Why I don’t like inspiration (by an inspirational speaker)

Inspiration - Andy Barrow in GB Tracksuit

I don’t like inspiration, I don’t see the point of it. And to me, it seems like an awful waste!

The problem is, people talk about it all the time, using phrases like:


“I saw —- and I felt so inspired!” or “—–’s story is so inspiring.” ………And??

“Well, I just was inspired!”


Here is normally the point at which I want to ask: What happened then? What did you do with this wonderful gift of inspiration?

Did you create a multi-million-pound business empire?

Have you suddenly found meaning and embarked on a great pilgrimage?

Did you run amok, showering all those around you with life-changing acts of philanthropy?

– “No.”

Well surely you at least altered your life trajectory somewhat? – “Nope.”

One tiny thing to better those around you or yourself? – “Nuh uh.”

Just sat there then? – “Err, yep.”


I’m not just being a grump for the sake of it here. My reasons for writing this are simple. Inspiration never physically did anything for anyone. The truth is that until you take action, good, old-fashioned inspiration does absolutely nothing!

What Is Inspiration?

So what is inspiration and what do you actually get from being inspired?

Inspiration can be described as a spark or catalyst for change. It’s like a door left ajar, ready to be pushed open. It’s an opportunity waiting to be taken.

To me, just like any other feeling or emotion, inspiration is simply energy, or more specifically, “potential” energy.

Now technically, potential energy is stored energy waiting to be used. This is fine, but for the fact that we as humans aren’t great storage devices so that energy soon dissipates.

This means that while being inspired has the potential to be transformative or even life changing, the moment you have with which to capitalise on your inspiration, passes all too soon.

Another reason that inspiration is rubbish right? Not quite – I have to concede that almost as soon as one window of opportunity passes, another one will be along because, believe it or not, inspiration is everywhere – But only if you look!

Inspiration Is Everywhere

As an athlete, I regarded myself as a role model. But the truth is, I never sought to directly inspire anyone outside of my team. That, I reasoned, was simply a bi-product of my colleagues and me doing what we did.

Equally, I never saw the fact that I live with a disability as a vehicle to inspire either. But I’m not one of these people who gets upset because others are inspired by me because of it.

Inspiration tattoo

“Inspiration is in the eye of the beholder”

(I am slightly bemused however, that some people see me simply popping out for a pint of milk without spontaneously combusting – due to “the daily struggle” – as an amazing feat, but that’s another post entirely!)

To plagiarise a well-known phrase: “inspiration is in the eye of the beholder”, so who am I to be the arbiter of what should and shouldn’t be inspiring to anyone else?

In fact, I’ll let you into a little secret at this point. You’ve even inspired a few people in your time too – Yes, YOU!

Just Do It!

Claiming you “don’t like inspiration” might seem like an odd position for someone who calls himself an inspirational speaker. So I guess I should now qualify that by saying, I’m just tired of people wasting their inspiration.

We all need inspiration, but a world of (just) inspired people is a world of awed inertia, a world of blissful paralysis, a world of potential energy, gradually dissipating. In short, it’s a world of people just waiting – for somebody else to do something, so they can feel inspired by it!

Inspiration is one of the most powerful feelings that we can experience. It’s is all around us. It’s everywhere we look in abundance. You can take inspiration from anyone or anything without adverse consequence and there is no upper limit to the amount of inspiration that you can absorb.

People describe me as inspiring and I am humbled. But I want more than that for those people. As I see it, my goal is to push people through inspiration to something else.

In that amazing moment when you become inspired, you are quite literally a lightning rod, supercharged with positive energy. But all that energy will just go unless you’re brave and you do something with it.

My simple message is this – Don’t just be inspired, be motivated. Use all that incredible energy to take action and do something – RIGHT NOW.

Well go on then – GO!

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