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People who inspire others to grow usually embody these 7 traits

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People who inspire others to grow usually embody these 7 traits

What makes people want to broaden their horizons, learn and grow?

For most of us, this is the example of other people who have gone before us. These people inspire us and show us a multitude of paths we can take.

Who are these inspiring people?

They may be people who have lived through incredible experiences or who seem to have a wealth of wisdom that we long for.

Rather than celebrities or people outside our sphere, these are normally people so close to us that their example seems feasible and achievable to us too.

These people who inspire others to grow usually embody these seven qualities that capture our admiration and interest as exciting models from which we can learn.

1) They are adventurous.

When I was still a student, I traveled across the country from west to east for a summer job.

I stopped right in the middle to stay at a hostel one evening and decided to use the kitchen to cook some food cheaply since my meager budget was tight.

While I was cooking, an old man came in and sat down. We eventually got to talking, and it ended up being one of the most inspiring conversations of my life.

This man was 75 years old, so when I asked him where he was going, and he told me he was cycling across the country, I was really surprised.

It turned out that this was his second time doing it, plus he had once cycled from Hong Kong all the way to France!

When I asked him why, he said there were times in his life when he felt stagnant and needed to find a new direction. So he saved money and took the time to take long trips to explore both the world and himself.

That was a huge inspiration for me to think about my life and how I too could broaden my horizons.

2) They are wise.

What exactly is wisdom?

It seems to go further than mere knowledge of facts.

Here is one great definition that tries to understand this somewhat ambiguous property:

“Wisdom, wisdom or sagacity is the ability to contemplate and act productively using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense and insight.”

This implies judgment, compassion and benevolence. It suggests a deep understanding of the world and man’s place in it.

Wisdom is also interesting because, although parts of it (words of wisdom) can be shared, it usually takes years to achieve. It also requires personal growth and development.

Yet some people are wise beyond their years.

I once taught a ten-year-old who was one of the smartest boys I had ever met. He had also spent a summer as a novice Buddhist monk and seemed to have an aura of wisdom and compassion about him that you would expect more from an 80 year old!

He was calm, friendly, open-minded, cheerful and incredibly positive.

Surprisingly, I was inspired to grow by the example of a child, one of my own students!

3) They take risks.

People who inspire others to grow must demonstrate growth themselves.

And how can they do that if they never step outside their comfort zone?

Have you ever seen those cube-shaped watermelons developed in Japan? They are grown in boxes that restrict their development, so as they try to expand they have nowhere to go but fill the box they are in.

It’s much the same for humans.

If you stay within the framework of your normal life and fixed patterns, the best way to grow is to fill the framework in which you live.

But by taking risks, some people break out of their boxes and discover a whole wide world in which they can expand.

They dare to learn new things and take on new responsibilities that change them in important ways.

Do they fail?

Naturally!

But they use their failures as a tool to learn how to do things right next time. They don’t let these failures stop their growth or cause them to retreat into their original boxes.

They have already grown too big for it!

4) They are nice.

Have you ever met an amazingly kind person and wondered what motivates them?

I was once in big trouble in Kuching, Malaysia. I got lost (this was before map apps) and had my pocket picked, so all I had to my name was a few coins.

I had to go back to my hotel where I could use my laptop to figure things out, but I didn’t know how to find it. With those 20 cents I couldn’t afford a taxi, at least I had one.

Luckily I met someone who was extremely nice. I walked into a shop to see if I could ask for directions and met an old gentleman who spoke very good English.

When I told him what happened, he immediately grabbed the keys to his little scooter and drove me across town to my hotel. When we got there I asked him to wait because I had some cash in my room but he flat out refused.

He said he was just glad he could help me and zoomed away, never to be seen again (by me!).

This man was not very wealthy, and I would have given him a lot more than a taxi would have cost, but he clearly did the good deed out of the goodness of his heart.

It was so inspiring that I promised to pay it forward when I met others in need, and I did that several times.

5) They are authentic.

What makes a person authentic?

It’s a combination of many qualities, but I think we all immediately recognize a truly authentic person when we meet one.

These are people who say what they do and do what they say.

They never seem to stand out or try to impress anyone. Instead, they know themselves inside and out and show everyone who they really are.

They do this despite what others may think or even the negative treatment they receive from others.

These people are inspiring to those of us who find it difficult to express ourselves or live our own truths. Many of us feel like there are parts of us that we have to hide or that we have to make up fiction because we are not proud of our reality.

But when we look at these people who are completely authentic, it inspires us to try to live our lives the same way.

6) They embody empathy.

Empathy is one of the most important qualities a person can have.

It is also one that so many of us try to develop in our lives.

What does it mean to be truly empathetic?

It actually consists of two parts.

One of them is understanding your own emotions, where they come from and how to deal with them.

The other part is being able to recognize and understand the emotions of others and respond to them appropriately.

When we meet an empathetic person, someone who can feel how others feel and truly care about their emotions, they are usually very inspiring. It makes us wonder where they find the depth to continually give to others, like a well that never runs dry.

This inspires us to build our own empathy and our ability to help lift others up when possible.

7) They are passionate.

One trait that is so often overlooked is the passion that some people have for life and their favorite activities.

These people usually have a fire in their eyes that is unmistakable, and once you see it, you can’t help but have the same fire in yours.

I once went to a concert to see a band I had been a fan of for over a decade.

At the time it was still not a large group, and in fact I thought this might be my only chance to ever see them. Most bands don’t last if they don’t really break through after ten years.

But when I saw them, I understood something about what they were doing.

They loved it.

Most notably, I locked eyes with the lead guitarist as he was shredding through a song, and I was struck by the fire I saw there.

This was a man who absolutely loved what he did, and you could tell that was truly his raison d’être.

The concert was incredible, but what I really took away from it was that moment of seeing pure passion and knowing that I wanted that in my own life.

People who inspire others to grow usually embody these seven qualities.

We not only see them, but we feel them deeply and they make us want to expand and live our lives out loud as they do.

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