Defining Influence and Inspiration
- the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.”the influence of television violence”synonyms:effect, impact;
- the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.”Helen had one of her flashes of inspiration”synonyms:creativity, inventiveness, innovation, innovativeness, ingenuity, imagination, imaginativeness, originality, individuality;
- a sudden brilliant, creative, or timely idea.”then I had an inspiration”synonyms:bright idea, brilliant idea, timely thought, revelation;
LOVE IT FOR YOU
I read an interview of Nate Berkus done by Domino. He shared that he did not follow trends and he gave an example of his grandmother who used blue and white in her first house all the way to her last house. She was not influenced by others to determine what she liked. I admire this, and I think that the sooner that we are able to determine the difference between inspiration and influence, the sooner we will be able to be more authentic in our interior designs for our home or the overall plans for our life.
I get on Instagram almost daily. It can be a place of inspiration for me. I am in awe at what others can do to create beauty and art. Sometimes I see something and it inspires me to act and to create.
Somedays, though, it is a source of frustration and discouragement. It influences me to spend money I don’t have, to keep up with someone that I don’t even know or to be discontent with my current life.
When we are inspired, we want to create our own version or original. Images or words can spark something new and exciting. When we are blindly influenced, we tend to copy, compare and envy.
I have never understood why someone would want to have the same exact home as someone else. It is one thing to like elements of a home and incorporate them in different ways, but to completely copy is soul-less and certainly not a true joy to the owner. Ask yourself what you really like, not because of anyone else, but because you have to live with it everyday.
So, how do we choose to be inspired and positively influenced vs. being led to discontent, unrealistic expectations or copying?
HOW TO SEEK INSPIRATION
My answer is to see social media like visiting a new country. You are motivated to visit because you want to be inspired, refreshed, and enhanced. If you were to go to Europe and see a beautiful cathedral or a beautiful country path, you probably wouldn’t feel feel bad about your life. You went on the trip to be inspired by the differences and beauty that you may only behold once in your lifetime, so it wouldn’t make sense to begrudge the beauty.
Also, most of us do not go on vacation everyday and when we do we are prepared for the experience. We have a purpose in mind before we leave. We pack, plan and then enjoy it while we are there.
You can do the same with social media. Live your life fully and joyfully and occasionally seek inspiration through the social world with purpose and time limitations. When I go onto Instagram aimlessly or spend too much time on there I end feeling empty.
TOO BUSY CREATING
A pattern that I have observed in artists that I admire is that they are too busy creating to wallow in comparison or wishful thinking. They create their reality and they set the stage for others to do the same. They cheer others on and constantly seek for improvement without needing to tear down others to progress.
I like to believe that creators act to serve others and because they are fulfilling their purpose and mission through their creations. If someone you follow seems to be rubbing their success, wealth, home or anything else in your face simply to make you feel bad, they are not someone you need in your life.
Recently, as I create a bathroom on a shoestring budget, I have looked on Instagram for others who have created with limited resources. I am choosing to see their work and let it influence me to act and inspire me to create. We are in charge of how we will be influenced by others.
I hope that as I show the work that I do in my home, that you sense my hope to help others and the love I have for what I do. My joy is to inspire others to create something beautiful with what they have. Check out this post here about making do or doing without.
As our world becomes increasingly more connected digitally, and yet further apart physically from those that matter most, I think it is important to be super aware of why we do things. What are we motivated by as a creator and a consumer? I have to check myself all the time.
Here are some questions that help me check myself.
Am I browsing because I am bored? Is there something more important I could be doing? What can I learn from this? Is this intentional or addictive? Do I spend as much or more time creating as I do watching others create? Do I feel inspired or depleted?
May you be motivated with goodness, inspired on purpose and influenced with your permission. Your home and heart are worth your careful use of social media.