Who Inspires You?
Our world needs people who know how to build trust-filled relationships. People who know how to collaborate, cooperate, and support a functional community. We need people more than we need celebrities or heroes who “inspire” us to be like them. Should your inspiration not come from you?
There is an illusion that fame and money will lead us to the magical door of luxury and happiness. Yet, the more time we spend with people who have attained these levels of societal success, the more we realize they are really ordinary people who gained an audience and are handsomely paid for their work. They are often told they inspire people but we never truly know them and their circumstances.
Actors, for example, take on roles to entertain us and bring stories—drama, tragedy, horror, mystery, thriller, comedy—into our life. However, there is an artificial allure that they have the successful life we want. This is the path they took and their life isn’t better than anyone else’s, as they have their own issues and wounds to deal with that fame and money can’t heal. I had dinner with an iconic Hollywood star a few years ago and what he shared was real and sad. Despite the love of his fans, he was alone. He was married and divorced so many times that he was barely making ends meet. These were not the stories that hit the tabloids or that he wants to be known.
You have your own life, your own canvas, and your own ability to seek your true intentions. When we continually consume the onslaught of external noise, we will never find our own truth, as it is not in anyone else’s story but our own.
When celebrities or billionaires announce they are supporting a charitable cause with a donation of millions or billions of dollars, do we ever stop and think that it is our money that they are donating? Where does their affluence come from, and why do we continue to celebrate them and give them our endorsements through our consumption? And what about kids who want to be heroes just like them, so they can acquire the same level of societal admiration?
The healthy psyche feels itself to be on a journey, but most people are still waiting for a strong leader or some sort of sign to marshal us forward and inspire us. There is the recurring mythology of the lone cowboy riding into town and leading everyone to nirvana by saving everyone or standing up to a vengeful bully.
There is a belief that someone better will step up and show us the way. And thus, power is given away to an external belief over and over. But you can decide to turn your back on being dominated by the past and prevent the repetition of unhealthy versions of old cycles by understanding you are enough. Leadership is not outside yourself.
Too often, you are told that your story needs to be one of the heroes, where you dominate nature and are celebrated for being innovative, competitive, and a ruthless winner in life. The mythology of the hero and the associated archetypes are provided in abundance, as the story you were told was that to be the best and get to the top, you must step on others to win the award, the title, and the respect you are owed. But what if this has never been your story?
When you are willing to look close enough, you will start witnessing the world around you, especially when you start doing your own exploration and research. Many of us no longer want to live a life of division and spend our precious time in antiquated win-lose scenarios in pursuit of being the hero. What do you actually win at the end of the day?
Our natural inclination is to crave meaningful collaboration, cooperation, dialogue, and interconnectedness—but we simply forgot how to show up with integrity to pursue co-creation and build community effortlessly. This is what is possible when you open your mind and heart to seeing that you can inspire yourself. But it takes work to unravel what has been created and step forward to create a healthy path where we can lift each other up, as there is no need to live in a divided world of heroes and villains and victims.
Buckminster Fuller guides us that:
“The minute you choose to do what you really want to do, it’s a different kind of life.”