Inspirational Stories about real people – heart-warming connections
Most speakers would agree that when they give their talks, they are telling stories, inspirational stories that they hope will reach their audience. As a business, if you book a motivational speaker you expect uplifting inspirational stories to be part of that talk. So, who is qualified to tell inspirational stories and why do people need inspiration?
What exactly is inspiration anyway??
The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative:
A sudden brilliant or timely idea:
Why do we want to be inspired? If you read my post on getting motivated (LINK) you know that feelings of demotivation can be overturned by some inspiration; that light bulb moment that seems to clear away doubt and hesitation. Inspirational stories are, by their very nature, uplifting and trigger action in the listener.
We connect with stories of triumph over disaster, or rising to meet challenges, beating impossible odds and random acts of kindness. They resonate even more when the inspirational stories are about real people, ordinary people, like ourselves.
Who is qualified to tell inspirational stories?
Well, the answer should be anybody, but now I’m going to share a pet peeve of mine. After Paddington I was angry about rail safety, very angry. I felt it was important that I spoke out, so once recovered, I expressed my opinions, in writing and on podiums. I discovered that I enjoyed speaking, and determined to become good at it. What I did NOT enjoy was the day somebody told me, “Well, Pam you are a celebrity, people will listen to you.”
“A famous person, especially in entertainment or sport:” “The state of being well known”
According to Andy Warhol we are all capable of having our fifteen minutes of fame, but does being famous make us more or less qualified to tell inspirational stories and what the heck is a celebrity anyway? I detest the celebrity culture as embodied by hours of watching others’ lives with envy. I see no intrinsic value in celebrity reality TV (an oxymoron if ever there was one) and certainly don’t find it inspirational.
Inspiration, for me, is reading or watching someone or some event that makes me feel I want to take action. Be that in my own life, or to help others.
A story that inspires is one that contributes to the world. Listening to the story makes a difference in someone’s life, and truly inspirational stories change many lives. Stories need a point to them and inspirational stories have a lasting impact. When you are self-employed, as I am, you need something that makes you want to get up in the morning. If you are feeling discouraged; inspirational stories can give you a boost; remind you of others less fortunate; make you want to change a situation; make you want to make your own difference.
I do not believe that some over glamorised “K” celebrity arguing with her siblings and talking about weight loss when she has millions to spend on personal trainers etc. is particularly inspiring!
I do believe there is a need for inspiration in a grey world that has become over focused on trivia.
When I first started talking about my experience of the rail crash and my battle back to some semblance of a normal life- people told me I was courageous. This made no sense to me as I did not see myself that way- I just had a very strong survival instinct! There is a quote by Nelson Mandela- a truly inspirational man- that I like
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” Nelson Mandela
Mandela’s story is one of many inspirational stories that give people hope in dark times.
Inspirational Stories and Quotes are everywhere
There is clearly a need for inspiration in the world, as evidenced in the high volume of inspirational quotes shared across social media and more and more speakers offering inspirational stories. At an individual level; inspiration can lift you up, give you hope, give you courage to follow your dreams. At a corporate level, inspiration is the stuff of innovation. Inspired workers come up with sales building ideas; great customer service; high levels of productivity.
If you are an employer; take a look at your mission statement- does it inspire? If you are an individual, take a look at your life; does it inspire you?