Saturday, June 4, 2011

Passion and Inspiration

Inspiration and the Art of Nonconformity

Photography by Jean Michel Labat

The vast majority of people are not particularly inspired and their lives are anything but inspirational. That’s a trap that you and I would prefer to avoid, right? So, the question is: How do we become part of the inspired minority who live lives of passion and enthusiasm?
Obviously, there must be some point of divergence that will lead us away from the pack. Where exactly can we find the turnoff that will get us moving away from an ordinary life and toward an extraordinary one?
Stop following the masses
It makes sense, doesn’t it? If the majority of people are not living the kind of life you want to live, why would you want to follow their advice or their example? After all, you wouldn’t take marriage advice from someone who has been divorced multiple times or hire a financial adviser who can’t even pay his own bills.
And yet, there is no shortage of advice from unhappy industry leaders, narrow minded educators, or self serving specialists. Before you listen to anybody about anything, take a moment to figure out who they are and who stands to gain from their advice. Just because someone lives in a bigger house than you do or makes more money than you do, that doesn’t mean that you should listen to them.
But what if they are a person of integrity and their advice is sound? What if they are living exactly the kind of life you want to live? Does that mean that you should listen to them? Yes, you can probably learn a lot from them, but there is still one very important consideration.
They are not you!
What does that mean? It means that you need to take everything you learn and customize it according to your own unique case. They probably got where they are because they were inspired to pursue their unique course and they succeeded. And this touches on the main point of this whole article.
The most powerful inspiration comes from pursuing an unconventional path. That is the only way to truly break away from the pack. You need to work at being you, not some duplicate of someone else. The more you identify with your true self, the more inspired you will become. Sure, we want to learn from others, but we want to filter what we learn so that it becomes a reflection of who we really are.
Awaken your unconventional side
One of the biggest challenges in life can be trying to figure out who we really are. There are so many powerful influencers, making so much noise and exerting so much pressure, that we can easily lose touch with our own unique identity. This pressure to conform to the will and wishes of others starts when we are very young and follows us throughout our lives.
That’s why the turnoff that will get us moving away from an ordinary life and toward an extraordinary one starts with unconventional thinking. Sorting through the static to discover your true self requires that you master the art of nonconformity. If you conform to the pressure to be just like everyone else, or anyone else for that matter, how can you expect to live an inspired life? To live a life of passion you must awaken your unconventional side.
Get inspired on the path of nonconformity
I have lived my whole life in the pursuit of my dreams, not someone else’s. Even so, there have been times when I was tackling some new challenge that I caught myself starting to follow some influential mentor a little too closely. It is an easy habit to slip into. Sometimes, it may even be necessary for a short time to learn a new skill. That’s called modeling and it is a powerful learning tool, but only for the short term.
In a recent article called What is the Ultimate Source of Personal Power? I talked about the physical, emotional, and motivational benefits of being truly inspired. To avail yourself of that personal power source you need to train yourself to think independently of masses. You need to get to know your true self and you need to follow you own unique path to success. This is where you will find the kind of inspiration that fuels a truly remarkable and passionate life.
This article is the 2nd in a new series about the power of inspiration called 
Inspiration – the Power to Move Life’s Mountains
. Articles include:
What is the Ultimate State of Personal Power?
2. Inspiration and the Art of Nonconformity
What is it that gets you really inspired?
When was the last time you felt that way?
Do you think inspiration and nonconformity are connected?

Second of two articles written by Jonathan Wells
Author of "True Self"

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