We live in a society that imbibes talent based culture but ignores the importance of motivation. The very ability to inspire someone to perform a task. The ability to empower the pursuit of a career. Something that requires immense strength and dedication. Rather, this is what I believed it to be before I cumulatively interacted with and lectured 500 postgraduate students.
Isn’t it mesmerizing, to meet a group of inspiring individuals, men and women, who are eagerly waiting to explore new possibilities? Unaware that the nuance obstructing them from achieving their dreams and transcend ordinary experiences is themselves.
Before you wonder, no, I am not a senior person, nor was I entailed in lecturing a group of youngsters. A few of those students happened to be of my age. Many held more degrees than I have ever dreamt of pursuing, yet there I stood at the podium, inspiring and taking inspiration in return.
It was an awareness campaign. I was invited by universities to deliver a guest lecture on Indian trade markets, grant insight into regulations and future prospects for students. I was in a dilemma. Do I bombard the students with information, or do I repeat what their faculties have been repeating day-in and day-out?
Considering my putative experience and age group, and in the stream of raising awareness amongst the masses, I decided to poke their thoughts instead. Their younger minds. I decided that the students could do more with a motivational speech than mere imparting of knowledge.
The key to younger minds is to give them the freedom to imagine and dream, allowing them to believe that the world is full of possibilities. Prove to them that they hold the key to difference, and let their motivation soar through.
Make them believe in themselves, and let the inspiration propel them from apathy to possibility and transform the way they perceive their own capabilities.
Inspiration is sometimes overlooked because of its elusive nature. People worldwide share a history of belief that the intervention of a divine, supernatural being helped inspire them in a situation. But I believe that inspiration can be activated, captured, and manipulated, and it can affect major outcomes in life.
Inspiration comes in a form which can strike randomly. Some days we have an abundance of creative energy which comes naturally while other days its hard to come by. Writing, sketching, travelling and reading has helped me foster and channel my creativity, and I knew that the students had hobbies or interests of their own.
Yet, knowing that there were millions of people and motivational speakers available to them, I decided to route the discussion through my legal experience. The experience from a pauper, an intern, a junior lawyer who went unemployed, litigation- court cases, bureaucracy and administration, to surviving corporate entities. I shared my genuine thoughts while granting them their freedom to profess an opinion and accepting their queries wholeheartedly. The expression of certified failure.
Taking a cue from my erstwhile experiences, I knew that guest lecturers barely considered students and their queries. Believing that the podium acts as a chair, the traditional Indian lecturers react mightily “might is right” while failing to bring the students together with their thoughts.
And to gain their attention you give them respect, trust, and a belief that what they are about to receive is a piece of friendly advice, a part of knowledge which will embolden them for future, yet with delight.
Give and take. Return what you gain, to the ones in front of you.
You see, as stated by Scott Barry Kaufman in Harvard Business Review “inspiration has three main qualities: evocation, transcendence, and approach motivation”. Inspiration is evoked spontaneously without intention. It is also transcendent of our more animalistic and self-serving concerns and limitations. Such transcendence often involves a moment of clarity and awareness of new possibilities”.
Inspiration can be evoked spontaneously or without intention. This might be because of one’s jolly good nature, a smile from a loved one in a gloomy day. Unintentional words of motivation. Or the transcendent serving, where we get motivated through realisations. Realisations like the existence of new possibilities during self-analysis.
If we take a cue from the aforesaid, one of the key aspects of inspiration remains approach. In which one can strive to transmit, express, or actualise a vision, involving both being inspired by something and acting on that inspiration.
So irrespective of your qualifications, success, failure, or age, you can inspire people around you. For I am sure, if not all, I did inspire a few.
If none, at least I took inspiration from them.
For no matter what may be, we can be the inspiration we want to be.