Inspiration

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We are always pushing, always hoping to create something that’s better than what was there before we focused on it, committed to it.

August 01, 2002

 

Dean Horowitz, Publisher

We are always pushing, always hoping to create something that’s better than what was there before we focused on it, committed to it. Wanting to achieve something greater than ourselves is fueled by something so intangible.

As parents we believe our children are the chance for a better world than the one we experience. At the same time, we feel the obligation to build that better world that was set by our parents’ dream for us. Most of us feel this in what we do and how we live. To some, these words are empty, meaningless, while others see them only as a requirement for more work, more commitment, more time away from family.

While driving to work this morning I realized what pushes me to want to do better. It is the pulsing, overwhelming feeling, the adrenaline-filled tongue that comes with inspiration. Inspiration, once it has visited, is craved again and again.

So many people wait for inspiration. Like when a paper was due for a college course and there was a belief that inspiration would arrive around 1 in the morning and enable you to hand in a great work by the 8 a.m. deadline.

When inspiration isn’t around, you feel empty. You only do tasks. You wait for the clock to take you through the milestones of the day. The day is about completing the basic requirements of your job, maybe a joke in the hallway and then what the evening or weekend will bring.

It took me awhile to understand that a boss isn’t obligated to inspire. A work environment can deplete or enrich the soil that nurtures inspiration, but those who crave inspiration will somehow be inspired to overcome the barriers, a bad boss, a suffocating work environment, etc., and focus on completing great work. A customer, your ultimate boss, can knock you down when you propose the exciting new idea, but you still believe that the idea has power and value. Perhaps the next customer will understand it; after all, you never intended to build a house for everyone.

The search for inspiration often leads us into activities that we believe will deliver it. I have ridden motorcycles since I was a kid. Riding always has brought me to a place where nothing else could bring me. It requires total awareness, being in the moment, leaving the personality/ego-driven part of myself for the time of the ride and replacing it with a commitment to the second. A bad second could mean an accident.

For our 10th anniversary, my wife reluctantly but lovingly gave me the gift of an OK to buy my dream racing bike, a Ducati (I love Harleys, too — no need to write me on this one). I was reluctant to buy something I had wanted for so long and needed her permission to purchase something that is outside the family’s basic needs and totally selfish.

While I craved the dream, I was concerned that obtaining it would take something away, but when I got the bike it was even better than the dream. It delivers the engine sound, the beauty of great design, the ride that is unique and personal.

But the bike doesn’t deliver inspiration. The bike is capable only of delivering one to a state of mind and sometimes a new attitude.

Inspiration comes only out of ourselves as a response to events and experiences. It is in the music we hear, the courageous actions of others, the desire to answer our internal call for creating something of meaning, for offering something to the world that made our time here valuable.

This issue ofProfessional Builder is filled with ideas and achievements that are here not only to assist you in your business’ success but also to provide inspiration. Everyone involved felt that commitment in its creation.

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