Whether you're a Spinning® instructor, facility manager or enthusiast - inspiration is the name of the game for generating momentum. But who is inspiring and how did they get there?
Do you sometimes feel like you're preaching to the choir? I mean, I love it when I teach and someone says something like "I needed that..." or "I really felt like you were coaching to me..." or "How do you get in my head like that?" But - these are the guys who are already coming to class. When a bike sits empty, I have to admit - I take it personally, like maybe I should be out recruiting more.
So recently I am making it my mission to see what it takes to inspire people. I mean really, really inspire people. I mean, let's face it...you can't fake it. You can't set out to do something amazing. Amazing just happens, right?
..or does it?
I'm not really prepared to do anything amazing right now, but I've thought about what it takes to be inspiring....not inspired...but inspiring. People who inspire others don't do the same thing as each other but they have some things in common. A quick google search will show you what others think is important, but here is what I personally find inspiring in other people.
1. FEARLESSNESS: Maybe they're great liars, and actually really feel a lot of fear, but they seem to just say - "I'm doing this no matter what." Think whistle blowers who know there is something wrong going on and yet, in the face of intimidation, they bravely do what is right. I find that amazing and so very inspirational. When I think of why some people don't exercise and take charge of their health - I have to wonder if there is fear involved. For someone to arrange their habits and schedules around eating right and exercising, they might have to abandon ship on their social circles and really confront their family.
2. ENDLESSNESS: I really am not inspired by skinny people, super strong people and amazing athletes who have not really had to plough through a lot of challenges to get to where they are - just like you should not really be impressed that I don't smoke cigarettes....how inspiring could it be for a smoker to regard me as a non-smoking role-model...It is easy for me not to smoke...I've never done it. So, yah...the woman who is still 50 pounds overweight and loving her body because she has already dropped 100 pounds, is so much more inspirational to me than the woman who is 75 grams overweight and whining about her thighs. yah...uh...no.... Community triathletes (not seriously competitive people) who just keep going back to better their time...despite busy schedules and injuries along the way....much more inspiring to me than 6-time winner of some big event.
3. SELFLESSNESS: Don't get me wrong on this...I really have no problem with people who acquire great wealth for their hard work...but honestly, when someone pours their heart and soul into something so that the world will be a better place - that rocks. Whether it is as simple as being bald in public during chemotherapy, just to normalize it for others who might be mortified by the idea themselves...I consider that selfless and inspiring or dedicating their lives to exposing abuses - selfless astounds me. Take Kylie. My 14 daughter did a 10K race and was the last person across the finish line because she not only escorted a woman who is both deaf and blind, she released her to go first across the finish line first...on purpose. Selfless. Inspiring.
4. FOCUS: This is the one I really need to commit to. We live in such a distracting time right now... I can't even begin to calculate how much time I waste being distracted. I have just committed to setting an alarm for a small window of wasteland time - where I can check in with my family on FB or goof off. In the process of setting my own "impossible goals" (really, the stuff of life, don't you think?) I know that my clock is ticking and I'm not really getting to that novel I plan to write, not honestly getting in that training that will take me toward a finishline... I am sitting down tonight to schedule out my next three months with extreme focus. Inspiring people have this - i want it.
5. DRIVE: Drive, will, motivation, determination - call it what you will, something has been ingnited in inspiring people that makes them move forward no matter what. So many people don't have that drive - to overcome the stagnation of a sedentary life...to work through the discomfort, the social challenges of stepping outside everyone else's comfort zone (imagine if Fred Flintstone wanted a greek salad for dinner!), the sheer inconvenience of taking on more, taking on change, taking on challenge.
Back to considering if it is possible to decide if you can be an inspiring person, or if you just be you and in the course of being you you inspire others. Can inspiration be manufactured?