Leading Like a Monk: Who Inspires Us Not to Give Up?

Leading Like a Monk: Who Inspires Us Not to Give Up? November 9, 2017


What Inspires Us Not to Give Up?

We can all feel tired and frustrated. People can get overwhelmed and ready to quit.

We can all understand and probably relate to how they feel. Whether at work or at home, about finances or our physical health, we know how it is.

It can feel like wanting to stay in bed all day or lie on the beach. We may feel defeated or unsure of whether we can take even one more step. So many things have built up all at the same time and we are ready to give up and go away.

We do not even want to go do something else, just stop doing whatever we are doing.

Most of us are grateful for any person who inspires us not to give up.

One of the important things leaders do is encouraging people not to give up and walk away. We might use facts and figures to persuade people they are making a difference. Sometimes we connect with people on an emotional level. Leaders might show people how they fit into an overarching story.

The leaders I remember inspired me not to give up, especially when I most felt like it.

They took time to listen and knew me well enough to connect with me personally.

I worked with one person who would listen to me list, in great detail, all the reasons we had no hope. When I was ready to quit, he would smile and say, “OK, so what are we going to do?

The inspiration I needed was in that pause and that question.

Who Inspires Us?

Each of us has at least one person who inspires us not to give up.

It may be someone who always seems to know the right thing to say. Some of us are inspired by people who lived and died and left us their words. We could be inspired by someone who does not say much and inspires us by their example. There are inspiring people we see every day and those we have never actually met in person.

Some of us draw inspiration from the power of another person’s ideas. We may be inspired by how what we do makes us feel or what it accomplishes. It may be new, creative beginnings which inspire us or bringing projects to completion.

The challenge for us as leaders is recognizing what inspires us and the people around us.

We appreciate what sparks the fire of inspiration in us and become better at sharing it. As we reflect on what inspires us not to give up we translate it into ways to inspire other people.

The leaders who inspire me draw their inspiration from a variety of sources. They translate what inspires them into what can inspire other people.

Reflecting on who inspires us not to give up can be more helpful than thinking about what makes us want to give up.

Who are the leaders who inspire us? What kind of person inspires us not to give up?

The leaders who inspire us may be different for each of us. It is not a competition to evaluate who inspires us or determine the best inspiration. Each of us can find the inspiration which is uniquely our own.

The people who inspire us were each inspired by other people.

Being inspired is more essential than finding the right way to do it.

Monastic Inspiration

The monks I know lead primarily by example. Most of my interaction with them happens without words.

Some of them have written books or music, or created visual art, which is all inspiring.

I know more about how they walk and chant than about how they think.

Each of them has their own stories. They have come together to form a community by pursuing a common quest. Each monk seeks to know God and know themselves in their own unique way.

They have a challenging, difficult calling. It takes strength and discernment to become a member of their community and pursue their truths. I am sure each has been tested and, at times, ready to quit.

Each has been inspired not to give up.

Inspiration comes from many sources, even for monks. Their faith inspires them not to give up. They believe in their call to monastic life and to their community.

Some have been inspired by other people, the example of other monks. Others have felt the power of ideas or experiences.

Their inspiration is the spark which ignites the flame within them. They begin their journey, their quest, and face challenging obstacles.

Inspiration stays with them, drawing them toward their calling.

Like strong leaders, the monks I know inspire the people around them. They share their inspiration and each draws new inspiration from it.

What inspires them is the same thing which inspires us not to give up.

What Inspires Us Not to Give Up

Each of us has our own unique ways of finding inspiration. What inspires me may not inspire you, and vice versa.

I know people who are so afraid of failing they refuse to consider the idea of giving up. Other people have been inspired by experiencing success early in life.

There are people who love how it feels to begin something, or the creative process. Seeing something through to the end of a project may be our inspiration.

What someone said or wrote, or the feeling of working together may inspire us. A powerful experience may form the basis of our inspiration. We might be inspired to prove we can accomplish things on our own.

The essential truth of inspiration is we need to see what inspires us.

We need to know what we need when we run into the wall or feel exhausted.

What inspires us not to give up when we have run out of hope?

When did you need inspiration not to give up lately?

What inspires us not to give up this week?

[Image by Andrew Mason]

Greg Richardson is a spiritual life mentor and leadership coach in Southern California. He is a recovering attorney and university professor, and a lay Oblate with New Camaldoli Hermitage near Big Sur, California. Greg’s website is StrategicMonk.com, and his email address is StrategicMonk@gmail.com.

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