Inspire yourself

My family is preparing for our first European vacation as a family. What's cool is that it is months away but our island counter in the kitchen is stacked with assorted travel books on Ireland and London, our primary destinations. Amy and I spend from a few minutes to an hour each day reading and exploring where we want to stay, where we want to go, what we want to do, and all that stuff. 

For me, this is a clear model of inspiration: the believable picture in my mind of a desired and expected future experience that stimulates thought and action.

I'm always amazed when I commit to do something new, different, or exciting that is a ways off in the future, and most importantly, is something I truly want to experience. The projected vision in my mind's eye of engaging in that experience begins to change me immediately. I know this has been true about me for a long time, but I first began observing it with interest a few years ago when I committed 6 months out to ride my bike 150 miles in two days for a popular charity ride. I was already a dedicated road rider, so it wasn't a change of direction for me. But naturally and without conscious control or force or effort or discipline I became interested in my training regimen in a new way, and I altered my diet just a little to support my body better, and I splurged on a new heart-rate monitor, and I read two books on training for long-distance and created a training log in Excel. I also decided there was no reason not to be one of the top fund-raisers (they get the scarce motel rooms on the overnight stay) so I crafted a plan to raise plenty of contributions. And it all happened so easily and effortlessly and naturally over the months leading up to the event.

I've also observed similar effects every time I put other future plans in place. There are two important components: It is something I truly want to experience, and it is something I believe will actually occur. Wanting & believing. The whole Responsibility Redefined movement is suuch a thing for me. I'm inspired by it in a way I had not been about my work for many years. But so is the upcoming family trip, the new kayak I hope to get sometime in the next year to go bay fishing on the Texas coast, some of the unique international speaking engagements I have coming up, and even the mountain climbing trek my teenage son asked me to take with him next summer.

Does this work for you? Can you inspire yourself by staging cool new experiences and plans out there in the future for yourself? I assume that you can. So assuming you can, what can you learn about what sorts of things inspire you to learn and change and grow, and what sorts of things don't? 

Posted in Responsibility on 06/26/2007 01:03 pm
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