The following text is an extract from More Than This: Your Heroic Quest to Find Inspiration, Intent, Impact and Insight It is from Part 1: Inspiration. It follows on from a previous post – Why Your Leadership Matters
“I decided that it was not wisdom that enabled poets to write their poetry, but a kind of instinct or inspiration, such as you find in seers and prophets who deliver all their sublime messages without knowing in the least what they mean.” SocratesClick To Tweet
Inspiration is the foundation of this journey. If you aren’t inspired, you can expect a life of sitting on the couch watching reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond.
That doesn’t mean your life won’t be full and feel significant to you. I’m not making any judgments about what you choose to do with your life. But if you picked up this book because you’re looking for something more… it all starts with inspiration.
Inspiration usually starts as something external – something out in the world. Your job is to internalise it. You have to bring it inside you. You have to connect it with who you are and the experiences and memories that define you. Otherwise, it will remain something out there, and your motivation to do something about it will remain idle.
I wrote this book because I don’t have all the answers. If I had all the answers, I’d just head out into the world and start fixing all the things I can see myself. That would be super inspiring and intentional and impactful. But I have supreme confidence that somebody, somewhere, is going to come up with simple, elegant solutions to some of the world’s problems that will be completely different to anything I would come up with. Better still, I know that some of you are going to solve problems that I don’t even know exist. How awesome is that!
A care package for the planet that gets us all back on an even keel. Or a nanoparticle that consumes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and returns it to the earth. A training package for first-time parents that’s super cheap to deliver and builds resilience and communication skills so that parents are better equipped to handle the inevitable ups and downs of raising kids without resorting to violence. The democratisation of healthcare. The tools to feed everyone on the planet without destroying it. The marketing campaign that persuades people not to harvest white rhino horns or elephant tusks. The device that collects and breaks-down plastics safely so they don’t kill sea-life. The therapy that prevents Alzheimer’s Disease or cures cancer.Whatever it is that makes you cross or angry or determined… that. That’s what you can do. Don’t worry if you don’t know how.Click To Tweet
Nobody knows how until they have. Don’t worry if you don’t have a team to help you. Nobody does until they start building one. Don’t worry if you don’t have the money. Nobody does, until they start asking for it.
We start our lives as idealists – in the main. We believe we can do anything, be anything, achieve anything we set our minds to, until somebody – usually very well-meaning, a parent or a teacher – starts telling us we can’t. Or we shouldn’t. To be more realistic.
But now, if you’ve worked through the exercises in this section, you should be feeling a stirring – the beginnings of an inspired journey. An itch to get started. And maybe a little bit of fear as well. A little bit of self-doubt. That’s good. It means you’re on to something. Don’t let that stop you. You haven’t really done anything yet, and it certainly isn’t anything scary or dangerous! You’ve written some words and talked to somebody about your memories… No sabre-tooth tigers.
But hopefully you can now understand why we start with inspiration. It’s an incredibly important motivator. Some of it comes from within you – things you’ve already experienced and learned. But you also need to feed it. You need to maintain its potency by adding to it. By fuelling it. By seeking out sources of inspiration – positive and negative, big and small – around you every day and putting this into the engine. You wouldn’t buy a brand new Tesla and then never plug it in, would you?
You need the engine and the fuel to make it run. And that fuel does get used up, so you need to replenish it.
And most importantly, you need to learn and believe that inspiration isn’t some flighty thing that may or may not happen on any given day, but that it is something you have control over. You just need to choose it. You need to seek it out. You need to want it and look for it.
The rest is just implementation…