If you want to be inspired, hang around these people

If you want to be inspired, hang around these people

Whether we will it or not, the environment we surround ourselves with, the peers we connect with, heavily influence our creativity, productivity, and attitude. You’ve probably already been told a million times who NOT to hang out with, but as a creative who desires to be inspired for their art, who do you hang out with?

  • Someone who has had an adventure

This is the person who perhaps lived in another city for a time or went on a hike or vacationed to a foreign country or studied abroad or pursued a business endeavor or what-have-you. Even if their adventure wasn’t particularly successful, this is someone who isn’t afraid of trying new things, finds excitement in the unfamiliar, and can be some strong motivation for you to go on your own adventures.

  • Someone who is fiercely independent

Hanging around people who won’t take action to move out of mom and dad’s house is going to hold you back. An independent person who has had experiences will influence you to make some confident, independent decisions, perhaps the same ones that helped them get out the door.

  • Someone who knows people

It’s not unwise to actively seek out people who have valuable connections that can benefit your career. This is someone who is probably more social than you, someone who makes friends easily and is likable, which will make you likable. Those who work in creative industries know that connections are the life of artistic success.

  • Someone who has strong opinions

We don’t usually care for opinionated people, as they can at times be annoyingly stubborn and arrogant. However, someone with strong opinions is a greater influence than someone who is ambiguous and indifferent. They are much more likely to be listened to, and they emit a personality of self-confidence and morality. They can be the person who points out flaws in your plans that you are otherwise biased about and provide constructive criticism, which could help you make smarter decisions. It must be someone you trust very deeply, else their opinions will go unheeded.

  • Someone who is moved by aesthetic experiences

People who admire and appreciate beauty in different forms are extraordinarily deep and creative individuals who are not only pleasing to be around but are contagious of passion. Hang around someone who notices the architectural details of an old house or who wonders at the natural causes of a geographical monument or who enjoys breaking down the aspects of a good film.

  • Someone who participates in a physical hobby

Even if it’s just working out, a person who spends time being active for fun as well as health is overall a more productive, more positive person. And they may influence you to take up a sport as well.

  • Someone who is not affected by chaos

NOT someone who creates chaos (no one needs that in their life). This is someone who is strong-willed and is not easily upset by unstable environments. Whether they truly are unmoved or are just extremely good at faking calm, they’ll keep your feet on the ground in stressful situations.

  • Someone who is not easily offended

Name-calling, stereotyping, and difference of opinions goes over this person’s head. They hold their own beliefs and standards while not pushing it on others, at the same time being unconcerned with what others think.

  • Someone who is exceptionally intuitive

They can be a little scary, but you’ll appreciate having someone in your life who can read you and know what’s on your mind before you even speak. They’re like a psychic without all the weird supernatural stuff. They just know you that well. Hang around someone who knows how to point out what needs pointing out as well as holding back for the sake of better timing.

 

Surrounding ourselves with the right formula of environment can make or break a career, can make us a positive or negative person, and can open up opportunities that wouldn’t have been available in a different place. The people, most of all, influence the strongest. If your crowd is not inspiring you, then it’s time to make some new friends.

 

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Your 3 Verbs

Your 3 Verbs

I’ve talked before in a past post on how to create a personal mission statement for yourself. Part of that process includes choosing three verbs that are most meaningful and exciting to you, three verbs that you believe will help you accomplish your core value. I shared that my three verbs came out to be Encourage, Inspire, and Support. I believe that these verbs, these actions, will help me achieve spreading my core value of Influence.

What do these verbs mean, and what do they mean to me or you? Verbs are a specific form of action. By choosing three certain verbs, they represent specific actions that we choose to focus on. Focusing our actions gives way to better and faster results. It achieves more specific results. If you’re determined to accomplish a certain goal, or simply spread a certain value, it is highly effective to hone your actions.

So what are your three verbs? If you don’t know what your core value is, more than likely choosing three verbs that inspire you the most will shine some light on it. It helps to begin with a big master list of verbs to pick from (courtesy of “The Path” by Laurie Beth Jones):

accomplish acquire administer adopt advance affect
affirm alleviate amplify appreciate ascend associate believe bestow brighten build
call
cause
choose
claim
collect combine command
communicate
compel compete complete compliment compose conceive

confirm connect consider construct contact continue counsel create
decide defend delight deliver demonstrate devise
direct discover discuss distribute draft
dream
drive educate
elect embrace encourage endow engage engineer enhance enlighten

enlist enliven entertain enthuse envision evaluate excite explore express extend facilitate finance forgive foster franchise further gather generate give
grant
heal
hold
host
identify ignite illuminate implement improve improvise inspire

integrate involve
keep
know
labor
launch
lead
master mature measure mediate model
mold motivate move negotiate nurture
open organize participate pass perform persuade play
possess practice praise prepare present produce

progress promise promote provide realize receive reclaim reduce
refine
reflect reform regard
relate
relax
release
rely remember renew resonate respect restore return
revise sacrifice safeguard satisfy
save
sell
serve
share

speak
stand summon support surrender sustain
take
tap
team
touch
trade translate travel understand uphold
use
utilize validate value venture verbalize volunteer work worship write
yield

 

If it’s hard to pick three, start with nine, and then eliminate. Give it a try 🙂

5 Inspiring Dream Followers

We all have our inspirers, the people we admire who influence us to keep going at our dreams, even when they seem impossible. These five people (four of them writers, what can I say?) inspire me from either their personal stories or what they managed to accomplish.

1. J. K. Rowling

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I have to confess, I’ve never read or watched any Harry Potter books or movies. Truth is, they have never appealed to me. Before you hate on me now, I do admire the author. I especially admire her story. The first Harry Potter being a saving grace kind of book for her (she was on the brink of poverty) is inspiring enough, but the fact that it was rejected 11 times before someone decided to say yes is an inspiring tale of its own. I like to imagine all those editors who said no kicking themselves to this day. Whenever I think about my own writing, and the fear of rejections, her story gives me courage.

2. Kathryn Stockett

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If Rowling’s story of persistence in the face of rejection is inspiring, then Kathryn Stockett’s story is even more so. Her successful novel The Help was rejected 60 times before she got representation. Within a few years it was a bestseller and a movie. And it was her debut!

3. Stephen King

stephen-king_0

Another 60 rejections receiver, he just refused to give up on writing, despite poverty clinging to him. I’ve read his nonfiction On Writing, in which he explained how he pushed through: “By the time I was 14…the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and kept on writing.” That’s how, he kept on writing.

4. Martha Stewart

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The face of cooking, crafts, and DIY, her stint in prison from a stock scandal looked like the end of her career, but she bounced back beautifully, so much so that I don’t recall remembering her absence.

5. Rachel Hartman

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I came across the book Seraphina in Barnes & Noble and looked it up to see if it was any good. Reviews were great, and when I discovered that it was this new and unknown author’s debut, I felt a deep connection and bought it. I have since now finished the second book, Shadow Scale, and I highly recommend these novels. Hartman enchanted me with her twist-on-dragons story, and it showed me that you can take old classic elements and give them new life. It was an excellent debut, and I can see this author going far.

 

Who are the influential dream followers that inspire you?

 

How to create a Personal Mission Statement

How to create a Personal Mission Statement

You’ve probably heard the term “mission statement” thrown around from time to time. Certainly from businesses, at least. The idea of an individual person having a mission statement probably isn’t a common concept.

A personal mission statement may seem like something pointless or frivolous, but if you create one, you’ll have clearer direction in life. What is a mission statement? Businesses and organizations all have them. They’re meant to help focus the business on a single purpose that it intends to achieve. This is the same function of a personal mission statement; it answers what you believe your purpose is and states what you intend to achieve during your lifetime.

With that in mind, the thought of figuring all that out seems daunting. But there are a few steps that will eventually get you to a clarified Personal Mission Statement.

  1. First, ask the question, “How do I want to be related to?” Identify a few things that people can best interact and relate to you. What do you value the most in others? For me it’s be loyal, be…
  2. Distinguish a metaphor illustrating how you want to be seen. For me, it is the image of a cheerleader on the sidelines, cheering people on, ready for when someone needs to run by for an encouraging hug.
  3. Identify your values. It helps to have a list of common values, like wisdom, honesty, benevolence, nobility, excellence, comfort, etc. From those values you pick, pair it down to one Core Value. What do you most want to represent in the world? What is a principle you’d be willing to die for? When I identified mine, it came to...Influence. This is my core value.
  4. A mission involves action. From a list of verbs, select a few that stand out to you and inspire you. Then, from those few, select three distinct verbs that are the most meaningful, purposeful, and exciting to you, three verbs that you believe will accomplish your core value. My three verbs? Encourage, Inspire, and Support.
  5. Ask yourself the question, “What do I want to see happen to others as a result of me?” I know you know something about this. Try to be as specific as possible. For me, it would be: I want to see people pursue and achieve their dreams because I encouraged and supported them.

By putting together all these pieces, a personal mission statement begins to emerge. It may change over time, get more detailed, become more clear, but a mission statement is meant to grow with you. And once you have this personal mission statement, your steps in life begin to have more meaning. You’re here for a reason. It’s exciting to figure out what that reason is 🙂

My personal mission statement?

My mission is to inspire purpose, encourage discovery, and support others in their pursuit of dreams.

So, what do you think your personal mission statement is?

How to be an Inspiring person

inspire

We all subconsciously desire to be inspiring in some degree or another. We think about making a significant difference in people’s lives. It’s just a simple human thing. It’s a rather strong endeavor for me, personally. I know I’m not the most influential person on the planet, but in this pursuit there are a few things I’ve learned about inspiring others.

How do you be an inspiring person? The first step is to care. You cannot possibly make a difference in someone’s life if you don’t care to. People’s dreams are very important, fragile things, and we should treat them with sincerity. If you want to inspire, you have to care about inspiration.

The second step is to believe you are inspiring. Basically, believe in yourself. Yes, that’s cheesy and overrated, but its truth has never changed. How can you inspire people if you believe you can’t? In that case, you won’t. You’re the first people you have to influence. Begin there.

The third step is to view one life as all the treasure in the world. For a short while I became convinced that I needed to reach many to be an inspiring person. Then I came up with a quote that I choose to live by to keep myself focused: “If I can but change one life, then I have done everything that I came to do.” Forget about counting numbers. The first time you impact someone, you officially became an inspiring person.

Other important factors I find to be necessary are: be the best listener. Did you know you can inspire without uttering a word? People love to talk about their dreams, and they want someone to just listen to their passions. Another factor: exude enthusiasm. Even if you’re not a naturally enthusiastic person (I am one of those; people have literally told me to show more excitement), it’s possible to develop a habit of enthusiasm. People love a happy person, and they are naturally drawn to them. Be excited for someone when they tell you about their dreams, or even just their likes and hobbies. It will influence them to connect pursuing their dream with thrill, and that will motivate them. See? Inspiration.

There’s one more thing to think about: Identify your inspirers. Always give credit where credit is due. Inspiration is an evolution. It came to you at some point from someone or something. When you’re inspiring others, give credit to that quote or that author or that friend or that trip to another country or that drunk stranger on the street. Not only is it simply ethical, you’ll be more genuine in others’ eyes, because you’re just like them. And, suddenly, your very existence becomes an inspiration.

What would you say makes an inspiring person?

I am resilient…

I don’t know many people who get as excited as I do when learning something new about themselves, but it’s always something worth getting excited about. I don’t know about you, but the more I know of myself, the more I feel capable of being successful.

It’s kind of recently where I’ve come to discover some things about myself, all related in some way to same concept: I can’t go down. Those moments of weakness where I’m so convinced I’m at the end for sure, I can never stay. Here’s a confession: I’ve actually attempted to stay in depression before, as if it’s going to help me. And here’s the funny, and very good, thing: I naturally cannot! When I think about that, I frown at myself for being so silly in the first place. And then I thank God that I’m too stubborn to let myself give up. Here’s what I’ve learned:

I am resilient. 

I hold integrity very high. Very high.

I am fiercely loyal. 

I am fiercely protective. 

I am innovative. Sometimes too much…

I am unwavering. I cannot be convinced that God is not with me.

I see potential everywhere. 

Discovering these things about myself has helped me identify where my strengths lie, and it also just establishes my purpose even more: to be an encourager, an inspirer. Being a resilient, loyal, protective, seer-of-pontential gives me the ability to identify the strengths of others and point out the potential that lies in them.

I want to be that person, the one in the background who gave the little push that put someone on stage, the one they turn around to and smile as I’m hiding behind the curtain, a smile that says, “Thanks, you made a difference.” And I smile back, an exchange only between me and them. Because to me, if I can but change one person’s life, then I will have done everything I was meant to do.