“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.” – Henry David Thoreau
Whether it is for business or personal reasons, inspiration is at the core of all great creations that withstand the many tests of time. A healthy balance of brains and heart gives anything engineered the breath of life and purpose. Or else it results in short lived passion and projects. Effective people share the traits of success and influence as well as a story of how a spark of inspiration set them afire; that surge of power that can move people to move mountains with you. These are some of the ways they accomplished aligning themselves with that power.
Trigger Your Epiphanies
There has to be a better way to do this. This is the statement that can open many great doors. It is expressed when people have admitted to themselves that they are stuck on something or exerting energy that feels inefficient and are now open for a solution. This is the moment when we let go of the thought that this solution can come solely from our own efforts. The trigger to your epiphany here is to be receptive.
- Reach in and meditate. Oprah Winfrey, George Lucas and Twitter co-founder Evan Williams believe in the stress-reducing and creative benefits to mindfulness practices. Here are three reasons why a tech giant like Google has meditation as part of their work culture. Carve out 15 minutes and try the simple meditation provided here.
- Reach out and connect. Sir Richard Branson, entrepreneur extraordinaire, wrote an insightful blog on “not going it alone“. Inspired by his time spent at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, he shares the value of connecting with colleagues, like-minded individuals and those chance meetings that turn into your most important relationships. He quotes another innovator he admires, the late Steve Jobs, who was known to be a recluse at times yet expressed appreciation for collaboration: “Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions. You run into someone, you ask what they’re doing, you say ‘Wow,’ and soon you’re cooking up all sorts of ideas.”
Someone I care about needs a solution. This moment has been the driving force of many innovations. Whether they are from our home, our social circles or office, people confide in us about their frustrations because we have demonstrated having insight in favorable directions. Or we witness someone or a community we care about suffering, and are motivated to help them find a solution. We, in turn, are gifted with an opportunity to tap into our ingenuity with meaningful purpose. The trigger to your epiphanies here is to genuinely care about other people.
A greater good. Remembering that you play a vital role in the interconnectedness of society and the world as a whole, liberates you from shortsightedness and places you in that advantageous position of having a view of the bigger picture. During what began as a leisurely safari around the time of their wedding, Bill and Melinda Gates had an eye-opening experience walking through villages in Africa. Watching women carrying sticks on their heads while carrying their babies, attached to both their front and back, in unhealthy living conditions was the beginning of their philanthropic mission focusing on education and health for the impoverished. They have inspired a movement among their esteemed colleagues who make large contributions to similar causes.
If you would like to get inspired in a way that benefits everyone involved and get access to a different perspective; roll up your sleeves and volunteer. Being in a different environment that is in need can strengthen your bond with your team and fire up your synapses for solution-based thinking. Volunteer Match can help you search for local opportunities by what you care about.
Kindling the Spark
Share it, spread it and keep it going. After feeling alive with inspiration, you are now the tinder that will ignite the spark of innovation. Sharing it with your team or rallying others up, can be the necessary kindling for it to catch on fire. That will require them believing in this cause towards which you will all be putting effort. It is a good time to remember that you both share the five core human drives that influence decisions:
- To Acquire: It is the desire to collect material and immaterial things, like a car, or influence.
- To Bond: Desire to be loved and feel valued in relationships with others.
- To Learn: Desire to satisfy our curiosity.
- To Defend: Desire to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our property.
- To Feel: Desire for many emotional experiences, such as pleasure or excitement.
It is helpful to keep these drives in mind and relate them to specific aspects of the project as you clearly articulate your common goal.
Simon Sinek gives a compelling TED Talk about how great leaders inspire action. He shares his philosophy on “The Golden Circle” of human motivation and how it correlates with the parts of the brain that influence different types of decision-making. Using examples such as the effectiveness of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the success of Apple products to demonstrate that “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
Effective leaders know that nurturing trust and the well-being of all involved is key to knowing what is at the heart of their team’s motivations. You have to truly care about them for them to truly care about you.
Adding a coaching element to connecting with your team can result in an empowered group of individuals energetic with productivity that understand the importance of their role in the project and enjoy succeeding together. For a little more insight on effective coaching towards making a long-term positive impact, read here.
With the spark and the kindling in place, you have to add the wood; the sustaining fuel. The tools you supply demonstrate the level of innovation and impact you want to develop together. It is also important to continue to nurture a fun and inspirational environment.
Check out this free, new life-coaching app: Lift. It helps make achieving personal goals a fun social experience towards self-development. Experts and users alike add goals with step-by-step plans covering categories such as health, mindfulness, productivity, communication and learning. Doing this with your team or with other like-minded people can be a bonding experience through personal growth.
Aligning with the power of inspiration requires being the inspiration, sharing the flame of enthusiasm and collaboratively creating something driven by a sense of purpose and made with great care. More importantly, enjoy uncovering the fun together as you move towards something meaningful that pays dividends on every level.
With much gratitude to our sources: Fastcompany.com | 3 Reasons Everyone at Google is Meditating Fastcompany.com | The Big Chill-Out-How Meditation Can Help with Everything Entrepreneur.com| Richard Branson on Not Going It Alone The Guardian.com | Gods with Chequebooks 5 Core Human Drives | The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business Entrepreneur.com | Why the Coach Approach Beats the Manager Mentality