Hearing stories of perseverance through difficult challenges, especially medical ones, can be very inspiring. Such stories can show us a path that we may not have thought possible. They remind us that strength of the human spirit is stronger than any disease.

Everyone can use a little more inspiration around the holidays. Zach Sobiech’s YouTube video went viral a year-and-a-half ago is so worth watching—it reminds us what is really important in life.

“You don’t need to find out you are dying to start living,” Zach tells us. Wow, such wisdom from a 17-year-old! Diagnosed with a very serious cancer, Zach wanted everyone to hear and take his message to heart. As I listen again to his inspiring story, there is no wonder why it went viral—it gives us hope.

Inspiration can bring us joy, a sense of purpose, gratitude, and well-being. Where do you find inspiration? You can’t exactly ‘plan’ inspiration, but you can create situations that make it easier to come to you. Here are ten ideas to help you feel inspired:

1) Allow yourself to connect deeply with others—at the heart level. Authenticity inspires much more than superficiality.

2) Surround yourself with those you find inspiring—for whatever reason. The only qualification is that you find them inspiring.

3) Be open to new experiences and perspectives. Be daring!

4) Read something you find inspirational, whether quotes on Pinterest or an inspiring biography.

5) Tap into and express your creativity.

6) Let music, a poem, or nature take you to an inspiring place.

7) Find comfort in a pet or loved one. Be extra kind to yours or your neighbor’s pet.

8) Reach out and help someone. Volunteer!

9) Set a goal and pat yourself on the back for the baby steps you achieve along the way.

10) Get absorbed in a task, and experience how good it feels.

What about your own inner voice? Inspiration can lie within you; it’s a matter of tapping into it. Quiet reflection and journaling can help you listen to your inner voice and Digging Deep can get you started on this inward journey.

Sheri Brisson
Sheri Sobrato Brisson is a brain tumor survivor who discovered the importance of self-reflection during her recovery. From her personal illness experience and a dozen years supporting families and children with serious illness, her life’s philanthropic mission is to empower families and children facing serious illness. She has started and facilitated support groups for children with illness and their families for over twenty years with organizations such as the American Cancer Society, National Brain Tumor Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, and Packard Children’s Hospital. She has served as Board Member for many children’s health nonprofit organizations including American Cancer Society San Jose, UCSF/Mt. Zion Auxiliary, Creighton Health Institute, and Okizu Foundation. Brisson received her master’s degree in counseling from Santa Clara University and her undergraduate degree in human biology from Stanford University.
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