Sunday, 21 February 2016

The Power Of Inspiration In The World Today

Turn on the TV and you'll soon see something that will make you gasp.

Another shooting, killing or war. In today's world, people are looking

for inspiration, something that will motivate and spur them to make big

changes in life. Today's conventional media doesn't always provide the

invigoration people are looking for. An abundance of reality TV formats

and game shows have encouraged millennials to look for inspiration

online. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have revolutionized

the way web users get their inspiration, providing people with the

artistic and spiritual growth they need in a complex, complicated world.

But why is inspiration so powerful? And why are people turning to the

web to find it?

"Life," said Albert Einstein, "is like riding a

bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving." It's quotes like

these that continue to motivate and invigorate web users. Type in

"inspirational quotes" into Google and you'll find an assortment of

sites with famous sayings, theories, and viewpoints from some of the

biggest visionaries, thinkers, and innovators in human history. Yes, all

of Einstein's famous quotes can quickly be accessed. As can Thomas

Edison's. Or George Washington's. For those who want to span back even

further, you can get philosophical inspiration from Plato or Aristotle.

Then there are contemporary business leaders, activists, and

entertainers whose famous sayings continue to motivate and stimulate.

From Oprah to Bill Gates, Obama to Mark Zuckerburg, and everyone

in-between, people can find an inspirational quote from a prominent

politician, entrepreneur or movie star in mere seconds. The vast amount

of material (and the speed in which you can find it online) has made the

internet a powerful platform for inspiration. Websites like Good Reads

and Brainy Quotes have a plethora of famous quotes and excerpts that

will get your creative juices flowing or provide you with the motivation

you need.

But why is inspiration so powerful? Well, it has a

long history that spans several centuries. Once believed to have

originated from divine forces, inspiration is defined as the process

whereby you are "mentally stimulated" to feel or do something,

especially when it comes to creativity. The origins of inspiration can

be traced to ancient Greece, where literature and the arts transformed

the collective consciousness, providing the population with new outlets

to express themselves and engage in debate. The arts redefined culture,

something that continues today as lyricists, authors, and actors produce

creative work that sometimes has no other purpose but to inspire. But

as traditional TV and radio networks place a greater emphasis on

commercial content to attract more advertising revenue, inspiration on

traditional media is all but obsolete. That's not to say there aren't

programs and personalities that continue to inspire and motivate via the

medium, but with inspirational shows like the Oprah Winfrey Show (once

championed as the go-to place for self-help gurus, book authors and

creative thinkers) now off the air, more people are turning online to

find something that will make them think deeper.

Social media has

magnified the growing demand for inspirational content. Facebook and

Twitter are two of the most popular social networks, but other sites,

such as Pinterest and Tumblr, are making it easier for people to share

inspirational song lyrics, quotes, illustrations and photos with friends

and family. Unlike television, which has been deemed to be an

impersonal medium, social media allows people to engage in conversation.

They can find something that inspires them and ask people to share,

like or comment. Social media has made inspiration global. Someone might

post a quote or short story in Japan and it might be shared in Florida

just a few hours later.

It's not just social media either.

Websites like Reddit make it easy for people to share their poetry,

short stories, fiction and haikus with a captive audience. Then there's

the rise of the meme: Short, snappy GIFs or images with inspirational

words, often with a humorous twist, are shared from city to city, state

to state, around the world. Inspiration has become a shared experience

for many, something that has exposed the works of the highest-regarded

thinkers and poets in history to a new generation. Instead of heading to

the library, people can find out more about Chaucer or Shakespeare


Studies show that inspiration is still important and can

have a far-reaching impact. According to research, people who are in a

"state of inspiration" are more likely to show creativity in their

scientific writing, fiction and poetry. But that's not all. People who

are creatively inspired are more open to experiences and show specific

behaviors like an attention to detail. Creative people often draw from a

number of influences. They might be inspired by religion, politics,

culture, the weather, or a song. In today's ever-evolving world, many of

them are deciding to share their work online with an audience wanting

to be inspired.

People might crave inspiration when they

experience a life-changing event or something negative happens. But

traditional text (quotes, poems, and short stories) are sometimes not

enough for today's web savvy creative thinkers. They want more. They

scour sites like YouTube looking for video content that will inspire

them, with some of the most popular inspirational vloggers generating

million of views. As the world becomes increasingly visual, it's no

surprise that some people prefer to find inspirational content on video

sharing sites rather than at a library, museum or art gallery. However,

the process is similar: People are creatively inspired and might decide

to write down their feelings and thoughts about a piece of art, poem or


Inspiration has come a long way since the days of ancient

Greece. The internet has revolutionized the way people find and share

information. Today, memes, GIFs, videos and quote websites provide

people with a creative outlet and source of inspiration, especially when

they can't always find this type of information from conventional

sources like television and radio. As more people use the internet

around the world, including on their smartphones and tablets, it looks

like people will be inspired for years to come, even when they are on

the go.

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