Uninspired lives and Elephants

This is a post about elephants and their need to be seen and acknowledged.

Elephants are wonderful creatures, they rarely prefer to be indoors, but when they are, there is something to be learned. Sometimes elephants move into our houses, and lay in our beds with their trunks around our soft bellies, begging for our attention yet we still look away. An ELEPHANT in the room? Which room? This one? NO! I am not in denial.

I am inspired when I wake up, and when I go to sleep. My dreams are blockbusters, and my daily commute to work is therapeutic. I am a walking, speaking beacon of inspiration. I am not in denial.

Did I lose you?

The elephant in the room for those unfamiliar with the metaphor is when a stark reality or truth stares you in the face but you still choose to deny it. Simply put, having an elephant in the room but refusing to admit that you can see it.

Fine. Elephants sometimes take up a lot of space, and they make us feel small and less interesting. If I were to photograph myself right now, I have an elephant on my lap and he snores and weighs me down, and he really just wants me to accept that some days I am uninspired by everything. As soon as I do, he gets up and makes me write this.

What I’m really trying to say is this:

Sometimes inspiration doesn’t come, although we try really hard to squeeze it out of our mundane days, weeks and sometimes months. Inspiration and wonder are words at the end of the day that describe feelings that enable us to see more, be more and do more. Those feelings behave like self tailored secrets especially designed to appease our fluttering hearts from beating us to death.

Sometimes we wait in the rain with our water proof phones hoping to snap a picture of a beautiful rainbow, and post it to Instagram with an inspirational caption below that goes something like “while everyone hides from the rain, those who wait out the storm get the rainbow; #weather is so inspiring.” Boom, 230 Likes; We all slept well that night.

We lead ourselves to think that we have control; perhaps we did manage to snap that picture last time, but this time the rainbow doesn’t come out. During our wait in the rain we end up discovering that our phones are not as hydrophobic as marketed. We end up seeing no rainbows, just storms and broken phones. Lesson learned, inspiration is hard to come by, sometimes life is terribly ordinary and just awfully real. #Caption_that

So what do we do when our lives aren’t always Instagram worthy, or Facebook material? How do we present ourselves when we are uninspired?

We imitate

I personally and luckily am only slightly addicted to social media [this probably is a lie]. The truth really is that I like learning about how it works, and why it works the way it does; I am less interested in what is posted but more with why content is posted. I was curious enough about it and I took an online course on Coursera about Viral Marketing and what makes content contagious. Marketing, psychology and social theories of influence all play a part in how we present ourselves online truly reflecting three major things: we want to be seen, we want our lives to seem exciting, and we trust and rely on the images we are presented with from our peers.

We are creatures of imitation, and that only takes us so far; it could be both necessary for our survival and detrimental to it. Inspiration on the other hand is our ticket to originality. Inspiration where available is one of the most important tools for creating raw and beautiful foundations, actions and trends, where then imitation follows.

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