Anyway, I digress; the purpose of this blog post was to question the things that we find inspiring. Until about a year ago I was so desperate to be inspired, my problem was that my fixed mindset meant everything had to be ‘all or nothing’.
I wanted people to be the ultimate embodiment of everything I strove for, my unrealistic expectation that I HAD to be perfect meant my inspiration needed to be someone who had achieved perfection. Only by achieving perfection myself could I atone for the errors of judgment in my past. If I could find someone who was perfect then I could try to imitate his or her success, and know I had something to strive towards.
Don't get me wrong, we're all blemished to an extent in this way - after it's impossible to please the people all the time. As I have been reflecting on the inability to be perfect I have started search for a new type of inspiration. I realised that if I can recognise one thing to inspire me about the people surrounding me, then I have the best of everything at my fingertips.
This inspiration can be a passing moment. It could be as little as liking a pair of shoes on a stranger walking through a car park, which may make me consider trying a new style. Or the person on the reception desk who always gives a genuine smile and "hello", not even realising how rare it can be to find someone so consistently pleasant. This IS an inspiration (and actually also a comfort to see that manners do exist).
There is a lady here who must be at least 80. She walks past the treadmills and the cross trainers, having to hold on to each machine for support as she passes. She heads to the exercise bikes (the ones where you sit in a proper seat with your knees in front of you) and is on there for 5 minutes before starting her slow journey out of the gym. I don't have the words to describe how awesome I find that, and I wouldn't want to - for me that touches something in me that words couldn't recreate.
So, those are some of my inspirations on a day-to-day basis. (You may notice mine are gym related, I don't get out much at the moment!)
The parents who met 40 years ago and have stuck together through thick and thin.
The friend who moved counties to stick with her man (even Monica didn't follow Chandler to Tulsa!) and who has known me for 20+ years supporting me through all my afore mentioned lapses of judgment, which has involved a LOT of support!
The incredible woman who, despite already having a monumental workload, decided it was time to get more experience in her field. So recently took on a whole new project to produce a show AND raise the funds to send it to Australia.
I have my beautiful, ‘classy-as-you-like’ friend, who wouldn’t look out of place perched daintily on a stool at a champagne bar for every second of every day. Rather than doing so though, she is in the force, and could pretty much kick the arse of anyone else I know - including the boys!
I have the friend I met in a senior corporate position, who still rocks a power suit, yet also manages to rock carrying muslin, a potty and a Disney movie as she cares for her 3 gorgeous children (who are all under 4!)
I have my uni friend who is a primary school teacher and has the patience of a saint - she lives on the other side of London and yet has never once complained about the journeys she makes to me (often with a rail replacement bus and a hangover thrown in for good measure!).
There are those who face fear as they want more from life; my friend who recently ended a long term relationship and had to move home for most of 2014, but after a lot of grief is now finally free and in her very own house.
Those we have never met can inspire us – I swear I’m in contact with the most positive person alive, yet I have never actually met her. You've heads of people being radiators or drains? Well this lady radiates so much energy that she's like a walking star.
There was another lady who I met for the first time in my kitchen in 2014. She didn't mince her words when after 5 mins of meeting me she stressed, "Liz, you're not well, you need to help yourself and not put up with these things that are stopping your recovery. You don't need to be intimidated anymore"
- Taking on new challenges
- Standing up for the right things in life with conviction (yet with class)
- Being a roaring success in a career AND as a mother
- True friends always being there no matter how far (or hungover) the journey
- Facing fear
- Remembering that we are ALL incredibly lucky and special - it's not a crime to believe this, we just need to have the positivity to acknowledge it
- Speaking honestly and bluntly, while also compassionately
What do you think you would have on your list of amazing qualities you are surrounded by and could learn from?
1. This has been a long post - if you've made it to this point then you have an impressive attention span.
2. While I'm dedicated to improving and developing myself; I have to say that if the adage about being able to judge someone by their friends is true, then I must pretty fricking awesome - purely by default.
Thanks lovelies Xx
(Oh one last thing, I've been on this cross trainer for 55 mins typing this, normally I'd stop now, but as my husband did an hour yesterday I simply must stay on to match him. He inspires me in many other ways, but for today the way he has inspired my workout is what gets him a mention!)