How To Inspire When You Are Normal
I picked up the last edition of a local newspaper this morning and it had the 10 most inspirational women of 2012 in it. Every person had "battled" something. Either it was a disease, they lost a child, or lost a heap of weight.
What exactly doe it mean to be an inspiration? The dictionary defines "inspire" as: to exert a stimulating or beneficial effect upon (a person); animate or invigorate.
While all these women were certainly inspiring and have affected people, I believe that you do not have to go through life changing events personally to be an inspiration. What about normal people? How can we be inspiring to others?
I see this play out in the seminar industry. Speakers always have a story. They either have had an illness, heart attack, or near death experience and they have come back from that to make a million dollars. Once again, how does a normal person feel like they can make a difference if they never had anything bad happen to them?
I want to zero in on the part of the definition that states to have a beneficial effect on someone. How can normal people have this effect on people?
Walk down any street in the world and what do you see? Not alot of smiles! Why is this? People are busy being busy and have the weight of the world on their shoulders - so it seems.
What happens when you smile at someone? Most smile back! Is this beneficial? Maybe. What if it isn't? The smile cost nothing to give. But what if it does have an effect? You may have saved someone from a bad day.
How many smiles can you give in a day? Try it right away!
PICK UP THE PHONE
In these days of texting and facebooking, what has happened to the phone? When's the last time you picked up the phone to say hello to someone? Find out how they are doing?
Just the fact that people know that someone cares is a great thing. Many people with depression feel isolated, out of the loop. Bring people back in the loop with a phone call.
When we see someone in the shop that we have not seen before, what happens? We have a short catch up and we make a statement. "We should catch up some time." Do we ever? Very rarely, I'd imagine. I am sure guilty myself.
Make it a priority to have a catch up with at least one person a month (or couple). If everybody did it, just imagine the effect!
How about someone in a nursing home? When my grand mother was in one, I took my children in to visit. In addition to my grand mother, we popped our head in as many rooms as we could. You should have seen all the smiles! These people are literally sitting around waiting to die! You can be the sunshine they never see.
BUY SOMEONE A COFFEE
My wife gets her nails done every six weeks. We go from the gym to the nail shop. She starts on her nails and I go get her a coffee. There is usually at least one woman who looks at that gesture and wishes it was her. So, I went last week and got a lady a coffee. It costs only $4, but it sure made her day. She felt like a queen.
There are lots of small things besides a coffee you can buy for someone when you are out and about. If you see someone searching for change, excuse yourself and give them a dollar.
There are many, many other things you can do to inspire people. The plain fact is that you do not have to have an illness, you don't have to have been homeless to be an inspiration. You can be an average Joe or Jane and have an enormous effect on many people!