Everyone needs someone to inspire them now and again. It is a fact of life that sometimes it takes more than coffee to lift us out of our doldrums. I often rely on inspirational authors to give my soul spiritual CPR when I am feeling low. Fortunately, there are many wonderful writers who blog and publish books that provide the inspiration many of us need. Sometimes a good friend or family member can provide this kind of stimulus and it is important to determine who they are.

People from all walks of life can inspire others

There is a mistaken notion inspiration only comes from people larger than ourselves. While it is true that a great speech or acts of courage can have an exalting influence, there are those special people that can breathe life into your soul. Their way of living can be a sudden breeze over your low flame and bring your excitement back to life.

Unmistakable qualities

There are two types of inspiration. The first type is the exciting kind that leaves you feeling exalted. Although this feeling can make you think you can conquer the world, it is short lived. This kind of inspiration is like a sugar fix; the high is great, but the crash soon follows. Before long, the message is forgotten.

The second type is a profound inspiration. This may not feel as uplifting as the exciting kind, but it has longer lasting effects. Profound inspiration is like a solid foundation, it is always there, you can rely on it anytime to fuel your actions.

People who possess the following five qualities inspire me in this way. Read on and you will understand why.

Integrity. People of great integrity inspire greatly. They don’t subscribe to the rule that you are only wrong when you get caught. To them integrity means behaving in a way they would be proud of no matter who is looking over their shoulder. People of great integrity carry themselves with dignity and with unquestionable honesty and transparency at all times, even when they become a public target. They model for me the kind of person I want to become.

Respect. People who inspire me choose to see the value in everything and everyone. They also know no one is without struggles and failures in their lives, which is why they treat everyone fairly and with reverence regardless of race, age, color of skin, gender, gender identity, sexual preference, national origin, religion, social status, political affiliation or whether or not they have a disability. Respectful people realize a Higher Power did not create them to be an all-knowing fountain of wisdom and they look to build coalitions with the cooperation of others. They regard others as being just as invested as they to contribute something important with their lives. People like this inspire me to respect others as they do.

Reverence. Not everyone in a leadership position is inspiring, but those that are recognize they are no better, more important or more entitled than anyone else because of their position. They regard their authority as a special opportunity to set the present and the future for their organization, division or group. They understand they will help shape a great physical, emotional and spiritual purpose, as well as set the culture and traditions that bring greatness to their organization. What makes them stand out is that they carry themselves with great humility and veneration for the responsibility someone gave them. They inspire me to do the same.

Clarity. People who inspire me are clear in what they stand for. This doesn’t mean I have to agree with them, but I am moved by the simplicity and precision of what they stand for. They mean what they say and do what they mean. If you think clarity is not important, then you haven’t been around someone who is wishy-washy. One cannot trust someone who perpetually has their finger in the air ready to measure which way the wind is blowing. People who show this kind of clarity inspire me to behave with conviction for what I believe in.

Consistency. There is nothing more valuable in life than having a partner, spouse, family member or friend that you can count on no matter what. We don’t find who these people are until we are in dire straits. People you can count on may not be perfect, but what makes them inspiring is their non-judgmental attitude and their commitment to help those in need. To me, their consistency inspires confidence. I also see them as courageous in the way they stand by their friends.


There is not just one recipe for inspiring people. These five characteristics is how I define them, but you may have some that are combined in a variety of ways. What is important is you use this or your own criteria to recognize who these people are so you may rely on them when the time comes. It is also important you identify the way in which you are inspiring others and stick to that behavior as a way of life.

Remember, paying gratitude for your life forward will reward you with great feelings of joy and contentment.

Photo by Bobby Johnson on Unsplash