I often think about and get asked who I look up to or who has inspired me. It's a question I struggle to answer.
When I think about what inspires me and what has helped me grow it's not specific people. It is all the people that cross my path. Many who I can't even remember. It is the people that have seeded me with ideas. It is the people who have hurt me. The people who have created something special. The people who have braved hardship and survived. The vulnerable that reach out for help. Those that combat their fears to grow as a human. Those that survive through tragic times. The people whose book made an impact on my life because I read it at the right time of my journey. Those that have chosen to listen to me or check out the work I produce. Those that have planted a seed in my mind.
Sometimes the people aren't visible, but they inspire me through things like the internet. Acts of kindness. Their creativity. The words people use. How they write. What they write. Business that are built. Human and ethical standards that are created. The things they make. The conversations that are had. The different perspectives that have open my mind. The things they do. Or the things that they don't do.
In my years of community building I've come to realise that society puts pressure on us to follow the leaders. To adore them. To listen to them. To be like them in every single way. To obey them. To not question. To fit inside that very little box. To follow people blindly.
By following people you become closed, not only to other ideas in the world, but also to your true self.
By following others you end up failing to invest in yourself and the things you want to make happen in the world.
By following people you can often think of yourself as the lesser being.
When you build communities you come across so many people. So many wonderful people. I see so many of them are lost. With a lack of confidence. They don't see the possibilities within themselves because they are too busy following others.
This doesn't mean you should go away and hide in a hole and not be inspired by people. Listen. Participate. Take note. Then go ask yourself some questions that only you can find the answers to.