Today’s generation is markedly notorious for digital media, interconnectivity and soaking up wi-fi signals everywhere. The trickle effect pulls in the older generations and we’re even starting to see our grandparents calling Uber cabs and checking into Air BnB’s! Using the term “Facebook Generation”, what with screens pointed at us all day, we see a lot of headlines about how we are so busy comparing ourselves to others in a frantic pace to “keep up with the Jones” but in an online sense. It dictates our fashion, feelings, and our image of ourselves, as we see our peers posting the highlights of their life (but never the other side of things…).
This is an opportunity for us to use social media to our advantage in a positive way. I often tell people that if the first thing they see in the morning is going to be their phone or iPad, they might as well see something inspiring and motivating. Outside of the box, there are many things we can do to improve the local quality of humanity around us, without having to be a superhero. Here’s a look at what kinds of things we can do to inspire others around us.
1. Don’t complain about anything.
I know this sounds difficult, but you wouldn’t believe the power your personality is exerting on people without you even knowing it. As a notably positive person, I once made a Facebook post dismissing my allergies in a negative way. I suppose it was the only time I had ever made a post like this! One of my close friends remarked that it was the first time he had ever seen me complain about anything before; a few others agreed. It made me realize that, without even knowing it, I had a such a reputation as a positive person that even complaining about my health came across as strange. People looked to me for unfaltering positive guidance and were taken aback that I had slipped a bad day into my social life news. I vowed not to let that side of myself show again – people look up to me for inspiration and motivation when they are feeling bad, and I would not let them down again.
2. Live with charisma.
A lot of people look strong on the outside but are dealing with internal demons. We can remind ourselves about this when we think about the word sonder; the realization that everyone around us lives a life as detailed and complex as ours is. In a world full of hidden struggle, if you can find the strength and power to inspire others with a charismatic and friendly countenance, you will be helping more people than you know get through the day. Sometimes all it takes is a nice deed from a stranger to really turn our day around. Be that stranger – do something nice, wear a smile, and do it with pride. That is how you live with charisma.
3. Don’t lie.
Even white lies, within reason. People appreciate honesty in a world where no one is afraid to cover up the truth. If you are a person who is continuously honest, and will be able to pass the constructive truth instead of a jaded version of it, people will truth you and be inspired by your courage to say it how it is. Remember that there is a difference between telling the truth, and being rude. There is always a polite way to express your honest opinion, and practice makes perfect. Once you can do it easily, you will be able to tell the truth to anyone, and people will appreciate your courage and honesty when they need someone like that in their life.
4. Know what you are talking about.
There’s a lot to say about someone who knows what they are talking about. If you don’t have an opinion on something, pass the subject. This goes back to honesty. There’s a popular video of Barack Obama being asked by a journalist about why he previously took a few days to answer a question – he responded, “because I like to know what I ‘ m talking about before I speak”. This speaks volumes. Talk about what you know with confidence, and do not talk about things you don’t know about, with the same confidence. When most people would fill in the blanks with something they could make up on the spot, you do not need to feign intelligence to prove a point. People respond negatively to this when they pick up on it, and will judge you – alternatively, people will respond positively to your courage of dismissing something you don’t know about, and hopefully find the courage in themselves in the future. Inspire people to be honest.
5. Use your talents expressively.
Are you great at networking? Good! Talk to people. Are you good at art? Good! Show the world. Are you great at using computers? Good! Help others. Use your gifts in a way that will positively affect people. Do not seek money or rewards for things that are natural to you. Extend your hand as a way of aid to others, and they will help you back. People are inspired by others who can create progress and change without asking for anything in response. Use your talents altruistically, and inspire others to do the same.
6. You can never say “thank you” enough.
Last but not least, the number one advice for child-rearing stays a strong course throughout your whole life. Don’t forget to say thank you, for everything. It creates a community of camaraderie and thanks, friendliness and inspiration. There are many cultures and countries where it is not commonplace to give thanks as much as we do. These cultures are fraught with distrust, fraud and apathy. All because of two small words. So, say thank you to your children, say thanks to yourself, your blessings, people who serve you, people who help you, and anyone you see. Create a positive community and everyone’s life will improve because of it.