There are different ways we inspire each other. . . .
You do it your way and I do it mine. . . .
The truth is we’re all inspirational for different reasons. Some inspire to do great things and others inspire in different directions.
Think about the words, “role model.”
This is neither positive or negative but more so a source of attraction. We choose people to keep in our lives. We look to different people for different sources of motivation which again, motivation is only energy. There is no good or bad, positive, or negative. Motivation is only a power source in need of direction.
What is the most inspirational aspect in life?
Is it power? Is it wealth?
Or is the most inspirational aspect strength and perseverance?
Why do we say half the things we say?
Why is there such a tremendous need to be right?
Look at social media. Listen to people discuss their opinions — and I mean really listen. Ask yourself if this opinion is original or is their point parroted from someone else and repeated from a line they heard.
Why is it people try and pass themselves off with a sense of mastery of all things when meanwhile, they are only in the white belt stages (so to speak) and just learning?
I would like to keep this away from the addiction and alcoholism topic; however, there is a story I have that relates to this thought.
I went to an early morning meeting near my home. I was new to the town and new to the area. My accent is clearly different from say, someone that lives in New Jersey which is only about 5 minutes from my New York home.
Although 12-Step fellowships are supposed to be inviting, it would be dishonest to say that 12-Step meetings are not cliquish. And this meeting was no different.
I sat by myself. No one said hello, which was fine with me because I have reached a level of awareness that understands other people have nothing to do with me.
This meeting in particular moves in the form of a “Round Robin,” which means all shares flow around the table, according to the direction after the speaker shares their part.
When it came to my turn, I spoke openly and honestly about something that was troubling me at the time. I spoke this way because I do not come to rooms like this to “look good” or “sound great.”
If I am to truly help myself then I have to be honest about me. Otherwise, the entire meeting is nothing more than a disservice.
After the meeting, I was approached by a young man. He began to talk about what I was sharing. He was offering suggestions — and I listened because this is how I learn.
I have come to realize that time in a program and age does not always equate knowledge or enlightenment — or, put simply, a smart man knows what he doesn’t know and me, I know there are times when I really don’t know much at all. And that’s okay.
As the youngster was talking to me, I started to realize this person believed I was new and just off the streets.
At one point, I might have found this insulting. At one point, I might have been angry. Instead, I just listened. This was a case of someone looking to show how much they learned.
The young man asked me how many days I had. This is a question about my clean time; and clean time is looked upon (by some) as a source of value. Long amounts of clean time almost equate to royalty, which could not be further from the truth.
This only means you’ve been “in” for a while. You’ve paid your dues. Some believe this means you know more. You’ve done more. Meanwhile, all clean time means is how long a person has remained away from a drink or a drug.
This does not make one qualified to do something, like say, open heart surgery. This does not mean someone can act as a therapist or solve the financial problems of the world. This certainly doesn’t mean they can fix the race wars we’ve seen throughout our history.
I was not sure how many days I was “In” because at the time, I had more than 26 years of consecutive sobriety. I wasn’t sure how many days fit in 26 years.
The youngster was telling me that it is really important to count my days. Then he told me, “You’re going to get this.”
He told me, “Before you know, you’re going to have 30 days and then 60, then 90, and then the next thing you know you’ll be like wow, I have 6 months, and before you know it, You and I will be standing here to celebrate a year.”
There were a lot of assumptions made on this youngster’s part.
He asked again, “How many days do you think you have?”
The youngster was cleaned up for about six months. I told him that he seems to have a lot of knowledge for someone with his amount of time.
He told me, “It’s really important to count your days.”
I know this because I was a newcomer once too.
“Well, let me ask you like this, how many days do you think you have?”
I would have been fine to listen and not explain myself. I would have been okay to walk away and thank him for his input but the young man was very persistent.
I looked off to the sky as if I were too lost to consider. Then I answered, “I don’t know. How many days fit in 26 years?”
If time means knowledge and value then one could say that I was far from a white belt in this art form.
“You have 26 years,” asked the young man.
“Yes,” I said. “Did you want to teach me anything else?”
He walked away shortly after.
This is what I mean by white belt syndrome. There are times when we learn something and we are so sure of what we know. There are times when we pass our knowledge to others because we’re so excited that we know something that (A) this gives us an intelligent feel, and (B) this adds to our registry; as if we are registered as all-knowing and knowledgeable, and (C) people become so proud that they know something they want to share their knowledge; as if the fact they know or learned something has somehow made them more desirable to the world. None of which is actually true.
There are different types of leaders in this world. Neither are good or bad, despite what we think of them. Leadership is only energy and energy is nothing without direction. A good leader does not have to honor themselves or remind everyone why they lead.
Our ability to inspire is the same ability to motivate us to act or move in a certain direction. Remember, energy is only energy — energy is only a power source, which means nothing without a direction of flow.
There are people that have mastered their field. There are electricians or carpenters that have worked on job sites for decades. There are plumbers that have been fitting pipe for most of their lives and doctors and surgeons that have been through it all.
You can tell who they are because these are the people that do not look to prove their craft with words. They do not have to sell themselves. There’s no self-promotion. They are comfortable in their own skin and they can lead by example. People like this will lead by attraction. Not promotion. People like this are the best sources of motivation too because these are the people that are not threatened by another’s improvement.
I admit it.
I used to feel I had to advertise who I was and what I did. I used to believe that my knowledge, wisdom, and understanding was equal to my value and without promotion, no one would see that I was worth anything.
I never realized that when it comes to being me, I didn’t have to worry.
The truth is I already have the job. I don’t have to prove who I am or prove my position or seek approval from anyone else because at my best, I am comfortable with myself. At my weakest, I am seeking approval and trying to hide behind personalities to seek protection.
We are all teachers. Each and everyone of us are teaching others on a daily basis. The ideas that we are less than or not as valid as anyone else is simply not true.
The reason why people have their need to speak so loudly or stand so firm in their argument (in many cases) is because of a lack of comfort.
The truth is we all want ease. We all want to feel valid and viable — more importantly, we are all looking for a feeling of safety and protection.
This is why we choose our surroundings. This is why we emulate others because we take on an image as a symbol of strength.
The truth is we all have ego. Another truth is ego is a liar. It’s okay not to know. Humility is one of the most beautiful qualities a human can possess.
There are different ways we inspire and different sources of inspiration that we choose from — and me, I used to be inspired by strength and power.
Now more than ever I am really inspired by people that are comfortable in their own selves. I am inspired by people that do not need to prove anything to anyone because deep down, they have this one thing called inner peace.
Inner peace. Now, that inspires me.