Thoughts on Being Inspirational

You may have seen the PSIA/AASI posters that encourage us to inspire. Sounds good, but what does it mean? Why should we even care about inspiring others? Isn’t it enough to just enjoy what we’re doing? Or, “Hey I’m just trying to have fun!”

Let’s say we do look at being inspirational from a selfish perspective. Remember in Psych 101 they said there really is no such a thing as altruism. Not sure if that’s true, but from a psychological perspective, why would you do it? Personally, I think inspiring others is a reward that we can find in our own struggles for significance. Think of it as being one of the higher needs on Maslow’s hierarchy. Consciously or subconsciously it can be a deep motivator.

If you think about why you’re a snowsports instructor, you’re probably not in it for the money. Maybe you could do better at McDonald’s or Walmart. Sometimes it even costs you to get to higher levels of teaching proficiency and professionalism. But if you sought out other jobs, you wouldn’t have as many opportunities, enjoyment, or rewards that you get from seeing others be inspired.

That moment when they have that break through. When you see them smile. It’s the moment when you know you’ve made a difference in someone’s life. It makes you feel good to make others feel good. You’re helping them get something they didn’t have before, a skill, a passion, a greater self confidence, . . . inspiration.

You may not even realize it when it happens. It might be years later when they thank you for opening up a whole new world. Or you helped them find a new path in life. It’s a heavy responsibility, but again, the rewards are great. And if you’re still thinking about Maslow’s hierarchy, it’s a step toward your own self-actualization.

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