Have you ever felt inspired? Have you ever been trudging through your day’s work, wondering why you’re doing what you’re doing, when along comes a quote, a conversation, a video, or a kick in the pants that sets your perspective straight and gets you going? It’s a rhetorical question, of course you have. But have you ever returned the favor?

We know the difference between discipline and motivation, one is external and the other is internal, but as humans with self-interest at heart (not to be confused with selfishness) it’s easy to take in all the inspirational fuel there is and use it to propel you forward. Step back for a moment and realize that whatever externally inspires you to move forward has to come from somewhere — not in the way that apples come from trees, but the way apple pie comes from apples. Someone has to create it.

Without someone to engage with you in such a manner that it inspires you, where would that inspiration come from? Sure, we still have our internal discipline to drive us onward, but that can only get a person so far. Part of living together on this planet is caring for one another, and part of caring for one another is striking the spark which ignites a fire deep in our hearts.

So how can you be the inspiration for others? Just be a leader. This doesn’t mean assuming control of situations, being a hero, or accomplishing incredible feats. At its most basic level, inspiring others through good leadership means being a good role model through your everyday routine.

Consider the words you use in your daily interactions and activities on social media. Are your words positive and constructive in nature or do you find yourself bringing others down with poor criticisms? When debating issues with other people are you more interested in exchanging thoughts and educating one-another or feeling like you “won” the interaction? Do you complain and moan when someone shows vulnerability and asks you for help? Are you more concerned with being heard or hearing others? Is the “Golden Rule” lost on you or do you actively do your best to treat the world the way you want to be treated? These are questions to reflect upon and do some analysis over how we impact our friends, family, and strangers alike.

The future will be shaped by our actions today. 100 people each caring about the other 99 will create more positive change than 100 people each caring about 1. By caring for others, we inspire others to care for others, and the cycle repeats. The same is true when we care about only ourselves.

Make the choice to be the inspiration for someone else today.

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