Jim here, as I set down to write this post I asked the question—“What inspires me?” I then listed a number of options. Soon I realized that the items on the list weren’t real. They were just concepts. More precisely they were just my attempt to make a list and I hoped something on the list would inspire me to write about it. That didn’t happen. Instead I became more and inspirationmore bored with list making and with the whole idea of “inspiration.” I found myself in a fix.

“Abandon the whole project and forget about it?” I said. That was a viable option, especially because I felt like a fraud mechanically making a list just to write a post—the very opposite of the idea of being inspired. And my choices were heavy and clunky: like the 1969 moon landing. While impressive it meant that only events appreciated as colossal could be included as inspiring.

What about what happens every day, or at least CAN happen every day?

I closed my yellow pad and began to walk away when I was stopped by the question—What does inspiration mean? That was followed by—What actually does inspire me? I knew I had to think more deeply and, rather than just write about inspiration in the abstract, I had to feel and believe the truth, for me, of whatever followed. That became my launch point and took me beyond what I had initially assumed.

I began simply by going to the dictionary to see how the word an concept were defined. The word “inspire” is defined as (my paraphrase):

*to arouse feelings and/or action
*a divine influence directly and immediately exerted upon the mind or soul
*to breathe life into “Animate” was another word that appeared in the definitions and it was defined as: to fill with courage or boldness
*to create liveliness

Now I had a lens that could direct and refine my thinking, my exploration of the question—what inspires me?

I have never been inspired or even impressed by things. I have been inspired in this or that moment by some people but those moments are fleeting. So what in my experience of being alive consistently moves me to feel something or take an action or breathes life into me?

LEARNING: As an action I love to learn and actively engage in learning something every day—by reading, listening , observing—and not just collecting new data but actually being moved by, having who and how I am changed by it.

As I was writing this piece I took a moment to watch a video I had been saving on YouTube. The title of the video is “What If Everyone Jumped at Once?” found at Vsauce. I learned that nothing much at all would happen, at least nothing that would have any meaning for me in my daily life. But I was changed when Michael the host had me imagine that to get everyone to jump at once they would all have to be in the same place and that place turned out to an area the size of Los Angeles with all seven billion of us standing shoulder to shoulder. That image inspired me to imagine what that would look like. Inspiration does not have to be colossal. It can be light and fun.

IMAGINATION: I love for my imagination to be inspired taking me toward poetry, movies, and in my case, the borders of current psychology. I am reading a lot about what is called the “New Unconscious,” a model of the unconscious dimension of the mind that transcends Freud’s picture of a dark, forbidding lockup in which the past is kept out of sight. I am imagining a radically different “place” of light, and care, and power, and joy, a “place” of support and creative intention.

Einstein said: Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all that there will ever be to know and understand.

Learning and imagination for me are both inspiring. What is inspiration for you and what inspires you?

Author's Bio: 

Judith Sherven, PhD and her husband Jim Sniechowski, PhD http://JudithandJim.com have developed a penetrating perspective on people’s resistance to success, which they call The Fear of Being Fabuloustm. Recognizing the power of unconscious programming to always outweigh conscious desires, they assert that no one is ever failing—they are always succeeding. The question is, at what? To learn about how this played out in the life of Whitney Houston, check out http://WhatReallyKilledWhitneyHouston.com.

Currently working as consultants on retainer to LinkedIn providing executive coaching, leadership training and consulting as well as working with private clients around the world, they continually prove that when unconscious beliefs are brought to the surface, the barriers to greater success and leadership presence begin to fade away. They call it Overcoming the Fear of Being Fabulous http://OvercomingtheFearofBeingFabulous.com.