Inspiration, a Catalyst that Animates Our Beliefs

I am certain that if I pick anybody from this awesome audience, he or she knows exactly what it takes to success. You have attended many seminars on motivational talk; you have watched videos on the subject. Most important, you have read books on the topic equally. If I ask you what it takes to succeed, I will probably hear the following attributes that we all know:
  1. Believe in yourself (Believe to succeed).
  2. Set goals (You need directions to know where you are going).
  3. Get the right knowledge (Ask for help where needed).
  4. Work hard (There is no shortcut to anywhere worth going).
  5. Be persistent (You have to endure because it will hurt one way or another).
  6. Be patient (It takes a long time to succeed).
  7. Be responsible (Do what is necessary to succeed).
If the formula for success is this simple, you would expect most of us to be successful. Why is it that only 5% of every 100 people that we know are successful? There is something else that successful people have or know that most of us are missing.

Looking for that missing attribute:

Over the last 20 years, I have worked as a computer programmer, school teacher, and a basketball coach while also trying to find out what it takes to succeed. In the process, I found an important attribute that is over-looked because of its loose application. This attribute in its true form is the catalyst that makes other things work together. It is what we need to animate our beliefs and make them come true. Today, I will share this attribute with you and give you personal examples of how it has worked in my success journey. Hopefully, you will use it as you embanks on your own success journey.

My Story - frustration of Dribbling Five Basketballs:

I am a basketball freestyler like the Harlem Globetrotter who does basketball tricks like spinning, juggling, dribbling, and making fancy passes and shots that your coach will never allow you to do in a real game. While working on trying to set a new world record for dribbling five basketballs simultaneously for 1 minutes (I was one of 4 co-record holder with four basketballs), I was so frustrated, I took time of practice because I did not know what else to do to attain my goal of breaking the record.

During the break, I agonized over what to do next. Throughout my practice sessions over the last three years, I kept a journal of my daily progress (successes or failures). I routinely read the journals to keep tubs on my progress. On this particular night, the four basketballs dribbling journals caught my eyes. As I read through the journals, I noticed parallel trends between the four and five basketballs dribbling practices this far. I noticed the same hassles, pain, frustration, and long hours of practice with no results. That was my first realization of what it takes to succeed. With four basketballs dribbling, I was so focus on the goal, I blocked everything else out. That what happens with you truly believe in your goal. I went back to practice with renewed attitude because I truly believed that I can do this - dribbling five basketballs.

After many days of 4 to 6 hours of practice, I was not seeing the results I expected; I knew, there was something else that I needed to make my goal a reality. Guess where I went looking for answers, my journals. I found the answer in the most unusual experience as I got ready to journal that night. The answer is inspiration, the catalyst of success.

What is Inspiration?

Most people do not understand what inspiration is because of its loose association with motivation and belief. Motivation is a desire to do something that we already know. For example, I am not motivated to clean the garage. Believing is a verbal or mental statement (thought) about something we feel strongly about from a distance. I believe I can fly. These two terms touch on something we desire or think you can do.

Inspiration on the other hand is an internal force or drive that animates our desires or beliefs. For example, buying a new car will motivate you to clean the garage. Grandma believes she can do anything to save her grandson even if it means lifting a car off him. Even though grandma believes she can lift a car off his grandson, she will not enter a power-lifting competition for a million dollars at the mall. However, we have heard stories of people doing extra-ordinary things because they were inspired by something. The thought of losing a grandson would inspire a grandma to lift a car. Likewise, the new car would inspire you to clean the garage. Other reasons why inspiration is a loose term include:
  1. It is unique and no two people experience the same inspiration moment.
  2. Most people experience inspiration by default (mistake).
  3. You must have a goal to be primed for inspiration.
This is why most people do not mention inspiration when talking about what it takes to succeed. However, when you read or listen to their life stories, you will recognize unique experiences that changed their lives - that is inspiration!

How does One get Inspired?

There are many inspiration moments or situations around us; however, we do not recognize them because we are not prepared for them. Before you can find inspiration, you must truly believe in your goal. As you work through a goal, you will look for solutions in all possible places. When this goal crosses into your subconscious mind where you think about it even when you are not thinking about it, you have something special (true belief). This is the time to stop periodically to look around you and listening keenly because life goes very fast, and you will miss an inspiration moment if you don’t pay attention. These moments can happen anytime, anywhere.

What Inspires You? Picture -1:

Take a moment to look at this picture of a cat playing ping pong Now, close your eyes and visualize something you desire or have always believed in. Did you get inspired to go do something? Do you feel like running out to start a software company or open a mom and pap diner?

Reaction: I bet your reaction was ooh, what a cute picture! It does not arouse you to do anything unless you are an animal trainer.

What Inspires You? Picture- 2:

How about this picture-2.

People general reaction:
  1. Laugh at the drawings in the picture.
  2. Feel sorry for the child and his parents.
  3. Consider it informative on the suffering of children in Africa.
Inspiration moments, and called to action if your desire or beliefs are in-line with the picture (situation):

Inspiration will only come to you if you truly believe in your goal, and you are keenly listening and looking at the opportunities around you. If your goal is to be a doctor, a social worker, work with kids or be a missionary, this second picture will inspire you to do something if you stop to look and listen keenly. If you are keen, you will see what nobody else sees, and hear what nobody else hears. This invisible stimulus is the emotional act (inspiration) that inspires people and calls them to action.

Sources of Inspiration

There are many sources of inspiration, the most common being:
  1. Books
  2. Movies
  3. Music
  4. Pictures
  5. Failures
  6. Small Successes (efficacy)
  7. Negative Talks
  8. Sickness
  9. Self-Inspiration
  10. Death of love ones
  11. Shame etc
The sources are infinite, but you must be keen and truly belief in your goals to experience inspiration.

How do you know that you have been inspired?

Inspiration will touch every fiber in your body and allows you to see yourself doing what you believe in. When you can identify with something that you truly believe in, you see yourself as having what it takes to bring it to life. Other aspects of being inspired include: I felt all that and more in my closing story.

My Story: Part two, the inspirational moment:

This is the second part of my road to success story. After discovering the parallel between my four and five basketballs dribbling practices, I knew I had to put in the time to be able to set the new record because of efficacy, my success with four basketballs. Even though progress was slow, I never felt like quitting. Every day when I got home, I would reflect on the day’s practice progress before making my journal entry.

My plan was to dribbling three basketballs with right hand and two with my left hand for a total of five basketballs. After while, I was successful in dribbling three basketballs with my left and three with right hand, and I briefly entertained thoughts of dribbling six. However, bringing the hands to work together was a nightmare because of the size of the basketballs. (story of the little kid at the park). That night, I went through my daily routine of taking a moment to reflect on the day’s activities before writing them in my journal. I allowed my mind to wonder through the events of the day. The little boy in the park came to mind, and with him came the inspiration moment. There was a gem behind the frustration. (The gem).

With this gem (inspiration), I was able to break the world record for dribbling five basketballs simultaneously, and followed it up by breaking the record again by dribbling six basketballs a year later. Since then, I have set four more world records, and broken them 14-time. I also have over 500 tricks using up to 20 basketballs at the same time.


Work diligently on pursuing your goals, and take time to reflect on your daily progress. Be keen, look closely, and listen carefully to recognize the inspiration moment that will animate your goals. Once you are inspired by one experience, you will recognize other inspiration moments and keep getting better at what you do.

However, remember that success takes a long time, and it’s easy to lose track of other important things in your live. Be organized and balance your life as you pursue your goals. There is no point of you reaching the top of the mountain, and realizing that there is nobody to celebrate your achievements with. Find time to connect with your love ones, and bounce ideas off them are you work toward your goals. Good luck in your success journey.

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