When you’re in demand from everyone around you, setting aside specific time just for you to create seems not only very difficult, but downright selfish. How indulgent of you to spend time on your own when all these people need your energy immediately.
The problem is, when we take this view, we overlook how inspiring you can be to others when you create, in ways you may not even realise at the time. Plus, when you create, you feel lighter, happier, more positive, and that can’t help but rub off on those close to you too.
This is the third and final story in our series about how you (yes, little old you) can inspire others by creating, in ways you never imagined.
Kelly had been absolutely addicted to basketball since the first time she’d held a giant orange ball on her 9th birthday, some seven years ago.
At every opportunity, and nearly every evening, Kelly would be shooting hoops at the local court, until the sun went down and beyond. She’d happily get involved in a game if others were around, or just as happily pound the court on her own.
Basketball was her release, her mediation, her short cut to happiness. Nothing else made her feel so free, so alive, so her.
Alfie was the park keeper for the park where the basketball court was. He’d often see Kelly playing and admired her devotion and passion to the game. He was impressed by how she seemed to enjoy it above all else, and the hours on end she put in improving herself.
Slowly, steadily, this stirred something in Alfie that had laid dormant for over a decade. Alfie had not always been a park keeper. He used to be a college sports coach. Twelve years ago, after a series of disappointing championship defeats and the collapse of his marriage, he’d moved across the country to start anew and taken the park job.
But he couldn’t ignore how Kelly’s devotion was reigniting his own passions for coaching, and basketball in particular.
Six months later, Alfie was coaching basketball at a local youth group, having gone through all the required procedures, and was quickly building a great reputation and rapport.
Six months and endless hours of coaching above and beyond the few a week he was signed up for after that, he received a letter, from a young man he coached called Josh. It read:
Dear Coach A,
About 6 months ago I was out of control and off the rails. Everyone hated me and I hated everyone back even more. My life was just balled up rage and misery. I wanted to destroy everything I could.
Then I joined your basketball club. I’d always been interested, and figured it might help me not be so depressed and hate filled. I had nothing to lose.
All I wanted to say was you’re the first person that actually believed in me, right from the off. You gave me the confidence to be me. You liked me. We’ve had our run ins but you’ve never disrespected me or let me down. I don’t know where I’d have ended up know if I hadn’t started basketball. I just wanted you to know. Thanks Coach.
Alfie welled up reading the letter. He’d not favoured Josh in any particularly special way, and treated him like he treated any of the kids he was coaching. He just did it, it was no big deal to him.
But his way had been life changing for Josh. And who knows how many others.
Kelly never met Josh. And Josh had no idea how instrumental Kelly had been in bringing Alfie back to coaching, without even exchanging a word with him.
And this is the unstoppable power of creative inspiration.
When you show up to your passions, when you create – whatever and however you create – you send a message out to the world that it’s ok to create, to follow what you love.
You have no idea how far and wide this message will reach. And that’s not your concern. But you must show up and create. You owe that to yourself, and to all the future people you’re going to inspire.
You could be Kelly, or Alfie, or even Josh. Who knows who he then went to inspire.
Creating is not selfish. NOT creating is selfish, denying others not only the chance to enjoy your art, but denying them the opportunity to be inspired by the way you’ve committed to your creativity, that is selfish.
I know you’re not a selfish person. So it follows, you’ve got to create.
We need you to begin, today, now. Go. Create. Inspire.
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