Have you ever heard someone say, “…and what he/she said totally changed my life!” I wish I could gather up these life-changing phrases and the context they were spoken in and write a book. I would call it “Quotes that Changed Everything.” I don’t know about you, but I am always looking for inspiration. My daughter said the other day that we should all stop waiting and seeking inspiration to do something and just start doing it. Whoa!! That really inspired me. It’s kind of funny that her saying not to look for inspiration inspired me. Ha!
There were many moments throughout my life when I became moved or inspired by something. So, I thought, why not share some of these stories and ideas since we are heading into the holidays and the end of the year? Let’s call this series “Inspiration.”
But first, why do we need to be inspired? I truly believe, for me, it serves as a powerful force that drives my creativity and motivation, which eventually helps me grow. I guess you can say motivation is essential for my own personal development.
Let’s rewind 20+ years to when my own entrepreneurial journey started. I watched a movie called “About Schmidt.” Have you seen it? It’s about a fictitious character named Warren Schmidt, played by Jack Nicholson. He’s minutes away from retirement from an actuary with a life insurance company, and his life’s work is piled beside him in boxes in his office labeled “Schmidt archives.” He’s staring at the clock waiting for it to hit 5:00 pm so he can officially retire and go home. You can sense that he has been bound by conformity and a lifeless day-to-day routine that brings him no joy or satisfaction. He missed out on forming deep relationships with his family, and his hope of a blissful retirement plan goes awry when his wife of 42 years passes away suddenly. Warning: this is not a hopeful film; it’s heartbreaking and a serious look at a person who can’t escape the fact his life is meaningless. Are you inspired yet? Hahaha!
There are two quotes that hit home for me in this movie that inspired me to make a personal change.
Warren Schmidt: “Relatively soon, I will die. Maybe in 20 years, maybe tomorrow, it doesn’t matter. Once I am dead and everyone who knew me dies too, it will be as though I never existed. What difference has my life made to anyone? None that I can think of. None at all.”
Warren Schmidt: “I know we’re all pretty small in the big scheme of things, and I suppose the most you can hope for is to make some kind of difference, but what kind of difference have I made? What in the world is better because of me?”
In some way, I identified with Warren Schmidt at that time. And these quotes forced me to look at my future differently. I wanted something more. I want my life to matter, and I want to make a difference in someone because I existed.
I know these inspirational quotes alone are not always enough…for me, it needed to be coupled with action and perseverance. But it definitely helped me to take the next steps toward my growth. I think taking consistent steps toward the inspired vision can gradually reshape the direction of one’s life. Additionally, the journey of change may involve challenges and setbacks, but the inspiration that initiated the process can serve as a source of resilience and motivation to stay the course.
So, to all those dreamers out there, what’s your dream? What motivates you? What inspires you? How will you get there? Let’s journey together and share our stories along the way.