“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
― Anne Frank
What and when we find things inspirational, is in flux on a day to day basis. Our hero today might just turn out to be another of the long list of heroes who have been found wanting in the past. Just human after all. As the hypocrite we are, intensely critical of what others do and say, but given the environment and context, most would do the same as well. Or you might out grow your mentors or your values might change over time and inspiration might shift somewhere new. But there is a few things we can focus on to ensure our inspiration, more often than not, doesn't end in a baptism of fire about staying inspired.
Strike a balance
Seems something which I tend to need reminding of every now and again, is that you don't have to be good at something to enjoy it. I think a lot of my own troubles with procrastinating comes from the fear of not being good enough at what I enjoy doing. But if I can focus more on the joy aspect of what I'm busy with, surely the "not good enough" part will sort itself out along the way? Life is just a game at the end of it, isn't it? Nothing kills inspiration like feeling you have to be good at everything you do.
Not in a low self esteem way of feeling small, but a reminder of being humbled about how small our problems really are in the greater scheme of things. It is also about living in such a way that it opens your mind's eye, to fill an unimaginable big space with your thoughts. To be exposed to the grandeur of our planet or even inspirational individuals who dare to dream big, give our moonshot ideas room to be. It is difficult to see when you are trapped between your four walls of your office or home. It is a great way to keep hubris in check, it is difficult to still find inspiration if you believe you are the best thing since sliced bread.
Aim big along the way
If you think about it, this is what the likes of Elon Musk do when they brain storm concepts like the Hyperloop. They aim so far out there, that just landing somewhere close to or even half way to their ideas, the world already changes. The idea of the Hyperloop is just insane, to travel at a speed faster than sound on land, in comfort and on a daily basis, is just unthinkable. But what if they land somewhere close to 75% of that speed? At an proposed average speed of 962Km/h, what if they "only" get to 769Km/h? Amazing enough, Japan is frighteningly close to achieving that speed already. Japan's MagLev bullet train holds the current record at just over 600Km/h.
Thing is, these numbers seem so tantalising close to each other, but there is the variable of drag which need to be taken into account. The power requirements in order to overcome drag increase with the cube of speed. If you double your speed, each unit of air that a car displaces is pushed aside at twice the speed, which requires four times the kinetic energy, and you're displacing twice as many of them since you're covering twice the distance per second. So, making a car that can go 360Km/h requires 8 times as much power as making it go 160Km/h. Going from 150 to 200 requires 2.37 times the power. Which the Hyperloop concept wants to overcome by running inside a vacuum tube.
To act big is all good as a short term strategy. It will get you to 160. But knowing that you still have to put in the effort over time and "fake it till you make it" will only get you that far down the road. Muhammad Ali made many bold statements at the hight of his career, but only he could make a statement "it isn't bragging if you can back it up" with a straight face. Knowing that he could indeed act big and back it up in the ring, is what made him a winner when it mattered most. Strike a balance, feel small, but also don't leave yourself behind in the process.
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