Perhaps, many would react that it is modern day management heresy, to suggest that the best inspiration is derived via an alliance with the Omnipresent Divinity, that exists, both within and without, of any individual. Inspiration is the foundation upon which we build our own edifices, of height and substance, depending on how deep the foundation is....high buildings will invariably have deep foundations. A person digs his foundation, though, efforts, family inputs, schooling and by the company kept. The many outcomes of life are a direct consequence of the nature and quality of inspiration possessed; its recognition open up new vistas of understanding on the horizon of our thinking. Our thoughts are the source of our actions. The rigours of life and environment provide each of us with learning opportunities to identify what would act as the catalyst for our best performance, in whatever activity we may be engaged in. Tenacity produces fine stalks of illuminated tools that propel inspiration. Rumi had said, if every rub irritates you, how will you ever get polished?
My writing table (actually it is the dining table) is placed next to the large window that has a view of my better-half’s humble garden -- whilst I take unplanned breaks, this lends opportunities... For when I see the fluttering of leaves/branches, of the shrubs, in response to the teasing gentle breeze, the sight inspires me to no ends, I feel good inside, the sight appears to be a rhythmic dance of Nature, that is in sync with the lyrical Sound of the Hummingbird, that is usually perched either upon the flower or the leaves, and with no visible appreciation, sings melodiously, unceasingly. I often wonder, on witnessing this spectacle, what inspires her to perform? Blessing. Most certainly.
Those who live their lives in consonance with Nature need no external elements for getting or remaining inspired. Living under the Faith of The Omniscient and Omnipresent God, instills a powerful feeling of having control over our lives. Faith liberates the human soul from the clutches of fear, in all its forms and manifestations, and in particular from its own fellow human beings. The rigours of life give us experience to add to our quality of Faith, it becomes more formidable with every challenge or even adversity. The deposit we make of our “hope” in the scheme of Cosmic Design, enables our spirits to soar to greater heights, without the support of external factors. Inspiration is best upon those who are at peace with their soul and spirit. In their sea of tranquility are buried everyday anxieties.
“He is nearest to God who needs the fewest things”, wrote Socrates. The insatiable quest for material things hinders the process of self-generating spirit of inspiration. The complicated and complex aspect of the desire for worldly allurements has to be managed; when left unattended by the conscious self, it has potential to heap upon elements of despair and envy, which go to damage and erode the inspired soul.
Each of us is blessed with that noble spiritual response that enables us, mostly unbeknownst to ourselves, the sentiments, emotions and feelings of joy and happiness, at the impromptu smile of any infant or to see the magical unity in a bouquet of fresh flowers. The absence of ego in our responses drives our level of inspiration to newer heights. The smile or even the unseen vibe, without making a demand for it, instills optimism, of both thought and action.
To cultivate our mind to remain inspired all the time, it is essential to exercise forgiveness, forbearance and a kind of ‘move on’ attitude. The lighter the baggage of past events, especially the unpleasant ones, offers the chance to remain on course of positivity. The natural ability to jettison from the memory bank must be put to good use each single day -- forgetting, sometimes is a formidable weapon within us, to attack and put to eternal rest, anything that upsets the cart of our loaded inspiration.
The reliance upon external factors to remain inspired must remain close to zero. Failing which the propensity to fall into dullness only gets enhanced. To insulate oneself against external determinants that go towards impacting our words and responses requires a serious and focused effort, which can in turn enable us, to keep the ever present beguiling ego into strict check. Our responses to situations of provocation of anger, guilt or any other negative traits essentially determine the quality of our inspiration. If there is greater surrounding of elements around us that induce repulsive and repugnant behaviour, it is best to move away from the scene.
The opportunity to learn dawns upon those, almost immediately, who have within them the readiness to receive it. Our attitudes determine our need for inspiration. As a first step towards gaining control over our feelings/reactions of inspiration, one has to harness our natural inclinations and intuitions. Mostly, our intuitive responses arise from the depths of the purity of the soul and hence can be relied upon; unless then the soul is submerged in murky waters of thought and action; those who defy natural goodness in themselves, deprive themselves of the endearing inspirational prompts that come from the design of Mother Nature.
The strongest and possibly the most lethal act that excites volcanic eruptions of feelings of inspiration within is, when we choose to respond to insult with respect, forbearance and to hate with love; to IIl will with goodwill and to displeasure with pleasant disposition. In the management of people, who, inspite of common and shared goals & objectives, are different and distinctive, who hence require differing emotional responses from the supervisor. A leader recognises these distinctive demands and hence has different tools to deal with (use) in inspiring them into a cohesive whole.
The Job of any leader/manager, primarily, in my view is to offer, to their followers, “Inspiration” to perform to their natural best. The endeavour to perform must not arise from seeking, merely economic or monetary benefits, but it must surge from within, with it without to Applause. Those who perform for self-fulfillment are mostly inspired people, while many performers lose their plot/act, when the worldly benefits are not put on the deck.
Albert Einstein, the scientist and Nobel Laureate (physics), made the following famous quotes, philosophical remarks, “Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury -- to me these have always been contemptible. I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best for both, body and mind”.
Rivalry on the corporate floor, undoubtedly, produces competitive spirit, but it must remain in harness, to prevent damage to the naturally blest spirit and trait of cooperation -- only its stimulating tendency must be fully exploited.
My Father, like most fathers, was an amazing resource of inspiration for me and my siblings. Even now, when he is not in our midst, but with the Maker, his memory and guidelines serve me as the greatest inspiration -- to do. What? Any action that I am aware of would please his soul. I would do it. Every single individual has different sources for seeking inspiration for themselves. A good leader helps colleagues to discover that source; once discovered, such individuals need very little supervision to perform. Inspiration is a highly inflammable emotion that guarantees performance -- because it achieves it for itself and not for recognition or accolades.
I am fond of reading. That which is read, is shared; narrating anecdotes from history or literature, about events and people, inspires me, to read more. Reading and narration are my addictions. Reading inspires; hence to be inspired, I am not dependent upon anybody. My habits and my passions are self-propelling instruments of inspiration.
Managers become inspiration models, when they exercise the option to hold hands of a weak link in the team. This is a rare capacity and therefore emerges with a bang upon the teammates.
The Leader of any organisation is first tested for his ability at ‘reconciliation’ between divisive forces, working within the entity. If the leader manages to inspire conflicting members towards a harmonious co-existence, the job is done. There is then an “Inspired Team”
The writer is a senior banker & freelance columnist