One interesting thing that I've observed in children is that they tend to replicate the personality of one of their parents. Some kids physically resemble one of their parents and would even take on that parent's personality, and would even pursue the same career or business choices that the parent pursued.
But then you have children who are just completely different from their parents, having different values, different ideas, and different passions. If you were to compare that child to his or her parents, you would think that child didn't belong to those parents!
So, why is it that one child is almost an exact replica of the parents while the other child is not? It's because one child looks up to the parents, while the other child looks up to somebody else. This is not to say that one child loves the parents while the other doesn't, but that the parents are a source of inspiration to one child but not to the other.
Whoever is your source of inspiration would be the person you would most closely resemble in your personality, values, ideas, and life pursuits. But be careful about who inspires you, because your life could be a miserable one if the wrong people inspire you.
When I was involved in a network marketing company, I was surrounded by big-money-earners. My direct upline was a family that made over $200,000 a year, and to this day, they are probably close to millionaire status. I've attended the revival-like meetings where I've heard from guest speakers who made tons and tons of money, from people doing the business "very part-time" who made thousands a month, etc., etc. I'd be inspired to go out there and make money and have financial freedom like everybody else.
But...then I realized that all these people were promoting one thing that I really didn't value: money. The company was a nutrition-based company, and their products did work for me. But in the end, it wasn't about helping people get healthy: it was about making as much money as you can. Not only that, the values that were indirectly promoted was that the only way you could live a life of your dreams is by making lots and lots of money. The other message is that not having enough money makes you miserable while having money makes you happy.
One of the company's top-earners killed himself in a truck a few years ago. The founder of our company died from drug overdose. Then I hear of divorces happening in this company. So, it looks like money didn't really make you happy, but the pursuit of money was a recipe of disaster.
If I looked up to those top-earners, I would believe that the life I already had was inadequate, miserable, and unfulfilling. I look at my life now and it truly is a dream life. I don't have much money, which I have never been silent about. But having my kids home instead of in school, being able to go on road trips whenever I want, and having several paying gigs that would allow me to work whenever I want makes a dream life to me. I didn't need network marketing to achieve that.
Now, who inspired me so that I see my current life as a dream life? The number one person is Jesus. The other people who inspire me are those who live their lives with purpose, who live to serve the needs of others and who don't hold values to worldly possessions. The people who inspire me are the ones who have been married to one person over 50 years, who don't get caught up in fame and fortune, who homeschool their kids to instill deep values in them, and who don't live their lives trying to find happiness as if it were something hidden in the ocean somewhere.
Since the right people inspire me, I feel that I have a good life. I'm not stressed out and worried about money. I don't feel depraved of anything and I feel that I'm living with purpose. And I have such joy whenever I hear of my children saying that they want to use their skills to help the poor. Obviously, I'm their source of inspiration, so their pursuits in life would reflect my pursuits.
If you're living a miserable life where nothing is going your way, perhaps the wrong people inspire you. Who are the ones you look up to and what kind of values do they have? It's easy to look up to celebrities, because they seem to have it all. Do you believe that having it all would make your life better? If you were honest with yourself, you'd say no.
I seek to be an inspiration to my kids by the different skills I pursue. Just the other day, my son did his first REAL pull up. Why did he care to do a pull up? Because he saw his father doing it. My daughter has been seriously practicing her art. Why? Because she saw my art work and I push her to improve her skills. No, my kids won't like everything that I do, but the point is that their direction in life would be influenced because they look up to me as their inspiration. My son has spoken of being a truck driver, nothing that interests me. But what were his goals? To build greenhouses and sell them at affordable prices so that everybody can purchase them, and he could deliver these greenhouses to them. Yes...those goals reflect my values.
Another time, my son said, "We live an amazing life." He said that all on his own without any prompting from me. He could have been a child who complained about not having anything -- but through the teaching I give him and the examples I show him with my life, he finds that his life is not bad at all.
While I was in network marketing, my upline talked about the possibility of me making $10,000 a month and said, "Think about the kind of life you could provide for your kids." That made me think, "What's wrong with the life they have now?" His comment only revealed what were important to him in this life: money and possessions. No, he's not a bad person and he truly meant well. But I know that I didn't want people like him inspiring me. This is one reason why I'm not involved in network marketing: I don't want the wrong people inspiring me, otherwise I'd feel inadequate about the life I have now. (As an aside, I don't denounce network marketing at all. It's just not something I want to get involved with unless I truly, truly, TRULY see a vision for it that doesn't involve getting rich.)
Your life reflects the people you look up to. All of your hopes and dreams are simply extensions of the people you surround yourself with. If you weren't around those people, would you honestly say that you'd still pursue those passions of yours? If I didn't surround myself with the right people, I probably wouldn't appreciate the life I have now and I probably wouldn't pursue the things I pursue now.
You're not an island. You're a part of a continent. Other people do influence your decisions, even if you don't believe so. Why do you want to lose weight? Is it really for health issues or is it because you look up to the wrong people? Why do you want a six-pack? Why do you want to get a tan? Why do you want to color your hair? Why do you do what you do? If you dig deep enough, you'd see that other people have influenced your values -- and sometimes, those people were inspired by the wrong people.
One of the first steps to improving your life AND your perception of your life is to be inspired by the right people. Sometimes, your struggle with depression could be caused by those you hang around with. Sometimes, your drinking and drug problem could be caused by the people you cherish the most. Sometimes, you're not going forward in life because the people you admire are holding you back.
When the right people inspire you, your life may not necessarily get better, but at least your perception of your life would improve. And really, getting more money or better health is not nearly as important as getting a better attitude about your life.
All information in this blog are for inspirational purposes only. Unless otherwise stated, all content is written and copyrighted by Aiyo A. Jones.