How to Inspire Others

How to Inspire Others

A lot of people assume they know how to inspire others.

But just because you’ve read How to Win Friends and Influence People or been to a Tony Robbins seminar doesn’t mean you know how to inspire people.

Yet, if you want to motivate others to action, inspiration is a skill you must master.

Holding a paycheck over another’s head is a form of motivation. But it’s one of the lowest forms, and we certainly wouldn’t call it inspiration.

What we’re talking about here is the kind of motivation others can take hold of for themselves. A vision for their future that leaves them touched and moved and wanting to be in action. Something they can take ownership of. Anything less is not inspiration.

I have friends who know how to leave me inspired. But the vast majority don’t.

This is not a statement of judgment but rather of observation. At first, truth sounds like hate.

But we must realize for ourselves why we might want to inspire others in the first place. Only then can we take a step forward.

We all know what it feels like to be inspired. And it’s a magnificent feeling. If we could feel inspired all the time, we would achieve so much more, hesitate so much less, and by proximity, we might even uplift others around us. And that’s a start.

But to be effective in this, we can’t just be all about ourselves and our achievements. We’ve got to be committed to others more than we’re committed to ourselves. That’s the essence of effective communication.

For starters, we can’t just go out and achieve a bunch of things for ourselves and assume that this will inspire others.

Remember. People need to be able to see possibilities for themselves. Otherwise, you’re just going to leave them hanging.

Sharing your accomplishments might be a starting point. But it’s of little use unless others can see themselves in what you’ve done. And that’s tough even for the best motivational speakers in the world. Generally, they don’t lean too heavily on their own accomplishments – they rely on interaction with the audience so that everyone can see themselves in someone else’s story.

Which means this:

To inspire others, first, we need to get into their world.

Further, we can’t take everything they say at face value.

The people you’re talking to might mention something about being lonely in passing, as if it were inconsequential, so as the conversation advances, it might be quickly forgotten. And what that person might really be saying is, “I feel like a loser and a reject. I can’t believe I’m not in a relationship. I don’t know how to find someone.”

I’ve felt that way before, so I’m speaking from experience.

If you’re a good listener, and can listen without judgement, you will hear not just what’s being said, but also what matters to the person you’re talking to. And then you will be able to speak to what matters to them most. This means transforming your listening.

The person you’re talking to might be interested in building a big business, enjoying more freedom in their lives, traveling across the world, or something else. The point is, if you don’t listen, you won’t hear. Because people tend to keep their dreams close to their vests.

When you transform your communication, you can hear what matters to the person you’re talking to without having to pry.

You want to be able to get to the point where you can paint a vivid picture with your words. You want to share what you see as being possible for them – what you can see them creating for their own future using their unlimited potential. That will leave them inspired. It might even make them cry.

Authenticity is also key to inspiration. Being truthful about how you feel about a situation, event, or person. Not in a gossipy way. More in a “this is how I look at this situation/person, and I take responsibility for that” kind of way.

Authenticity is irresistible and it has a way of leaving others touched and moved, because they’re not sure whether they could be that vulnerable. They’re not sure they could be that honest with their own thoughts and feelings. But once someone around them is authentic, it gives them the freedom to be authentic as well.

So, if you want to inspire others, ask yourself:

Am I hearing them? Am I listening for what they really want in life? Am I painting a picture of a future they would love to live into? Am I presenting them with an opportunity they simply can’t resist?

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The Magic of Listening

The Magic of Listening

You don’t listen.

I don’t listen either.

Because listening suggests we’re hearing what’s being said. Most of the time we’re not hearing what’s being said at all.

And you’re already off in the weeds because you’re thinking, “the reason we’re not listening is because we’re thinking about what to say next.”

I didn’t even have to say it, and already you’re leaning on something familiar. Your mind is making familiar connections it has probably made thousands of times.

At no point in this post was I going to suggest we don’t listen because we’re thinking about what we we’re going to say next.

What I wish to share is this:

It is possible to come from a new space of listening. And from that space, you won’t automatically jump to what’s familiar.


When it comes to listening, most people will say, “I’ve been listening my whole life. Therefore, I am a master at listening.”

But if you’re coming from a place of judgement saying “I like this, I don’t like this. I agree with this, I don’t agree with this. I think it’s good, I think it’s bad.” Basically, you’re not hearing anything.

And that’s the greatest challenge of listening. Most people are off somewhere else in their minds.

Let me demonstrate this. I could bring up any subject and instantly your mind goes somewhere. Here’s a good example – influence.

I say influence, and instantly your mind goes to, “influence ripples out like a pebble being dropped in a still pond.”

The challenge is you’re still thinking of the pebble. You’re not even hearing what I’m saying anymore, because you’re associating influence with something familiar, something you already know. And that’s firing up all manner of neuropathways in your mind. I’ve lost you.

First and foremost, the best thing to practice is to listen from nothing. If we can listen from nothing, we can hear what’s truly being said.

The magic of listening, though, comes from consciously choosing where to listen from.

You can listen from, “what is this person’s need or desire – how can I help them?”

You can listen from, “what’s the opportunity here – there’s got to be a win-win.”

You can listen from, “I want to make this moment even better than it is.”

You can listen from anywhere.

But first, you’ve got to be able to listen from nothing. Once you’ve mastered that, you can begin listening from a place you consciously choose and tap into the unlimited possibilities and opportunities that exist. That’s the magic of listening.

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