Fuel for the Flame of Inspiration

The spark of inspiration in anybody is always ignited by something, and there are many things in this world from which people can create ideas and theories. However, the spark isn’t able to sustain combustion on its own. It needs a fuel source, and the human brain is full of ideas to throw into the fire. Anybody can find their own interpretation of what inspiration means to them.

To most, it is through others and their powerful statements or in how they leave their mark on the world behind them. And to others, it is simply the world itself; it may be how the world defines logic or possibly how it needs to be changed—or improved. Many ideas are inspired by the beauty and complicated nature of the environments they are formulated for. On his invention that helps the blind navigate through their daily lives more easily, Canadian innovator Alex Deans commented that “nature is such a great innovator, so I tried to mimic that using this invention” (Mangione). Dubbed “iAid”, the device enables disabled people to have access to feelings and senses that they were previously deprived of.

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By finding inspiration in nature, Deans is able to find a fix for a flaw in our world and, in turn, offer hope for those afflicted by it. Others have taken their innovations to a whole new level, however: to change the entire world, beknownst or unbeknownst, for everyone. Elon Musk is a golden embodiment of this concept; he has brought hundreds of ideas to reality and quite a few of them have already slipped into mainstream society. “(Physics is) a good framework for thinking. … Boil things down to their fundamental truths and reason up from there” (Zhang). With his unique perspective on the ability for nature and its properties to inspire ideas, Musk demonstrates that it is not through just any aspect, but simply through the basics of something that one might become inspired with an idea that could make the object or idea greater.

Upon questioning, many of the people around me seemed to center on the fact that inspiration is the source of all ideas, either good or bad. Most of their thoughts also tended to ebb towards the concept of forming ideas through life experiences, which may be different from more popular opinions. In a personal sense, inspiration to me is the source of how I express myself. By becoming intrigued by anything, whether it be nature, a powerful personality, or merely something unordinary that happened to me during my daily routine, I find ways to show how I feel or what I think. These expressions normally occur by means of music, invention, or oftentimes my mood when I’m around others. Nominally, though, I find inspiration to be a feeling; a concept I can’t describe any other way besides with one word: extraordinary.

Through centuries of solid structure and endless control over its subjects, the world of business has defined the way many people live their lives, and when it comes to inspiration, big business falls short on the scale of effectiveness. “When I try to motivate myself, nine times out of ten I’m pushing myself to do something I don’t really care about” (Mead). In the eyes of Jonathan Mead, a prominent inspirationalist, the way people are forced to make money and survive hampers their natural ability to be inspired, to be original. This shows how most people in this day and age are paid to exist; their ideas are to be saved for a rainy (sick) day.In comparison of motivation versus inspiration, there is a clear choice for each of two kinds of people, respectively—those who want to go through the motions of life, and those who want to redefine them. Inspiration has many manifestations in the world of modern society, and it isn’t limited to just business; not by a long shot.

Through the eyes of Oscar-winning Disney Pixar director Brad Bird, “I want my films to make money, but money is just fuel for the rocket. What I really want to do is to go somewhere. I don’t want to just collect more fuel” (Rao). In his allegorical comparison of inspiration to success, he illustrates the fact that success isn’t everything, it’s just fuel for the endless inspiration he has for what he devotes his life to. This shows how people are inspired not only by their outlooks on nature in general but the concise nature of inspiration in itself as well.

In an innovative collaboration among reknown psychologists, it was determined that “inspiration is conceptualized herein as a general construct characterized by evocation, motivation, and transcendence” (Thrash). To the eyes of some this could mean that ‘materialism is key’—that worldly items are of necessity and that they are the motivation of our existence. However, this could be a fallacy for others; inspiration can be an ideal, a concept. And for everyone, it is the source of life itself. So what does inspiration really mean, then, to the average human being? It has a history of manifesting itself in others through both nature and other feats of inspiration that have the ability to spread contagiously. Although it may seem like a simple concept, the fact of the matter is that it is one of the most complex and unattainable ideas that exists in this universe.

It is not easily defined, and surely will never have a solid definition. Inspiration is limitless, and it can be found everywhere; it is always different for every corresponding person or personality. One thing is for certain, however: it will never come to an end.