The Intersection of Aspiration and Inspiration

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What inspires you?  What wakes you up in the middle of the night with your mind racing about the day?  Or, what wakes you up energized and with no need to hit snooze on your alarm clock?  Do you know?  Have you ever sat down to think about it?  Or even better, have you ever taken the time to write it down?  I started off with a lot of questions, but they are more of a challenge than mere questions.  I guarantee you that entrepreneurs and highly successful people know what inspires them and have probably written it down.

Next set of questions: To what do you aspire?  Do you want to advance in your career?  Unlock the door to the C-suite?  Or, do you want to be an entrepreneur, and start your own company that allows you to exercise your passions?

I’m stating the obvious when I point out the alignment to aspiration and inspiration is key to your professional success and happiness.  You can aspire to lead the marching band, but if you are not inspired to get up early for practice on a cold morning, you are not likely to be successful. 

We have all been to the intersection of inspiration and aspiration at some point.  I remember aspiring to ride a unicycle to school when I was a young boy. Yes, I was that boy.  I received my much-requested gift on Christmas day and woke up every morning inspired to learn how to ride it.  And I did.  I learned how to ride it and off to school I went.

It was a short-term goal, but I was passionate about it.  Where do your passions lie?  How do you translate that professionally?

Steve Jobs said  he looked at himself in the mirror every morning and asked, “if today were the last day of my life would I want to do what I’m about to do today?”  If the answer became a consistent “No,” then he knew it was time to make a change.

Is it time to make a change for you or just find your passion?

How to turn the questions into actions:

  • Create a personal business plan
  • Define success
  • Work backward on the steps to accomplish the goal (e.g., continued education, volunteer for projects, commit to crushing the small stuff without anyone noticing, or make a job change)
  • Set unrealistic deadlines (Press yourself to make progress).
  • Publish your master plan so that you can refer back to specifics and so that others (close friends/mentors) can hold you to it

The personal business plan walks you through the exercise of establishing your aspirations.  The details within it create the aspiration to achieve it.  After all, if you're not inspired to achieve your plan, you are not likely to achieve it.  Having those two things in place puts you at the intersection of aspiration and inspiration.

We have all met inspired and passionate people.  They are infectious, and things seem to get done when they are in the middle of it.  Go!  Be that inspired and passionate person that changes the world!