No matter what your role is in an organization or in life, inspiring others is something that we all want to do. When someone is inspired they feel energized, motivated and excited--it is the greatest gift we can give. Feelings of inspiration fuel happiness and fulfillment and make for big breakthroughs in performance.
We all remember when Barack Obama won the presidency and gave his acceptance speech--it was a moment of pure inspiration for our nation. Everyone that watched that speech felt proud to be American. While we all can't be the orator that Barack Obama is, we all can strive to inspire the people in our lives.
Contrary to what you may think, inspiring others comes more from how you operate day to day than from the extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime moments. Think about your daily habits, and how those contribute to feelings of inspiration. When it comes to true inspiration, the best way to leave a wake of energy is to inspire yourself.
Here are 5 daily habits to take more ownership of your own inspiration, and inspire everyone you meet:
1. Focus on the process not the outcome.
We get a hit of dopamine in our brains every time we achieve something. It's the quick-fix way of feeling excited by work if you haven't figured out your Zone of Genius. In fact you may think you enjoy your job only because of the hits of dopamine--they can be deceiving.The key to inspiring others is to feel so inspired by the work you do and by everything that is required to achieve the result. This isn't easy. You need to be honest with yourself: do you enjoy the process as much as the outcome? If so, then you are already inspiring others. If not, then focus on figuring out what you need to do to get as much joy if not more from the process of work than from the outcome.
2. Monitor your impact.
How often are you inspiring others? Maybe you don't even realize how much you are already. Pay attention to the way people respond to you on a daily basis. Do you make people smile? Do they say they enjoy being around you? Do your co-workers come to you regularly for advice or ideas?Start to pay attention to how you make others feel and then make sure it's the kind of impact you want to be having. You can only improve your impact once you know what it is.
3. Push your comfort zone.
Everyone wants to see someone go for it. How many reality tv shows are about people trying to achieve high-reaching goals, like losing weight or becoming a singing sensation? How about the thrill of seeing a basketball player go for the three-point shot and get it?We are instantly inspired when we are around people who push the realms of possibility. Make sure you are doing this yourself, and ask others to support you. They will be instantly inspired and more than likely to follow suit.
4. Focus on your well-being.
You can't inspire someone else if you aren't well rested and feeling good. Lack of sleep can produce a number of surprising side effects, like impaired judgment and lack of patience. In addition to your energy, it's important to focus on eating healthfully, staying present and exercising. I agree with Ron Friedman's insistence that "Regular Exercise is Part of your Job." All of these aspects of well-being affect your ability to not only be the best version of yourself but also to feel your best. If you feel good, you will naturally inspire others.
5. Commit to a vision and never give up.
Figure out your vision for your career and your life. Align your values, your goals, and how you make decisions to this vision and share it with others. When others know what drives you and your commitment to what's important to you, and they will be inspired. Nothing is more exciting than being around someone who is clear about what matters and then re-commits to it over and over with their behavior.
For example, how inspiring is it that CEO of Starbucks Howard Schultz says time and time again that his purpose is to provide people with jobs and benefits. The fact that he continues to innovate how Starbucks can be a place for people to thrive and use as a stepping stone to other great career opportunities is nothing less than inspiring. Schultz is no different from any of us--he is just clear and communicative about what he cares about.
Commit to these five habits and before long you will be surrounded by people who are on fire and inspiring you with their energy, ideas and excitement. What could be better than being the catalyst for that?