INSPIRE: to give someone the desire, confidence, or enthusiasm to do something well
I recently had a really fun, heated love affair while on vacation. No strings attached, no conversation about the future, just living fully in the moment of enjoying an intense, immediate connection with someone. It was 4 days and nights of a lot of passion and very little sleep. Not only was he sexy but also really smart and funny and real.
We met at the bar on a hotel terrace. I walked up to get a drink with my friend, and got talking to an entertaining gentleman who said he was there for his friend’s ‘boys trip’ birthday celebration. When the ‘birthday boy’ walked over a few minutes later to join the conversation I was immediately attracted. VERY attracted. A spark kind of ran through me and I knew I wanted to know him more. We talked and laughed for a few minutes at the bar and then he pulled me to the dance floor. After maybe 3 songs he was kissing me, holding me tighter, and it was clear the connection was mutual. He was someone I wanted to dance with, stay in bed all day with, walk the beach with, share wine and dinner with, and that’s exactly how the week progressed.
Through our conversations in getting to know one another better I became aware of the professional roles this man has had in his life that would be globally recognized; he’s been the head of a couple of organizations everyone in the world would identify with. It’s funny when you get to know somebody stripped down, sitting on the beach together without career labels or resumes where there are no other agendas but which one of you needs to reapply sunscreen or order the next round of beers. But as I began to understand his tremendous accomplishments I had so many more questions about what it meant to him to be a leader of enormous global brands, with thousands of employees from all around the world looking to him for direction. I asked him what it meant to him to be in those roles and what he liked about it, and his answer was fucking gold: the first word he chose was that he wanted to INSPIRE people. Not to be the richest man, or the most important man, or the most famous name in the company, but to INSPIRE people globally. When I asked for three words his employees would likely use to describe him, he said many would probably say he was tough, possibly also somewhat intimidating. But mostly he wanted to leave them inspired to do and be better.
I have done A LOT of work on myself in the past couple of years, leaving a 17 year marriage, discovering I had physical, emotional and mental strength I didn’t realize. I have been told so many times “you are inspiring”. That means more to me than any other compliment. Whether it leads someone to try their first downward facing dog or pick up a pair of dumbbells for the first time or whether it’s to take an honest look at if they feel fulfilled and happy in their emotional well-being, I hope to inspire. Where is the bliss, the joy, the smiling because you can’t HELP but smile? What or who are you surrounding yourself with that makes you want to be a better person, a better parent, a better citizen? A better employee or a better leader? And if if a blank space is there instead of an answer, what will you do to begin to change that? Read something, create something, listen to something, learn something? Discard things, habits or situations that are no longer healthy for you?
If it helps, here’s a quick exercise you can do to help become clearer: write down what it looks and feels like for you to be your best. Not just keeping your head above water but sitting on top of the water, with the current easily flowing just beneath you so you continue to move along, neither sinking beneath the water line nor paddling frantically to stay above it. List all of the things or people that support that, keeping you elevated. Identify things or people who bring you down, below your waterline. Energetically what is uplifting for you and what is draining for you.
Information is power, and once you know better you can do better. It starts with knowing yourself, and what you need to thrive and where the lines are for you on what you will and will no longer allow. By living a life that is honest and aligns with your values, morals and purpose, that’s inspiring.