“I want to be your ftrspiration.”
Why is it that the newest and greatest thing one can aspire to be, the spiritual calling of the gods in 2015, has nothing to do with dressing the wounds of others, nor donating to starving Africans, nor even building bungalows in third world countries—but being inspiring?
“I just hope to be able to inspire a few other people with my own journey and story”. Heard daily now on the various social media platforms. Becoming an “inspiration” is now a goal in itself.
It used to be the case that “inspiring people” was a happy side effect. Of what, you ask? Of being an amazing person—doing something awesome, accomplishing some larger-than-life task, pushing to a new level, inventing something great, beating the odds, outworking the competition, succeeding in the face of adversity. You know, inspiring things.
Yes, these are the people who used to “inspire”. Inspiration was an accidental byproduct—an awesome byproduct, but a byproduct nonetheless—of just living a kick-ass life, the type of life that others would want to live, would be proud to live, and were probably too scared to live.
“Inspiring others” came at the end of a long chain of accomplishments. But not anymore. Now, it is the starting point, the end goal, divorced from any explanation of what it means to “inspire” in the first place.
Separating cause and effect has long been the calling card of those doomed to fail—not being clear on the fact that the end determines the means, but the means also define the type of end one will achieve. You cannot separate ends and means, or effect and cause. They are intrinsically linked together in the fabric of this universe, physically, psychologically, and spiritually.
“Money won’t buy you happiness”. Said the man who sold his happiness for the sake of money, by doing that which he did not believe was truly worth his time. But, earn that money by pursuing your passions, by being true to yourself, by retaining your integrity and taking the longer road when necessary—avoid playing the “selling your soul” card—and one tends to view their wealth in a much kinder light, as the reward of the fruits of their labor invested. Cause and effect, effort and reward—bust your ass the right away, appreciate the spoils of war.
“He was just into me for my body”. Sex—the effect—divorced from the cause—emotion and bonding with the values of another person. It can provide a lot of fun for a stretch, much like money stumbled upon that was earned without having to work hard. BUT, similarly, it ends up leaving an empty void, a hole of emotional dissatisfaction that comes from chasing the effect without the concomitant cause.
And so now with “inspiration”. The current generation of future leaders wants to “inspire” us, without having put in the work to be inspirational in any sense. Why? Because being “inspiring” is awesome, presumably. Much like being wealthy, or banging hotties.
Those independent of mind and spirit—those who tread their own path, define their own values and pursue their own goals—those are the ones who inspire. Not the people who seek consensus and define their goals by reference to what others consider impressive.
The yearning to “be inspiring” might well be the shallowest pursuit of crap I’ve seen yet to date. “Thank god the world is filled with lazy slobs who aren’t naturally driven; it gives me purpose—I now get to inspire!”
You’re a superstar, baby. Super-duper.
How much more awesome would it be if the world was simply filled with inspiring people, those who aggressively identified their own legitimate values—not from marketing, not from pandering social media trends, not by keeping up with the Jones’s—and knocked their goals out of the goddamned park, daily, hourly, with every breath of their being? How much greater would your heart swell up, to be surrounded by heroes, champions, those who succeed continually and perpetually at everything they set their minds to?