December 15, 2013

20 Ways to Be Inspirational—Today. ~ Dre Watanabe

What if we were to live each day as a new day, with the belief that anything is possible?

On any given day, we look to certain people or places for inspiration. We gather up ubiquitous quotes and sing songs that speak to our souls, or scroll through bookmarked websites with a mass index of articles to put us in a motivating mood. Have you ever wondered how those quotes and songs were written? Or how the mere essence which permeates from certain people—simply living their lives—can be intoxicatingly influential?

We are envious and ask ourselves, “How can I be like them?”

We should never compare ourselves to one another, but for those of us who are seeking to be inspirational or positively infectious, here are 20 things that can be integrated into our daily activities:

1. Smile! Not only does it show optimism, but it gives people the warm and fuzzies. Even to strangers walking on the street; they could be having a terrible day, or a mediocre one. We can brighten a single moment with our pearly whites.

2. Listen to others. This one is hard for some people because it’s easy to get excited and interject when we have something to add to the conversation. Wait for someone to finish speaking, whether in a group or solo session. They will feel appreciated and heard, which may inspire them to do the same for someone else.

3. Be kind to someone. It’s easy to do something nice for a loved one, but what about extending a helping hand to someone that really needs it? This can be difficult as most of us expect something in return, even if it’s just a thank you. Do a random act of kindness for an individual (maybe even a stranger) and don’t expect anything in return.

4. Open a door for a stranger. Chivalry is not lost and doing something as small as holding the door of an elevator can remind people of this.

5. Exude confidence. To the bold men and women who own who they are and what they do, you are inspiring. We can embrace confidence in ourselves by acceptance and love of our minds, bodies and souls because it truly shows.

6. Be proactive with being happy. Happiness is extremely overlooked. People depend on someone or something to make them happy, but it can be lost after a moment.

We must figure out what it is in life that brings us pure and honest joy. This could be an activity, hobby or employment. Whatever it is, search for it high and low. What better way to be inspiring than creating our own happiness?

7. Laugh! Laughter is infectious. Once we find humor in something, it’s hard for our surroundings to not be drawn into the hilarity of the moment. Laughter is a great reminder of happiness and just makes people feel good.

8. Try something new. Get out there and do something you’ve always wanted to do or never thought you could! Showing our adventurous side can give a small nudge of motivation to others—who were perhaps too afraid—to do the same.

9. Be vulnerable. It’s scary, it’s heartbreaking, it’s a million emotions to be vulnerable, which is why a lot of people tend to shy away from it. However, opening up and expressing feelings that are so close to our heart is inspirational and radiates strength in who we are.

10. Stand up for our beliefs. This is a pretty common way to inspire people. To try and make a difference by voicing our opinion and morals takes courage. People sometimes run away from controversy or don’t think they alone can be influential.

11. Take charge of your life. We all get lost at one point or another, but some of us never find our way back to center. Realizing we need help or want to make a change is incredibly inspiring, as so many of us can get stuck and not find the motivation to get out. Taking the necessary steps to get our lives back in control is uplifting and a great example to those who want to do the same.

12. Be genuine. We are unique; each and every one of us. Don’t conform to society  just to feel accepted. It isn’t being truthful to ourselves or to the world.

13. Fall in and out of love and then back again. Heartbreak is given a bad connotation because, well, it means our heart is broken. It’s sadness, it’s loneliness, it’s unrelenting hopelessness that makes us wonder if we’ll ever find love again. But from heartbreak comes knowledge and growth. We’ve learned to love and we felt the most amazing emotion humans can experience.

To be able to open our hearts and let love in again is something to cherish and makes love only that much more tender. To see someone be strong, overcome their heartache and let the love of another in again is inspiring.

14. Gratitude. Acknowledge what we’ve been given in life and be grateful for every moment. Being grateful  through our words or actions motivates people to look at themselves and be thankful as well.

15. Passion. When someone sees we are putting in hard work and devotion to something, it shows our passion, which—through example—can trigger others to find their desires in life or to work harder at what they love.

16. Have no regrets. This one is tricky because how do we know if we’ll regret doing something before we do it? It’s not so much that we make the right decisions, but accepting the fact that life happens and mistakes are made. We can all wish we had done something differently, but what will that accomplish?

17. Live in the present. Take advantage of the now. We miss out on so much when we hold on to the past or worry about the future. People who remain in the present embrace life for what it is and seize the moment.

18. Apologize or accept an apology. Whether we were in the wrong or were wrongly scorned, just let it go. By acknowledging we were in the wrong or listening to someone admit their faults, apologies are a form of closure and conscious effort to validate someone’s feelings. We hold onto our pride by holding a grudge. But if we simply let go, now that is inspirational.

19. Bear no judgment. Acceptance is a beautiful thing and society can be so quick to judge. Keep an open mind and be kind. This can lead to so many wonderful ways of life.

20.  Incorporate challenges. We can all get comfortable, which can lead to physical and emotional instability. If we live every day as if it’s a new one and that anything is possible, we will feel so much more accomplished. How motivating would it be to see or she was a go-getter? By accepting a challenge in different situations, we can acquire so much more in life than if we were to allow ourselves to sit on a plateau.

Being inspirational doesn’t mean we have to be on The New York Times Best Seller list or have our own show on daytime television. As flat out ridiculously awesome as that would be, simple things that improve our wellbeing and happiness are what will truly inspire people.

I encourage everyone to be inspirational today. Believe. That’s inspiration we can count on.

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Assistant Editor: Christina Lorenzo / Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: elephant journal archives


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