Once in a while we all come across some information, a person, a story, or a quote that lifts us up for that moment and makes a difference in our day. What you may not realize is that momentary difference goes on to become a difference in many people that you came in contact with during the day.
In their book Connected, Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler make the argument that even our friend’s friend’s friends have an impact on us, that’s how deep the fabric of our interconnectedness goes. We all want to make change in ourselves and our communities and it’s important to be mindful of the fact that in order to get motivated to make change, we need to be inspired.
Recently I came across the website www.weresoinspired.com that is 100% about helping us get inspired for the better.
It started when a couple started sending each other emails every day trying to inspire one another to live “as if it mattered” and then made a life change to make that what they want to help others do in the moments of their lives.
It’s our natural inclination to get caught up in routine and we need little things to help us pop out of that routine and gain perspective on what is most important moment to moment.
What if some of those moments were filled with a little inspiration, what difference would that make?
One of the reasons I love quotes, poetry and stories is because they seem to make their way past the intellectual part of our brains and into the emotional regions where a deeper change can take place.
Here’s a story they tell that helps us gain perspective on the rat race we can catch ourselves in:
An American businessman took a vacation to a small coastal Mexican village on doctor’s orders. Unable to sleep after an urgent phone call from the office the first morning, he walked out to the pier to clear his head. A small boat with just one fisherman had docked, and inside the boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish.
“How long did it take you to catch them?” the American asked.
“Only a little while,” the Mexican replied in surprisingly good English.
“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” The American then asked.
“I have enough to support my family and give a few to friends,” the Mexican said as he unloaded them into a basket.
“But…What do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican looked up and smiled. “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Julia, and stroll in the village each evening, where I sip win and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, señor.”
The American laughed and stood tall. “Sir, I’m a Harvard M.B.A. and can help you. You should spend more time fishing, and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. In no time, you could buy several boats with the increased haul. Eventually, you would have a fleet of fishing boats.”
He continued, “Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the consumers, eventually opening up your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village, of course, and move to Mexico City, then to Los Angeles, and eventually New York City, where you could run your expanding enterprise with proper management.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, señor, how long will all this take?”
To which the American replied, “15-20 years. 25 tops.”
“But what then, señor?”
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right, you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions.”
“Millions, señor? Then what?”
“Then you would retire and move to a small coastal fishing village, where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, and stroll into the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos…”
Of course I’ll suggest to try adding some inspiration to the moments of your life, but one thing to always remember is to never take my word for anything; your experience is your best teacher. So as an experiment, try adding a little inspiration to the moments of your life and see what happens.
What gets you inspired? Please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom and source of inspiration for all of us.
Photo by Jason Rogers, available under a Creative Commons attribution license.
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Last reviewed: 11 Apr 2011