I got an email from IDEA Health & Fitness Association today challenging its members. Their motto is “Inspire the World to Fitness”. They are asking their members to submit pictures of themselves holding up signs that reflect that motto, all while actually doing something inspiring. I used to wonder what people meant when they would say that someone or something is inspiring. Luckily that was a long time ago, because I know what it means to me now. Whenever I witness someone or something that gives me the urge to act, move, or make a difference – I know I am inspired.
Working in the field of fitness or wellness, we are called to inspire different people for different reasons. In the world of cardiac or physical rehabilitation, it might mean we inspire confidence in a patient so they can trust us to help them push themselves to get better. In other settings, it means we are working with people to make small but meaningful changes in their behavior. Other situations might have us motivating and inspiring people to take responsibility for their choices.
If you are meant to be inspiring others, who or what inspires you? My list could go on, but here are just a few, in no particular order. I encourage you to make a list of people, situations, organizations or otherwise that you can draw inspiration from.
My kids: They inspire me to get out of bed a little bit earlier, even when I don’t want to. They motivate me to spend considerably more time on food choices and preparation to improve overall health. They help me keep my priorities straight, and remind me how important it is to laugh everyday.
My husband and other public school educators: I believe that being a public school educator has to be one of the hardest jobs I can think of. To educate and inspire kids to engage in and love learning has got to be daunting. They inspire me to keep learning, keep an open mind, and remind me how important it is to critically think when analyzing things.
My mom: After having 13 children, and celebrating her 80th birthday, she is still zipping around. She is passionate about her faith and education and is the biggest smart alec I know. I am amazed by her ability and willingness to accept change and grow with it. Not only is she keeping up with the Kardashians, she’s texting, Facebooking, and more.
People living with mental illness: I am inspired by people who face the challenge of living with mental illness everyday. There is a significant stigma and misunderstanding when it comes to mental illness in our society. Anyone who can get up and face the challenges that mental illness can bring, one day at a time, is inspiring to me.
The students I work with: Anytime I find myself feeling a little burned out with work, I come across a student who has enthusiasm an excitement for their profession. This reignites my fire to continue to learn and grow as a lifelong student myself. They keep me on my toes.
Ralph Nader: Ralph Nader is an American political activist, as well as an author, lecturer, and attorney. He is “David” usually taking on “Goliath” with particular concern for consumer protection, humanitarianism, the environment and the democratic process.
Bill Gates: I am not inspired by his influence or money. What I am inspired by is how he refused to take no for an answer, and how he chooses to share his wealth with those who need it.
My list could go on……Who or what made yours?