It’s been a whirlwind 2016 so far, but this is truly one of the most interesting years already and it’s not even half over. Lots of travel, time with family and friends, and personally I’m feeling amazing with all the fitness activities I’m doing. I have had some major things happening in my personal life, which has helped me refocus and discover things about myself, and thus I’ve been in a reflective mood lately. One hot topic on my mind is inspiration – sources of inspiration and how they factor into my motivation and inner drive.
Today’s Friday Five is themed “Favorites”, and as you know, me, Courtney, Mar and all the other bloggers always put our own spin on the broad theme. Check out the linkup at the bottom of this post for all the other “favorite-themed” Friday Five posts!
So back to the topic du jour – Inspiration. I’m not thinking solely about fitness success, but also about life. So let’s talk about that. Not just with being a successful person in life, or reaching your goals – but inspiration to get through each day, each week, each month, each year. To move forward, even when faced with challenges.
Where does inspiration come from?
It’s easy to just type out a snap, pat answer to a question like this. I could easily list my kids, famous people who have accomplished great things – these are true sources of inspiration. But it’s important to dig deeper. To really think through and know yourself. To cut through the surface-level “noise” and think about what really motivates you to do better – and to be better.
I’ve been thinking about these five sources of inspiration in my life lately:
1. Interesting People. I love people. I love meeting new people, getting to know them, and finding out what makes them tick. I’m constantly inspired by the interesting perspectives and stories that I learn from others. I want to learn from others, and this inspires me. I have gone through phases where I am stuck in my own little mind and world, and haven’t opened my eyes and ears to interesting people, but I am truly inspired when I let myself soak in what others have to offer.
2. Music. Of course music is a driving force in my life, having been a musician and working in the performing arts. Live classical music is my passion, but I also feel inspired by all genres of music. I’ve been enjoying discovering new music lately — from indie singer-songwriter – to hip hop – to alternative – to Top 40 pop music — I’m into all of it lately and it’s inspiring me to push through my day with gusto.
Live music can transform us like no other – sitting in a concert hall listening to Beethoven, Mahler, or Shostakovich can be a transformative experience. And so can going to a more popular concert with music that moves you. Find that music that moves you, inspires you, and motivates you – but don’t be afraid to branch out and try a new genre and see if it has an inspirational effect.
3. Service to others and giving back. This is a source of inspiration that can be really challenging – because you have to go out and make it happen, or have this in your heart on a day-to-day basis. Even if you don’t volunteer or donate money often, having a mindset of giving back and serving others can be as simple as putting your heart out there and having compassion for others. Or holding a door for someone who has their hands full. Paying it forward and helping others truly inspires me to think outside myself and my own world view.
4. Challenges. Yes, challenges can inspire us to be better people. I’ve had some challenging things going in my life lately, but I see these as an inspiration to find what my next step will be. Who is the true me, and how can I live that person’s life and make the most of it?
I realized that I can choose to face a challenge with a positive outlook and my eyes open to the next step in life.
5. Running. Maybe this goes without saying given the nature of my blog, but I find running to be a huge source of inspiration to me. I do my best thinking on a run, and sort out the intricacies of my schedule, to-do list, conversations I need to have, work I need to get done – I can do so much thinking on a run because of how it clears my head. I come back totally inspired for the rest of my day.
These are some of the sources of inspiration I’ve been reflecting on. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Your inspiration will come from places that mean something to you, and create that spark inside you that drives you and motivates you to push forward. To make things happen, to do more, do better, to be the best you that you can be.
What or who inspires you? Do any of the five things on my list ring true for you?