A common interview question is “what inspires you?” Since interviews are usually not the best time to delve into deep personal issues, most people usually respond with dry, uncreative answers like “my parents,” or “being able to learn new things.” Don’t worry about how you may have answered that in the past, I want you to think about how you would answer that question right now.
We all find inspiration differently.
Some of us need time alone to find it, looking within. Others have more success looking outwards, observing and interacting. There is no golden answer to the question “what inspires you.” And your answer certainly doesn’t have to be singular, I find inspiration in more things than I can count. No one can tell you how or what you should be inspired by; you have to find out for yourself. What I can tell you is that when you come across these things, people, and/or places you will know.
Looking back at my life, my answers to the question “what inspires you” have changed dramatically over time, and rather frequently too. When I was a teenager I so desperately wanted to be a famous actor like so many other people, and I watched movies and plays all the time admiring how everyone in the cast “had done it” and that meant there was hope for me too.
Focus on now. The past doesn’t matter.
While I still enjoy the theater and watching blockbuster hits, my interest in acting has long passed, and although I still have mad respect for anyone who’s a working actor, that’s not a source of inspiration for me anymore and I’m totally fine with that. My goals and priorities have changed, and the people that inspire me now are bloggers, world travelers, and entrepreneurs.
People are amazing. I’m constantly amazed at the accomplishments people achieve every day. But for me, getting inspired by people alone isn’t enough. The majority of my inspirations are actually drawn from nature and travel.
Trails are always changing.
I always feel inspired when I’m hiking because I notice something new everywhere I go, even if I’m wandering down the same trail for the hundredth time. Nature is always active, finding ways to survive and flourish, and I love that.
Wandering down dirt trails with the feel of the ground beneath my feet, my mind clears and my stresses melt away. Nature humbles me, and reassures me that all the things have been bothering me really don’t matter in the big picture. Hiking helps me squash my fears and inhibitions and makes me believe that anything is possible.
For those of you who like to hike, here are a few of my favorite trails that have inspired me and I think you’ll enjoy too.
- Kalalau Trail, Napali Coast, Kauai
- Panorama Trail, Yosemite Valley
- Sunset Trail, Fort Funston
- Solitude Trail, Squaw Valley
- Summit Loop Trail, San Bruno Mountain State Park
- Maunawili Falls Trail, Oahu
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