Inspired to inspire: 8 takeaways

Inspired to inspire: 8 takeaways

BY Rushdi Siddiqui
he tagline is from

Inspiration attempts to answer the question, “What makes you tick, and not so much tock?”

Inspiration is the “tick” and motivation is the “tock”. It’s a subtle yet important distinction in approach that may result in the same outcome.

Motivation: “You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” – Albert Einstein

For some, motivation is about need (money), greed (to be wealthy) and speed (fast cars).

Inspiration: “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” – Ronald Reagan

For many, inspiration is about attitude (leading), aptitude (confidence) and altitude (vision).

Inspired people do not accept the status quo, but are they visionaries, doers or visionary doers? Yes.

Conversely, are uninspired people the followers of orders, ie. they execute and come back for next set of instructions? Maybe.

At times motivation comes across as manipulation from without, but inspiration is a spark from within that may have lain dormant, requiring ignition.

Maybe the command of English and writing is not effective to make the distinction, but the more important point is to air the topic for discourse.

There are 8 takeaways from the Zilzar Life tagline, “Inspired to inspire”:

– Inspiration may come from spirituality, enlightened secularity or anything in between. But one must want to be inspired. It could be a timing issue, as one day you see a different reflection in the mirror.

The openness to inspiration has a longer shelf life than motivation. For example, one is lastingly inspired by the Creator’s word than creation’s (intermediary) comments. If the exclusive focus is on the intermediary’s words, it may result in blind faith cult following. That’s brain washing.

– To inspire, one must be inspired. All of us have read about, seen or met people, from Prophet Muhammad, Moses, Jesus and the Pope to Mother Theresa, the Dalai Lama, Jack Ma and Richard Branson, who naturally inspire. Their inspiration may be chosen (divine), natural (birth), nurtured (living) or probably a fusion. For example, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, probably not drinking buddies, did inspire each other via competition.

Some are motivated by money and world matters (need, greed and speed), and others inspired by a higher calling (attitude, aptitude and altitude).

– Inspired people’s intervention can be the needed spark of change in the outcome of events by spotlighting the issue. For example, Angelina Jolie’s work as special envoy and ambassador for the UN High Commission for Refugees has raised the profile of refugees in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. Thus, inspired stars are change agents.

– Inspired people inspire others, as it’s their personality to share and not hoard the secrets to success or happiness. It’s called leadership, as it’s about moving people outside their comfort and safety zone so they attain their objectives which they may not really understand or cannot articulate. Thus, they inspire with motivational words and fearless conduct.

– To be inspired means the sum of the parts (attributes) is greater than the whole (obtained from predictive analysis and projected outcome). For example, the Jamaati-Islami, Buddhist monks, Seventh Day Adventists and others are involved in proselytising faith, living a simple life and the cycle repeats itself. One could say it’s similar to the people working for Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos or Steve Jobs, where people are also inspired to make a difference on the planet or outer space, and yes, the byproduct will be wealth (which some will donate).

– Inspired people inspire others in a network effect, hence followers may become leaders, ie. where the apprentice becomes a mentor to other apprentices. For example, a number of students have approached me after conference presentations and asked, “What does it take to be on that side of the podium?”

An idea (that addresses a major problem), blueprint (plan, strategy and tactics), execution (unveiling and continuous revising), and then sharing the experience.

– Newly inspired inspire inspired people. For example, track stars or chess masters inspired for the remainder of their lives to pass their training, secrets, insights, etc to their pupils. All the enrolled are winners, but when one of them eventually brings back the gold, it validates and confirms the coach’s decision to give back, hence he/she is re-energised.

– Special people – others call them handicapped – inspire inspired people. For example, watching the Special Olympics, currently taking place in Los Angeles, means more to me than watching Usain Bolt break another speed record or Michael Phelps win another gold medal.

I would like to believe we are all inspired to make a difference for our family, religion and country. The issue comes down to stepping up for those who have been left out by creating environment of standing out.

Inspiration is not about to perspiration (don’t sweat it). Inspiration will not expire (virtuous cycle). Being inspired to motivate is not enough (cannot continue to hold hands).

Motivation is about the self. Inspiration is about others.

Inspired to inspire is “trying to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud”, says Mary Angelou.

Are you inspired? Won’t you inspire? – August 8, 2015.


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