January 27, 2013

Find inspiration around you

Find inspiration
Hello there! It's been a long time since I put some thoughts at one place and blogged about it. 2013 started off with lots of work and family stuff. Sometimes inertia creeps in and I was simply not able to push myself to write that first post of 2013.  It happens, doesn't it? 2 weeks back, I was conversing with someone on new ideas in digital and was asked "How do you inspire yourself to keep going on & on?" I answered what came to mind and thought it'd be a good topic to blog about. First of all, I'd ask - when was the last time you looked for inspiration? And what was it for? If you have an answer to these 2 questions, then you're doing it right.
I've often seen folks mix up motivation, encouragement and inspiration. According to me, the first two are external factors while inspiration is something that can only come from within by observing something, someone, some where. Simply put, inspiration is to get inspired. Many times, we go through some odd phases but are not sure whether we just need a mere motivational pat from someone or really need to look inside for some inspiration in order to take ourselves to the next level. Inspiration is not something that happens everyday. It's more like 'flashes of inspiration' that come at different phases of your life, and it doesn't always have to appear 'when you're down'. It can also come to you when you're doing very well and simply want to elevate your performance to a new high. I cannot standardize what inspiration means for everyone as we all live different lives and have much to learn along. However coming back to the question of what inspires to keep going on & on, you don't have to go to the mountains or a consultant to get inspired. Inspiration is all around us and we just need to find it. I do it, and over the years they have proved fruitful for me.

1. Inspiration from your family
Our Father and Mother always provide motivation and encourage us on our laurels. Take some time to look back and visualize how much they've done for you throughout their lives. I find this absolutely inspirational and the capacity to keep going on & on comes from them. And you know what's the best part? Whenever you need to consult on anything, test some new idea, validate your thoughts or simply feel happy - you can simply pick up the phone and talk to them. That always gives you small bits of inspiration. Apart from your parents, your brother, sister, relatives, cousins - almost anyone can inspire you if you keep in touch with them.  That's why it's important to stick together, to listen to others and help them when they are in need. You never know your one act can serve as an inspiration for someone else and vice-versa.

2. Inspiration at your workplace
At workplace, our colleagues can be a source of inspiration for us. This really holds good when you're working on team projects and require effective collaboration. Everyone in the team brings some expertise, some skill on the table that you might not have. Observe well, ask how it's done and pick up those little nuggets of learning from them. The more the variety of your observations, the more you'll be confident in handling big projects as time rolls by. I've really learnt a lot of different things from my colleagues and some have really inspired me through their approach, thinking and work. And it doesn't end till colleagues, having a good rapport with your Boss is always a plus. One of the best advice I've got from him "Think like an entrepreneur" - this one line has really made me to look at work differently. Somewhere it's these little bouts of inspiration that build you into a better professional. Always appreciate and put it to good use. As they say, the more diverse folks you interact with, the more ideas propagate in your mind when you need it the most. So far it's been true for me.

3. Inspiration from experts - online and in person.
I work in Digital Marketing and this field is changing so rapidly that if you don't keep yourself updated with the latest on web, you'll stay behind. So how does one keep himself updated & find inspiration? In my initial days, I used to follow selected websites to keep track of the latest stuff but then realized they were focusing more on the technical aspect of new developments rather than discussing a marketer's viewpoint and take on it. And then twitter happened for me in 2009 where I started following some really good folks from the digital field. These guys have a solid understanding of digital, add a human element to their views and offer much more to learn. All you need is to identify these experts, have an open mind, and converse with them when you have a question. Of course, finding them has been a task, but once you stick around for some time, you gradually start discovering them. This year, I gave a #FF to one of my favorite Mr. J. Owyang, who is a web strategist and tracks the industry. I can't list everyone here but they all add value to me and some them provide a truly inspirational experience.

Similarly, you can find such folks in person and meet them to discuss your common areas of interest. Although with everyone having a busy schedule this option is not always feasible, I feel if the understanding is strong then you can reach out to him/her through other channels. Remember, communication is facilitator of inspiration. If you want it, you have to speak for it. Don't feel shy.

4. Inspiration from faith and yourself.
This point really depends on your personal preference. I am an Indian Muslim and I pray as much as I can as it brings me closer to the Almighty and allows me to share my problems, concerns, achievements and wishes in duas apart from asking for forgiveness. In reality, you are talking to yourself but somewhere you have the faith that he's listening and understands you. All the attributes I put in this point - commitment, discipline and consistency ultimately inspire you to adopt these in your real life tasks. Trust me, prayers can reaffirm your belief in yourself, your strengths and your capabilities. Whichever religion you practice, try praying whenever you can find time. Hopefully, you might experience change for good.

One can find inspiration from many sources, but for me these 4 points work the best. Once you are inspired and do good work, it's imperative for you to pass on inspiration to others. That will be the real decider whether you're doing good or not. When different folks - young and old, male and female, friends and cousins email me through this blog, tweet, DM that somewhere they picked up some inspiration from me, my blog, it feels like a complete cycle. It just brings a smile and inspires me to do more and better. My 11 year old cousin, Basma Khan started blogging since July 2012 as a result of some inspiration from maktion and till now has published 25 posts! She is thoughtful, writes very well and has inspired a few of her friends to blog. Do read and leave a comment on her latest post: Another new year, another fresh start.

Remember, it all starts with you and the inspiration around you. So, go on, find your inspiration in 2013 and make it happen. I would love to hear about your source of inspiration and how it helped you in the comments below.

Stay inspired,

Image Source: Photo-Dialogue


  1. Bhaiya Dude, YOU are an inspiration cuz you're awesome! Your post is ever so inspiring and wonderful! Really do love it...great job! :D