What is your source of inspiration?
During my IIM interviews and even growing up as a child, I have been asked this question by a lot of people – Who is your idol? Of course during my interviews and at multiple other occasions, I took names of various big renowned people like Sheryl Sandberg, Bill Gates, APJ Abdul Kalam, Elon Musk etc etc… depending on what I was reading and what came across in my feed. Somehow, I was able to weave the story of why I think they are my idol, but I was never satisfied fully by the answer because in true sense I never considered them as my idol. I used to wonder that there are so many great personalities out there in the world with so much of struggle and successful stories, so why couldn’t I pick one idol. I then turned to my family members like my elder sister to look for idolism since I respect and admire her for all that she has gone through in her life. But I wasn’t satisfied with that. Then I thought maybe their journey is not the same as mine and that’s the reason I don’t feel inspired from their story. But I wasn’t satisfied with that theory either.
Then I put that thought to rest for quite a few years. But over this period, I have become interested in psychology and human behavior. I listen to a lot of podcasts and read blogs of varied topics. And that had helped me develop a multitude thinking and ultimately crack this mystery.
Cut to today, this thought randomly came in my mind again – Who do I Idolize? Fortunately, I was able to answer myself. No, I didn’t have a name in my head but now I have understood why I was never able to idolize anyone in my life no matter how successful or filled with struggles their lives have been.
Its because there are two types of people when it comes to drawing inspiration – Outward and Inward.
As the name suggests, outward people draw inspiration from outside. They look at other people’s lives, listen to music, stories or watch a motivational video or a movie and they truly get inspired. While on the other side of the spectrum there are inward people – who gain inspiration internally. They do self-talk; they spend alone time thinking and introspecting about their lives. And I have realized that in that spectrum, I fall somewhere towards the inward scale. Yes, I do a lot of introspection and self-talk that helps me get inspiration from within.
I will try to clarify this a little bit more. When I am doing self-talk, I don’t compare myself to anyone to motivate myself and say hey you have to be that much successful or reach there or earn that much. No. I look at my past journey and realize how far I have come now. I take pride in my achievements however big or small and appreciate myself for all my struggles. I reiterate those small small incidents where I was so proud of what I did. And yes, I do acknowledge my mistakes and learn from them. I tell myself to not repeat them. I try to find scope of improvements from all of my failure stories. This builds my confidence. And that’s how I fill myself with inspiration to achieve what I have planned next in my life.
To all my readers, I hope after reading this, you will have a close look at your own personality and will reach to the right source of inspiration for your goals. Happy reading!