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Thought for Thursday – Inspiration

I wanted the new look blog to be more than a fitness, weight loss and lifestyle blog. I decided to include some of my reading and writing to keep a link with the old style blog. So I have decided to set aside my Thursday posts to think about a variety of things, what ever takes my fancy really.

For my first post I want to think about inspiration.  One of the tricky things about writing is where to get your inspiration from. I find that inspiration for me comes from a variety of sources. It can be something as small as an overheard remark which gets me thinking about the background story. It can be a face in the crowd – I enjoy people watching and have always wondered about the life story of people I glance at briefly on the bus or on the street. Most often these days I take inspiration from writing prompts. I link up with people who supply prompts which usually result in some piece of writing, large and extended or short and pithy.

Thinking about inspiration put me in mind of the inspirational posters that adorn many a wall in schools, doctors surgeries and council offices. They include a quotation which is supposed to ‘inspire’. But do they? Can you honestly say you’ve ever felt inspired by one of those posters? I always think that they’re a bit cheesy but maybe that’s because I’ve seen so many of them, heck I’ve Blu-takked hundreds of them on classroom walls, mostly to cover the cracks!  One that pops up quite often is ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’. What is it that we are meant to take from this quote? This quote is often attributed to Gandhi and seems to suggest that, while as individuals we are not capable of changing the world, we are all capable of changing on a personal level and if enough of us do that then the world will be changed. On a simpler level it could mean only you can change yourself and, by extension, the world. I’m sure it’s an idea too profound for most teenagers yet it pops up in schools around the country.

So why are these posters put up around schools? (apologies for banging on about schools but that’s  where I spent many years so I noticed things about the school environment.) I guess Headteachers think that the young people who amble through the corridors and loll about in classrooms for so many hours each week need something inspiring to read on the walls. From my own experience I’d say that after a while these posters become no more noticeable or memorable than the paint on the wall. Whatever inspiration people are supposed to take from them vanishes as we stop reading them and eventually stop noticing that they are there.

That’s not to say that the sort of quotes found on these posters aren’t inspirational. I have my own personal favourites including ‘If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be’, ‘A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous’ and ‘Don’t let anyone ever dull your sparkle’. Thinking about it, those quotes are more aspirational than inspirational for me. Keep checking out my blogging journey to see if I get there – amazing, fabulous, classy and full of sparkle!       

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