The Search for Inspiration
Ever searched the web for motivational or inspirational pages for women? There are thousands of them. Pages motivate and inspire using fashion, art, fitness, books, movies, trips, seminars, and so many more. What I discovered in writing this article is that while there is an overwhelming choice of how to get inspired, it is difficult to find websites or information on what inspires women.
Personally, I have read so many how-to books, books on finding one’s self, inner peace, etc., but none of those really inspired energy within me to do something. Sure, I was more knowledgeable on the subjects but not inspired. I didn’t end each of those with a feeling of something better, greater or a need to do something. Instead, I was motivated to seek a different part of me, but not inspired.
Motivation and Inspiration
Is there a difference between motivating someone and inspiring someone? On the surface, many may think they are the same, but in fact, they are not. According to an article written for keydifferences.com, ”motivation refers to a process of stimulating someone to act in a definite way to achieve a goal. Inspiration is defined as an act of influencing people mentally and emotionally to do something creative.” Dan Nielson writes in his book on leadership, Be An Inspirational Leader: Engage, Inspire, Empower, that a truly effective inspiration is one that changes lives and installs a desire to do something. Let’s look at the differences:
Stimulate to Act/
Influence to Act
What Inspires Women Over 50?
Again, almost everything I found online was ways used to inspire women but not exactly what it is that women find inspirational. With this in mind, I decided to go straight to the source (friends and acquaintances) and asked what inspires them and why. When I received the responses, I found a recurring theme that ran through most. I found that for the majority, some of the same things inspire us. Here is the list of things that inspire my friends and me:
- Simple things: Such as a child laughing, an older couple holding hands, being on the lake, bees flying flower to flower.
- Kindness: Seeing people do things for others inspires to do the same. It reminds us to pay attention to other people and not just focus on ourselves.
- Nature: The beauty of sunsets or sunrises, flowers, the ocean, snow falling.
- Traveling: Experiencing new sights and new cultures inspires to realize something bigger is out there and we a part of it. How or what can we do to make it better?
- Children and/or grandchildren: They inspire by their own unique perspective on things. Their own adventures inspire to try new things and their energy inspires to stay healthy.
- Other women: Their strength, courage and ability to handle things.
- Showing respect: Treating others with respect and dignity inspires to remember we are all human with emotions, feelings and issues.
- Haircuts: Yes, a haircut! So many of us said that getting a haircut makes us feel more human or gives us a new energy to go and tackle the world!
- Friendships or Relationships that are long term: Knowing there are couples and friends who have been in relationships for 20, 30, 50 years inspires us to remember that some things are enduring and an important part of who we are.
Inspiring After 50
I recently read a comment someone wrote which literally said that a woman’s life after 50 is dull and not exciting. Of course, this was written by someone who has yet to turn 50 so I guess they might feel that way. If I am honest, when I was in my twenties I probably had the same idea. However, in turning 50 this year, I can attest that our lives are not dull and lacking excitement. Thinking about this, I decided to do a search to see what I would find on the topic of inspiring women over 50 or women who are inspirational. Guess what? Again, just like the topic of motivation and inspiration, there are so many. There are blogs, articles, conferences, magazines, podcasts all dedicated to women who are leading lives that are exciting and inspiring. Here are just a few links if you are interested:
- Aging Gracefully for Women Over 50
- 20 Inspirational Women that Every Woman Over 60 Should Know About
- 31 Most Inspiring Women Who Changed the World:
- 50 Inspiring Women Over 50:
- And of course, lots of articles on Prime Women!!!!
Be Inspired; Go Out and Inspire
As you can see, women hold a very special ability to instill inspiration in others. However, we must first be inspired ourselves. If you don’t already know what inspires you, I encourage you to truly take some time and find out. Life is busy and hard at times. Responsibilities weigh us down and often overshadow happiness and joy.
If we do not find inspiration, we will burn out. We will begin to feel depressed, undervalued and possibly even invisible in this big, busy world. Writing this article reminded me that there is more to me than the duties of a mother, wife, professor, daughter, and friend. I have a wonderful life. I am blessed with a great husband, son and family. My career is one I worked so hard for. I am blessed with the best friends anyone could ask for. I really do not have anything to complain about. However, I owe it to myself to be inspired and not get caught in the routine of life. Inspired people are happy people. They are people who love others and want to be a positive force in the world. Inspired women are powerful women!! So I hope you find your inspiration and then go and live that amazing life you deserve!