.

After all - inspiration has long been considered a gift - something that the universe or the gods or God (depending on your belief system) confers on a few lucky individuals at unpredictable times. To be inspired is to suddenly find fresh perceptions, new ideas, and the energy to create. It's a rare privilege and one that many of us simply assume we have to live without.

Except that we don't. Consider this: the people who are generally considered to be inspiring generally become more inspiring as time goes on. Mother Theresa must have started out as Sister Theresa. Great athletes were once beginning athletes. Great thinkers once got "Cs" on their homework. Einstein was a clerk in an office when he was inspired. He became an inspiration sometime after that. If inspiring is something that depends on a combination of achievement and development, then presumably it is a process we can study. If we can study it, maybe we can get better at it.

No one expects you to change the world this week. But there are probably one or two or a handful of people whose world you could change. There are probably people who could function better and feel better because you connect with them. Who are they and what do you need to be thinking now in order to inspire them when the time is right?

It's possible that inspiration is both a process and a gift - and that you have it in your power to give it now, even if you have not given it before.

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