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What Makes an Inspiring Person?

Quote from Helen Keller, an inspiring person

I was thinking what makes an inspiring person and here’s what I’ve come up with. It’s not a set thing. It can’t a definitive characteristic as not everyone thinks the same people are inspiring. What inspires you may not inspire me, and so forth. That’s why you won’t read and respond to every post here – although I encourage you to reading all of them, of course! Not every subject will resonate with you. I get that.

What Does Inspiration Mean?

When I think of the quality called “inspiration,” I think of someone who acts or speaks in ways that encourage other people to behave in creative ways. That creativity grows by watching or listening to someone who you feel a connection with, directly or indirectly. Inspiration flows from one person to another and that bond can last a lifetime or only a brief few moments.

For example, Maya Angelou is an inspiring person for me. While she has passed away, her written words and videos continue to give me ideas for my own work and ways to reach out to help others.

I first connected with Maya Angelou’s words after I went through a period of depression and was looking for guidance outside of my immediate circle of contacts. That experience taught me a lot, including how a person can become inspirational to someone after they go through a life-changing event. In other words, a person who did not previously inspire you can one day do exactly that.

An Inspiring Person: It’s about More than Creativity

Inspiration is not solely about creativity either. It is an influence that comes when your senses, emotions and intellect are stimulated. This invigoration can come from a person’s words or from watching another human do something amazing. The result is a personal feeling of empowerment and a surge of energy. It’s a powerful emotion! You feel as though you can take a bold new career path or something else. Or, you might feel you can go further with an idea than you had previously thought possible.

The Power to You Inspire Someone Else

As for the ability to inspire someone else, that in itself can energize you. And so it is a circle that reinforces itself in such a positive way. Being around an inspiring person can lead to new business ideas, advances in technologies, scoring in a sports game, and so much more. The possibilities of positive energy are endless!

Here are a few quotes about inspiration from some notable women:

(♥) “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” ~Helen Keller

(♥) “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ~Maya Angelou

(♥) “What drives the creative person is that we see it all.” ~Wanda Sykes

(♥) “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ~Anne Frank

Now over to you…

What qualities do you think make an inspiring person?

51 thoughts on “What Makes an Inspiring Person?”

  1. There is always some one who inspires you to either follow suit or do on your own. Your post is very inspiring itself in the sense you acknowledge the greatness of Maya Angelou.

  2. Kind words of encouragement are inspiring and for me, and people who have overcome bad situations, major illness and their own low self-esteem are inspiring. :) Love this post!

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Thanks, Deb! I think that overcoming low self-esteem is difficult to do but you’re right that seeing others do so really can inspire us to try for similar paths. Happy Friday!

    2. Thanks Christy. I know all about low self esteem and that’s why I just finished writing my third book on the topic. Happy weekend to you too! :)

    3. Christy Birmingham

      You are amazing in the writing department, for sure, my friend! :) Thanks!

  3. Like you say Christy, various people have different qualities that inspire.. whether that be through their own courage of travelling through their own trails and tribulations make you realise that our problems can be overcome..
    For me many inspire who have the ability to touch a part of us which lays deep within our hearts.. We all of us ultimately know the roads we wish to travel upon… getting on that road and staying on that road however can at times be hard… Its not until we see how others have overcome, and put one step in front of the other that we we know we are not alone… And to see a well travelled road which has touched many hearts as those you have mentioned within your quotes Christy.. These people truly inspire because they are just like you and I… But they show us via their words how we too can become inspiring, and strong.. All we need is each other and to have faith in our selves..

    Great post as always, and sorry I know I waffle on.. :-)

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Oh Sue! No need to apologize as I adore this comment from you! It pleases me to read it as it stirred up your emotions and resonated with you in some way. Wonderful point about inspiration coming from an unawakened portion of the heart, what an insight you have! Truly thank-you for contributing to the conversation (and taking time from the crumble dish hehe) xoxo HUGS

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Aha, it’s the focus of one :) But I think we need to sometimes listen to others, when the head and head don’t align. Thanks Jeri!

  4. This post is completely inspiring in itself, Christy, and you chose a wonderful group of quotes from inspiring women. I’ve read all the responses out of curiosity and I’m going to combine my answer…others who have risen above adversity and images or powerful words inspire me. YOU inspire me, my friend! Love and hugs!

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Oh sweet Lauren!! Thank-you. I am honored you wrote that about me. Sending you love and hugs back! PS I’m so glad you’re back oxox

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Aha, faith is a great source of inspiration! Thanks for adding your view here and always great to see you, Syl!

  5. My major inspiration comes from within myself and it is related to what I don’t t like to be or become.
    Not really pretentious…
    Although I will also have to agree with Carol Balawyder’s comment above.

    Best wishes, Christy.

    Aquileana :D

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Hi Aqui,

      Thanks for stopping by here :) I love your insightful comments! Aha but don’t you think that the inspiration from within first came from the environment around you that helped form your ways of thinking (cultural, societal, etc)? Okay now I’m just giving us something to converse about :)

      Wishing you a wonderful day and HUGS!

    2. That is true… But those surrounding factors became our own ones when they affect us… I would called them Influences or models. There are sometimes people we look out to, but at the end inspiration is something personal… When it comes from outside of ourselves, we are not just passive receivers but active re-builders and creators of that source of inspiration.
      Recreating inspiration is our own creative merit. Inspiration belongs to us and it is not a vague projection of what we want for ourselves.
      Best wishes, Aquileana :)

    3. Christy Birmingham

      Ah, so in your opinion it can start outside ourselves but the ultimate power is held within. Interesting, isn’t it, how we each view the word inspiration in a slightly different way. Thank-you for adding such thoughtful words here, Aqui.

  6. I really like this – I asked the same question to some friends recently and it is funny that they all said something different. I am inspired by things that move me, whether positively or negatively. Sometimes I absolutely have to respond to someone that is doing or saying something ignorant, so I guess they inspired me to speak up. Mostly, though, I am inspired by things that make me look at something differently. Art, music, kids, and people having “deep” conversations inspire me to think differently.

    1. Christy Birmingham

      I was also fascinated by the different ways that inspiration can come above – actions, thoughts and emotions… How great that you mention art and music too :)

  7. This blog was inspiring Christy…thanks for posting it! I find someone with a great sense of humour is inspiring, as is someone who rises above adversity. You can’t help but be drawn in by someone who has pushed through tough times and made it ;)

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Hi Heather, yes, seeing someone rise above tough times is really inspirational! Thanks for sharing your views!

    1. Christy Birmingham

      That’s wonderful, Mary. Those are the people who ‘walk the walk’ as the expression goes. Thank-you for the great comment!

  8. I love this question, too, Christy, it’s a really good one! I get inspired when I see or read about someone doing something I’d like to do – I get so inspired by good role models! Thanks for the great post dearheart! ♥♥♥;^)

    1. Christy Birmingham

      I am the same, Aisha — it’s those role models that set great examples that inspire me too!! Thanks :) xo

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Hi Irene,
      Yes I understand what you mean. It’s refreshing when that happens :)

  9. Tricia Drammeh

    What a great question. I’m inspired by a “don’t tell me what I can’t do” attitude. When we’re faced with challenges, it’s easy to give up or give in. I’m inspired by those who turn extraordinary challenges into extraordinary opportunities.

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