A dictionary can tell me what an inspiration is but not how to be one.
I heard a fantastic, inspirational speaker last night, addressing a room full of Early Childhood Educators. His name was Anthony Semann, and he could motivate a rock to get up and be a better person. About halfway through his presentation, a lightbulb went off.
Well, a whole Hollywood makeup chair's worth of lightbulbs went off.
I suddenly realised.......Inspirational people are PASSIONATE and POSITIVE, even when they are suffering. Inspirational people radiate an air of positivity around them that infects and uplifts all those who know them.
Think about it....who would you rather talk to if you walked into a room full of strangers? The one who is smiling or laughing, or the one who has their arms crossed in a corner just staring? Who would uplift your spirits when you need it? The positive, empowering, 'happy' person or the one who is yelling, negative and closed off?
Regardless of what an Inspirational person goes through....great or small, they retain a positive frame of mind. They don't give up. They find the courage not to overcome, but to keep on going when things are at their darkest.
The second element I noticed.....Inspirational people are usually involved in change in some way. Examples at two ends of the scale are Nelson Mandela who was involved in a huge change and suffered greatly but kept his vision for the future. Or someone you know has lost a lot of weight, and had some suffering for it but has embraced the change and you can see the better person mentally and physically they are for it. It makes me wonder....are we so afraid of change and moving out of our comfort zone that someone who does embrace change and finds the courage to forge ahead become inspirational?
And why is being considered inspirational such a surprise to them? Because they are just doing what they love, or what they believe in wholeheartedly. The perception others have formed of them is like a side effect. I don't think anyone woke up and thought " Hmm, I think I will become an inspirational person today." By living their lives and following their passions to the best of their ability, they transformed into an inspiration.
Which brings me to this......
ANY ONE OF US CAN BE AN INSPIRATION TO OTHERSOur behaviour, our emotions, our passions have an effect on every person we meet. Don't believe me? As you pass someone today, family or stranger, smile at them. A big smile, a warm friendly smile. You may get a smile back, you may get a funny look. But you will make that person feel just a little better about themselves and their day got just so much better. You may have just inspired them to pass that good feeling on to the next person.
Or you can try glowering at them, staring at your most unfriendly and hostile. The result will be a feeling of anger, or offense in the other person. That gets passed on and a day that did seem great to them may just feel like it all turned to yuk.
I know what face I'd like to see coming towards me.