Sunday, January 20, 2013

My Qualm with Other Inspirational Resources

Small sort of analysis to make it clearer as to exactly what influences my writing process. Truth be told -- unless it's already obvious -- whenever I come up with stuff on self-improvement or inspiration it's mostly of my own concoction -- that is, until you guys contribute -- and I have my peeve about other inspirational websites and resources.

In short, I think most are darned ineffective since they don't lay bridges between the ideals they're trying to inspire you with and the concrete way of getting there. More often than not I find it's all lofty words that don't really move anyone, even though they're intended to move and you want them to move you, but they don't.

To use a real-world example, at a job I had at a hotel they had various posters on the walls, and I recall several of them spoke about the "human truths," which was meant to tell of what people yearn for par human nature and how we, as hotel staff, should be encouraged to reach our best. I write that vaguely since the posters themselves were utterly vague too. One poster spoke of the human truth of "I want to reach my full potential," with a guy lighting a rocket tied to his back, and some text to accompany it. The accompanying text did not do much to clarify what reaching one's "full potential" means.

And that's what bothers me about the way most inspirational resources, especially on the internet, conduct themselves: Useless vagueness! What does reaching one's "full potential" mean, from this poster? How does one go about it? What specific images could one summon to move forward? The poster is so vague it's no help for a person wanting to reach his full potential. He doesn't know what actions to set, what specific ideals he's after, or what. Granted, a poster wouldn't be able to give THAT much detail, but it should help get a leg-up better than that!

In order for inspiration to be useful to a person's life it should at least give some strong hints as to how a person can channel that inspiration into some meaningful actions towards embodying an ideal. Without it, inspiration becomes nothing but a momentary feel-good emotion that goes nowhere but away.

How would I improve that poster? Well, since it was located near the kitchen I'd put several examples of actions that entail a person actually striving to reach his full potential in the dining room and kitchen. Tasting with full attention to develop a palate. Perpetually putting 100% effort into speed for inch by inch improvements. Exercising the gold and platinum rule for costumer service, and continuous learning from mistakes and refining of methods. Just some kind of examples to give hints so that people can actually set goals around them. At their present state, work posters like these are just read out of curiosity and dismissed.

Identifying my qualm in this way plays a partial role in influencing my writing, as I try to structure it in a way that makes a person want to DO something about it. I post very concrete examples of dedication to show what it means to be dedicated, and hope someone will learn to concretely model himself accordingly. I post very detailed analysises of techniques that have worked to improve my life, with very perceivable or measurable results, and hope that should boost someone out of their seat. I don't just cite fancy ideals: I try to frame them in what concretely *embodies* those ideals, making their inspiring elements longer lasting and actually useful to model behavior after.

Inspiration is a useful tool for anyone striving to be his best. Learn how to use it effectively, not just for others but primarily yourself. A full spiritual tank takes you miles.

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