Who Inspires You

Who has inspired you in your life and why?

Expert Answers
William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Your question made me stop and think. I can't truthfully say that any live person ever inspired me, although there were a few tried to influence me, and a few who brought me down. I have been inspired throughout my life by great writers and great composers. I can still get inspired by reading passages from writers like Arthur Schopenhauer, Marcel Proust, Leo Tolstoy, Henry James, and William Faulkner. But I don't seem to feel much need for outside inspiration any more. I think your own unconscious can be the source of the greatest inspiration, whereas outsiders may only inspire you to imitate them.

It’s not when you realize that nothing can help you-religion, pride, anything—it’s when you realize that you don’t need any aid.

                                                               William Faulkner

hannahshychuk eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that a person needs grand idealized role models, as well as individuals whom one knows well in order to have a really constructive font of beneficial inspiration in life.

Along those lines, I have been inspired first and foremost by my family members, both in the way in which they carry themselves and in the way they have conducted themselves through a number of tragedies we have shared.

Beyond this, I have always been inspired by two great Americans: Ben Franklin and Abe Lincoln. Both were self-made men, great successes both publically and privately and men of more depth than the tycoon who comes from nothing.

lynn30k eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I turned 12 in 1968, and went from an elementary school to a combination junior/senior high school. All of a sudden, I went from a protected, child-like existence to one in which the boys who were not going to college the next year were probably going to Vietnam. My inspiration was an entire generation of people 5-15 years older than myself, who were changing everything I saw around me--civil rights, women's rights, anti-war, and ecological awareness, all thrown at me at once. I changed into someone my parents did not know how to deal with at first, and it was definitely a good thing. Always question the status quo!

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In searching for inspiration, I would pose that someone who inspires is someone who has the ability to articulate what can be as opposed to what is.  When I examine the figures of inspiration in my own life, I am struck by their ability to articulate and envision a world of what can be in contrast to what is.  I think that inspirational figures can expand an individual's moral imagination and capacity for what can be done.  For figures of inspiration, I would search for individuals like this, figures that can expand one's abilities and capacity for greatness in all forms.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I do not think any one person inspired me greatly.  My parents, of course, helped me want to make something of myself, but the did not inspire me in the sense that I looked at them and said "Because of you, I want to do X."

More recently, my children inspire me to want to be as good of a role model for them as I can possibly be.  At the moment, I think they are a major source of inspiration for me.

But overall, I get inspiration from a desire to be the best I can be, not from a desire to emulate someone else.

drmonica eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My grandmother on my father's side is the person who inspired me more than anyone. She thought I could do no wrong, and I have taken the confidence she inspired in me throughout my life. I can remember her explaining to me why we made the beds first thing every day when I stayed at her house: "What if Jesus were to come visiting?" I hope to be the kind of grandmother to my future grandchildren that my Grandma was to me.

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My three daughters inspire me because somehow, in this day and age, when girls are pulled a thousand different directions about who they are and who they should be—these young ladies have managed to find and retain their own true identities despire what everyone else is doing.

lrwilliams eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would say that my grandfather most inspired me as I was growing up. He was a man who had gone through many struggles with his health from a relatively young age and continued to have a positive outlook on life.

ssandhu05 | Student

Maybe not for my entire life, but from some time a few years ago till now, an actor named Aamir Khan has inspired me a lot. The reasons being because he always wants to think outside the box, wow everyone with someone new, and most importantly send a message to the people. But he does this whenever he makes a movie, and maybe he tries to do in his regular life. I know it sounds a bit weird to say, but those are the three things that I feel are most inspiring. Instead of looking at what other people have done and try to semi-copy what they have done in their work, he makes something that is entirely original and worth seeing. And his works are pure art to me, and inspire me the most.

thewanderlust878 | Student

I believe that, at a young age it is slightly more difficult to determine who or what has "inspired" you to do some of the things you do. I think that up until adulthood and slightly beyond an individual hasn't exactly discovered who they are or what they want to do yet. That being said, a young person can be inspired by others to become what they will become in the future. For me, I can definitely say women like Joan Jett and Pat Benatar have definitely inspired me. My ultimate goal is to be the lead guitarist for an internationally known band. Being female I don't see a whole of of famous female, electric guitar-playing musicians. Which is why Joan Jett inspires me most. 

user396107 | Student

In my life my inspiration is drawn from my sports star Rodger Federer.  His composure on the tennis court is something I look up to.  He is also generous as he uses he career earnings to help disadvantaged people through his charity donations.  I hope one day to have the same generosity and composure as Rodger.  

crystaltu001 | Student

Those who have achieved their dreams through hard work inspire me to do my best because they have worked hard towards their goals and dreams and tried their best to be even only a little closer to their goals.

taangerine | Student

My grandmother has inspired me in my life because she is always hardworking and kind. She always takes care of someone before herself. She is always there to talk to whenever you need it. When I grow older, I want to be just like her. 

udonbutterfly | Student

The inspiration in my life has always been my mom. If anything I would love to grow up and become a mother like her. MY mom knows how to discuss difficult topics without making it awkward and she knows how to joke around with me and the rest of my siblings. My mom is really cool but she never lets us forget she is our parent as well as our best friend.

hermy27 | Student

If asked this question at a younger age I would say that my mother was main main inspiration.  I think that there is a common misconception regarding inspiration, in that while my mother was of course my role model and first teacher, she did not necessarily "inspire" me.  The definition of inspire is, "to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence."  I never wrote a novel because of something she said or did to push me in that direction.  I was never driven to compose a song because she filled me with an exalting influence. 

Being asked this question now, I would say that I am inspired more by feelings and events than by any single person.  I am inspired by beautiful sunsets, overgrown canopies, and the process of childbirth.  I get inspired by the feelings of loss I experienced when my father suddenly passed away from leukemia, or by the memory of the first time I saw my newborn son's face.

eli468 | Student

I want to bring the definition of inspiration into this in order to answer this question. Inspiration is," something that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea about what to do or create: a force or influence that inspires someone. A person, place, experience, etc., that makes someone want to do or create something."

With that said I have a long list of people who have inspired me. My parents have inspired me to work hard and do better in what I do in life. My friends inspire me to work hard and achieve goals. They are my main sources of inspiration.

However, I receive a lot of inspiration from complete strangers I have never met i.e. famous people. I was able to find inspiration to improve my art skills when I discovered I wanted to be able to sketch good portraits. I found this inspiration by seeing fanart of singers I listen to and it made me want to work hard to achieve my goal. I was inspired by many people on the internet to get healthy. I've been inspired by entertainers to work hard to achieve my dreams, because they were able to. I receive a lot of inspiration through people whom I have interacted with online and who I admire as artists (whether musical, acting, painting, etc.).

My grandparents have really inspired me because of their ability to take such little and use every bit of it in every way possible. they have taught me to look for good in others instead of faults, and have really lead a simple but amazing life. 

Wiggin42 | Student

Inspiration can be gained from any situation. When reading a book or watching a movie or listening to a lecture. 

A person should have a open mind to look into any opportunity to get inspired. It also depends on the time and emotions we go through at a particular point of time .

arrellbelle | Student

I believe that the person who inspires me the most would be my mother because of what she has been through growing up in a state of poverty and what she has taught me while I was growing up. She made me understand that despite barely being able to eat food once a day, the important thing was being with your family because your family will always be there for you. She has also taught me compassion, patience, and kindness. In a way, she was the physical representative of "Do unto others, what you want done to you" and her cheerfulness is something I hope to become when I grow up as well. She's a beautiful person inside and out.

nath1 | Student

I think.. Lady gaga because of her lyrics and how she is and she learned me that NORMAL doesn't excist. I mean, a lot of people can look at you and think 'what for a strange girl is that' but I don't care because, are they normal? normal is just an illusion and everyone has to be who he is and don't has to fake so they will be a part of the groupe ;)

epollock | Student

My parents inspired me the most. My mother always was satisfied with what I did and my father was satisfied if I did more. It was always great to have people to support you in whatever you do.

krishna-agrawala | Student

I am inspired most by my parents, brothers and sisters. The reason for this are quite obvious. I observed them and knew them ever since I was born. It was very natural for me as a young child to get impressed by even their minor achievement, and want to follow in their footsteps. Besides they took special care to inculcate in me skills, habits and ideas, that I have found very useful in my later life.

I do not want to claim that my parents, brothers and sisters are better than the average people. That would sound very egoistic. But I think there is nothing wrong in saying that I developed a liking for these particular type of people from an early age, and therefor, I tend to judge them as much better than the average.

Just to give you an example of the extent to which I have been inspired by my parents I would like to tell you that just because my father was an engineer and a consultant, from a very young age I wanted to become an engineer and a consultant, and this desire of mine must have contributed substantially to my ultimately studying engineering and becoming a management consultant.

jacqsmith17 | Student

After much thought about the important people in my life, I must say that my grandmother and my husband, My grandmother was born in 1919 and knew the hardships of the Great Depression and raising children during a time when jobs was scarce and discrimination was prevalent. She always talked to me about life, its struggles, and the desire to be more than my surroundings. She told me that despite being raised in poverty, I didn't have to continue to live at that socioeconomic level. She encouraged me to set a goal in life and do what ever I could to reach that goal. After high school, I talked to her about joining the military and she encouraged me to go for it and to live life to the fullest, just remember all things I was taught and what I learned growing up. "Never forget who you are." I joined the military and traveled the world.

During my travels I met my husband. He came from a family of college graduates with advanced degrees. Had it not been for him and his family, I wouldn't have an Ed.S working toward my Ed.D. It is because of his encouragement and the support of his family, I am where I am today. 

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clyoon | Student

There aren't many people who inspire me in my life. But if I really think about it... I think the people in my life inspired me what not to be like -- more than inspiring me to follow their actions or ways. Many adults in my life (not just my parents) have inspired me to be not like them. 

Why? I always see more flaws and more mistakes and more negative things about them than I see the positive things. It's just something that I've seen from them since I was young. I grew up seeing and experiencing more negative things from the adults than the positive, so I always get inspired by them to be better than them.