Tune In and Rise Up
Our culture relies on motivation far more than inspiration. Every day millions of us wake and suck it up to face a day’s worth of meaningless tasks—often picking the low-hanging fruit for the illusion of a win. We seek to motivate ourselves, our kids, and our employees, but are we inspired and inspiring others to live life exceptionally?
Really, the motivation model of life doesn’t offer a lot of intrinsic rewards. Inspiration, though, delivers limitless and deep-rooted rewards. Motivation may push us and pull us, but inspiration drives us. Inspiration’s breathtaking moments of clarity guide us away from our overly competitive and self-serving desires to show us new possibilities.
However, Inspiration serves no master. We have to work for her gifts, put in hours of time, and open our minds to different ways of thinking and working. Only then will she pay us a visit, and when she does, our work is effortless and we are passionate and driven without motivation’s inner conflict.
We’ve all experienced inspiration—some of us more than others. Her gift is the flow that is our true nature. Summoning Lady Inspiration can be tricky though, and one-hundred people have one-hundred different methods. Personally, it’s the question that inspires me.
The narratives that run through our heads shape our worldview, define our interactions, and—most of all—determine how we understand ourselves. So, when these narratives are vicious, so are the cycles that ensue.
Each of these narratives assumes we understand our world and the people in it. The truth is that we don’t understand ourselves, so how can we expect to understand the people around us and their plans? We can expand our sphere of understanding with a little bit of linguistic magic. The question.
Questions rekindle curiosity, forcing us to engage with life. Engaging with life lends itself to insight and inspiration, and the right questions can do this for not only the person asking the questions but for the people around them.
I’m guilty of warped narratives, erroneous assumptions, flawed questions, and hubris. We all are. We all also have the ability to ask better questions, and it’s as simple as slowing down a little to investigate what’s going on rather than assuming we know. Each relevant question we ask helps forge a path to inspired living.
Sometimes the crazier the question the more interesting the answers. Sometimes all we need are simple questions.
Questions can be a path to inspired living. We’ll always need motivation for the times when inspiration wanes, but the more questions we ask ourselves the more magical we make our lives. Replacing our internal dialogue with interesting and engaging questions is the one magic spell we can all have up our sleeve.
Jack Woodyard, Tokyo, Japan