Be Inspiring

I have a few boards on Pinterest. As I scan and search for items to pin, I always come across an inspirational quote or two . . . or one hundred. What I do when I see a quote depends on my mood that day and whether or not it calls to me.

If I don’t pass them by, I may observe a moment of clarity, laugh at the absurdity of human nature, sigh with recognition or comment, “Now, why didn’t I think of that?” I pin the ones I like, share one every now and then on Facebook (not because I am stingy that way but to keep my status updates quote-free) or I tuck them away in Evernote for future use.

These quotes are fun in passing and can bring a point home in a slide deck but not one has ever resulted in a change of my behavior. I am not inspired by infographics or intentions.

I am inspired by action.

I am inspired by:

  • A superintendent passionate about unlocking potential in every student in her school. When she speaks about her favorite parts of her day (lunch with students and inspirational TED-Ed clubs), I look closer at the leadership choices I’ve made.
  • A teenage daughter who, despite her fears, continually tries new things. When I see her fearlessly spreading her wings, I quiet the reticence in my voice.
  • A 5 am CrossFit group who push physical and mental limits each and every day. “Can’t” is not in their vocabulary and I’ve made a mental note-to-self to remove it from mine.

I am inspired by veterans and their families, Boston Marathon runners and people who, against all odds, put themselves out there because they believe. I am inspired by empowering students and TitleIX.

Keeping posting your inspirational quotes and I’ll keeping pinning and sharing the ones I like but when you really want to be make a difference, stop trying to inspire.

Instead, be inspiring.

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