Two Paragraph Perspectives: Inspiration is a Choice
I was traveling on a train recently and I have to tell you that I thoroughly enjoy being on the rails. It’s great quiet time and the seats are much more comfortable and spacious than those on airplanes. I do some of my best thinking on Amtrak. During a ride this month, I got the idea for this two paragraph perspective from eavesdropping on a conversation between a mother and her toddler son. The two had just returned from the dining car, an adventure for any child, and the young man asked his mother a question, “Mommy, what does it mean to be inspired?” She thought for a moment and answered, “It means that when someone tells you that you are really good at something it makes you do a good job.” Listening to this explanation made me want to do some unsolicited parenting right on the spot! As a father I am used to answering a seemingly endless number of questions daily. As such, I fashion myself pretty decent at taking complex “adult” topics or vocabulary and disseminating the meaning to my children.
I became immediately concerned about the impact that this answer may have made on a young boy who is looking for direction and guidance. He is experiencing a world that he will grow into eventually whether he is ready or not. Whether you are 5 and trying to figure out new vocabulary or 55 and trying to navigate your professional life, being inspired is a state of being. Inspiration is a choice that is formulated by our internal reactions and thoughts. The Oxford Dictionaries define inspiration as, “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.” People may or may not improve their performance by hearing from another person that they are really good at something. I’d love to go tell Mom that being inspired is an attitude. It is a commitment to excellence. More importantly, true inspiration is chosen and can come from within each of us.
Throughout the fall season of 2014, Barton Career Advisors will dedicate its industry pieces and blogging to a new series called Two Paragraph Perspectives. There is so much going on in our world and it is often difficult to consume an entire article, thought leadership piece, whitepaper, or news story. Our world communicates at lightning speed and most of that happens in 140 characters or less. For the previously mentioned reasons we will bring you key thoughts, insights, and questions in an easy to consume two paragraph format. Before the steam is finished rising off your morning coffee or tea you will be done reading our bi-weekly digest of all things career transition, personal brand management and outplacement best practices. We hope you are looking forward to this series written by our Founder and Managing Partner, Chris Barton.