The definition as given by dictionary.com is ‘a divine influence directly and immediately exerted on the mind or soul.’ I love to be inspired. I love the way it makes me feel physically. The hairs stand up on the back of my neck and if it’s a really good one my scalp tingles. There’s an accompanying emotional charge. My mind feels alive. I feel a connection with the world that I don’t normally feel, spiritually. I feel my place in the universe and that everything is ‘right.’
A few weeks ago I saw Cold Play on Good Morning America. I was at the gym running on the treadmill, really struggling. This was one of those days when I hate working out. My mind is fighting my body the whole time. When I saw that Cold Play was performing live on GMA I flipped my headphones to the station and watched Cold Play kill it. Man, it was awesome. They brought their ‘A’ game for sure, and yes, I got inspired. All of a sudden my legs felt great, my head got pumped and I cranked out my 20 minutes like it was nothing.
I remember reading an interview with David Gilmore of Pink Floyd. He was being asked about ‘The Wall’ and a live concert done in England. ‘The Wall’ was very much a spectacle as much as it was a concert. The production staff would literally build a ‘wall’ between the band and the audience. Near the end of the show David Gilmore would climb to the top of the ‘wall’ and play his guitar solo for the song ‘Comfortably Numb’. The interviewer asked Gilmore if he was afraid to get 100 feet above the stage and crowd to play the solo, Gilmore responded in a manner similar to this: “No, all I’ve ever wanted to do is play music for people, and when I got up there I was living my dream. It was just me and the audience.” Not only is that an inspirational story but the guitar solo gives me the tingles just thinking about it.
“Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’. That’s goddamn right,” said Red played by Morgan Freedman in The Shawshank Redemption. This is a layup as far as inspiration goes. I could name 100 movies that inspire me. Give me a hero, some obstacle to overcome, a bad guy and a good soundtrack. It’s all there in one neat package.
This is the original tingler. Here’s my short list: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino, Over the Top by Zig Ziglar and the one I’m currently reading Unlimited by Jillian Michaels. Here’s a taste of Unlimited:
‘We could spend a lot of time pondering how we’ve been programmed to believe we have to settle for less, and how this fallacy has infiltrated our collective psyche. But seriously, what’s the point?
Let’s save ourselves some time here, kick the shoulds of life to the curb, and call bullshit on this pernicious piece of dogma. Listen to me very carefully: it’s time to start living your life the way God, or (insert whatever greater power you believe in here) intended-HAPPILY.
Got it? Good.’
Perfect, don’t you think?
What would you do to be inspired? Should you actively seek out being inspired by people, places, events or ideas? I would venture to guess if we all looked for a little more inspiration in our lives the world would be a much better place.