Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Inspirational Quotes - Who Inspires You

 Inspirational quotes, like noxious weeds are overtaking my Facebook page. I have no idea where they are all coming from – are they self-propagating?  Social media appears to be a fertile ground in which they are sown, grown and spread, then wilt and fade away. Perhaps all my Facebook friends are inspirational quote fanatics and spend their spare time searching and posting a quote of the day , on a daily basis, for everyone else’s benefit. Don’t get me wrong, I am in favour of the effective use of “said quotes” to provide motivation and thoughtful reflection, however, I’m not sure that’s what is happening in reality. I suspect that most people are like me, guilty of forwarding one or two on to friends, but not spending too much time meditating on their applicability to their own life.  Enough apathy. Time to drill down into the nuts and bolts of the motivational quotes phenomenon and then work out how to use them effectively.

Difference Bestrewn An Affirmation and Inspirational Quote


Firstly, is there a difference between an affirmation and inspirational quotes?  Yes there appears to be a subtle difference. This is where Google comes in handy for a bit of internet research.  It wouldn't pass rigorous scientific quality control but good enough for our purposes, I think.  Now there wasn't much to find, but Squidoo  noted the following important difference between the two:

·         Quotations contain the gist of the wisdom of successful people from their real life experience. Therefore we can apply them to our situation with confidence.   Inspirational Quotes are useful when you’re trying to change something in your make-up, such as improving your confidence.  When you find yourself feeling anxious and need to get back on track you recall an inspirational quote like William Ward’s: “Adversity causes some men to break, others to break records”.
·         Affirmations work in a different way.  You use them to remind yourself what you are aiming to achieve before you get yourself into a situation. The most famous affirmation is probably the first recorded one by Emile Coue’s: “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better”.  You can make up your own to apply specifically to your particular situation. I'll talk about this soon in another blog.

Definition of Inspirational

Inspiration is an abstract concept or idea. It has spiritual connotations as well as practical connotations. It is some person, event, or thing that can act like a spring board to the mind, emotions, and or the body to propel us to a higher level of feelings or activity. 

A good example is in the movie “As Good As It Gets"? At one point in the movie Jack Nicholson says to female main character, "You make me want to be a better man." She inspired him - made him want to be the best he could be.
Some other definitions on the Web  include:
§  arousal of the mind to special unusual activity or creativity
§  a product of your creative thinking and work; “he had little respect for the inspirations of other artists”; “after years of work his brainchild was a tangible reality”
§  a sudden intuition as part of solving a problem
§  divine guidance: (theology) a special influence of a divinity on the minds of human beings; “they believe that the books of Scripture were written under divine guidance”
§  arousing to a particular emotion or action
Did you know that one of the top most popular questions among journalists, when interviewing celebrities is “Who or what inspired you?”  When asked this question most people lean towards naming someone famous or their parents.  Society almost pushes us to answer in this way.  We are pressured into naming someone that others can relate to.  Oprah Winfrey, Entrepreneur said she was inspired by her elementary school teacher, while 'Sex and the City' star Sarah Jessica Parker, who is considered as a fashion icon by many people, says her style is often influenced by women she spots on the streets. Andy Warhol, a famous artist,   was inspired by America’s obsession with celebrity and consumption. He is the one who said “In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.”  As social media explodes with quotes from the legendary leader, Nelson Mandela it's perhaps easy to forget there was a time when he was in need of a few words of wisdom himself. He found them in the musings of Shakespeare.  What about you? What or who inspires you? 

 5 Step Formula for  Effective Use

After much “Google research” I have come up with the following formula for using inspirational quotes:
1.      Focus on the aspect of yourself/behaviour you are intending to influence. For example – greater confidence, feeling happier, increased commitment to something.
2.      Search for quotes under those headings and make a list. There are quotes  for: money, success, health, loving relationships, love, self-esteem, self-confidence, smoking, weight loss, self-worth, letting go the past, bereavement and all the other issues that people need help with.
3.      Identify no less than 3  inspirational quotes connected to that specific word that are powerful enough to alter your current thought patterns the instant you scan them. Meditate on them and repeat them, silently or out loud.
4.      When you find yourself going off course recall one of the quotes from your list. Repeat it until you are able to get back on track. Repetition provides reinforcement to the subconscious mind and replaces the negative thinking.
5.       “Words call forth emotions and are universally the means by which we influence. Words can give the greatest happiness or bring utter despair!” Sigmund Freud. So choose your words wisely. The key is to speak and think on those things that you desire for yourself. This takes practice and patience. Positive words lead to positive thinking which leads to positive actions - that is the Law of Attraction in action.