What Inspires You?

Tonight, I came home after a rare rough day, and decided that the right thing to do was watch Doctor Who with Ashley. We got to "Vincent and the Doctor" - one of the simply most inspirational episodes of television I've ever seen. Ashley cried; I may have shed a single man-tear.

You see... the episode is, at its core, about how we will never really know the legacy that we leave behind us. We'll never know what the future has in store for us... years away. Thousands of years away. We never know the potential that we have inside us, if we could just have that extra boost of confidence.

If only we all had the audacity to be extraordinary.

Tomorrow, I'm having lunch to share an idea that I have. An idea that I honestly think could change the world. I'm going to give my idea away, entrust it into the mind of another, and see what takes root. And maybe, just maybe, someone's world will change because of it.

Of course... that idea is brought down from the grand vision. Tomorrow's conversation isn't baout completely changing everything in feel swoop, but it's taking a step in the right direction. Even if the end goal is so far away.

So, tonight, I actually had a conscious thought: where did I get the courage to write that email, requesting this meeting, knowing how crazy the idea is. Why did I think I had anything worth saying?

What inspired me?

I think that, just by (divine?) happenstance, there's been a confluence of readings, entertainment, and life events that have given me the courage to pursue this idea that's so very much bigger than me. Maybe it's because I've been empowered to change the world. Maybe it's because I'm reading Leonard Sweet's Viral and I realized how much potential there still is for technology to change the world - and that we, this generation, can be a part of that.

Maybe it's because I have felt compelled to simply listen more to the encouragement of God. A few weeks ago in my community group Bible study, we looked at the life of Abram. It took 25 years for God to fulfill his promise that he would have a son from Sarai... and God had to keep coming back and reminding Abram that he would do as he promised. Truthfully, it gets a bit embarrassing for Abram... but that's a post for the future.

Why didn't Abram just believe? Why couldn't Abram just take comfort in knowing that his legacy would be good. Why can't we just believe that even the simple, mundane things we do can leave a legacy of good? And if that's true... why don't we reach to do something audacious?

Maybe it's because I have new heart rate monitor, and I am simply amazed that my body can wireless communicate with a treadmill. If we can make our bodies talk to machines, what can't we as humanity do?

Larry Page, in Steven Levy's In the Plex: "He believed that the only true failure was not attempting the audacious. “Even if you fail at your ambitious thing, it’s very hard to fail completely,” he says."

When people believe in you, you can have the courage to fail. When you know that the real failure is not reaching for the stars... how can you not help but reach out?

Earlier this week, I tweeted that Newt Gingrich has promised that if he becomes president, we will have a colony on the moon by 2020. Putting aside politics - I was hoping for a Pokemon-quoting candiate - that kind of dream and vision from our leadership is what I want. I want the courage to not be content with good. I want a reason to not settle for success.

I want to be Vincent Van Gogh, trying to capture the magic of the stars. I want to go to them.

These things, this life, have inspired me. What inspires you?