The other day something amazing happened.
A complete stranger sent me an email and said I was an inspiration to her.
My immediate thought was, “Me?! Holy crap that’s cool! Best email ever!”
I’ve never thought of myself as an inspiration to anyone before, and I haven’t ever considered that what I’m doing in my life is particulary note worthy but when I thought about it, I’m sure that the people I look up to don’t wake up each day thinking, “who can I inspire today?”, so why would I?
How did this happen?
What is it I’m doing that’s worthy of getting an email like this?
I think the formula is actually pretty simple:
Do what you care about
With passion and honesty
Disregarding what others may think of you
And don’t ever stop.
The funny thing is, no where in that formula is the focus on anyone but you. I think it’s the classic case of leading by example rather than trying to rally people to believe something when you’re not actually living it yourself. It doesn’t work if you set out with the goal of wanting to inspire people, it’s just something that happens along the way when you do a good job at whatever it is your care about.
This is how I try and live my life. I don’t always succeed, but I think trying every day is what’s important.
Now all this ego stroking is great, but I’m a practical person and this post is titled “How to Inspire”, not “Hey look someone said I’m an inspiration” so how do you actually go about living this way if you’re sitting behind an office desk staring at a budget report and waiting for the clock to say 5pm?
Well, there’s 2 videos below that I think are the best resources I’ve ever seen.
Focus on being a better you
These videos don’t talk about inspiration. They talk about how to bring about change in your life, which is what you should really be focusing on if you want people to look up to you. Like I said, by focusing on the things you care about, without concern for what others may think, you become an inspiration. You can’t put the cart before the horse.
These two people, Nick Crocker and Charlie Hoehn inspire me. Nick gives an amazing overview of how to bring about change in your life and Charlie gives a fantastic & practical example of how to implement the concepts with respect to finding the job of your dreams.
If you’re having trouble viewing the video, click here to watch Floss the teeth you want to keep on YouTube.
In case you don’t have time for the video (please make time later, future you will say thanks) here is a summary:
- Change is hard because we have a tendency to overvalue short term goals and undervalue long term goals
- Change is like a muscle, you need to develop your strength over time
- The ability to defer self-gratification is a good indicator for long term success (better than IQ)
- It’s easier to add a new behaviour then change an old one
- Make 1 small change and do it for a fixed amount of time, rather than making a number of changes with the intention of them being permanent
- Break down goals into small baby-steps
- Measure you progress
- Find a buddy to change with
- Incentivise by avoiding a negative
- Adjust your environment to support your goal
- Be patient
The practical: How to get your dream job
If you’re having trouble viewing the video, click here to watch The New Way to Work on YouTube.
- Living up to societies expectations will not get you what you want
- Know the worst case scenario
- Learn how to step outside the system, so you do not become dependant on it
- To rapidly advance your career, you need to do something different
- Do free work (different from a intern-ship) to build your skills and network (defer short term gratification)
Next action: Leave a comment below with what small thing can you change today that will bring you closer to your goals, whatever they may be…
If there’s someone out there that you look up to, tell them! It feels great. Infact, I’m going to email Nick and Charlie right now…