Driving around here in the burbs of Bucks and Montgomery County PA (complete with a few fire and brimstone establishments) the little messages in the front of churches are rarely inspiring. They are usually either just a clever little play on words or a plea for the congregants to actually show up for service. However, Sunday night I passed a church that had the message “Aspire to Inspire Before You Expire” on it. While it is a clever play on words (and a tongue twister at that — try saying it 3 times fast to your partner in the car after a 3 hour drive), it got me to thinking about its bigger message…
What would the impact on the world and our lives be if we each showed up each day with the intention to inspire? Rather than schlep through the day trying to just get through it or complaining about our circumstances, what if we committed to being the best we could be and believed that just by being authentic we could inspire others?
If this was true (and it is…) would you approach the day, this month, and even your life a little differently?
The reality is that we often don’t know who we impact by our actions, both big and small. Consider these stories we’ve all heard or read about:
- A lesbian teen that is so grateful to learn about other lesbians (through an article, radio show, etc.) that she then knows she is not alone; she chooses life instead of suicide.
- A young girl who reads about the pioneer women in a particular industry previously dominated by men (aerospace, professional race car driving, law enforcement) and believes that she too can realize her dreams.
- An elderly or ill person whose spark for living is ignited by a simple gesture of kindness by a stranger.
Think about a time in your life that someone had a huge impact on you. What they did or said caused a positive shift inside you or gave you a boost of confidence. It could be a teacher, friend, author, musician, or total stranger. Have you ever thanked them or told them about how what they did/who they are made a difference in your life? In many cases, I’d venture the answer is no.
It is often this seemingly invisible layer of positive energy in action that inspires us to move forward, be courageous, or believe in possibilities. And, because it often goes unacknowledged it means we may never know the impact we have on others. However, if we trust in the awesome power we each possess and live our lives with an intention to inspire, just imagine the possibilities….