At this time of year I find myself in a rather introspective mood. I guess it has to do with the start of a New Year, the cold weather keeping me indoors, and plenty of time to reflect on what has occurred over the past year or so.
This morning I started to think about inspiration. Had I experienced inspiration during this past year? What inspired me? Did I act on the inspiration? Or perhaps a more basic question to myself: Do I really understand what inspiration actually means?
New beginnings with a new year well under way mean change. I guess inspiration is similar to motivation. Either way, to me I suppose it is the key factor needed to improve something in my life, to acknowledge that what I have been doing isn’t exactly making me happy. Can I change something to be happier without an inspiration to set it in motion?
I don’t think I can. Come to think of it, I feel we all need a little spark of inspiration to get us excited about making changes for the better. Inspiration can equate to a happy payoff, don’t you think? Then why is it that our inspirations sometimes fall smack dab (I love that saying!) in front of us, merely to become part of our ‘what if’ pile of dreams and aspirations?
We don’t seem to take advantage of inspiration as much as we should. We can have a brilliant idea that can set in motion a fantastic new path for us; and yet, the inspiration to act upon it merely fizzles away, never to see the light of day.
Why do we do this to ourselves? I can’t tell you how many times during the past year I have asked people the following question: “If you could do anything you really thought would bring you happiness, what would you do?” I received plenty of answers, each one varied in its size and complexity. However, what seemed to me as the common factor with each comment was not the lack of inspiration. It was the fear of failure keeping the ‘dream makers’ in limbo.
It didn’t seem to me that these folks were without dreams and aspirations; certainly, they didn’t appear to be ‘inspirationless’ (not a word, but I quite like it). Their fear of being unsuccessful kept them stuck in their current situations. In other words, these wonderful, passionate, and truly inspirational ideas were carefully crafted and detailed. And yet, most of them were placed in the proverbial ‘can’t do it’ pile of wishes and wants.
So this morning I started to think about the fear of failure and how incredibly powerful these thoughts can be. We humans are a funny lot, aren’t we? If we know there is a possibility that something we do can bring us happiness, what on earth could be the reason for us to not do something about it? Ah yes, I digress; it’s the ‘fear factor’ thing again. We almost seem to be content with ‘what we know’ even though that isn’t exactly making us jump for joy, if you will. We might say to ourselves, “Okay, maybe I’m not following my dreams, but at least I know what I am getting with what I already know.”
Did someone say the word, “complacency” just now? Hhhhmmmm, well here’s what I know. I know that the number one emotion above all else that we humans want is to be happy. That’s it; the basic, innate need and want is to feel happiness, whatever that means to an individual.
Okay, now I have been chomping at the bit to say this to you (and to myself): I want to challenge you to dust off one of the inspiring thoughts you have so cleverly tossed onto the scrap heap for fear of its reward falling as flat as a pancake.
Even a little snippet of inspiration will do for starters. What is it? What will taking that spark and trying it out look like? If it doesn’t work, guess what? It simply means that it has made more room for you to try out some other, even better inspiration to bring happiness to your front door.
In case you were wondering, I chose the photo in this post because of its meaning to me. I took this picture recently (Lake Michigan from an inspiring vantage point in Evanston, Illinois). The lake isn’t completely frozen; however, the surface is presently adorned with a sheet of ice. But the currents continue to generate movement below the surface. The analogy for me is that although things on the surface ‘seem’ to be without movement, we have lots going on behind the scenes that will no doubt eventually lead to some pretty amazing transitions. In other words, the inspirations you have set in motion will one day manifest happy occurrences right in front of you, on the surface, giving you proof positive that it was worth the ‘risk of failure’ all along!!
What inspires you? Can you think of something you are willing try in order to bring some well-deserved happiness to you?