Monday, August 26, 2013

What Inspires Me

I recently reviewed the inspiration channel on LinkedIn. It is called 'What Inspires Me'. This channel is a collection of thoughts on inspiration 
contributed by 60 LinkedIn influencers. After reading some interesting posts on what inspires others, I sat and pondered about my own sources of inspiration. 

Inspiration can take various forms. Some get inspired by art and music. Others get inspired by sports. And yet some others get inspired by people. Although each source of inspiration has probably inspired me at some point in my life, I feel most drawn to the inspiration I get from people. People as individuals, including me, and people as a community of experiences. The social aspect of being human is what inspires me.

THIS is what inspires me - STORIES. 
Stories of people and their experiences; of their mistakes and key learning; of their inspiration and motivation.
And...my own stories to myself.

We hear stories all the time and listening to good stories always has a lot of meaning and influence. Storytelling started early for me. My parents are excellent story tellers. While both shared different kinds of stories, each story I heard, had a deep and lasting impact on my life. My parents continue to mold me with fascinating stories from their own life and the lives of others who they come in contact with. I try to continue the tradition by being a storyteller for my daughter. This is the familiar dimension to stories. We have all read and heard good stories, fantastic stories and inspiring stories at some point in our life.

But there is another dimension to storytelling. 

We also tell stories to our own self. 

Our stories to ourselves make us who we are and continue to shape our present and future. We tell ourselves stories that help us live, learn, cope, manage, love, forgive, forget and deal with countless other good and bad emotions. Stories make us and can change us depending on what we tell ourselves. We don't really remember events. We remember the stories that we told our self about the events. 

Our stories to ourselves can be so powerful. They can reshape, reorient, reinvent us in ways we never thought possible. Stories define our relationship with our own self and with others - people, nature, the universe. In that sense, our stories define who we are and who we become. 
If there are no stories, there is no us. We believe in our stories and that's why they exist, they grow in our heart and that is why we exist. 

Stories inspire me. What inspires you?


“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, 
stories are the thing we need most in the world.” ― Philip Pullman