strong>Inspire and Motivate Others
Who Can You Inspire and Motivate Today?
There are two types of people in the world- planners, and people who love spontaneity.
Planners love planning. They love laying out their goals and objectives and working backward to determine every necessary detail. Most of them study, review, and revise their plans over and again, making small changes and tweaks along the way.
Spontaneous people like to fly by the seat of their pants. They are quick on their feet, and can create their own parachute on the way down after jumping from the plane. Most of them work best in the moment, relying on their wits and energy in the here-and-now.
Spontaneous people live in the present and pay attention to what is going on around them. They are the perfect personality type to motivate and encourage people anywhere they are. They don’t need a plan to make an impact, they can wing it and inspire and motivate in the moment.
Are you spontaneous?
Do you fit into the category of people who sees a situation that needs a personal touch and is able to pour into it right then and there? Are you aware of, and alert to, the needs unfolding in front of you? Who can you inspire and motivate today?
This is as easy as asking yourself “what am I doing today?” Where are you going? Who will you see? In one day’s, time, you are likely to engage with well over ten people. Make a point of making a personal connection with everyone who crosses your path.
Here are some out of the box ways to inspire and motivated today:
- Say hello to someone at the gas pump and compliment them.
- Leave a note of encouragement in a library book for the next reader.
- Leave a coupon for a pizza in a movie rental kiosk for the next family to enjoy.
- Bring your hairdresser a coffee when you come in for your appointment.
- Smile at every person you pass walking in and out of the parking lot.
- Leave post-it notes on your children’s doors reminding them that you love them.
- Pick up trash in your neighborhood while walking your dog.
- Send a note in the mail to three friends for no particular reason.
- Ask your child to pick the theme for dinner and make the night special, even on a Wednesday.
- On Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, remember any friends who have lost a parent the previous year, and check in with them. Those will be tough days.
- When it’s summer and hot, give out cold drinks to your mail carrier and garbage men.
- If it’s freezing outside offer hot chocolate to crossing guards, police officers and others.
- Send cards to lonely seniors
- Take a cute photo and send it to someone you love.
- Keep an extra umbrella at work, so you can lend it out when it rains.
- Listen. Don’t interrupt. Something I learned from my wife is that people don’t always want us to suggest a solution. They just want us to listen. We underestimate how important and comforting it is to be listened to.
- When you see something good, share it.
Give someone the benefit of the doubt.
- Everyone is important. Learn the names of your office security guard, the person at the front desk and other people you see every day. Greet them by name. Also say “hello” to strangers and smile. These acts of kindness are so easy, and they almost always make people smile.
- Pay for someone’s dinner.
- Invite someone to dinner – especially at the holidays, when it is difficult for some people to be alone.
- Call your parents.
- Buy a small gift for someone.
- Call someone you love. Tell him you love him.
- Buy a small gift for someone. Just because.
- Donate a small sum of money to a charity you love.
- Leave a big tip.
- Allow someone to help you. Let her enjoy performing an act of kindness.
Making a difference, inspiring, and motivating doesn’t have to be large scale.
You can inspire one person every day just by taking action spontaneously. Seize the opportunity and pour into someone simply because they are right there where you are. There’s no easier way to make an unplanned impact.
Staying Motivated to Make A Difference
The initial excitement that comes from wanting to make a difference can start to wane as the hard work of making that difference becomes apparent. The glorious feeling that comes from doing something new and meaningful fades when the effort expended exceeds your enthusiasm. What can you do to stay motivated when what you’re doing doesn’t seem to make a big enough difference?
First- Remember why you began.
Remember what motivated you to be a power of one in the first place. What happened? What caused you to take action and make an impact in this brand-new way?
Second- Keep track of your actions.
Keep a journal or start a blog. Write about your experiences and preserve them somewhere. When you need a reminder of why you are stepping out and making a difference, you can review your journey to feel encouraged and refreshed.
Third- Keep your vision in front of you.
Keep visual reminders front and center of why you are doing what you’re doing. Pictures of the people you hope to impact, memorabilia from events or encounters you have had, thank you notes, letters; all the tangible things that have come from your impact are good options.
Fourth- Share the impact.
You may be a private person, but your impact is important. To whatever extent it is appropriate or comfortable to share, you should be an example to others who may have a heart for what you are doing. You may be the nudge they need to get out there and start making a difference themselves.
Fifth- Leave a legacy.
Your acts of service and how you make a difference is going to leave a legacy. No matter how small or how large of an impact, no matter how known or anonymous you are, your inner circle and your family are going to be impacted by your generosity, your sense of purpose – and that is going to be part of the legacy you leave behind.
All things can start to feel heavy over time. Responsibilities, chores, even giving and making an impact. Keep yourself motivated and engaged, and you’ll end up making a difference and leaving an important legacy.
The Power of Leading by Example
One of the most profound areas of contribution is through leadership. Whether you are an army of one or commanding legions, someone must take the lead.
“We can’t all be heroes, because someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.”- Will Rogers
It may seem this way sometimes, but in fact, we are all leaders to some extent or another. You may lead your family, lead a group activity, or lead a team at work. You might lead the way in innovation, or in teaching new generations the cultures of the past. In one way or another, you are a leader.
The biggest influence you have as a leader is the example you set for others. People pay less attention to what you say, and more attention to what you do. By example, you are making an impact all the time.
Think back on your school and work history. Who were the most influential teachers and bosses that you’ve had? Some influenced you by showing you what you don’t want to be like as a leader, but the ones that made the biggest impact on you were likely the teachers and managers who brought out the best in you and taught you through their own example.
What are some character traits of a great leader?
- Honesty and Integrity
- Can Inspire Others
- Commitment and Passion
- Good Communicator
- Decision-Making Capabilities
- Active listening
What skills can great leaders teach through their example?
- Tactical skills
- Mastery of a craft
- Delegation and Empowerment
- Creativity and Innovation
- Timely communication
- Effective feedback
How do great leaders lead through their example?
- Modeling appropriate behavior
- Teaching complex concepts
- Walking the walk
- Championing their cause
- Get your hands dirty
- Watch wat you say
- Measure and reward performance
- Listen to the team
- Take responsibility
- Challenge people to think
Your example has great power to shape whatever situation you find yourself in. You have the power to influence those looking to you in ways you can’t imagine. You can help build someone’s character, teach them a skill, and encourage their self-worth just by doing what you do best.
A great rule of thumb to keep in mind is that we are never unobserved. The world is always responding to our presence. Do your best to act from a place of integrity, and think about your influence wherever you are. Do what you can to be mindful of the fact that someone, somewhere, is looking up to you and being influenced by your behavior. Even in the smallest of ways, your solitary existence is making an important impact on the world.
Whether you are the leader of a Fortune 500 company or the commander of your household, you are a leader and have influence wherever you go. Be a good example to those looking up to you, and walk with confidence knowing that you are helping to mold and shape those you lead as they watch you.