A long while back, I was reading a book about happiness. I recall that the author, a German doctor, finishing the last chapter with the penguin story. It goes somewhat like this: “They laughed at the Penguin and felt sorry for it because it couldn’t walk very fast, it had those tiny arms and legs…. soon they realized that the penguin had a much greater strength than walking… They watched the Penguin swim away as fast as no other animal was able to swim… ”
To me that story has always been very inspiring. Often times we get frustrated over our weaknesses and forget our strengths.
I had the same sort of feeling in the past year, living in Canada. I’ve always been good in learning languages. It has been my passion since I was very young. I recall being 14 and translating English songs into German – Google didn’t exist at that point, in fact I didn’t even own a computer; I was fluent in English by the time I was 16. For years it was always a benefit and always a strength…Moving to another country, my biggest strength suddenly turned into a weakness. I felt like the penguin on land. Suddenly everyone around me was better in “my strength”. I criticized myself, pushing myself towards improving in something that I’m already exceptionally good at….
Thankfully, I’ve had many supportive people along the way, encouraging me to believe in myself and giving me time to improve myself. Soon I realized, I will always be the penguin in the water – Languages will always be my strengths.
One thing I’ve learned throughout the year is that we all have strengths and weaknesses. In order to improve ourselves, we need to understand and embrace both.
I’ve always been someone who needed inspiration. Whether I needed a new idea for school, work, or my outfits. Inspiration seems to be the driving power that motivates me to be better. So lately, I’ve been asking myself. What inspires me? How do I find inspiration?
Every culture, even every city seems to have a different way of acting, thinking and describing things. So inspiring!
Experiencing Something New
Often times when I need to be creative, I try to experience something new. This means really anything from going into a store in my lunch break to see some decoration, trying new food, or driving a different way to work.
One of my favourite things about being in a new city is always to walk around without a map. I can’t even describe you how many times I got lost, but I always ended up finding something amazing. You don’t need to move or travel. Oftentimes, there are hidden gems right in our neighbourhood. A beautiful house, that we’ve never seen before, a street with beautiful trees or maybe just a new coffeehouse. Look around you and you’ll find your own hidden gems.
Pinterest & Instagram
Pinterest and Instagram are both great tools to exchange pictures. The simplicity of photos allows you to find inspiration in any category within seconds. Great!
Some of my greatest memories are somewhere inside me, so when I look back at old pictures or read my diaries from a few years back, I get inspired.
Photography changes my view on the world. Some of the best pictures were taken in the greyest days or in the ugliest sidewalks. When you take pictures, your imagination starts growing, you begin to see potential in the most unexpected situations. It always inspires me.
Just recently I was on a hike. Often times I seem to be in a rut, zoning out the beauty of the city I live in. Going out and experiencing the beauty of nature around us, inhaling the smell of the trees, capturing the colors of the season… It’s simply beautiful!
One of my greatest sources of motivation and inspiration are quotes. Reading powerful words gives me the last push that I sometimes need to continue to move on and embrace change.
Some of our friends and acquaintances out there have a great story to tell. We just have to listen. Other people’s lives can be a great source of inspiration, learning how they face challenges or motivate themselves.
There are two online sites, that I like to visit when I look for inspiring stories. One of them is always TED talks and the other one Bloomberg TV’s Game Changer episodes.
Recently, I’ve purchased Melody Beattie’s book “Journey to the Heart”. If you are looking for a book that gives you wise and motivational thoughts 365 days a year, this is it. I instantly feel positive and inspired by her words.
Another great book that I found quiet inspiring is Paolo Coelho’s “The Alchemist”
I like to say that other blogs have always been a great inspiration for my daily life (clothing, make-up, hair, home decoration), but also for work-related topics like marketing and design.
Whenever I feel that my life is a little “off”, I practice yoga. It helps me to find a balance in life and to make me focus on myself. Each time I leave the room, I feel inspired and usually these days turn out to be much more creative and “alive”.
How do you find inspiration? How do you motivate yourself? Feel free to share your thoughts down at the comments!
Have a great Monday night!