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Why Do Some People Inspire Us?

93 sunset

We come into this world on our own and we leave on our own, but in between those two solitary acts, we are constantly living amongst and interacting with others.
Human beings are not solitary; our behaviour shows we crave connection. There will be people we learn from, people we work with, people we laugh with, people we grow up with, people we choose to be like and people we choose to create families with.

From early civilisation people collaborated with each other to survive and thrive. From hunting and gathering, to growing crops and starting towns and villages right through to modern times, humans have supported each other and their communities with their labour and their loyalty because of that need to have a connection with others.

Today that need for a sense of belonging is as strong as ever. Tony Robbins actually includes it in his identification of our basic needs. According to Tony, and I agree with him, these are:

  1. Certainty: The assurance that our basic needs of air, water, food and shelter are met.
  2. Uncertainty: The need for variety to rescue us from the boredom of the certainty.
  3. Significance: The need for recognition from others.
  4. Connection: The need to be connected to someone or something.

And he identifies our two spiritual needs as:

  1. Growth: If we are not learning and growing, we are fading and dying.
  2. Contribution: When we give something back to our world, to society, to make it a better place not only for today, but for the children of tomorrow too.

That need for a sense of belonging can mean that when we’re with others we yearn to be more like them. We often see abilities, talents and goodness in others that we would like to see in ourselves.

And I great way to gain those talents is to act like we have them. When I do confidence building training, I ask my client to think about someone they admire who has the confidence they think they lack. Almost immediately, I see their posture change. They straighten their back, hold their head high and often smile. All from thinking about someone else’s confidence.

We can learn so much from the people we want to be like. They ‘inspire’ us. And one of my favourite definitions of inspire is, “Fill with the urge to act”

And I thought about all the ways I can be filled with the urge to act:

  • Listening to the voice of Laurence Olivier, especially in his Time speech
  • Tasting great, fresh, Indian food
  • Smelling freshly bloomed lilies
  • Seeing a beautiful sunset
  • Touching an animal or another human being

When such things inspire us we may go out and buy lilies, or plan a trip to see a sunset in a different part of the world. Whatever it is, we’ve had an experience that connects us with something, some place, some one.

That is being human.

People can also ‘fill us with the urge to act’. It may be to finally do something we’ve been putting off with a thousand excuses or it may be to give up a habit of pattern of behaviour that doesn’t serve us.

My belief is that we are “Filled with the urge to act” when we see a part of us in someone else; when they do something that brings meaning to our life, or give us hope that change is possible and they leave us with the belief that we can grow and contribute far more than we thought possible.

We’re inspired when we feel our actions will make a difference in the world, not just for our fellow tribesmen, but for the future of mankind, our children and nature.

I have been inspired by many different people, as I’m sure you’ve been too. Here are my top three:

  1. Billy Connelly for bringing so much laughter to the world
  2. Walt Disney for keeping the child in us all alive and creating a fun park where we can play no matter our age.
  3. Dame Renee Fritchie, for teaching me to do what I believe in and say sorry to objections.

Spend a little time today thinking about who inspires you, who fills you with the urge to act? What do you see in them that you so admire? I’m betting you own that quality yourself, you just haven’t recognised it. Think about your inspirations, your connections and how you can act to add more humanity and life and joy in your world. Because what you share with the world of yourself is how people know who you are.

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