What Inspires You?

Inspiration is a key component in any creative environment. It could come from a variety of sources ranging from the scenery to conversations had during the moment of an idea’s conception. The source of inspiration for most is unique to them and often reflects a combination of their personality and the project at hand.

For me, inspiration comes from a variety of sources. There are certain influences that spark project-oriented creativity while others have inspired me more on the long-term.

Long-Term Inspiration

It’s always been something of a personal code for me to find inspiration in the people who do the things I want to do in life. For my part, being born with no inherent celebrity or financial means to build something big out of nothing, the largest influences (outside of my family) are people who have created successful businesses and/or generated some level of authority in their given field despite coming from a background that doesn’t necessarily support that path.

Steve Jobs certainly falls into that category. He was an orphan with a number of problems both personally and professionally. He and his business partner Steve Wozniak were hardly the perfect model for technology startups when Apple shipped its first computers, but through perseverance and patience, they went on to become two of the biggest and most influential names in technology.

Another inspirational figure to me is Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook. He doesn’t necessarily inspire me because of his financial or entrepreneurial success, but the fact that he was able to (though sheer intelligence and determination alone) accomplish something that thousands of genius-level developers and business owners were trying so desperately to do themselves. Sometimes, bending the rules is exactly what makes breaking records possible, and that’s a lesson that I take away from a socially awkward social network founder.

Howard Stern belongs in my list if only because he broke down boundaries that held back talk radio for years. This isn’t to say that I completely agree with his content, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone in the radio industry who doesn’t appreciate the fact that Howard Stern gave a then-dying broadcasting medium a new lease on life. He made being a DJ cool again.

More recently, I’d have to include Bobak Ferdowsi, aka “Mohawk Guy” on the list of inspirational figures. Despite being on the international stage and being directly associated with one of the greatest scientific projects in the history of mankind, he isn’t afraid to let his freak flag fly and do his part to make science more interesting. Before the famous landing of Curiosity, his team voted on the colors of his mohawk as a kind of de-stresser prior to the mission. As much as I’d love to take part in something that important some day, it’s enough of an inspiration simply to think about how to make the things I’m passionate about (science, technology, broadcasting) interesting to the viewer.

Short-Term Inspiration

Short-term inspiration can appear when you least expect it. To me, this inspiration comes from the things I read and talk about with my friends and associates. Eddie Ringle and Chris Pirillo are two of my biggest regular short-term influences as we debate certain aspects of technology throughout the day. Some of my best articles started out as a casual conversation in the chatroom behind the scenes here at LockerGnome.

What Inspires You?

I’d like to close this one by bringing the question to you. What inspires you to do what you do each day? Are there any particular influences that helped you come up with an idea or project that you’re most proud of? Leave a comment below and share your story!

Photo: PhotoDune

7 comments On What Inspires You?

  • Matthew Arevalo

    My family inspires me. Right now, that’s a wife and a dog, but I’m inspired to do awesome work in order to help provide a great life for them.

  • Matthew Arevalo

    My family inspires me. Right now, that’s a wife and a dog, but I’m inspired to do awesome work in order to help provide a great life for them.

  • In business for me it’s Gary Vaynerchuk … And my family inspiring me a lot outside of work…

  • I would have to agree with you on all of your inspirational people. I’d put John Lennon in there and my early years would be monopolized by being inspired by Michael Jordan. Who didn’t want to be like Mike? However I believe that inspiration can come from anywhere and anything. People who desire to do good and spread positivity inspire me because in this world there are just too many things to knock us down. Also, my father who is currently fighting a fight with pancreatic cancer is one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever known. Anyone to be going through something like that with the smile and grace as he is deserves a stage to let their inspiration shine and spread! Great article my friend.

  • I like your example of Mohawk guy. He and Steve Jobs as well for that matter had a quality that is missing in most people of moderate success. They are not conformists. It worries me that society chooses so many people of influence according to their ability to fit in to a room full of similarly besuited, tie wearing men in as homogenous a manner as possible. Society also looks at people who wear mohawks or openly admit to using acid and labels them in the category of unemployed and useless. I like that these chaps exist to prevent such stereotypes being believed by everyone. Being a genius has nothing to do with how grey your suit is or how shiny your shoes. Being a genius often has a lot to do with being misunderstood by average people.

  • I’m not sure whether my form of inspiration is a tad big headed or not, but I know it definitely keeps me excited for the future and keeps me dreaming big; basically, I’m inspired by my current achievements and what I predict to achieve in my future career. For example, I have just completed my AS Exams and I am predicted straight A’s in all my subjects, this keeps me inspired as it makes the future looks bright. My teachers have predicted me A’s in my A Level exams already, and hopefully this will set me on for a good university. I know that I’m quite young, but hopefully some of you older folk will be able to apply my method of inspiration to your lives, for example with work, have you got a bonus, could you get a bonus? Did you get a better job position, or can you work towards one? Basically, look at everything like it is a miracle, love life and it will love you back!

  • Anything can inspire me really, from conversations with others, or just events around me, I can usually get inspired from things like that. People like Steve Jobs inspire me, due to where he came from, and what he was able to do; bill gates, not just for his work at Microsoft, but what he did after Microsoft, the list could go on.

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