Just the other week, something finally clicked.
As an entrepreneur and creator for a couple of years now, I’ve been less interested in answering the question, “What does the market need?” and more interested in answering, “What inspires me and deepens my experience and understanding of life?”
I realize how this can sound somewhat selfish. I mean, isn’t the whole point of creating something to help others?
Maybe so, but it wasn’t clicking anymore for some reason.
After reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, I started to realize why. She pleas with anyone who creates something not to do it from a place of trying to help her but rather because it is something they must do, whether or not it helps anyone.
This really stopped me in my tracks.
How often have I created something and thought that it had to “help” someone else in order to be worthwhile?
With this ardent request, I started to look at why I do what I do, and noticed that it is less about what others need and more about what I need.
Let me explain.
When I first started recording videos, I explored content that I thought would be helpful and valuable to others. But what I was really doing was overcoming my perfectionism by publishing videos before I felt ready.
With the launch of my radio show, I was trying something I hadn’t yet done before—host a show completely unscripted.
In both cases, I focused on what I needed in order to deepen into my own experience of what it means to trust my inner wisdom and guidance.
And it is from this space that I can inspire others rather than help them.
Now, I am not talking about opening a door for people with their hands full or offering food to those in need. I am talking about the kind of help that insinuates if you do it my way, you will achieve X or avoid Y and do so faster than you would have otherwise.
Whereas to inspire means to “breathe into” or “give rise to.” I got so excited when I saw that definition because it completely supports what I believe we are all here to do.
In order to give rise to something, it has to already exist—which means if I “inspire” you, it’s not my formula or process or product that does anything per se; it simply shows you something that already exists within you at the time you are ready to see it.
I can teach you what it is I have learned (or maybe more importantly, what I am learning) and, in so doing, you may feel inspired to try something new or explore the concepts, but the only reason you explore it is because that which already exists within you is guiding you to do so.
Equally, I cannot inspire (or breathe into) something if I do not already live from that place—in my thoughts, words, and actions.
So, before we can inspire others, we must first recognize and start to reveal that within us that can give rise to that which is in others.
It’s not up to me what outcome you will experience or how fast or slow it will take; all I can do (all any of us can do) is learn our own lessons and live a life that is true and authentic to who we are, which will by default inspire someone else.
When we seek or offer help, we are looking for a quick fix; when we inspire, we give rise to the divine within all of us.
Next time you are looking to create or do something, instead of asking, “What do they need?” try asking yourself:
Is this going to deepen my experience and understanding of life?
Is this in line with what I desire to see more of in the world?
Am I walking my talk?
If we start using these questions to guide our creations in the world, we will inevitably help others see what is possible and give rise to their desire within.