02/27/2012 12:20 EST | Updated 04/28/2012 05:12 EDT

What Inspires You?


I just watched this YouTube video of Emmanuel Kelly who performed on The X Factor. I was moved -- in all sorts of way.

I encourage you to take a few minutes (eight, actutally) and watch this beautiful performance, and hear the story of Emmanuel's life.

As you watch it, think about how it affects you and why it affects you. What are the moments -- what is the meaning -- that touches you?

I have noticed that watching inspirational videos like this can have an incredible impact on my personal happiness and general sense of well-being. Why is that? I mean, Emmanuel and I could not be farther apart in terms of our personal story (and certainly, in terms of our singing talent!).

I think it is because we do not have to have lived the same life as another person in order to take something away from their story -- in order to be moved by them.

You, too, are likely moved by such stories. What happens -- inside -- when you are "moved" or inspired?

For me, the process includes the four Rs that follow. I'll share how they work for me and you can think about how they might work for you.

1) Reflect: Spend a few seconds reflecting on the essence of the story or performance. What, exactly, has touched you about it?

For me, Emmanuel touched me because he has so much gratitude for his mother and for his life. He is not bitter or filled with self pity -- his smile speaks of a comfortable, open, courageous, happy soul.

2) Remember: Recall moments from your own life that were "touched" in the same way as you are being touched right now.

I instantly recalled my own mother offering me kind words of encouragement as I struggled -- living away from home with a tough schedule at university and a computer programming class that almost brought me down (I was ready to pack it in, were it not for my mother's love for and belief in me).

3) Reframe: Think ahead about how you can recall this experience more often -- in what moments and under which circumstances can this have meaning in your life?

I am a mother and I will continue to remind myself of the power I have in impacting my children each and every day. Love is a verb.

I will also notice that I can share this with people I interact with each and every day in my work. We are all connected and we all impact one another.

4) Recharge: Notice the increase in energy that you feel when you purposefully notice moments of inspiration in your life and in the lives of others.

I notice an increased sense of "lightness" in my body, and I can almost feel the synapses firing in my brain -- there is nothing like that dopamine "high"!

I will be more mindful of these moments and relish them.

What inspires you? Send a link to your favourite video, story, quotation... or tell us your story so we can be inspired by you.