Updated: Oct 28, 2022
By Logan Pryor
The word Inspiration can be considered by some as a buzzword that is heard quite a bit in our world with lots of different definitions. What exactly does it mean to be “inspired?” According to Merriam - Webster’s Dictionary the word Inspire means to,” to exert an animating, enlivening, or exalting influence on someone” (Merriam-Webster Inspire n.d). In other words, to be inspired means for someone or something to exert influence onto someone. From politics, to art, to business, and even in education, people become excited and influenced by others who can speak to them and are relevant to them. Children, Teens, and Parents all find subjects and ideas that speak to us and get us excited, but having people who can help guide us at all stages of our lives is crucial as we move forward with our professional and personal growth. This is especially important for children and teenagers, who are just beginning to understand the world that surrounds them.
When thinking about who an inspiration to teens might be, an adult mentor may be the first idea to come to mind. ChildSavers is a non-profit organization based out of Richmond, Virginia that has been serving underprivileged children and parents for over 100 years. According to the organization, adult mentoring not only matters to children and teens, but it is also transformative (Mentoring Children Matters, 2017). Also, at- risk youth who have a mentor are not only more likely to succeed personally and in life but are 55% more likely to enroll in college or higher education (Mentoring Children Matters, 2017). Having a positive role model in a child’s life will at the very least increase their self-esteem, confidence, and the ability to overcome any sort of challenge.
For teens to obtain that positive outlook on life, who might be a great candidate as an adult mentor for your teen? First and foremost, parents should always act as positive mentors to their children. Parents who instill positive values, a positive outlook on life, and allow children to take the right risks that help them grow are giving their children a tremendous advantage. If you work, let your children get a sense of what it is you do, how important hard work is, and what it took to reach where you currently are in your career. If you are a stay-at-home parent or a homeschool parent, your children may not know everything that you have to do behind the scenes to keep your home running or your homeschooling program intact. No matter what your professional life is, it is important that your child embraces your values and understands that it is ok to make mistakes, learning how to move forward from those mistakes.
We all know, however, that teenagers only want to be around their parents so much. Outside of your teen looking up to you as parents, you may have family friends whom your child can look up to who have been successful in some way either personally or professionally. Also, if your child is currently in traditional school or being homeschooled, they may have opportunities to have teachers as mentors. If not, perhaps your teen has a religious leader, a coach, or someone your child looks up to who enjoys the same passions as your child. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter who the adult is if that person provides positive mentorship for your child, is someone that can truly inspire them to be the best that they can be, and encourages them to take risks that will help them grow; then your child can have that transformative experience.
As a part of this transformative experience, make sure you tell your child that they inspire YOU. Especially with the recent challenges that COVID-19 presented to them, your child goes through obstacles and overcomes challenges every day, and they need to be reminded that they are making tough, but good, choices every single day. They should feel proud of their accomplishments.
Outside of mentorship, we can find inspiration all around us in our world and doing the things that we are passionate about. According to a 2017 CNBC report by Mar, “3 science-backed reasons having a hobby will help your career,” having a hobby will provide better work performance, improved physical health, and reduced stress (Ward, 2017). Doing something that you thoroughly enjoy can inspire you to be the best you can help you be; the best at your job as a parent. As a current MBA Candidate, for me, living on the East Coast in Virginia, boating, and being on the water will always give me an attitude adjustment. It gives me time to reflect on how I am doing in my personal and professional life, take grace of my mistakes, and find ways to improve myself. I recently have found a great deal of inspiration from non-fiction business books such as David Conte’s memoir Winning Now Winning Later, which provides the reader insights into what it takes to be the CEO of a large international organization like Honeywell. This kind of reading helps give me the confidence that if I put my mind to it, I can achieve the same accomplishments. Obviously, everyone has their own passions and activities that excite them or even relaxes them. Whatever activities give you positive energy and inspire you to be your best self, personally and even professionally, should be a priority for you each week.
Inspiration can be interpreted in many ways, but no matter who or what inspires us there is certainly a common denominator, it presents us with the positive energy that we all need to reach our goals and aspirations. Recently, Leslee had a great conversation about Inspiration during her weekly YouTube session Education, Leadership, and Life. I encourage you to watch this particular video and any other videos in the series at the link below under the Reference section. At Aspire, we are inspired each day by our clients - children, young adults, and parents alike. We are thankful that we get to work with our wonderful clients each day, and look forward to the inspiration we will gain from our future clients as well.
Mentoring Children Matters. (2017, January 1). ChildSavers. https://childsavers.org/mentoringmatters/
Merriam-Webster “Inspire.” (n.d.). Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved July 21, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inspire
Ward, M. (2017, August 2). 3 science-backed reasons having a hobby will help your career. Cnbc.Com. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/02/3-science-backed-reasons-having-a-hobby-will-help-your-career.html