What motivates you in life?
Is it money? Fame? Power? Love? Success? Happiness? Recognition?
(side note: My husband JWalk just said his motivation is “to be better at what I do the next day than I was the day before.” Now, that’s pretty legit.)
What is it you want to accomplish in life? Do you want to become the world’s foremost expert on something? Do you want to be the best parent or spouse that you can be? Do you want to be green and live life simply? Do you aspire to be a millionaire and have a private yacht?
If you’re like me, these two questions can be haunting. They keep me awake at night. I have so many passions and interests, and, coupled with a strong, insatiable desire to live a life of purpose, it is difficult for me to be content with the direction my life is heading. Throughout the last few years I have felt that I have lost sight of my passions and interests. I’ve been working a job at a prestigious global corporation in a field I never saw myself in, for almost five years. Even as I contemplate that thought now, it seems unfathomable to me that I’ve spent so much time in my life dedicated to something outside my passion.
My life is good.
But it’s just not anything like what I had pictured.
This lack of contentment led me to make an inspiration board. I got an old stack of magazines, a pair of scissors, a flap of an old cardboard box, and Modpodge glue. I sat down on my living room floor, cleared my mind of any pre-conceived notions, and got to work cutting out things that interested, inspired, or defined me. I then pieced them together, layer upon layer, on the old cardboard flap until I had assembled a collage. I glued them together and voila—I had my inspiration board.
As one who tends to let other people define me, I didn’t allow myself to put too much thought into this project for fear of overanalyzing each picture or phrase. I just cut whatever I was drawn to, gluing each word side by side. Then, I stood back to see what my inspiration board really looked like.
It truly reflected my heart’s desires.
Peace. Simpler living. International. Travel. Act. School. Making Our Community Better. Reject Apathy. Change, Grow, Lead. Hope. Make an Impact. Get Started.
City skylines. Gardens. Ruins of Ancient Rome. The Eiffel Tower. Books. Bicycles. Mountains. Seedlings. Children from Africa.
I loved it.
It has been a year since I created this inspiration board. Over time I have looked at my board and gut-checked myself. Has anything changed? Have I made any progress toward making my life count?
In the past year I visited a friend in Venezuela. JWalk and I have plans to visit two friends in Ireland and Spain this summer. I started graduate school. I am working hard to be more proactive and not so cautious of others’ criticism. One could say I’m moving in the right direction, but there are still so many things by which I wish to define my life. This board is a great visual reminder to keep moving forward.
I challenge you to make an inspiration board. Go ahead and ask yourself what truly motivates you, but redefine your answers. Live a life of purpose. Don’t sell out for money, power, or fame, and don’t lose sight of your heart’s innermost desires.