It wasn’t all that long ago (six years to be exact) that I used to watch a lot of TV. By a lot, I mean that my weekly schedule was structured around that of the TV guide. If my favourite show was on at 7.30pm on a Wednesday then I’d either have to record it or find a way to shift the activity.
In addition, I used to follow the news religiously. I’d read the paper in the morning, watch the 6pm report in the evening and flick through news websites in between. I was hungry for the next headline and always wanted to be “in the know.” That was until something happened which completely rocked how I invested my time.
I moved abroad, made a bunch of friends from around the world and was so busy exploring that I didn’t have any time to watch TV or read the news anymore. Although I’m sure that you could forgive me for cutting out TV, most would probably think that skipping the news is a bad idea. Interestingly enough, I found that I didn’t miss out on anything by skipping the news. If anything, life became better.
I was surrounded by fascinating people and every day brought a new adventure. I realised that we aren’t just what we eat - we’re the sum of all the interactions in our lives, whether that’s the media we consume or the people we hang out with.
This led me to ponder - why don’t we just surround ourselves with what inspires us? Since then, I’ve experimented with this and here are three ways that I’ve discovered to surround your life with inspiration.
“Like” and “follow” those who inspire you
They say that we are bombarded with up to 5,000 media messages per day and each of them has a cumulative effect on our wellbeing. Although a lot of these are somewhat inescapable, such as a billboard on the highway, we can control the media that we choose to interact with - social media, I’m looking at you!
Although it’s difficult to contain your social media behaviour, there is a way that you can use it to your advantage. Simply “like” Facebook pages and “follow” Twitter as well as Instagram accounts which inspire you. The more of these pages that you “like” and “follow”, the more inspired you will be every time that you log in.
Be selective about who you spend time with
We’ve all heard the saying that we are the sum of the five people that we spend the most time with. And it’s true.
There are people in our lives who support us and help us grow. Just by being around these people, we feel happy and energised. On the other hand, there are people who drain us of our energy; oppressing their negative outlooks or perspectives on us no matter the consequences.
While I haven’t had to “shed” any friends thus far, I do take note of the roles that the people in my life play (and vice versa) as it makes me aware of who I should spend more or less time with. This is important because the more time that you spend with people who inspire you, the more inspired your days will become.
Leverage the power of communities
Aside from managing the close relationships which exist in your life, joining larger like-minded communities can have a dramatic effect on your perspective. In this case, I have found that it’s better to look forward to the future by answering this question - “Who do I want to be tomorrow and which communities will help me get there?”
For me, that means attending events which attract people in the entrepreneurial, creative and natural-living communities. That’s just me though and it’s probably different for you. But as an example, if you want to live an active lifestyle, one of the best things that you could possibly do would be to join workout communities in your area. For example, if you are based in Kuala Lumpur, look up KL’s many workout communities and meet like-minded people on Be One - PurelyB’s health and wellness forum.
Developing friendships with people who are in the same boat as you are will make you accountable for your actions and motivate you to go further!
Live an inspired life today
All of these variables (the social media pages you follow, the friends that you hang around and the communities that you participate in) are within your control. So what’s stopping you?