Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Light Your Dream

What does it take to inspire dreams? More specifically, what would it take to spark your own inner longing, to set ablaze your personal torch? I have seen a lot of duty-bound people in my life who would rather live by someone else's rules than live what they long for. You have met them too. They have a grayness about them, a dull likeness to others that belies that glowing spark you know is in there somewhere and totally unique. Why is that? Why do some of us chase marketing mandates rather than the promises our own hearts make? Why do some of us follow the maps others have given us rather than our own inner guidance system?

I wish I knew the answers to those questions. I suspect security has a lot to do with it. Wanting to please others may play its part. One great thing, though, about inspiration is that no matter how it is sparked, it ultimately lights a fire within us. Even when we are inspired by another, we are not moved by a mandate. We feel compelled because something inside us moves us. Inspiration calls us to something higher, something better, something that cannot be appraised by someone else, because it is not their's. We alone own it.

Now it is possible that you may simply be looking for inspiration for inspiration's sake, but more than likely you're looking to set a new course, to feel inspired to do something you have never done before and fear you may not be ready or courageous enough to do. Maybe you want to step away from a job you have held for sometime and pursue a secret and "silly" dream you have held for even longer. Maybe you want to sail off to a foreign country or end a relationship that has run its course. Maybe you want to begin a hobby or join a community organization that values your service. Maybe you just need the strength to get through one more day. Whatever your longing, or need for inspiration, you can find it within yourself. In fact, you probably have at least an inkling already of what it is you want to be inspired to become, or to do. Begin today taking a step toward that. Do a little research. Make a single phone call. Show up there. Begin boldly and you may inspire yourself or be inspired by someone you talk to.

That's the way inspiration often works. Begin and then discover the inner spark. Strike the match, and if you need to, strike it again and again until eventually the flame bursts forth. Or as one fine inspirational friend used to constantly tell me, "Ed, do something. Just begin." Then once you have the match lit, it's up to you to lay it where it might light a few logs and set the inner fireplace ablaze. Once you do that, once you see the fire's light and feel its warmth, you'll wonder why you didn't begin earlier. Or as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, "Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it."

Les Brown shares one of his dreams and motivates his audience to achieve their's.

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