Volume 4 of 5 in the “Change” Series
So, if INFLUENCE is a broad stroke to effect a great many people; and IMPACT is the more direct touch which reaches someone on an intimate and personal level; then what is the “goal” of these two concepts in relation to change? You may have guessed it already. The goal is to create INSPIRATION.
The following definition would be appropriate for our discussion on this topic:
“-the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.”
For a visual picture, imagine INFLUENCE and IMPACT are a brad and a fine paint brush. INSPIRATION is the paint. INSPIRATION is the “fuel” inside which convinces and drives us to change. Real change simply does not happen on its own. Change only occurs when someone makes the conscious choice to initiate an action. Why would anyone wish to create change? Simple, they are inspired by what the change will bring!
Our past has already molded us into who we are today. The events of our life were able to reach us because we were in their “Sphere of INFLUENCE.” These events had an IMPACT on our choices, and taught us to be the way we are now. The key difference as we explore change in this series is those were “reactionary” responses. As we begin to take the reigns of our decision making process the ability to initiate changes around us become much more apparent. Regardless of what the change is, you can be certain that through either INFLUENCE, IMPACT, or more likely both, INSPIRATION is what finally caused the change within us.
INSPIRATION might be the simplest concept of the “Three “I’s” of Change,” but without it, absolutely nothing happens. Inspiration is what incites action.
There are many motivating factors which create inspiration. Most people in the world of Marketing are very well educated on this topic, because their goal is to inspire you to buy a product. However, it is far better utilized to create change in your world.
One of the methods used to spark inspiration is “desire.” If you can create a desire within someone, then you can begin to help them make choices geared towards getting whatever fuels that desire. For example, if you can put an attractive woman on the hood of a car, you can use a man’s wish to be desirable in the eyes of attractive women by suggesting the car will assist that desire. The man may not have wanted the car at first, but if it helps him to feel more attractive to women like the model in the picture, then he may just buy it.
Desire can also be used to produce positive change. For example, say I make every effort to be a trustworthy friend and a loving husband and father. This will help inspire other men who desire those attributes to make the proper choices which create positive change towards those goals in their life. The catch here is if I have not accomplished the goal on my own first, then how can I expect to inspire others to do the same?
Desire is a very effective and powerful method when delivered through “IMPACT.” Desire creates an inspiration for someone to make the change needed for a life they see lived out by another, but have not accomplished themselves.
Another method used to spark inspiration is “motivation.” A good friend of mine loves to use this phrase.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can start a revolution!”
How true it is. Motivation comes from many sources, and it can spark a fire in someone (or INSPIRE them) to take action for change.
Motivation may be the most subtle of triggers for inspiration, but it is easily the most utilized. We can draw inspiration from the conversations we have, things we read, music we listen to, or the shows and movies we watch. Motivation is so widespread today it can often seem uncontrollable. While you may not have control over the creation of such materials, you do have the final say in what you expose yourself to; you chose whether or not to listen or watch.
The scariest thing about motivation is we are usually ignorant to their origins. We often do not know the source of these messages, yet somehow they have gained an unhealthy level of trust. Even when we do know their source, how often do we stop to ask about the author’s motivation and agenda? Should you trust it, and allow it to be something which inspires you, or should you ignore it?
INSPIRATION is the fuel of change, but like most fuels, it can run out. If you are truly going to create change in your life, you’ll need to decide what inspires you to keep moving towards your goals. Then you should maximize your exposure to those messages. Constant positive reinforcement will help keep your inspirational “tank” from running out.
Another method which sparks inspiration is “fear.” Every Man, Woman, and Child alive today understands the concept of how fear can affect our decisions. Fear is so effective because even when we are completely aware it is in use, we may not be able to stop it from directing our decisions. If you are an insurance sales representative, you are an expert at using fear to inspire people to make a change.
Sales Rep- “Has a flood ever happened in your home?”
Sales Rep- “But, what if it does, how much would it cost, did you know (insert statistic here) homes in your area flooded in the last five years alone? With an average repair cost of (insert scary dollar amount here).
Your Thoughts- “Great, now I am scared of a flood. So do I find more money in my budget to prepare for such a disaster; or risk the consequences it would bring if it happens and I did not prepare?”
Sales Rep- (Big Smile, and bats their eyes.)
(No, I am not telling you to buy flood insurance; nor am I saying not to. I am merely showing an example of how fear can be used to start swaying your decisions.)
The modern news media seems to utilize fear as its “go-to” default method for trying to convince people to make one decision or another. However, fear can still be useful and can help create positive change as well.
For example, if someone is struggling to find work, but seems to be on the verge of giving up the hunt for a job, you might simply use some truth (mixed with a little fear) to inspire them to keep looking. Remind them of the life they face if they fail to find employment. You may point out how many other people it will effect in their life. All too often people forget that many of our choices create circumstances which reach far beyond ourselves. Many other people in our life feel the ramifications of our decisions directly.
Motivation and Fear are tools which work well when used by someone who has created INFLUENCE. However, if you are a person of influence and are trying to fight against the effect of “fear” you may find using a little “desire” can help shake people from their apathy towards your message.
(To further understand my use of the word “desire” I highly recommend you review the NAKED SUCCESS workbook.)
I want to list one final element which can be used to stir INSPIRATION, and that is “Faith!” It amazes me still, how little faith seems to be at work in this world. Many people seem to think having faith in something means you are refusing to listen to reason in other areas. This is simply not true because real faith encourages questions and drives us to find answers.
Faith instead is a shield or an alarm system. With faith, specifically faith grounded in healthy values and truth, you will spot unhealthy circumstances easier. Armed with faith you are instantly “inspired” to combat against them. With a firm foundation set by faith, you become easily “inspired” to change the things in your life which are harmful to you and others.
Faith may very well be the single best method to prevent unhealthy elements entering into your life; the drive and fuel to remove the ones which have already infiltrated into your life; and the easiest way to be confident and courageous to help others accomplish the same.
It is entirely possible I may have missed a few other methods to create inspiration, but I hope the general concept has been expressed. In the next blog, I will share an example of how all of the topics covered during this “Change” series come together.
For more on each of the other topics in this “Change” series review their respective blogs listed below:
3 “I’s” of Change (1 of 5)
Change is Influence (2 of 5)
Change is Impact (3 of 5)
Change the World (5 of 5)