What does inspiration mean to you? A stroll around Pinterest

What inspires you? And not just what, but in which form? Is it words, photos, paintings, people, acts of human kindness? Do you look for different types of inspiration for your work versus for your life?

I decided to do a search of “Inspiration” on Pinterest, the newest social media phenomenon sweeping the world. It’s essentially where people or brands create giant online moodboards for themselves, organized under various categories – and you can pin pictures or images you find on the web to your boards, share them or re-pin those of others. Categories run the gamut. I made some of mine “Quirky and Cute”, “Inspiration”, “Books I Love” and “Yum” (to cover all food porn and wine).

In writing today’s post, I decided to see what “Inspiration” meant to others. I found photographs of people, animals and nature. I found motivational sayings. I found adorable captured moments – like a young girl playing dress up and asessing a rack of designer clothes.

Some folks pinned book jackets to show books that have inspired them.  Others pinned animated characters, quirky designs or home decor ideas.

The point is, inspiration is personal. While something might inspire many different people, it doesn’t mean there is some sort of formula for inspiration. You can’t bottle it.

So I thought about what inspires me, both in business and life. And here’s what I came up with:

  • Beautiful, raw photographs of moments that are authentically real and unstaged
  • Eloquent sayings that concisely capture something profound
  • Beautiful or haunting imagery, be it photographs or paintings
  • Heroic tales of courage, rescue or adversity
  • People who’ve been dealt a raw deal and still do something extraordinary
  • Tiny acts of love and kindness
  • People who dreamed big and changed the world
  • Poignant, powerful and well-articulated speeches  – delivered flawlessly
  • Businesses who practice doing the right thing while also being profitable
  • Real people who share real stories and show their true selves
  • Courageous people or those who take action for a cause
  • Epic songs (Eminem’s Lose Yourself gets me pumped every time)

Inspiration is personal. Think about what you need to be inspired about, how you are best inspired and then go out there and find it. I thing that’s why Pinterest is so popular – you can go find the images that resonate with you and add them to your own board. Don’t count on others to tell you what’s inspirational. While it’s fine for them to recommend things for you to investigate, ultimately you have to find your own key to what will actually work for you.

Photo credit: www.sylvain-ollier.com via Pinterest

What inspires you the most? Words, music, poetry, art, photography? Please share in the Comments.

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