I wish you could bottle inspiration. What if "Inspiration (TM)" replaced the current drink-du-jour Coconut Water on the supermarket shelves? What if you could walk just waltz into Waitrose (they wouldn't stock it in Tesco) in your lunch break and purchase a whole bottle of "Inspiration (TM)" all to yourself?
I can just see the marketing campaign now - "Inpsiration (TM) - puts a spring in your step, gives you purpose and makes everything suddenly seem worthwhile." You'd need someone inspirational to front the ad campaign of course - I'm thinking more Angelina Jolie than Rihanna (Vita-Coco's current spokesperson).
But what's so brilliant about inspiration? Well I think inspiration is hugely underrated.
The official definition of Inspiration is:
"The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, esp. to do something creative: "flashes of inspiration"."
I prefer to describe inspiration based on the way it makes me feel - that weird tingly sensation that starts in your stomach, works its way around your nervous system, pumps through your heart, ignites something in your brain - gives you that "ta-da" moment - and then drives your body into action and all in the space of less than a second. And when I say drive I mean DRIVE - drive like your careering around the side of a mountain in your Jaguar XJ220 not trundling along in your Fiat Panda to pick up a pint of milk from the corner shop dressed in your pyjamas and a pair of Ugg boots.
So if inspiration is so important - how do we find it? And more importantly - how do we give it to others?
Well finding it is easy. It may not be sold on the shelves of Waitrose but it is readily available to those who know where to look.
Where to find Inspiration:
Ever stood on the edge of a cliff, stared out to the raging sea and felt powerful winds whip up a storm around you?
The immense power, beauty, marvel, wonderment of nature is a sure fire way to get inspired - you don't need to find the local suicide spot described above but head out into the countryside and be at one with the elements whatever they may be. Feel small. Find perspective. Ignite the spark (just don't jump).
2. The Arts:
Well this is an obvious one - find inspiration from those who were inspired themselves. Whether it's reading a classic (and you can put down Fifty Shades right now), heading out to the theatre, an avant-garde film or a classical performance - it doesn't matter. Art is there to inspire us. Get involved. End of.
3. People Around You.
If you are lucky you will have inspirational people in your social circle or at work. And if not then I suggest you make new friends and find a new job (keep reading for tips on how to be that inspirational person to your friends and/or colleagues thereby minimising the risk of losing said friends/job). Never discount anyone however - as sometimes you can find inspiration in the most unexpected of people. Always listen and think. Two of the most important qualities for those on the look out for the Holy Grail that is inspiration.
4. People Not Around You.
If you have a serious dearth of inspirational types around you (and you really have looked hard) then don't despair just look further afield. Newspapers and magazines are full of inspirational stories - heroism in the face of adversity - read these and hold onto that feeling of "wow if they can do it..." (and then find new friends/job)
In truth you can find inspiration anywhere. You just need to make sure your inspiration receptors are switched on and you are ready to receive - you could be walking down the high street, listening to One Direction (am giving an extreme example), trip over a pavement slab and have your "Eureka" moment there and then - just be ready. Always be ready. Don't let inspiration pass you by.
How to give Inspiration:
This is the really important bit. After reading the above five points you should be positively overflowing with inspiration. Now it's your duty to pass this inspiration on to those around you. The only thing better than feeling inspired? Knowing that you have inspired others.
Some people are naturally inspirational - when they talk, others listen. Whatever story they are telling, people around them want to be in on the action. They want some of the magic powder these inspirational types are sprinkling all over their lives and will pick up inspiration almost through osmosis as they listen to them chatter on about that brilliant idea, amazing place, wonderful person or ground breaking experience.
So that's one way of passing on inspiration - talk about it. Get excited about it. Let that tingling feeling inspiration has given you be injected into your conversation - use it to lift up that friend who's had another disastrous day at work and to assure your dejected and recently dumped colleague that he/she wasn't worth it anyway. A little inspiration goes a long way.
The other way to help inspire others is through creating an environment within which they can be inspired. This is not an exact science and more difficult to master. Again some people are naturally adept at doing this - they'll know which questions to ask, what noises to make, their facial expressions and even their body language can tap into the inspirational receptors of others and unlock the magical vault inside.
If you are not one of these naturally inspirational people then don't worry - just remember that every conversation could potentially contain the catalyst for this wonderful feeling. Listen a bit harder, look a little deeper, open yourself up to it and you may be opening up somebody else too.
Now you are feeling all inspired and ready for action it's an appropriate time to give you this very important warning: There are some people in this world who are the antithesis of inspiration. They are the negatives to your positives, the mundane to your otherworldly. In fact they suck the life out of the room like one of those super saliva suction machines that dentists use in your mouth to stop you dribbling all over yourself when you are getting a filling (no offence dentists).
These people need to be avoided at all costs. Your sparkly, tingly, inspirational conversation will be lost on them. Your thinking and listening won't work on them. Under no circumstances do you open yourself up to them. And please for your own safety do not attempt to prise them open - there is no magical vault inside. Know that some people will never see the light even if you are shining the torch right into their eyes.
Warning over (switch the torch off).
And go get 'em!