Aspire to Inspire


Driving down Topanga Canyon Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley, my attention was caught by a sign on a church at the base of Stoney Point Mountain. It read:

Aspire to Inspire Before You Expire

My mind immediately went back to a meeting I had attended several years ago at the Captivating Company. I had been given this exact quote and asked to speak extemporaneously for one to two minutes on the topic. That was like giving Babe Ruth a down the middle pitch which he would hit out of the park. I don’t say this to boast, it’s just that for the last 19+ years, I have been seeking to do this very thing, i.e., aspire to inspire. To that end, I have collected over 1000 three-word phrases of inspiration and encouragement that I hope will inspire people to take positive action on a daily basis. I call these pithy aphorisms TRINSPIRATON® phrases.

I looked up the definitions of “aspire,” “inspire,” and “expire” and their roots all come from Latin words meaning “to breathe upon,” “to pant after,” “to breathe into,” and “to breathe out.” See the connection of all three words? It’s breath or to breathe. If you believe the account of creation with God breathing into man and man becoming a living soul, then “aspiring to inspire” is going to require you to breathe life into something.

What lifeless mound of dirt is waiting for you to breathe life-giving energy into it? My friend, Greg, asks me every time we are together, “What are you commanding?” In essence he’s asking me what I’m giving breath to? If I have a financial need, he encourages me to breathe life into my finances by speaking the desired outcome and not the problem. I’ve observed his locksmith business transform without any form of advertising. It’s just “word of mouth” but for Greg it’s the words he’s releasing upon his breath and not necessarily clients or friends sending referrals. Although they are sending referrals, it’s accelerated once he got the concept of breathing life into this work through the commands he speaks. He will consistently have 9 or more locksmith calls a day. This was not happening before he began “inspiring” this business.

For me personally, I have been speaking life into my real estate business. Even though there has been a shortage of listings for the last four plus years, we had our best year ever in 2017. One of the reasons I believe we had such a good year was that I refused to listen to the nay-sayers who would tell you that it’s too hard to get a saleable listing. I don’t believe that; therefore, the words that are expelled from my mouth floating into the atmosphere on my “breath,” align with what I want to happen, i.e. more saleable listings. And it’s happening.

Do you have a child who needs encouragement? If so, I encourage you to “aspire to inspire” him or her. Do you lead a team of some kind? Catch them doing something right and reinforce it with “inspiring” words. Bette Midler made the song, “Wind Beneath My Wings” popular. Its lyrics say:

Did you ever know that you’re my hero,
And everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
For you are the wind beneath my wings.

Be the wind, the breath, if you will, beneath someone’s wings. And you will not just “aspire” but truly “inspire” someone who needs an encouraging word. Who will you “aspire to inspire?”  I’d love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments section below.

Aspiring to Inspire,

Rodney Johnson

Aspire: long, aim, or seek ambitiously; be eagerly desirous, especially for

something great or of high value (usually followed by to, after, or an infinitive)

1425-75; late Middle English (< Middle French aspirer) < Latin aspīrāre to breathe upon, pant after, equivalent to a- a-5spīrāre to breathe, blow

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