Perhaps, the greatest feeling one can ever hope for is to be able to inspire people in such a way that you are able to change their lives! That would, indeed, be tantamount to making us creators or inventors because we are able to create new lives in others! Many would consider this notion as sacrilegious but it is just a humble acknowledgement of the divine in us. We all share this gift – the power if you will. Unfortunately, few of us are aware or realize this.


Here some ways by which we could harness this latent power in us and touch the lives of others:

• Show people we really care. We should do this not just in words, but in our actions. Merely talking about it is hypocrisy and could do more harm than good. Perhaps, we are not expected to perform heroic deeds. However, small and even seemingly insignificant acts of kindness have the power to touch and affect the lives of those around us, as long as they are done from the heart.

I am a semi-disabled old man and one time, I lamented my being useless to others. I was really surprised when a woman smiled and told me, “Grandpa (they all call me that), you may not be aware of it but you make a lot of us happy by greeting us ‘good morning’ and flashing that smile every morning as you pass by.” That appreciation really floored me. It made me feel10-foot tall as I continued my walk, dragging my semi-crippled feet on the street.

1• Spread enthusiasm around. Just like a virus, enthusiasm is very contagious but in a positive way. This is clearly illustrated by group or community activities. Notice how a small advocacy spread fast like wildfire until it becomes a movement that involves the entire community in such a short time.

• Build up trust and confidence. Being social creatures, we naturally tend to share our thoughts and feelings with our fellowmen. This is the best opportunity for us to nurture trust among us. Let us share the good qualities of people that may inspire others. However, and this is important, let us keep within our hearts the personal information shared with us in strict confidence. This is the time to earn the trust of others— by keeping a strict guard over our speech. Let us never engage in gossips and loose talks.

• Rise up by lifting others. We should never try to put down others in hoping to gain recognition. Getting ahead at the expense of others is not a forward move but a sliding back. By getting out of our way to help others and pushing them forward, we unwittingly propel ourselves towards the frontline while earning the appreciation of others — won’t that be a sweeter taste of success?

• Live and lead by example. There may be times when life’s vicissitudes shake down our inner-strength. However, instead of ‘throwing in the towel’, times like these are excellent opportunities for us to hold on and inspire others to be strong. Exemplary lives of heroes and martyrs could be very inspiring but showing that mere mortals like the rest of us surviving the odds has a more powerful and lasting effect on people.

1• Practice true humility. Many may feign humility but people could easily see through the charade and could do more harm instead of inspire. Let us be humble and brave enough to admit our flaws and limitations. Let us not be afraid of being censured because being one of them, most will understand and be forgiving. By encouraging them to be so, we also help them become better individuals.

• Be open to others. Keep our ears, eyes, arms, and hearts open to others. Let our ears be open to the tales of woes of others. Let us be aware of those opportunities where we can do good deeds to others, insignificant though they may be. By helping an infirmed lady cross the street; or giving a sincere appreciation to somebody for opening the door for us; or keeping eye-contact with someone pouring out his heart to you to show our undivided attention; all these and more will go a long way to warm cold hearts.

• Dare to dream. Let show others that it is alright to aim high and share our aspirations with them. Instead of dousing dreamers with cold water with our negativity, let us warm them up with our encouraging words. Let us teach them how to realize their dreams instead of drumming into their heads why things could not be done. Without feeding them with false hopes, let us help them grow from being mere dreamers to active doers by our sound advice.

• Be constructive in our criticisms. Sometimes, it is wise to prevent things from getting worse rather than allowing things go uncorrected for fear of hurting feelings. If given with the right intention and tactful manner, few would ever resent a constructive criticism. Actually, allowing a person to continue doing wrong would even be doing that a person a disservice. A good way for us to criticise is to start with a positive statement before suggesting an alternative action. Never should we touch on personal issues but keep our criticism on a professional level. Close our comment with a smile and our appreciation to him for hearing out our advice.

1• Let us be guided by the golden rule. We can appreciate others more if we try to put ourselves in their shoes. Let us avoid looking at things in a myopic perspective. Let us treat everyone equally regardless of the colours of our skins, beliefs, gender, or other preferences in life. Hence, let us act towards others as we what we would want them act towards us, with dignity and mutual respect. Let us hear others out for everyone has something to say like we do.

• Let us give credit where credit is due. Usurping appreciations or gratitude from others usually leaves bad after taste, and even embarrassments, especially if those adulations are undeserved. Let others show their appreciations as they please. Respect and appreciations are never forced. In fact, we should not expect them. The thought that we have done something admirable that benefitted our fellowmen should be enough to satisfy us. Also, let us be the first to acknowledge other people’s contribution to our success and to those whom they serve.

• Show confidence and dignity in our every action and word. When we go around showing others how calm and confident we are, we somehow encourage others to act in the same manner. However, there should not be any trace of haughtiness in our action but only dignified humility; neither should we be apologetic in our words and manners as long as we have been always truthful and honest in dealing with others. Let us talk to people with warmth and let us keep a friendly eye-to-eye contact with them as we do so.

1• Value our words. Let us treat the words we utter be more valuable than gems. Let us not abscond on our promises. Let people trust and rely on our spoken words as they would any written contract. Let us earn the unwavering trust of those around us on whatever we say. Roberts Service once said: “A promise made is a debt unpaid” so let us not be buried in tons of debts of broken promises. Let us be careful with our words for it can make or break us permanently.

• Let us be honest to ourselves and to others. Life is too short to spend it lying or living somebody else’s life. Let others know that whatever they see in us is what they get and we expect the same honesty from them. Truth will set us free because we are not limited by the constant fear of being discovered anytime for what we really are. We can inspire other to live a truthful, meaningful, and a life by our example.

By living out these ideas ourselves, we will be able to touch the lives of others. However, it is imperative that the change should start from within us in order for us to inspire others to do the same. We cannot influence others with what we ourselves do not possess.