“I’m in love with you,” said Bob. “I’m in love with you, and I want to make you happy.” This is a common idiom which expresses affection towards someone. To use it in the context of love, it implies that the object of affection wants to make the subject of affection happy. It also implies that the subject is the one who wishes to be happy. “I love you” in this context means, “I am happy to have you in my life.”
“You are my inspiration,” said Alice. “And you are the sun…” (Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland)
I had an experience recently, which confirmed this. I was walking in the park with a friend. We were looking at a tree. A branch started to break off from the tree and was hanging down very dangerously near the ground. I suddenly felt inspired to take action and stop the branch. I stepped on the breaking branch and broke it off, and then put it aside.
“If you could do that, I would be very proud of you,” said my friend. “Do you have any idea what inspiration means?” “Not really,” said my friend. “There’s only one person who would know what it means – me.”
“Just give me your best work,” said my friend, smiling. “What does inspiration mean?” “It means you have a clear mind that is filled with ideas and you are prepared to take action. Inspirations come to people when they are not prepared to act, or when they are fearful. But once you inspire, you start to take action.”
My friend took out her pad of paper and she began to write. What did she write? She wrote down all the things that had ever inspired her – great quotes, beautiful people, her own experiences. She wrote down the names of all those people and all the places they had been – even the places they had gone but had not thought about again.
She continued writing. “Now, if you could just repeat this as many times as you need -” She stopped writing. What does inspiration mean? She wanted to write down everything she thought. “But how will I remember to do it?” she wondered.
“Just get started,” she finally said, and then began to cry. She had realized that what inspired her was not so much what had happened to her but what had gone before that. If only she could have known what that was! Sometimes you get so caught up in what has happened to you before that you don’t see what the possibilities for your future could be.
Inspiration comes from what you admire and appreciate most in life. So, if you think about what your greatest achievements would be and list them, you will have a good idea what inspires you. You could also list all the people in your world that you love and who influence you – their values and principles could also inspire you. This is the type of inspiration that can transform your whole life – just by recognizing what’s important to you.
The second step is to constantly renew your inspiration. When you feel like you have achieved everything you set out to do, look back and admire all the changes you have made. If you were inspired by a quote or a person, write it down so you can keep it close to you. It can motivate you when times are hard. Sometimes you may need a reminder of what inspired you – for example if you had to get a new haircut, you could look at a picture of it and remind yourself of the person who gave it to you.
The third step is to make sure you are not complacent. Never underestimate the importance of your health – if you eat unhealthy foods, do not skip meals or eat later, this will only cause you to become unwell and lose motivation. Get plenty of exercise – even 20 minutes each day is enough to do. Think about how your work or school performance would improve if you got more exercise. Try not to spend too much time on yourself – spend this time looking after the people around you. Look after the people you spend time with and care for and you will see how motivated you feel.
So, what does inspiration mean? It means you have to be persistent and always keep your motivation up. Stay calm and in control of yourself and you will be inspired. Also, when you set goals, be realistic about what you hope to achieve and how much time it will take to reach them. Stay focused on the bigger picture.