- Be authentic and true to yourself. – In this crazy world that’s trying to make you like everyone else, find the courage to keep being your awesome self. Embrace that individual inside you that has ideas, strengths and beauty like no one else. Be the person you know yourself to be – the best version of you – on your terms. Above all, be true to YOU, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it. No it won’t always be easy; because when it comes to living as a compassionate, non-judgmental human being, the only challenge greater than learning to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, is learning to walk a lifetime, comfortably in your own.
- Stick with what you love. – Take part in something you believe in. This could be anything. Some people take an active role in their local city council, some find refuge in religious faith, some join social clubs supporting causes they believe in, and others find passion in their work. In each case the psychological outcome is the same. They engage themselves in something they strongly believe in. This engagement brings happiness and meaning into their lives. It’s hard not to be inspired by someone who’s passionate about what they’re doing.
- Express your enthusiasm. – Passion is something you must be willing to express if you want to inspire others. You can gain a lot of influence just by publicly expressing that you are excited and passionate about a topic. Expressive passion is contagious because of the curiosity it stirs in others. You’ll get people wondering why you love what you love so much. Naturally, some of them will take the time necessary to understand what it is about the topic that moves you. (Read How To Win Friends and Influence People.)
- Excel at what you do. – People watch what you do more than they listen to what you say. Be someone worth emulating. Most people are inspired by GREAT musicians, writers, painters, speakers, entrepreneurs, engineers, mothers, fathers, athletes, etc. There’s only one thing they all have in common: They excel at what they do. There’s no point in doing something if you aren’t going to do it right. Excel at your work and excel at your hobbies. Develop a reputation for yourself, a reputation for consistent excellence.
- Focus on building your character. – Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others temporarily think you are. A genuinely good character always shines and inspires in the long run.
- Care about people. – People don’t care about how much you know, until they know how much you care.
- Challenge people to do their best. – As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” If people know we expect great things from them, they will often go to great lengths to live up to our expectations.
- Lead by example. – Practice what you preach or don’t preach at all. Walk the talk! Be the change you want to see in the world. If you really want to inspire others to do something, then this ‘something’ should be a big part of your life. You don’t necessarily need to be an expert at it, but you do need to be passionately involved.
- Articulate what everyone else is thinking. – We are very connected to each other in various ways, the most important of which is our thoughts. Out of fear, or passive shyness, lots of people hesitate to articulate their thoughts. If you take the risk and say the things others are holding back, you become the glue that brings people together.
- Make people feel good about themselves. – People will rarely remember what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel. Start noticing what you like about others and tell them. Go out of your way to personally acknowledge and complement the people who have gone out of their way to excel. As von Goethe once said, “Treat a man as he appears to be, and you make him worse. But treat a man as if he already were what he potentially could be, and you make him what he should be.”
- Help people heal. – Instead of judging people by their past, stand by them and help repair their future. In life, you get what you put in. When you make a positive impact in someone else’s life, you also make a positive impact in your own life. Do something that’s greater than you – something that helps someone else to be happy or to suffer less. Everyone values the gift of unexpected assistance and those who supply it.
- Share lessons from your successes and failures. – When you can, be a resource to those around you. If you have access to essential information, don’t hoard it, share it openly. You have more to share than you realize. Mine the rich experiences of your life and share your wisdom from your unique point of view. Be vulnerable. Be willing to share your failures as well as your successes. Others will relate to you. They’ll understand that they’re not the only ones with challenges. (Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.)
- Keep your cool in tense situations. – What you do in a tense situation says a lot about your limits. People take note of how far the pressure or social discomfort around you goes until you lose control of yourself and the situation. President Obama, who often displays a calm and collected persona, had a joke in his speech at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner awhile back where he said, “In the next 100 days, I will strongly consider losing my cool.” Obviously this made him appear even more calm and collected. Bottom line: Keeping your cool in tense situations lets people know you have a mind of steel – a personality trait most people are drawn to.
- Focus on the positive. – Be happy with who you are now, and let your positivity inspire your journey into tomorrow. Everything that happens in life is neither good nor bad. It just depends on your perspective. And no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should. Either you succeed or you learn something. So stay positive, appreciate the pleasant outcomes, and learn from the rest. Your positivity will help encourage those around you.
- Keep your promises and tell the truth. – Inspire people with your dependability and commitment to the truth. If you say you’re going to do something, DO IT! If you say you’re going to be somewhere, BE THERE! If you say you feel something, MEAN IT! If you can’t, won’t, and don’t, then DON’T LIE. It’s always better to tell people the truth up front. (Read The Four Agreements.)
- Listen intently to what others say. – Make people feel important, and inspire them by showing them that they are. Eyes focused, ears tuned, mobile phone off. In a world that can’t move fast enough, someone who can find time to listen to others is always appreciated.
- Communicate clearly. – Mystery does not inspire. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Share your vision and ideas often with those around you. Also, be sure to maintain eye contact when communicating; it’s one of the most alluring forms of personal communication. When executed properly, eye contact injects closeness into human interaction, which captivates attention.
- Be faithful to your significant other. – There’s nothing more inspiring than the unwavering love and commitment between two individuals. Furthermore, your sustained fidelity in a long-term intimate relationship creates a healthy foundation for everything else you do.