On Inspiration

Who inspires you?

If you’d asked me this when I was a teenager I’d have said nobody I knew. I couldn’t name a single role model that I looked up to. The closest I got was the envy I had for my older sister, who was beautiful and popular.  By the important metrics of the age, popularity, beauty and academic achievement, my friends were all very smart. I was in a nerd group and other than competing for who will top the class in each assessment, there was not much else to show.

My friends outside of school in the music groups I was in were very exciting to hang around with at the youth club in town, but the reality was that they were all stoners. No inspiration there.

I grew up in a lower socio-economic part of the suburbs and knew that there was more to life than this.

In the absence of inspiration I learned something important that I have carried with me through my life. That is, that if you want to do anything you do not need anyone’s permission but your own.

Over time I have done massive pivots in my life to follow a road that I had no idea even existed because my world was so small. As time went on I learned the value of finding inspirational people and keeping them close. I remember being stuck in my career at the start of this era in my life and it dawning on me that I needed a mentor. I worked in an industry that had few peers, with no direct manager due to a hole in a restructure. In this gap was the first time I recognised that I needed inspiration.

It ended up taking me two years to find a mentor. The concept was very new to me and I did not have a model by which to find it. This was compounded by my eventual realisation that the government department I was in did not proffer one.

I changed careers.

Since doing that, inspiration has been raining on my life. It was the best decision I ever made. I had absolutely no idea what was going to happen, and to be honest, I didn’t actually know what I was going to do either. I knew no one in the industry that I went into.

The closest I came was a former work colleague that I bumped into who was visiting the campus I worked in and we talked for less than five minutes.

I was inspired.

I decided that this was what I was going to do next. She gave me her card and put me in touch with her hiring manager.

What happened next is a much longer story for another day.

When have you been inspired to make a big change in your life? When have you needed inspiration but didn’t have it, what did you do to find a way out? Share with me in the comments.

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