Monday, July 29, 2013

What Inspires You? Part One.

Inspiring a Shared Vision is key practice of exemplary leadership from Kouzes and Posner's, The Leadership Challenge. Good leaders recognize the importance of inspiration. They nurture inspiration. They tune into inspiration.

 LinkedIn has a channel entitled, What Inspires Me. Many different people have shared. See

It got me to noodle. I discovered two categories for my inspiration. Here is part one of What Inspires You?

Five things...

TED Talks. Here is where I find the law of abundance! Magnificent wisdom, incredible creativity, and expansive thought that opens my mind and heart to possibilities. The diversity of presenters is amazing. The diversity of topics is astounding! Presentations are short and to the point. It's a great place to get ideas for books to read. Best of all, is only a couple of clicks away on the Internet and it's free. If you are not familiar with TED, begin with  Side note: TED is a great place to learn how to use PowerPoint correctly!

Haywood St. Church, Asheville, NC. A true community that accepts people just as they are. Judgement is left at the door. I get goosebumps when I attend. My gratitude jumps. I get renewed hope that it's possible for people of all walks of life to come together. Jesus Christ, Muhammad, Buddha, Rush Limbaugh and Jodie Foster would be welcomed!

White space. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in the late 1700s wrote “The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between.” One hundred years later, Claude Debussy said it in a slightly different way, "Music is the space between the notes."  In the age of big data and big distraction, I find inspiration in the white space. When I still the "chattering monkey" in my mind, I find inspiration in the calm. This becomes the "thin place" where sacred intersects with the conscious. To have the body, mind and heart align is to be in a pinnacle experience, perhaps beyond Maslow's self-actualization, maybe nirvana and definitely heaven on earth. White space becomes sacred space.

Commonplace Book. This is a moleskin in which I write down verses, proverbs, quotes, stories, poems, summaries from inspiring books, wit and humor and what to do upon my passing from this earth. This book reminds me of what is important, lessons to-be relearned, studied, marinated and digested. It is a source to go when I'm crawling through the dry-desert-of-bones. It is the one book I'd make sure to grab if our house was on fire.

Our home. It never fails. Whenever my wife or I come home from being away, Jackson, our dog, greets us with exuberance! I can have a lousy day, and Jackson is there to remind me life is good! Welcome home! Jackson is unconditional in his love. He reminds me of the  bumper sticker, "Lord, help me to be the person my dog thinks I am!" Perhaps his gratitude comes from being rescued. 

After I get inside, I enter a sanctuary. My wife, Terri, is the creative source of making our house a home. It is a place of nurture, healing, recharging and inspiration. Some homes are furnished, others are decorated. Our home is a source of living into being.

It's your turn. What inspires you?


Kaaren said...

Well, THIS is certainly an inspiration. Thank you!

Kaaren McNulty

David Ehlert said...

My office. A small sign on the door says: "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground." [Exodus 3:5] Not sacred space, but very special, very quiet---the birthplace of some of my most inspired thoughts. The few who've ever been allowed to enter may be counted on one hand.

Dave Ehlert

Steve McCullough said...

As is usual, Dave inspires me to be better and greater. I used to always say that when I grew up, I wanted to be Dave. But, I'm more and more comfortable with me. Two things. My morning runs inspire me. I listen to praise music, I listen to God, I talk to Him, I laugh, I cry, I shout, yeah, I am thankful it's still dark out when I run. The other is teaching. It reminds me of golf. I was an awful golfer, but I'd always remember that one or two shots I hit during a round, and that would bring me back. If I could just hit more shots like that. That's the way with teaching. Each class, you have one, two or a few students that just inspire you, make you love teaching, make you want to come back each term. Those few make it all worthwhile.

Amy Thompson said...

Great blog Dave. Inspiration is something that comes and goes for me. When I need to be re-energized or think differently, I make my way to the woods. Nature helps me see beyond the moment and think in broad terms.

I am also inspired by great conversations with great people that want to make the world a better place. I recently had one of these with a class mate Jeff Walton from the zoo. We both went through leadership challenge together.

Very timely blog Dave- thank you!!!

Carrpe Diem! said...

From Rick Bloomingdale...