What inspires you?

Photo courtesy of photosteve101 (Creative Commons)

Photo courtesy of photosteve101 (Creative Commons)

What drives you to accomplish things and to do what you do better?

I think it’s easy to get caught up in selfish reasons for excelling at your work, sports or other skills. Let’s admit it, doesn’t it feel good when someone tells you what a great job you did, or you beat that time running or score that win?

What I have found that drives me harder and makes me feel even better, is when I’m focused on doing things for reasons other than just to benefit myself.

For instance, I run in honor of a little boy named Bennett, who has Down syndrome, as part of a program called I Run 4 (read more here). All my miles are dedicated to him, and what I find is that knowing I run for him makes me get out there to run on days I would otherwise just crawl back into bed. It makes me run harder and faster because it’s not about me anymore, I am honoring him with every step. I am proud to say I ran 5 or 10 or 13.1 miles for Bennett instead of just running for my own benefit. It is no longer about me at all.

I also work in a nonprofit, so instead of working to make money for a corporation, my efforts each day support my team and benefit the neighbors we serve. It changes my perspective on the day when I think in those terms. I focus and work harder because it’s not about me anymore.

That’s just the inspiration and purpose I need to turn around a tough day. What about you?