I sit down at my desk five or six times a week to write a blog post about whatever I’m thinking about that day. Usually it’s got something to do with something I’ve read or heard that I’m using for inspiration. The reason I write these blog posts isn’t because I know something that you don’t know, or because I think I’ve found the answer to anything. I write just to share my thoughts because I know that writing them down will help me flesh them out for myself. Also I hope something I write will cause you to think about things in a slightly different way and maybe hopefully improve your life in some way.
There are a lot of sources of inspiration. In fact, you can pretty much find inspiration anywhere if you look hard enough. On the shelf in my office, there’s an old Royal manual typewriter. I don’t know how old it is, but it’s the kind that you have to really hit the keys hard to make the little mechanical arm fly up and hit the ribbon and imprint the letter onto the paper. No backspace, kiddies, no auto-correct. At one time that machine would have been considered state of the art. Today it’s a relic that probably belongs in the garbage. It helps me remember that everything I do, everything that’s happening today around the world will one day be outdated and useless. That includes us and our grand ideas.
There are a few blogs I read for inspiration, and I have a shelf full of books that are inspirational and full of self-help advice and strategies. They’re all fantastic. But there’s not one of them that has all the answers that I need.
Self improvement advice is like the perfect pair of pants. There’s a pretty good chance that your perfect pair of pants won’t fit me. And maybe your perfect pants, even in my size wouldn’t fit me right. Maybe the color of your perfect pants doesn’t really fit with my wardrobe. Your pants might have a zipper and mine might need to be button-fly. There are a lot of variables when it comes to pants, so it’s highly unlikely that any two people would have the same perfect pair.
By the same token, finding perfect self-improvement advice really depends on the person. There are thousands, probably millions, of variables to account for in each person’s unique life and nobody is going to be able to connect with everyone. For example, millions of people love the advice of Dr. Phil. I think he’s a windbag. But if he’s able to help inspire a million people to improve their lives then more power to him.
My sources of inspiration change from month to month and from year to year. Right now I’m picking up a lot of great ideas from James Altucher’s blog because despite our wildly different life experiences, he seems to be working toward goals that are very similar to what my goals are at the moment. About 70% of the time his blog posts give me something to think about that I can actually use. I also read the Warrior Mind Coach blog, Unclutterer, Penelope Trunk and listen to podcasts from Zencast and Dave Ramsey.
It’s like a mental soup that I concoct and consume every day. The soup analogy might be kind of gross because I only absorb about 20% of it and spit the other 80% out because it’s of no use to me, but that’s not my point. My point is that my mix of source information will vary wildly from yours because what you need is different from what I need.
I can rave about how well my pants fit and tell you how awesome they are, but they’re still not going to fit you. The things I write about on my blog every day might not appeal to you every day. Maybe you think I’m completely full of crap. That’s perfectly fine because there are a lot of people who I think are full of crap too. Ignore the ones who aren’t giving you any good information and focus on the people, blogs and books that inspire you. And just like buying a new pair of pants, don’t be afraid to look for new sources of inspiration and toss out old ones that no longer inspire you. You’re probably not wearing the same pants you wore 10 years ago.
So the point of this post is that I hope I inspire you once in a while. But I really really hope that you’re constantly looking for new sources of inspiration in your life. And if you find something that inspires you, share it.
I’m always looking for a better pair of pants.
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