IN-Spiration: Self-Evolving Must Always Follow Self-Reflection

Yesterday, we explored the importance of self-reflection. Why is it important to regularly examine your life? Today, we will seek inspiration from a 19th-century educator on the importance of constantly be evolving yourself.

“Be yourself, but always your better self.” – Karl G. Maeser

We live in an age where anyone can be anything. Individuality is encouraged. Being innovative can lead you to great success and influence. However, one must also approach this with caution because it can possibly restrict your self-reflection.

How does it do this? Because if you believe the habit is what makes you YOU,  you will be more likely to not change it.

When you develop your own style or way of doing things, it is YOUR’S. You’ll defend it. If you do something that is against the grain of society, you might say it is a part of what makes you unique. You’re a rebel. No rules are good rules. When that leads you to get stuck, though, you need to look into your own habits first. It doesn’t matter if it’s part of your aesthetic. If it doesn’t work, it needs to go.

Let’s look at Netflix, for example. The multi-billion dollar company started as nothing more than a Blockbuster* your could use from your living room. One click of a button and the company would send your favorite movies straight to your mailbox. When they started their streaming service, they tried to separate it from the Netflix name, calling it Qwikster and upping the fee for the service. It backfired on them.

Netflix quickly realized that they couldn’t keep their old way of business and still succeed with Qwikster. They had to completely change. So,  they started offering more streaming under the Netflix name. However, It wasn’t until they completely changed and became a production company in their own right that the company found its true success. Without that transformation, we would never have shows like “House of Cards,” “Orange is the New Black,” or “Stranger Things.”

Self-reflection, whether in business or your personal life, can only be successful if it leaves to personal evolution. So, take your moment. Breathe and reflect on your life. Then, get to work.

Now, it’s time to decipher Maeser’s quote for yourself. What do you think he means? Is being yourself hinder you from being a better form of yourself? Let us know in the comments below or leave a comment on our Facebook page and Twitter.

What is “In-spiration?” In addition to creating custom content for entrepreneurs, Write Mind Media LLC is dedicated to helping business professionals create inspiring brands.  We help them to become better business professionals and human beings through inspirational quotes, an in-depth look at how these ideas can help you in business, and developing weekly challenges to push our readers to do better.

*Blockbuster, in case you are too young to remember, was a video rental store that was extremely popular in the 90’s, but died out in the early 2000’s. At least 10 are still open in the United States today.

Motivational Monday: Channeling the Light of Maya Angelou

Today’s motivation comes from the life of a favorite poet of mine: Maya Angelou.

About Angelou’s Life

While she is known for her book “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” she was also known as a singer, actor, director, and civil rights advocate. In fact, she was a good friend to civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr.

Most importantly, she was a spiritual leader to many through her words and no-nonsense attitude. She forbade curse words in her home due to the power the words could have. Leaders of peace like Nelson Mandela and President Barack Obama called her a friend. She was truly a “phenomenal woman” as she described in her popular poem.

Photo Courtesy of Maya Angelou’s Facebook Page

Angelou had a difficult childhood, having been sexually assaulted at the age of eight and being mute for several years after the incident. Even then, she knew that her words held the power to change the world. Eventually, she would pen the story for “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”  The memoir would be what took her from a famous entertainer and activist to a global icon.

What We Can Learn From Maya Angelou

This week, we are focusing on becoming your own inspiration, to use your life as an example of perseverance and success. There are very few people that personify this ideal than Maya Angelou who faced adversity from so many fronts throughout her life as an African American woman.

Even though she has passed on, I doubt that her words will ever be forgotten. They are not unlike the words of Elie Wiesel, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, or Malala Yousafzai. They serve as a testament to a life lived. She learned from her experience, reflected on it, and allowed those lessons to make her a better human being.

As an entrepreneur and as an influencer, you must learn from your own life experiences. What would make your life easier? Think of what inspires you, makes you happy or sad. If YOU don’t ask the questions…someone else will and they will be the ones that inspire the world.

So, follow Maya Angelou’s advice.  “Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” Find your light so you may inspire others to do the same.