Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Our Brand (Part 5) – Inspire

 

“To succeed, you need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you.” – Tony Dorsett

 

Inspire - Be Inspired This is probably going to be the hardest blog/post that I have written regarding our Brand.  The biggest reason is that though Keith and I have had people tell us that we inspire them, I have a very hard time with the idea of being inspiring to anyone.  Not because I don’t want to be, but because I intimately know my past and am generally embarrassed about it.  There are a LOT of things that I have done that I am not proud of.  So, I think that the best way to do this blog would be to look at it in more clinical terms to start with.

The Oxford Dictionary defines Inspire as:

  1. To affect, guide, or arouse by divine influence.
  2. To fill with enlivening or exalting emotion: hymns that inspire the congregation; an artist who was inspired by Impressionism.
  3. To stimulate to action; motivate
  4. To affect or touch.
  5. To draw forth; elicit or arouse feelings
  6. To be the cause or source of; bring about
  7. To make someone want to do something
  8. To give (someone) an idea about what to do or create

There are many things that someone can find inspiring in their lives.  A personal mentor, pictures, dreams, goals, etcetera. 

When you are talking about a mentor in your life, that person makes you feel better about yourself and makes you want to be better to prove your mentor right.  Keith and I have a few people in our lives who do just that.  They see something in us that we don’t really see and it inspires us to flush it out so that we can be better people and better business builders. 

When it is a dream or a goal that inspires you, you do what work you need to because you want or need that “thing” to come to fruition.  You are willing to step outside of your comfort zone to get it. Or maybe you absolutely do NOT want that thing (i.e. a job, a boss, whatever) and you are still inspired to get out of that comfort zone.

Pictures are fabulous ways to be inspired.  We use pictures all the time to invoke feelings within ourselves.  I have pictures of female bodybuilders to remind me of what I want to look like when I am done losing weight.  We have pictures of Peter Island to remind us of why we are building our business.  We have even more pictures of things that we want to accomplish in our house, yard and on our way to retirement.

However, to be inspired to greatness is one thing, to inspire others to greatness is completely different.  Here are some ways that you and I can inspire the people:

  • Be a good example. People watch what you do more than they listen to what you say. Be someone worth emulating.  People who are deeply inspiring have forged their own authentic path. In other words, these people are living full-out what they talk about, study and research.  They are the true embodiment of courage and fortitude in the face of opposition, criticism, judgment, and what sometimes seem to be unbeatable odds.  John Quincy Adams said “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
  • Care about others. People don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care. Ask questions. Take a genuine interest in people.  You need to be “others-focused” and derive satisfaction and reward by helping other people grow and flourish.
  • Encouragement. Everyone goes through tough times. When you support people and encourage them through these times, you’ll be inspiring them to see the best in themselves and in the situation.  Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”
  • Be inspired yourself. Look for people, ideas, environments and knowledge that you find inspiring and motivating.  Look up inspiring quotes, find inspiring pictures, keep them in front of you all the time!
  • to_inspire_by_mushir1Share from your own experience. You have more to share than you realize. You may be the only one who can touch someone with your message.  Be focused on turning your “mess” into a “message” or helping others succeed and overcome the deep challenges out there in the way of greater success, fulfillment, peace, contribution, and progress.  Be willing to share your failures as well as your successes. Others will relate to you and understand that they’re not the only ones with challenges.
  • Tell stories. Your individual set of traumas, experiences, longings, failures, triumphs, and history give you a unique way of looking at the world, and you need to share your special vision.  The best way is through powerful stories that pluck at heartstrings, stimulate thinking and emotions in ways that literally no one but you can.
  • Be a good communicator. Increasing your ability to communicate effectively is a critical element for you to inspire others. Watch how you speak and what you say.  You have the power to build a person up or rip them to shreds with your words and tone.
  • Challenge people. Many of us have had teachers who at times seemed more like tormentors than mentors. They challenged us to do our best and we were better for it.
  • Read. It may not follow that all readers are leaders, but certainly all leaders are readers. Stay informed. Share what you read with others. Tell people about books that have inspired you. Share your knowledge.  I suggest authors John C. Maxwell (www.johnmaxwell.com), Og Mandino (www.ogmandino.com) and Gary Chapman (www.garychapman.org) to start with.

Next week we will discuss the final installment of Our Brand – Serve and then I will discuss with Keith what we want to talk about next.  Have a great week everyone!!!