Inspire into Experiencing

This is an excerpt from the speech I gave to a small gathering of high school students who had come to attend, training on effective communication, conducted by the local NIIT franchise in association with JCI.

As a student, after attending trainings, seminars or talks I used to attain a state of ‘Inspiration’ or ‘Enlightenment’ .But this would last only few days if not few hours. I wondered why it never lasted. I am still not sure but can tell you something.

No one can inspire you!

No one can inspire you, if you think inspiration is something that taken and fitted into people and they are done. No, it doesn’t work that way.

In the Hollywood movie “The First Sight”, the protagonist is a young man, blind since birth. He meets up a wonderful, extremely beautiful young lady, and they fall in love.The lady, now his girl friend, funds his eye surgery and restores vision into his eyes.The girl is extremely happy that she had been instrumental in him getting sight and that he could now see how beautiful she was.But after the surgery, when the bandages are removed, the young man sees only bright lights that pain his eyes. He could only see lights of varying intensities. His brain could not comprehend vision. His brain has not records of such activity. His brain didn’t understand color or how humans look or what beauty is.

 I want you to understand that his girlfriend, with the help of doctors restored vision to his god given eyes. But he didn’t enjoy the sight. He still closed his eyes and touched his girlfriend to feel her. The young man then trains his brain to understand vision.

What I would like to convey is that inspiration is something like this. It could give you the vision but you have to let it grow in you to understand the beauty of life.
No training, lecture or anything for that matter will change your life. It is you who will do it.

You must have heard of Madhuri Dixit inspiring a series of M F Hussein’s painting. But if you look at those painting you would notice that it doesn’t even resemble Madhuri. And if you are not a core art enthusiast you may find resembling it to human. When you say Madhuri Dixit inspires MF Hussein, it’s not about Madhuri, it’s about MF Hussein. It’s his thoughts about her that grew in him and expressed itself out in the form of those paintings.That’s how inspiration is. It’s not Madhuri Dixit, it’s about MF Hussein. It’s not something external, it’s within. It’s nothing outside-in, its inside-out. The inspiration should be nurtured inside, which should grow and express it out as the paintings did.

Now, how do you express it and how do you sustain the inspiration?You do that by experiencing a richer life. There is a subtle difference between experience and experiencing. Experience is a noun and experiencing is a verb. As someone said, life should be more of verbs and lesser of nouns.

I want you to focus on these two words in what I am saying, “Experience” and “Experiencing”.Experience is something that you get from your elders, your religion or your own past. It may help sometimes but what it mostly does is building in you the fears.
A friend of mine never drives because his mother had a terrible ‘experience’ of seeing someone die in an accident. Not everyone dies in an accident.

The first time you went up on stage to perform and failed terribly. But that should not become an ‘experience’ that would pull you down the next time you are given an opportunity to go up the stage. It should instead inspire you into ‘experiencing’ a better performance the next time.

Be greedy in experiencing everything that’s good in life. Inspire yourself into that day-in and day-out. Look for every opportunity to grow that inspiration in you. Be it a movie, be it the lyrics of a song, a seminar, a book, a painting, a beautiful girl, and be it anything.
Let everything help you grown in you inspiration that would help you in experiencing a bigger, richer and a fuller life.


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