Inspiration is not so simple. It is a higher calling. If motivation is the push, inspiration is the pull. On a gloomy day, we need big doses of both. Even little slivers of either go a long way. When we are talking of that vague thing called life, inspiration has to be sought…it has to be mined from any resource that’s available at hand…and it has to be made a habit. Personally, the easiest gold mine has been the Internet. I make it a point to use a spade regularly and dig up nuggets like the seven amazingly inspirational websites I told you about a while back.
The good thing is that inspirational wisdom is all around us. From inspiring videos to lectures on passion and creativity. Reading them, I am always “inspired” to look for more. Below, you will find the fruits of my labors.
Fearlessstories.com could be one your got-to websites when you are feeling numb with inaction. The site addresses one of the basic emotions we know as humans. Fear has many faces, and one of the more common ones is also called resistance to change for the better. As the site explains – it could range from how to start something scary to how to gain a better perspective on how to accept your own self. The site tries to breakthrough by detailing the experiences of others with interviews and life lessons. The site’s attention to quality and detail is something that’s sure to engage you.
The simple life equation below the site’s name says a lot about the message it wants to champion. The blog posts, videos, and handpicked quotations on the inspirational website are meant to trigger the positive energy in all of us that can help us see the good side of things in any situation that has gone the other way. There are many articles from life experts and motivational speakers on the website like Jack Canfield and Seth Godin among others. The positive life site has a million strong Facebook group which you can also join.
True stories from the daily lives of ordinary Americans is the forte of NPR’s audio-recording based website. StoryCorps gives you the impressive numbers — 45,000 interviews with nearly 90,000 participants. Most of the stories I listened to were very poignant and touching, but they were all about the human experience and the common life events we all come across on our own someday or the other. For instance: Jerris Marr interviews his 10-year-old daughter Faith on surviving bone cancer on her spine, or Bernard Hollyfield (brother of Evander Hollyfield) recounting memories of growing up with his pet dog.
Time Magazine ranked this website as one of the best in 2011. The website is about “ideas”, both big and small from all spheres of life. The themes and ideas may not be immediately applicable to your life or work, but if you think deeper about the knowledge around the idea, it helps to connect the dots and make sense of the larger world around us. Influencers and thought leaders — 2,000 Big Think fellows — contribute to the site and to our collective wisdom. For instance, Why You Need to Make Yourself Irreplaceable inspires you to look at your life in a larger context. One of my personal favorites on the site is Sir Ken Robinson who is a well-known creativity expert and a Big Think Mentor.
The well-regarded blog is all about innovation and the ideas the spur them onto the real world. We had mentioned PSFK as one of the inspiring places to be for creative business ideas. But even if you don’t aspire to be an entrepreneur any time soon, you can enjoy the fun people seem to be having with ideas. Who knows, it can inspire you to come up with some of your own and trigger passion. Stories like that of architecture student Hank Butitta who bought an old school bus on Craigslist and turned it into a driving home are certainly doable don’t you think.
A social network about positivity and social change in the era of Facebook and Twitter? I would say that it’s really needed because we really should be spreading inspiring thoughts all the year around. GOOD is a community of like-minded individuals who are trying to change the world in little ways. It aims to be a central depot for companies, innovative projects, and individuals who are giving a damn about social change. Alternatively, a post like 25,000 Mornings: 8 Ways to Improve Your Morning Routine could inspire you to make a self-change also. A simple maxim like, manage your energy not your time has stuck with me.
Achievement.org is one of those websites tucked away in the corners of the web which you would miss. Behind the façade of the website is a noble organization. The Academy of Achievement is actually a non-profit foundation that seeks to connect the youth to real-life heroes. The aim is to inspire students and the young to become leaders in their own field and of their own generations. The International Achievement Summit is an annual forum that brings about these face to face interactions with the likes of Nobel Prize-winners in the arts and sciences, public servants, prize-winning journalists, explorers, humanitarians, champion athletes, entrepreneurs, entertainers, and others who are famous in their respective fields. Check out their inspiring life stories on the website through biographies, stories, and interviews.
I deliberately placed this at the end of the list to maybe illustrate that we all have good intentions, but are not inspired enough to act on them. If We Ran The World is an interesting take on connecting these intentions with tiny micro-actions towards creating, building, designing, or just making the world a better place. Once you show your intention, you are connected to people who are actively doing something around a similar intention. I haven’t tried out the website myself, but it was interesting enough to deserve a mention.
If the feeling of the blues made you search and come to these websites, I hope this article helped to dispel some of the gloom. Thankfully, you can always turn to the Web for some encouragement when you are feeling down. Believe me, we need more inspirational websites because it’s a life diet that could do with a wild binge. So pour out your favorite names for inspirational blogs and website where you go to for an uplifting read. Let’s build up a nice list here!
Image Credit: joshme17 (via Flickr)