Victus Spiritus


Inspiration is Rooted in Action

11 Jan 2010

A thought riff from my good friend Jim got my wheels spinning this AM (thanks Jim for prompting my morning post). Jim's thought of the day:

#TTOTD It is easy to be inspirational -- say a couple of platitudes without getting your hands dirty with the real work.

As a guy who enjoys writing about inspiration on a regular basis I felt compelled to respond. I believe Jim may have meant to say "act inspirational".

To be inspirational one must succeed at inspiring. That means changing someone's mind, and getting them to struggle. If inspiration was as cheap as a couple of platitudes, we would be drowning in it. We are drowning in something, but it's certainly not genuine inspiration. I've come across a few dozen truly inspirational leaders, but a much greater multitude of "life coaches" that get stuck in the belief that inspiration can come without action.

Many folks pretend or mimick successful (inspirational) leaders, so I can understand where Jim is coming from. I started writing by trying to inspire myself to write more ;). That's all well and good, as you have to begin your search somewhere. But to remain in a state of actionless copying is foolish and self defeating. The two qualities of inspiration and action are coupled.

Inspiration is empty when disconnected from action. Action without inspiration is hollow.

A lifetime ago I made a choice to change

It was only a little over a year ago, but it feels much further back. September 2008 I set out to discover and build a future for myself that aligns my daily labor with my sincerest passions. I know I can't settle for anything less (and neither should you). I began documenting my efforts a few months later in the following February. I still have a way to go on my journey, but my daily actions have shattered the cognitive dissonace I once felt.

The effort of building something of true lasting value propels me forward like riding a wave. Each act I perform has greater purpose and self value when connected to my quest. The following are a few habitual acts that are part of my daily schedule:

These small habitual acts are all threads that when woven together form the fabric of a future I help shape.

In my quest for self inspiration, I have found no better source than those who sustain action, fueled by their passion. Each of their success stories preceded by countless temporary setbacks that served to strengthen their resolve. Some of my favorite sources of inspiration are hardly aware of the positive effect they have on my spirits.