It’s easy to be inspired, in a world filled to the brim with every type of stimulation imaginable, and with it all so immediately accessible. Ancient poetry, soul food, good music, unforgettable passages from the pages of history, photographs that bring emotion to life and speeches that move you to the core.
Inspiration is everywhere. Sometimes, inspiration comes from small things and leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy for an hour or two. Sometimes, it is a long round of lightning bolts, and it stays with you a longer while, like experiencing World Domination Summit (WDS). For awesome photos and more recap, check out Chris Guillebeau’s WDS2012 re-cap.
If your job is to only inspire yourself or others, you have it easy. And it’s not enough.
You can challenge yourself infinitely more, however, by adding one component: Inspiring yourself (and others) so much that you feel compelled to take action.
Because nothing happens until you take action.
This weekend at WDS, inspiration struck me again. It hit me hard. It blew me away. It made me weak in the knees and it made me cry and laugh and dance. Inspiration from speakers that reminded me of my vulnerability and inner power. Inspiration from the generosity of people that were too busy and yet far too helpful. Inspiration from helping hands and smiling hearts.
Inspiration from obvious known facts that were music to my ears: how fortunate we are to live in this time and age, how blessed we are to have the support of such community of like-minded souls, and how powerful we can be if we only decide on our dreams and believe in ourselves.
I couldn’t help but walk on clouds of bliss – albeit with blisters and pain from walking a bit too much! – and I could not help smiling and dreaming and planning and thinking happy thoughts all weekend long.
Inspiration was everywhere. It came in the form of a marching band of senior citizens. It came in the form of hugs from people that I now consider some of my closest friends. It came from delicious healthy food shared with like-minded peeps. It came from forming bonds during breaks and hearing stories that spanned the entire color spectrum.
Oh yes, the stories. Inspiration was at the heart of every story. Stories like overcoming breast cancer and living to play it in a humorous song on the guitar, or building a water charity that helps deliver clean water to the poorest villages of Africa after wasting away the first part of life as a night-club promoter. Stories of waking up to a miserable career after 20 years of service to a company and turning things around because it’s never too late. Stories of starting businesses and making sacrifices and building something that makes a difference in this world.
Stories of not taking no for an answer and not playing by the conventional rules and systems, stories of finding solutions rather than playing a victim all your life.
Stories of believing in the infinite power of your dreams, and the true potential within your reach.
Inspiration is the easy part. You just have to be open to receiving, to hearing stories, to watching and observing and listening, and you will be filled to the brim with inspiration.
What comes after inspiration, now that’s not so easy. That’s the part where things stop looking sexy and shiny and sweet. That’s the day after the conference. That’s the long afternoon when you are home alone staring at your monitor and trying to re-capture the moments.
That’s when you need to put that inspiration into action, the words in your head into writing, and the thoughts and ideas into motion. But how do you do that? How do you exactly go from a state of complete ecstasy to a state of total execution? How do you turn ideas into businesses and dreams into, well, reality?
World Domination Summit gave us glimpses into this one too. They were just more subtle, but if you listened carefully, you would hear them. Here are the 8 best ways that I learned to turn the inspiration into some serious action:
1. You do it with laser-sharp focus.
2. You do it with self-discipline.
3. You do it with organization.
4. You do it with efficiency.
5. You do it with saying no to what doesn’t serve toward your goal.
6. You do it with building a daily habit.
7. You do it with a system that works for you, no matter how weird or bizarre it may seem.
8. You do it with doing, with the unsexy, uncool, and yet totally necessary act of doing.
The work has to come before the prize, and trust me, you wouldn’t want it any other way because nothing, not even the world’s best melted chocolate, tastes sweeter than the kind of success that arrives after the hardest and longest days of your life.
So find your inspiration, soak up in it, take it all in, drink it up, even bathe in it. Then, start doing. Stop thinking. Start acting. Stop wasting your time. Start walking your talk. Stop messing around. Start doing the work. And do not stop until it’s done. Until you are exactly where you dreamt you would be and until you arrive there in precisely the fashion you had envisioned. Until you have something to show for, something that defines you, something you are incredibly proud to present to the world.
Something that can perhaps even inspire someone else to start their journey from dream to reality.
That’s my plan between now and the next World Domination Summit in 12 months. What’s yours?
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