Facebook is one of those things – like many other culture-changing phenomena – that people either come to love or grow to hate. It isn’t so much the brand “Facebook” that will drive whatever our future world becomes. It will be the idea of instantly and constantly sharing inspirations, dreams and even failures of our lives with family and friends who care enough to follow us.
Facebook is powerful. It can spark viral scams the likes of which nothing else on the Internet has been able to accomplish. Social networks can be used to focus mass protests faster than ever before. It can be used by companies to engage with customers, it can be manipulated to spark controversial conversations, and it can even be used to annoy the hell out of people — intentionally or not.
Even if you get annoyed by occasional game app requests and people who spread false news stories, you can still draw so much inspiration from the lives of other people.
So, how can you be that kind of inspiration to others who follow you? In this article, I’ll cover five types of status updates that you can use to inspire people to live their lives to the fullest; to stop and smell the roses; to take risks and enjoy the rewards. At the end of this article, I’ll also give you some resources that you can draw from to provide inspiration to your circle of influence.
Quotes can be cathartic. When you’re sad, angry, depressed or otherwise having a bad day, a really good quote can completely change your perspective and your mood.
Quotes can also be tricky. Some are disgustingly cliche — the kind you just roll your eyes at because they’re so overused and empty. Things like “stop and smell the roses”, or “Lord, grant me the serenity…”
There’s nothing wrong with them, they’re just overused and boring. Spend some time to really dig through little-known literary quotes, and extract something that few people in your circle of influence have ever seen.
One idea might be to jot down wonderful quotes from good books as you’re reading them. Later, when the mood strikes, you can use one of those quotes as a Facebook update. Look for quotes that are emotionally raw and visceral —quotes that make you stop and look at some element of life in a whole new perspective. Quotes that bring on an epiphany when you read it.
Quote websites like BrainyQuote or Goodreads are often very good resources for unique quotes, but they also turn up common quotes that everyone uses. The last thing you want to do is post a cliche quote, so take the time to find a unique and rare excerpt that really inspires.
Facebook is a place where people are constantly bragging about themselves or boasting about some accomplishment. Now, imagine if instead, Facebook was filled with people who actually read your wall posts, and then directly provide advice to you about how to overcome your insecurities, fears and anxieties about yourself.
A person who is truly empathetic is able to see the emotion behind the words. Become that kind of person to your Facebook friends. If there’s a day where you notice your Facebook feed is filled with your friends belittling themselves or doubting their ability to accomplish some life goal, take that as a cue that it’s your time to post something to inspire those friends.
These are the posts that people really like to read. They are comments that directly apply to their own lives, and provide encouragement that is meaningful and relevant. Facebook provides us with a tremendous opportunity to serve as a support group to people that we love and admire. What a tremendous opportunity to help those people live fuller, richer and more satisfying lives!
Your words are very powerful, and with just a few sentences, you can turn someone’s day around. You can give them that little boost of motivation they needed to forge ahead and find success and happiness in their day.
Another great antidote to the bragging and arrogant posts so common to Facebook are posts that are self-effacing. The irony is that when you cast away that ego and become a little bit humble about your own weaknesses, people like you that much more. Did you do something completely silly and embarrassing? Post about it! Are you feeling tired and old? Please joke about it on Facebook!
I once admitted on Facebook that my daughter had asked me to cook her a grilled cheese, and I was so completely distracted with my writing that I proceeded to rush into the kitchen and mix her up a batch of French toast. These are weaknesses and mistakes that people can relate to, because everyone has those moments, even though few want to admit it.
Be one of those people who are humble enough to admit it when you’ve tripped and fallen flat on your face, and you’ll find that more people gravitate to you, because of that honesty.
Publicly Celebrating Others
Another powerful way to help your friends and family develop more confidence in their lives is by celebrating their successes. If someone you know wrote an especially inspiring post on Facebook, share it on your own wall and thank that person by name. Don’t forget to tag them.
If someone graduated college, published a book, made the varsity football team, or climbed a mountain, mention that person by name on your wall and let everyone know how much that person inspires you.
Sure, it’s very easy on to constantly post things about yourself on Facebook, but it doesn’t take any extra time to give kudos to people in your life who are an inspiration to you. Talking about the successes of other people is always recognized as a selfless act, and the action of someone with high integrity and character. If that sounds like you, then let that be reflected in how you post updates on Facebook.
Suck the Marrow of Life — Your Own Words
Henry David Thoreau wrote, “I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life…”
I think the same can be said for all of us. Everyone wants to experience a life filled with beauty, inspiring moments, and emotional fulfillment. You can be a tremendous source of inspiration on Facebook by posting things that make people want to fight on toward those dreams. It’s not always about borrowing quotes from other writers. Sometimes, it works best to dig deep inside yourself and pull out some of your own emotions about what keeps you driven toward achieving your own goals.
Those heartfelt, honest words can serve as powerful fuel for people who read it. Keep in mind that the line between shining as inspiration and arrogant bragging is very fine , so do it with tact and in moderation.
Another great source of inspiration for others are beautiful photos. If you travel, spend much time in nature, or otherwise have an opportunity to capture some imagery that may be inspiring for your friends, take those opportunities and do it.
Some Resources for Inspiration
In addition to Goodreads and BrainyQuote, which I’ve mentioned above, there are a number of other websites you can use to find ideas on how to inspire others on Facebook. For motivational and inspiring quotes and ideas, I highly recommend:
If you’d like to post some inspirational images for your Facebook friends, and haven’t taken any on your own yet, the following are a great resource as well.
Truth is, you don’t have to be Gandhi or Buddha to serve as an inspiration to the people around you. All you have to do is actively live your own life to its fullest, and share what motivates and drives you to do that. Do it with humility, honesty and emotion, and you’ll see that the people who know you will appreciate having you (virtually) in their life, and will visit your Facebook wall often in seek of new ideas and inspiration.
How do you use Facebook to inspire others?