A simple question. Or is it?

by Anna Blanch on July 7, 2011

There’s a question I’ve come to ask quite a bit. It’s a simple question, non-threatening and I can ask it in almost any context to almost anyone:

What’s inspiring you today?

I’ve also come to prefer it over the more usual “what do you do?” when meeting people for the first time, I tried “what are you interested in?” but people seem confused by that.

“What’s inspiring you at the moment” opens the door for people to tell me what their paid occupational work entails, or about their latest research, or even more often what they’re really set on fire by. They tell me about things that really matter to them. It’s like the question frees them up to answer with their heart and mind (and spirit), not just their job title.

What’s been inspiring to me are the answers. I never fail to have my heart uplifted, or be challenged, by the diversity and richness of the answers. Some are serious and intellectual and technical, others are so deeply personal and connected to the real at the deepest level.

For me the question “What’s inspiring you at the moment” values someone for far more than their job title, their position of influence or their networking potential value. It’s about actually listening and finding out who someone is and what is important to them. What fills their world with joy. What enervates and drives and excites them!

On Tuesday, The Vernacular Curate wrote a post in response to my question. It’s a beautiful post about what’s inspiring him at the moment, and I have to admit I had tears welling up as I read his words about the most important people in his life and how they inspire him everyday.

And On the 30 June, Richard Littledale of Preacher’s A-Z (A great resource for Preachers) mentioned the question in his post  “Just remembered Why I am on Twitter”

So, whether I’ve asked it today or not, feel free to drop me a message on twitter or the Goannatree facebook community or leave a comment here and share, “What’s inspiring you today?”

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