There is a hunger for inspiring and positive news stories that motivate us, and that leave us feeling better about ourselves and humanity. But does inspiration change our lives in ways that matter, or is it merely a temporary distraction from the daily drudge?
Harvard Business School recently published an article by psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman entitled, Why Inspiration Matters. He states
“In a culture obsessed with measuring talent and ability, we often overlook the important role of inspiration. Inspiration awakens us to new possibilities by allowing us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations. Inspiration propels a person from apathy to possibility, and transforms the way we perceive our own capabilities. Inspiration may sometimes be overlooked because of its elusive nature…… as recent research shows, inspiration can be activated, captured, and manipulated, and it has a major effect on important life outcomes.”
So does that mean that inspiration could be a factor leading to healthier lives? Dr. Kaufman goes on to explain the work of two psychologists, Todd Thrash and Andrew Elliot. Their study of the characteristics that inspired people share, led them to develop what is now called “The Inspiration Scale,” which involves three aspects of inspiration – evocation, transcendence and approach motivation. In line with other studies, they discovered that inspired people share qualities such as higher self-esteem and confidence levels, optimism, and an ability to concentrate. So I would suggest that nurturing our inspiration is not only healthy for us, but also vital for humanity. But I wondered: Does reading or listening to the inspiration of others also make a difference?….. Read more…