What is the one thing that gets you out of bed in the morning? Is it the first cup of coffee? The sound of your children getting ready for school? Maybe it’s your quiet time you spend before the hustle and bustle of the day. Or could it be the challenge of another day to be the example for which Christ has placed you on earth? What is your inspiration?
There are a variety of things that can motivate us. With each of us having a unique personality, the list of differences can be quite extensive. The things that get my blood pumping could very well be the things that make you cringe. And vice versa. For instance, I am not a coffee drinker. Yes, I will have an occasional cup, but I don’t live for coffee. Carolyn, she cannot function without her morning cup of joe. Heaven help her coworkers should I forget to brew the coffee in the morning.
With our daughter Audrey, every morning, we experience the same ritual. She lays comatose in bed until voices are raised for her to get up. She mopes around, not saying a word, from the bed to the closet then to brush her teeth. Somewhere in the middle of all of that, something clicks. Maybe it’s the thought of seeing a friend, or something exciting at school, but all of the sudden she perks up. She goes from the undead to bright and shining. She once again becomes the chatterbox we all know and love.
What Inspires You?
Just as Carolyn enjoys her coffee and Audrey somewhere finds her joy in the morning, each of us has that one reason for pushing aside the covers. Perhaps it’s a job we love. Even though unlikely, it could be true of you. A recent Gallup poll showed that only 15% of people enjoy their jobs. Are you among them? If so, wonderful! But if you are among the 85%, then you need that external source of inspiration to get through the redundancy of your day.
A source of inspiration can come from a wide variety of sources. Some being; an obligation to provide for your family, a commitment to your employer, or a belief that what you are doing actually makes a difference. Any of these can act as motivation to do your job, but are they genuinely inspirational? Is what you are doing spurring others into being inspired themselves?
Two Stories of Inspiration
I have several people to thank for the success I am experiencing. God, of course, is top of the list. Without His grace and love for me, I could not do what I do. All of this would be pointless without His hand upon my efforts. Without the people he has put in my path that have inspired me, then I would be the person I was just a few years ago; a man with an unfulfilled dream of becoming a writer.
It was not too long ago that I made a fresh commitment to writing. I have felt God’s call on my life for years… for decades. But I never seriously committed to putting pen to paper and making anything of it. That was until my good friend, Jeremy and I decided to do something about our procrastination. We both read a book called, Success is Not an Accident by Tommy Newberry. Then we sat down and put in writing our goals for the current year (2016).
It began with writing 100 goals we desired to accomplish within 25 years. In this task, nothing was off-limits. It is eventually broken down into sections, then to your top five. Then writing success statements about each goal. I can honestly say that the book changed my life. The person who introduced the book to me assisted in changing my life. We both took oaths from that day forward that we were going to do whatever it took to accomplish our goals in life.
Another event that pushed me forward was witnessing a friend’s success. She had an idea for a product called Chair Suits®. It was a fabric cover that she designs for most types of chairs. They are awesome. She had her product featured on a local television program. Her success convinced me that even if one lives in obscurity, you can still be discovered. She now has her own design company, and she has a been successful with her line of Chair Suits®.
The inspiration both Jeremy and June have given me urged me to follow my dream. You probably have similar stories of those in your life who have influenced you. Those who have enabled you to become the person you are today. Don’t discount those people and their impact. The choice is yours.
You can allow yourself to listen to the encouragement and rise to the next level, or you can choose to give in to self-doubt and fear and put your talent back on the shelf. That is what I did for twenty years. I can only imagine where I would be now if I had listened to my teachers, encouraging me to write.
Find Your Source of Inspiration
Another good friend in High School also encouraged my writing. In fact, that person is still in my life today. We have been writing accountability partners for the last year or so. We are consistently making sure we are both living up to our dreams and potential. Today, Bonniejean is succeeding with her own business, and this month she began her own podcast. Both of our dreams are coming to fruition.
Your dreams will be realized when you answer the call that the Lord places in your heart. Every one of you has a calling. Something specific that the Lord desires for your life, that only you can do. It may not be to write like Max Lucado, design like Louis Vuitton, or speak like Tony Robbins, but we all have that one thing that we do well. Go with it! You would not have a passion for it if you were not meant to do something about it. Stop saying you will do it tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes. I know, I said ‘tomorrow’ for twenty years.
The Three Questions
Inspiration can come from anyone; from a note from a teacher or seeing the success of a colleague. And inspiration can come from anywhere; a list of goals for 2018, a book on being successful, or sometimes even a brick to the head. Each of these can initiate that first step. Leave the what-ifs behind. Stop saying, ‘what if I fail’ and start thinking, ‘what if I succeed!!”
The sun will set tonight, and, Lord willing, it will most definitely rise in the morning. How will your life be changed tomorrow by what you do today?
I close with this. One of the exercises that Tommy Newberry gives in his book Success is not an Accident is to end your day by asking yourself three questions:
- 1. What went well today?
- 2. What could I have done differently?
- 3. What will I do differently tomorrow?
Notice it does not say, what did I do wrong today? It’s all about growing. Always be positive. Look at what accomplishments you made — even the small ones. If you desire to write and you only wrote two sentences that day, that is a success. You have two more sentences than you did yesterday.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you can stay there. Remember the second question, what could you have done differently? Perhaps managing time better can give you extra opportunities to write or using downtime, like your lunch at work, to jostle down a few thoughts — every word matters.
The Final Word
Remember, praise every little success. Even small steps are getting you to where you desire to be. The most important thing is not to give up. You can and will accomplish your dreams. It may take some blood, sweat, and tears and a few years, but you will get there.
Find friends with goals of their own. Join with them in their journey. Build each other up through encouraging words and stern admonition. Because a friend is not only going to praise you when you do well, they will get after you when you begin to fall behind. They will remind you why you are doing this in the first place. And with that as your focus, you can accomplish anything.