Who Might I Inspire Today?

Heather M. Ross giving keynote in Vancouver

Two weeks ago I was giving a workshop on developing course outlines and an instructor used the term “inspired” to describe how she felt during an activity I had them do. Somebody was inspired by an activity around examining the tone of a course outline. I work in higher education and even I was startled by her remark.

I think that being inspired is important. I think it helps us to push forward when life seems hard, or boring. It helps us to come up with new ideas, new ways to fix problems. It’s connected to so many emotions including happiness, love, courage, empathy, etc.

I try to listen to something that will inspire me every day. This might be a podcast or a YouTube video or something else along those lines. I have certain go-to ones these days like Todd Henry, Brendon Burchard, Elizabeth Day,  and Rachel & Dave Hollis because they offer me good ideas on how I can grow as a person (I’m open to suggestions for other podcasts if you’d like to share them in the comments). Doing this frequently gives me a pick-me-up in addition to the one I get from blasting some tunes during my workout (I expect some hearing loss later in life). It’s important to me to experience such inspirations on a regular basis.

It’s also important to me that I find ways to inspire others. It’s right there in my manifesto – “Inspire and support others to live their lives as the best people they can be.” I’ve benefitted so much from being inspired by others and I believe in paying that forward.

Throughout the past year I had a few opportunities to do this intentionally (during the keynote that I gave in the spring, for example), but much of it came unintentionally. I was told by several people that they found how open I was about my depression to be inspiring. A colleague was most grateful and excited about tips I gave her on time management and prioritizing what really matters. And then there was the instructor at the course outline workshop.

The idea that something I’ve done or said has inspired others inspires me. When I give a talk or done a consultation and at least one person in the room is clearly inspired about something I’ve said,  I’m happy because I’ve made a positive difference for someone.  How could that not be inspiring?

Featured image courtesy of BCcampus under a CC-0 license.

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