Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How To Live A Life Filled With Inspiration and Avoid Groundhogs Day Redundancy

Today was Groundhogs Day. And just because we recognize this occasion on the second of February (while waiting for  an animal to engage his shadow) does not mean that tomorrow won't be Groundhogs Day again--in the Bill Murray sense.

How often do you just wake up and function on autopilot? How often do you break out of the same old routine?  How often do you identify with the clip above and feel that you are stuck in the same actions that don't take you anywhere different on a daily basis?

Hear me out. Structure is important. I believe structure to be a key component to success. I am not debating the need for structure in our daily lives.

But what I am saying is that we need a little spontaneity. Variation in our routine is just as important as structure for it leads to inspiration. And a life filled with a little inspiration leads to a lot of happiness.

This song inspired me today. I hope it inspires you too.

So, how do we live a life filled with inspiration? Can this be taught? I believe so. If you can learn "how to speak french" or "how to pack light" then why not learn how to live a life filled with inspiration right here on the Internet. That said, here are my recommendations for living an inspired life.
  1. Take up a new hobby or interest that you are passionate about. Circumstances such as credit card debt or rent may not allow us to have our dream job (for the time being) but that doesn't mean you should completely abandon interests that you are passionate about. It's often so sad to hear of people who studied subjects such as performing arts in college that abandon their talents because they need a job that "pays their bills." Don't give up on your talents--research classes in your local area; they can be at an art studio or community college. Yelp can also serve as a great resource online. Depending upon where you live, the selection will vary but you can find inspiration in pursuing your passions, even if the pursuit is a part time endeavor.
  2. Read motivational quotes and literature. It's no secret that the headlines of today are more of a "shock and awe" approach rather than "our world is a wonderful place in which we live." We are apt to hear of a robbery rather than learn of a young boy who sings songs for his peers that are stricken with cancer. Since our thoughts become our actions, in order to live a life filled with inspiration, it is imperative to read motivational literature and quotes. Not only will we gain perspective; we'll be able to see how some of the most successful individuals faced their obstacles head on and as a result, became inspiring influencers of society. 
  3. Make a gratitude list. Since we've become so resourceful due to technology, it's easy to get frustrated when things don't go our way. We have access to things at the click of our finger tips and want the latest and greatest NOW. But have you ever stopped to think about what it is that you currently have which you are thankful for? What are the things you treasure that money cannot buy? Write down the top 3 things you are thankful for each morning; embrace an attitude of gratitude and surely you will feel inspired.
  4. Help those in need. This is perhaps one of the most important honors we can exercise on this planet, for it reminds us that some people have more challenging circumstances. It can also inspire empathy and tolerance. To coincide with action #3, helping those in need reminds us of the wealth we have in choice. You can choose to see all the obstacles in your life, or you can compare your issues to someone else who may have more dire circumstances (which will allow you to snap out of your pity party). So long as you have a roof over your head, a bed to sleep in and food on your table, you can be inspired to go out there and go for it, each and everyday.
Inspiration--the very word has been responsible for some of the greatest inventions and contributors of all time.  You don't have to be a philosopher, scientist or poet to be inspired. All you need is a little shift in perspective and your life can shift into a more inspiring place. Say goodbye to Groundhogs Day--unless it's February 2, 2012.

The choice is yours. Wake up with a different set of eyes by choosing to live a life filled with inspiration. And share how you inspire yourself or others by commenting on this post.


  1. Hi Jaclyn, your post is spot on. I think #4 is my favorite. I always feel better when I help somebody I know or even better, someone I don't know. I'm guilty of doing the same things day in and day out. Mixing it up a bit is such an obvious solution to the monotony. Sadly, as obvious as it is, I don't do it enough. This is a good post. I think it could end up being a post you could spin off several more associated posts. ~Thanks. P.S. Absolutely love the movie - "Groundhog Day".

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this Kirk. Isn't it funny how the things that are the most obvious to us are also the most challenging? Exercising more, eating healthy, saving our money. It's easy for us to get stuck and little reminders to do something different are helpful. I'll be sure to post on this again in the future! Again, truly appreciate your input.

  3. Jaclyn, you've shared such wisdom here. The thing that strikes me when reading your post is that none of the things mentioned are difficult to do and that doing them successfully depends so much on attitude. I am so glad I read your post. It was very encouraging and a great aspect to healthy living!

  4. Jaclyn, I really like how you mix up your content in this post - video and list post.

    Of the 4 items you listed, all are good, I like number 1. I've not had a hobby of any kind in the last 20 years. Time has always been a premium and because of that hobbies have never made the list...flying would be the one I'd choose...that would be me being the pilot. Would love to finish those lessons I started a long time ago. Thanks Rich

  5. Thanks Bonnie and Richard for your comments. Quick blog tip-adding video to a blog is a great way to help with SEO. I don't pick videos based upon their hits or views, I pick what is pertinent to my content. But if you want to incorporate videos into your posts, here's a helpful article:

  6. I love this and the way you incorporated videos was great. My favorite number is #2. Positive thinking is just better!