There’s something powerful about inspirational quotes, a small collection of words that can instantly uplift you or trigger a personal reflection.
All around the Internet and social media, inspirational quotes have become more and more popular. You’ll find websites and blogs dedicated to collecting and sharing these quotes.
The Rise and Fall of an Idea
I’ve always had a particular fondness for inspirational quotes, even before the rise of social media.
Back when I was a brand-new graduate student in the UK, my first few months were filled with excitement and amazement. Despite living far away from my family in the Philippines, I embraced my newly found independence.
But three months in, I started becoming very homesick.
A letter and a care package that I received from my mother brought about this longing to be home. In the letter, my mother expressed how sad she was that I’m away from home but at the same time, proud of what I’m trying to accomplish. I knew that writing this letter, every stroke of the pen, meant a great deal for her. I’ve never seen my mother write a letter in my life.
Accompanying this letter is a winter blanket with a floral design in bluish hue. It looked like a soft version of fine china. This blanket is still in my possession to this day.
After this first bout of homesickness, I had a brilliant idea to start sending out daily inspirational quotes via email to my family and friends. I was hoping that one of these quotes would inspire someone. I was so optimistic that my efforts would be appreciated.
But one day, a friend confronted me. I was told that what I was doing was silly and that he doesn’t need those quotes. An “unsubscribed” button would have served me well then.
That criticism had a big impact on me. I didn’t even think it through. I just stopped sending those inspirational quotes.
But what if I didn’t let that criticism discourage me? I would never know because I did not persist with my idea.
You have ideas, dreams and aspirations that you want to pursue. Not all ideas are created equal. There are those that you are really passionate about.
You get so excited about these ideas and tell all your family and friends about them.
But you don’t always get the reaction that you wanted to get. Sometimes, one or two individuals would disagree with your idea. It can be very discouraging to hear criticisms.
You have to keep in mind that more often than not, your family and friends just worry about you. They care for you and they want to help you make the right decisions.
But you also have to be cautious of those who doesn’t have anything good to say about your idea because they don’t have your best interest at heart.
It’s worth considering the comments and the positive criticisms that you’ll receive. There’s also value in putting ideology aside for a brief moment and to be pragmatic in processing the opinion of others.
Deciding to Nurture an Idea
You are creative by nature and your ideas will come and go. But the creation of an idea is as important as the nurturing of an idea.
Elizabeth Gilbert, author of best-selling novel Eat, Pray, Love, explores the creative process in her book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. One important takeaway in this book is that it provides a reminder that ideas and creativity will always go knocking at your door.
But the emergence of ideas and creativity is as important as what you decide to do about them. Are you going to ignore it or turn it away? Are you going to open the door and let it in? Or are you going to offer it tea, or are you going to ask it to stay for dinner, or even for the night. Are you going to start and build a special relationship with it?
Whatever you decide to do, trust your gut. Follow your heart. You will do what feels right.
Gilbert, Elizabeth. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. New York: Riverhead Books, 2015.