Jim’s Wisdom #21 March 9, 2021 “Inspire Someone Every Day” So, You’d Like to Inspire Others? * * * There are lots of definitions in lots of place

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Jim’s Wisdom #21

March 9, 2021

“Inspire Someone Every Day”

So, You’d Like to Inspire Others?


There are lots of definitions in lots of places for inspiration. I have always felt that inspiration is a special gift that those who have this ability consciously and intentionally share wherever and whenever they can. The beneficiaries of this special gift are often surprised and always hoping to hear more.

So, just what is inspiration? Sometimes it is that “a-ha” moment of insight, clear understanding or recognition that is magical and memorable. If you want to gain this skill or perfect it, one of the most important places to begin understanding this phenomenon is to think about the folks who inspire you. They can come from any area of your life, they tend to stand out almost immediately, and once you are smitten, you want to pay more attention to that person, listen more, be around them more and ask them questions. This is the beginning if you are interested in building your own capacity to inspire.

First and foremost, I believe inspiration is intentional. It tends to come off so easily, even accidentally. Those you may get to know who have this capacity will tell you rather quickly that others have noticed it in them; so inspiring others becomes a habit, a tendency, a personal aspiration, and a daily goal. The answer to the question of how you start moving down this pathway seems quite simple. Notice those who inspire you and pay more attention to them, even asking them about how it is they can say these things or write these things that have such an impact on you.

Those who are inspirational are typically conscious of it. That’s because those affected by these individuals generally tell them through compliments, questions, or other indicators that their relationship is important. The person who inspires is a person who helps you understand your life from your own perspective in sudden, often very productive, and positive new ways.

The Attributes of An Inspirer

The attributes of an inspirer are somewhat subtle but when you start paying attention, they are easily recognizable. They include a variety of verbal and written techniques that you can learn and train yourself to develop, eventually on the spot.

Attributes of Inspiration – A Checklist

1). Translates Complexity into Process
Takes complex subjects and systems and explains them in simple terms like pieces, parts, elements, phases, steps, sections.

2). Empathy
True empathy is actions and information that the victim can act on, on their own, immediately. I often refer to empathy as, “actions that speak louder than words.”

3). Uses Examples
What those who are victimized need most is knowing what to do next. Use examples: the most attention getting two words in any language are, “for example.”

Those who are afflicted and need assistance, whether they admit it or not, are in the state of intellectual deafness. They may look attentive, but they aren’t taking it in. The moment you say, “for example,” you can immediately tell that the individual has cut through everything in the way and is ready to hear what he or she believes they will understand from you now.

4). Focuses on Goals
The principal components of goals are straight forward. They are:
- Something achievable
- Gettable
- Learnable
- Understandable
- Something brief
- Something in plain language
- Something positive – generally on a single topic, with a deadline or time sensitivity.

5). Meaningful Specificity
Say what you mean explicitly, repeat if it is important. Avoid wandering generalities.

6). Being Memorable
Organize information you present in ways that are simple but powerful, for example: alphabetize all lists. Simple, sensible, helpful step that avoids the random listings which are often convenient but confusing.

Chronology is one of the most wonderful attention getting organizational tools in verbal and written communication. Even the most complex idea becomes simple if we put a timeline to it.

Packaging and bundling - essentially use small numbers usually five or fewer, combined with simple adjective. Examples include: three pieces, four parts, five phases, six steps. This verbal and written organization is extremely powerful and memorable. When you say them, people take out a pencil and write them down.

7). Uses Power Words
These are words like urgent, important, critical, powerful, and immediate. The use of these words powers up your presentation and ideas and drives them into your audience’s consciousness.

8). Repetition
Repetition is among the most underused technique in communications. What I learned early on is if it is repeated, it is remembered or questioned. Both good outcomes.

9). Tell ‘em
If something matters, say that. If something is important say that. If something is urgent, say that. If something is stupid, dumb, inconsequential, or meaningless, say that. If you want people to remember something, tell them to remember it. Intentionally keep your language non-technical (13-year-old level). Strive for the fewest number of syllables. As the number of syllables increases, understandability and credibility declines dramatically.

10). Stories, the Major Tool
Successful story ingredients are these:
- A beginning, middle and end
- Brevity
- People oriented
- Plain language
- Positive
- Self-evident lesson, moral, message, purpose, or punchline.

11). Inconsistency
One of the single greatest self-defeating strategies is to keep looking for ways to make things consistent with the way they currently are or have been in the past. Inspiration is always about tomorrow; where we are headed, and it is quite often about the desire to be intentionally different. So often insight and inspiration come from looking at things you might see “from the wrong end of the telescope.” Almost all major technology inventions and discoveries were accidents or unexpected outcomes. The discovery of most important pharmaceutical agents in history came from accidental discoveries or laboratory mistakes.

If inspiration is truly your goal, then these attributes need to become learned daily habits.

The bottom line is you can learn to be inspirational if you organize your life and you’re thinking for the benefit of others, from their perspective, and strive to be intentionally different. You can use these attributes as a check list about the things you are thinking about. This helps make inspirational behavior more of a habit.

How do you know when you’ve become a person who inspires? Here are seven tests that prove you are accomplishing what you set out to do:

1. People remember what you say and quote you when you are not in the room.
2. People quote you in your presence.
3. People tell your stories, share the lessons and give you the credit.
4. People tell your stories and share your lessons as if those stories and lessons belong to them.
5. Others share their questions, opinions, and ideas with you hoping to influence you to influence the behaviors and decisions of others more senior or powerful than either of you.
6. The boss asks others to run their stuff by you before running it by them.
7. People tell you that you inspire them and they’d like to know how to do it too.

Start Today by Watching TED.Com

Witness inspiration everyday by viewing TED Talks at TED.com. Start with the 25 most viewed talks - they’re all inspiring and interesting. Then branch out in specific subject areas you are interested in. Follow the examples you see and the techniques these people use. Some just talk, some use an easel and some use slides. If you are interested in the topic discussed, you will probably be moved to some degree by the person talking about it. You will know you have arrived if you can suggest, prepare, and successfully deliver a TED Talk.

Aspire to inspire someone every day. Best of Luck.

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