A Five-Day Spiritual Workout: Day 1
Finding inspiration in others
BY: Dr. Bernie S. Siegel
Inspiration is the greatest gift because it opens your life to many new possibilities. Each day becomes more meaningful and your life is enhanced when your actions are guided by what inspires you. The following exercises will help you discover what generates enthusiasm in your life. I encourage you to undertake both the possible and the impossible. True inspiration overrides all fears. When you are inspired, you enter a trance state and can accomplish things that you may never have felt capable of doing.
Where do you find this type of inspiration? Look deep into your soul and ask yourself: "What is the purpose of being alive and living on this planet?" Your soul's response will tell you. You can also look for inspiration in various myths and parables, but it is most often found when you share your unique loving acts with others.
When your heart speaks to you about what you need to do to sustain life on this planet, listen to it, make a difference, and be an inspiration for generations to come. Be inspired by people like Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Christopher Reeve, Albert Schweitzer, Helen Keller, and many others. Now go and add your name to the list and make me proud of you. Bring your enthusiasm for life with you everywhere you go, and it will be contagious.
Day 1: Who Inspires You?
Our culture tends to idolize people based upon superficial qualities such as physical beauty and material possessions. But are these people whose example would help us live our lives in a fulfilling way? I know from my experience how unhappy people can be when surrounded only by material goods. Even when others see them as attractive, they only see their own faults and what is lacking in their life.
The people who truly inspire us have an inner beauty. They have overcome major obstacles in their own lives and learned how to accomplish meaningful change. For this exercise, think of the people who inspire and motivate you. Whose motto can you live by? These could be famous people, family members, or others. It would be someone who, if he or she won the lottery, would ask, "Why me?" and would use the money to better the world rather than seek personal success. It would be someone who, if he or she developed a life-threatening illness, would ask, "What can I do with this?" They are people who see more than their personal circumstances.
List the qualities these people have that you would like to emulate, then hang a photo of or a symbol representing each person in a conspicuous place, so that every time you walk past, you will be reminded of what you admire about them. Strive to live your own life in a way that validates their message and makes it your own.