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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more,
 do more and become more, you are a leader. 
-John Qunicy Adams

verb (used with object)
to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence:His courage inspired his followers.
to produce or arouse (a feeling, thought, etc.): to inspireconfidence in others.
to fill or affect with a specified feeling, thought, etc.: toinspire a person with distrust.
to influence or impel: Competition inspired her to greaterefforts.
to animate, as an influence, feeling, thought, or the like,does: They were inspired by a belief in a better future.

When I was in high school I was a huge dork (oh yes, believe it or not dear ones). I wore oversized t-shirts, Winnie-the-Pooh overalls, pigtails...oh dear. The pictures are scary. In my high school English class, we read Lord of the Flies. In the novel, there is one leader of the group: Ralph. We had a writing project in which we were broken up into 7 smaller groups. Each group had to choose one person out of our own class that would act as the Ralph character--the leader of the whole class.  Imagine my dork-a-rific self in total surprise when every group had chosen me. I couldn't understand why. I wasn't what I thought of as a leader of people.

"I always manage to inspire a strong reaction one way or another" -Nathan Lane

Recently, I was able to relate to this idea more. I had a very new friend as well as a very long time friend both tell me that I inspire them. Now brown cow, I don't think I'm all that and a bag of chips, but I suddenly understood my high school English class. My new-ish friend said to me, "You don't see it do you? People see the way you're living your life. The way you are being you. The way you manage to write personalized notes to everyone, gather a group, bake a ton of goodies and still be happy. They see you and they don't understand it, yet they are inspired themselves to do more and be better people" {and I'm paraphrasing here...I think I got most of it right :)}.

 Maybe when people see that it's possible to do what you love, be who you are and still have a sense of fulfillment it also seems possible for them?

                               "Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to

 be what we know we could be" -Ralph Waldo Emerson

It's affirming for me to have good friends tell me such things. Better that than they can't stand me, right? Since I've been traveling solo without many people to talk to or bake for or simply tell they are great people I've felt myself get a bit sad. I realize what a crucial part of my day to day life those sort of things are. I am so inspired by people in my life--from my own parents who married very young not knowing what the world had in store for them, to friends who take on totally new careers, unsure what will happen. People who bravely open themselves up to a new love, new life, new experiences. There are so many sources of inspiration out there. What inspires you? I'd love to know. We can all start sourcing our inspiration water from the same well.

"My purpose is to inspire people of all walks of life to discover the virtue inherent within them and to bring forth that virtue in their daily lives". -William Shirley

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