Five Ways to Fuel Inspiration

 In Leadership

Amy Hart

“Give Light and People Will Find the Way.” – Ella Baker

What lights you up and fills you with passion? When have you gone further than you ever thought possible, what fueled you in getting there? What might you have in common with top leaders?

Forbes Staff writer Jacquelyn Smith in “What Inspires the World’s Top Leaders” references LinkedIn’s Influencer’s Program whereby thought leaders share what inspires them. Add a few google searches and one finds a plethora of ideas about what fuels inspiration. Here is a summary of  five key ways to fuel inspiration.


​1. Recall Your Inspirational Heroes.   Who has deeply affected you by their example? It could be your Mom or Dad, perhaps a teacher, a boss, a minister, or a mentor. Or maybe someone famous like Eleanor Roosevelt or Martin Luther King or Pope Francis. Inspirational heroes give us hope, help us believe we can become more than we ever thought possible. What values have you learned from inspirational heroes that carry you through the most difficult times? They help light your way.

​2. Take on Challenge.  What are you absolutely passionate about? What drives you to change the world to make it a better place? ​For some it may be being the best parent you can be.  Others use a challenge like ​”you’ll never to able to do that”  to inspire and drive themselves relentlessly to prove others wrong.

What happens when we see people who have overcome huge challenges, triumphed over terrible circumstances? We are inspired. ​It’s not the achievement of the goal, but the process – the changes you must undergo in order to reach the goal – that make the difference.

​3. Solve Big Problems.  Working for an organization whose values align with yours, or starting a business that captures your mind and heart inspires many people. Pete Flint, British Internet Entrepreneur, says “For me, however, inspiration comes from solving big, meaningful problems with people I admire and love to work with.”

​4. Dream Big and Be Persistent.  One frequently hears about the importance of dreaming big and going after what you are passionate about with i determination. Jon Steinberg, BuzzFeed’s president and COO, interned for his dream company Disney. Steinberg still has a picture of Walt Disney in his office, from which he draws inspiration. “The Disney way is to dream the big and impossible and then build it…One day at a time, brick by brick, anything can be built.”


​5. Be an authentic leader who cares about developing people.  Leaders are responsible for delivering results through people. Several studies from organizations like Gallop have shown that engaged employees deliver the strongest results, and that employees who feel cared about and supported are more engaged. Become an excellent listener and communicator who is willing to share life successes and failures. Employees strive to give their best to leaders they are inspired by and whose visions they can connect to.

Inspiration – fuel it with the thoughts, people, passions and stories that touch both your head and your heart.