In the wake of 9/11, many were inspired to make changes in their lives and careers. Some began volunteering in earnest. Others joined the military. Many made the conscious decision to follow a path that is more about service to others, the country, the world.

It is not always tragedy that opens our eyes and hearts to inspirational change. Sometimes it is witnessing an act of kindness or hearing of an injustice and not being able to get it out of one’s head. Other times it can be an AHA moment when you suddenly see a new way to use your talents that could benefit a cause or person.

If you have read this blog for a bit, you have read about my 14 year old son who has his own organization, www.DoGoodBeMore.org He is fortunate to be saddled with a mom who is all about setting goals. So each school year, we sit down and discuss what his goal for the year will be. Since it is his 8th grade year, this year needed to be “bigger”. He came up with collecting 2020 pounds of pet food for the local animal shelter and rescues. This seemed to be a large, yet attainable goal to accomplish by his June 1, 2020 graduation. As of today, he is six weeks into this mission and is at 2,896 pounds delivered and counting. We have not delivered this past week’s donations so they are not included in that total. My son wants to be an inspiration to others that no matter what your age, you can make a difference and make the world better.

My “real job” is Office Manager/HR for a real estate developer. Not exactly altruistic in nature at face value. It is a small, very successful firm and a great place to work. I have been there 21+ years now. Last fall I became inspired to get the word out how great a place it is to work and for the first time, entered our company in Crain’s 100 Best Places to Work in Chicago. It was a much more involved process than I expected, but after completing the application process and rallying the troops to take the online survey, I felt confident that we would make a good showing. Mind you, I had no clue how many other applicants there would be…after all, it is Chicago. Once the submission process closed, I was told over 10,000 applications were vying for the 100 spots. Not knowing if I had truly inspired our employees to “shout from the rooftops” about what a great employer we have, I nervously waited months for the results. In the end, I was elated to learn we placed #56 of the top 100. I wanted to inspire our team members to see the best in our firm. I wanted them to inspire others to want to work for our firm – making my job easier if we could attract more highly qualified candidates for openings. I wanted to inspire a high level of pride in our staff as THEY are the “secret sauce” of our firm that makes it special.

So I ask what or who inspires you? Is it the beauty of nature that inspires you to create art? Is it the volunteer fireman helping others that makes you want to volunteer to help others too?

Regardless of what or whom inspires you, set a goal and go for it! Be inspired and be an inspiration to others.

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