What inspires you? Have you ever singled that questioned out and answered it honestly?
Like happiness, I don't think inspiration is something you achieve; inspiration, like happiness is a lifelong process. The single most inspiring factor of your life may be that moment or that thing that prompts your greatest achievement, but what inspires you for all the moments in between?
I'm in constant search of things that inspire me. Yesterday I was inspired by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who after being shot in the head just seven months ago, showed up to the House floor to vote on a major piece of legislation. She said, "I'm honored to be back at work." How did you feel when you went into work this morning?
Today I'm inspired by Ms. Anne Frank, whose courage to write whatever the hell she felt in her journal, told the cold story of a generation, in several nations. Many people said she knew too much too soon, but they had no idea that writing outside the box she was expected to fit in would post-humously make her an international figure in history. She didn't know it either. She just wanted to work.
Last but not least, I'm inspired by the late, great Amy Winehouse. She died 27 years young, but her soul moaned the heartache of someone 75 years her senior. I admire Amy for telling her story; the one we all knew too well. When she slid into the contralto melody singing, "It's OK in the day, I'm staying busy. Tied up enough so I don't have to worry 'Where is he?' Got so sick of crying, but just lately, when I catch myself, I do a 180..." you knew that was her story. You knew it was her pain.
So many times people piss us off or do us wrong and we silently let that pain eat us up inside. How much better would you feel if you could write and sing exactly what was lying on your heart. On top of that, how would you feel if people actually "got it?"
At the core, we all just want to be understood. Congresswoman Giffords is still unable to form longer words, but she knew if she walked on the House floor we'd understand that she is not defeated. Anne Frank's parents thought she was too intellectual for a young girl, but she wrote, "In spite of it all, I believe everyone is good at heart" and we understand that voice wasn't just hers, it was the voice of triumph, of healing, of peace. Amy Winehouse's demons were dark and fierce, but her struggles were often and will often be identified with by millions through her work. Her voice lives on. The tales and fears of her mistakes will be someone else's savior. That's what her art was all about.
Get inspired and lose your fear. Do whatever it takes to make you live your life sans any "what-if" moments. Learn to live your life at its core, because underneath all the selfishness, all the envy, and all the superficiality, we are at our best.