Inspired Living

Image of MLK

A few years ago (at 38 years old to be precise) in the recess of my mind I knew I was facing a key inflection point and some important life choices.

Career.  Relationships.  The big stuff.  Change was imminent.

The little voice of doubt and insecurity we’ve all heard was growing louder.  The questions seemed overwhelming.

Will I pass this testCan I make a differenceWhat if…?

It was exactly during this moment of introspection (and indecision) a friend shared a little note of inspired thinking that read:

“You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be, and one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls upon you to stand for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you are afraid.

“You refuse to do it because you want to live longer. You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab or shoot or bomb your house. So you refuse to take a stand.

“Well, you may go on and live until you are ninety, but you are just as dead at 38 as you would be at ninety.

“And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.

{Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from the sermon “But, if Not” delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church on November 5, 1967}

The right message at the right time.  I appreciated the thought and interpreted the intended personal challenge.  I hit print and have carried that piece of paper in my bag ever since.

Inspiration can come from a variety of sources.  It can come when we least expect it.  Often, it will arrive when we need it the most. A likely source of inspiration are the people around you.  Friends.  Family.  Colleagues. Co-Workers.  Collaborators. Working and spending time with people that are inspired, creating, contributing and taking bold steps forward is helpful, particularly when faced with an inconvenient choice or a more specific challenge.  The people around us have enormous impact on our being.  How we think, act and experience the world around us.

If you want to get Switched On it certainly helps to pay attention to people that embrace inspired living because it  is going to require your own inspired thinking first. Today as we recognize and honor the birth of activist Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy these 10 lessons serve as an inspirational reminder of the opportunity we all have to embrace change, confront challenges, make an impact and live the change we want to see in the world around us.


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