Thursday, March 24, 2011

How to be Inspirational: The 10 Step Process

You know those people....those people that just have the magic?
(No, for once I'm not talking about Harry Potter)

They've got this thing...CHARISMA.

It's magic.

I want it.

I think I might be turning green (jealousy)....or maybe my thumb is just stained from greenhouse plant work...hmmm.

I really have no idea on how to be inspirational, but in my time of watching and observing inspirational people these are the things I've noticed:
  1. They know everyone. Bill Clinton it is said knew everyone's name. This is probably a lie because I'm pretty sure he has no idea who I am. It probably is true that he can remember a lot of names easily. This makes everyone feel connected to that person. People naturally talk about other people. It's like having their name wired into brains around the world and having those brains extend the network.
  2. They are happy. Or...they at least act like they're happy. No one likes a downer.
  3. They are tremendous speakers.If this isn't a strength for you, good news, practice makes almost perfect. I have to concede that some is just natural talent.
  4. When they speak, they soften their voice at the important parts so you really pay attention. Brilliant.
  5. They are open and honest with their experiences. When they speak, they tell true stories from people they know or from their own lives. It begins this connection. You don't see them as a random person talking, you can see their life and what makes them tick. It connects you to them because something also makes you tick, even if that something is completely different. It doesn't matter, it's a connection. 
  6. They know when to stop. This one is key. It's the difference between shooting the target and blasting it to smitherines. It's the balance between informing and preaching. 
  7. They can make people laugh. This is really varied. I've laughed with inspirational people when things are slapstick funny, gross funny, stupid funny, genuinely funny, sad funny, and not really funny at all. I think this tunes into the next point. 
  8. They are their own person. They know who they are as completely as a person can know themselves. They have direction and drive because of this and it gives them  set of confidence. This part in itself is magic. 
  9. They respect others and accept that they don't know what exactly another person has gone through. Respect some say is earned, but I don't think that's completely true.  Respect should be given freely until it is deemed undeserved. Everyone (and I really mean everyone) deserves respect because of the simple fact that none of us know exactly what that person has felt or been through during their lifetime. 
  10. They genuinely believe in what they are trying to share with others. No one can really inspire people unless they believe passionately, whole-heartily in what they are sharing.  
You might be saying...well, that's great. 
What does this have to do with writing?

If you don't already know, then maybe nothing for you. For me, it means everything. I started writing because I wanted to have someone tell me that the words I wrote made them reflect on their life and the future. I take some of the things I wish had never happened to me and offer them up for judgement through my characters, my plot, and my themes. 

Will I ever be one of those charismatic, inspirational people?
I don't have a clue. All I can do is work towards my goals and continue my path on self discovery. I think that's all any of us can do. 

Are you charismatic? Inspirational? Have something to add? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!


Carolyn V said...

I want to be one of those people too!

I was just put in as a teacher once a month to teach a group of women. I'm hoping it will teach me how to talk in front of people w/o stuttering all over myself. =)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I try so hard to be positive and inspirational. Whether or not I'll be able to do that with my writing, well, we'll see. :-)

Colene Murphy said...

You seem like one of those people to me! I always want to come off as something too, but part of knowing who you are is knowing how to say and do things without trying to come off as anything. Just being. People can tell if you're just you. And I think you are! It's a pleasure to come here and read what you have to say every week!

Bethany Robison said...

We were talking about this the other day.


I also get a lot of inspiration from sports - you get all of those elements in tight little 2-3 hour incriments. You see that combination of right person, right moment, etc.

The stars align, a person tries to do more than they thought they could, and, because they prepared for their opportunity, they are not afraid when they face it. They rise higher than they (or anyone else) thought they could, and when they reach the top...

Cue the release of emotion and complete exhaustion.

And yes, I'm watching Butler. Right now.