What Inspires You?
Thomas Alva Edison said, “Genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration.” Coming from a man who held over 1000 patents in his name in the USA alone, and many more worldwide, the value of that 1% cannot be overemphasised.
What inspires us humans? For some their role models are their inspiration; some are motivated by life-altering incidents and some are encouraged by memorable events. Yet, the source of inspiration need not be so profound every time. Even the so-called trivial or mundane can trigger a stimulating response.
A hillock full of daffodils inspired Wordsworth to pen the ever-popular ode to the flowers. Most of us would have overlooked the ‘ordinary’ yellow flowers, but Wordsworth was no ordinary man. He not only saw hosts of daffodils dance by the lake, he also noticed the stiff competition provided to the swaying flowers by the tiny, yet sprightly waves of the lake. And the image that he carried home that day continued to inspire him for days to come.
A story goes like this: An ace diver was once quizzed on what kept him motivated to give his best in the adrenaline surging sport. “My fear of heights,” replied the champion coolly as the interviewer looked at him stunned. His quest to conquer his acrophobia had made him take up a sport in which he had to face heights daily if he was to succeed. He turned his fear into his inspiration and reached dizzy heights in the game. You do not have to wait for an earth-shattering experience to motivate you to pursue your dreams. Just look around with your mind’s eye and uncountable such scenes, pictures or words that have the potential energy to give birth to a hundred brilliant ideas will wash over you. It is up to you to get inspired and convert the potential to kinetic energy. Nature is a treasure chest of inspiration: rustling leaves, whispering winds, bubbling brooks, buzzing bees, twinkling stars, the waxing and waning moon and of course, the daffodils.
In our daily life we witness myriad such fleeting moments each with the innate capacity to inspire. The five senses become all-powerful if they are invigorated in the right manner. An infant’s gurgles and a toddler’s uninhibited laughter are music for the ears. Deeply inhale the smell of wet earth, filter coffee and baby shampoo to feel refreshed. Grandma’s tangy mango pickle, a cuppa hot chocolate or some tender coconut water are guaranteed to tingle the taste buds. Early morning sunshine or the season’s first raindrops rejuvenate the skin. The play of colours in the rainbow, the butterflies and the flowers are manna for the eyes. This total sensory stimulation is bound to inspire creative and positive thoughts and turn even the prosaic into an exciting experience.
Inspiration and achievement are symbiotic: achievement not only in terms of material gains, but also spiritual enhancement and improvement in the quality of life.
So, laugh often, dream big, and reach for the stars!
- Smita Shenoy