Essay Papers Writing Online

Exploring the art of essay writing – a collection of insights and reflections.

Essays about writing

Essay writing is a craft that allows individuals to express their thoughts, ideas, and arguments in a structured and compelling manner. It is a form of art that requires creativity, critical thinking, and eloquence. Through the art of essay writing, writers have the power to influence and persuade their readers, sparking new perspectives and inspiring change.

When delving into the realm of essay writing, one explores the nuances of language, the intricacies of rhetoric, and the depth of analysis. Essays come in various forms, from persuasive to analytical, from narrative to argumentative. Each type of essay challenges the writer to convey their message effectively, captivating the audience and leaving a lasting impression.

Through this journey of exploration and discovery, writers discover new insights, hone their writing skills, and find inspiration in the world around them. The art of essay writing transcends mere academic requirements; it becomes a form of self-expression, a tool for communication, and a platform for sharing knowledge and ideas with others.

Unlocking the Secrets

Essay writing is often seen as a daunting task, but with the right approach and strategies, it can become a rewarding and enlightening experience. Here are some key secrets to unlocking your potential as an essay writer:

1. Understand the Prompt: Before you start writing, make sure you fully grasp the essay prompt. Take the time to analyze the requirements and expectations, so you can tailor your response accordingly.

2. Plan and Organize: A well-structured essay is a key to success. Create an outline to organize your thoughts and ideas before diving into the writing process. This will help you stay focused and ensure a logical flow of information.

3. Research Thoroughly: Good essays are backed by solid research. Take the time to gather relevant sources, quotes, and data to support your arguments and claims. Remember to cite your sources properly.

4. Develop a Strong Thesis: Your thesis statement should be clear, concise, and specific. It is the central idea of your essay, and all your arguments should revolve around it. Make sure your thesis is arguable and sets the tone for the rest of your paper.

5. Revise and Proofread: Don’t underestimate the power of revising and proofreading. Take the time to review your essay, fix any errors, and polish your writing. A well-edited essay will leave a lasting impression on your readers.

By following these secrets and incorporating them into your writing process, you can unlock the full potential of your essay writing skills and create compelling and impactful essays.

The Journey into Creativity

Embarking on the journey into creativity is an exhilarating experience that opens up a world of possibilities and inspiration. As you delve into the realm of essay writing, you have the opportunity to explore your unique perspective, voice, and style.

Creativity in writing is not just about coming up with innovative ideas or flashy phrases. It’s about approaching your topic from new angles, weaving together compelling narratives, and engaging your readers in thought-provoking ways.

Throughout this journey, you may encounter challenges and roadblocks, but these obstacles can be catalysts for creativity. Embrace the process of brainstorming, drafting, revising, and refining your essays. Allow yourself to experiment with different techniques, structures, and approaches.

Remember, creativity is a journey, not a destination. Stay curious, open-minded, and willing to push the boundaries of your writing. Let your imagination roam free and see where it takes you. The journey into creativity is an ongoing and rewarding adventure that will shape you as a writer and thinker.

Discovering the Power

In the realm of essay writing, one of the most powerful tools at your disposal is the ability to convey your thoughts and ideas with clarity and precision. By mastering the art of crafting well-structured and compelling essays, you open the door to a world of influence and impact.

Through the process of writing, you have the opportunity to delve deep into your subject matter, exploring its nuances and complexities. This journey of discovery not only enriches your own understanding but also allows you to share your insights with others, shaping their perspectives and sparking thought-provoking conversations.

As you hone your essay-writing skills, you tap into the power of words to inspire, persuade, and educate. Each sentence becomes a brushstroke on the canvas of your ideas, painting a vivid picture that captivates your readers and leaves a lasting impression.

By discovering the power of essay writing, you unlock a world of creativity and expression that knows no bounds. Embrace the journey, and let your words soar.

Unleashing Your Imagination

Unleashing Your Imagination

One way to unleash your imagination is to brainstorm and jot down all your ideas, no matter how wild or unconventional they may seem at first. By embracing the unexpected, you can discover unique angles and fresh insights that will make your essay stand out.

Remember, the art of essay writing is not about following rules – it’s about letting your imagination run wild and expressing your ideas in a way that is uniquely yours. So, don’t be afraid to take risks, experiment with different writing styles, and explore the boundaries of your creativity. Unleash your imagination and watch your writing come to life!

Embracing the Craft

Essay writing is not just a task or an academic exercise; it is an art form that allows us to express our thoughts, ideas, and emotions in a structured and coherent manner. To truly excel in the art of essay writing, one must embrace the craft with passion, dedication, and creativity.

Embracing the craft of essay writing means approaching each piece with an open mind and a willingness to experiment with different styles, tones, and techniques. It involves honing your skills through practice, feedback, and continuous learning. Embracing the craft also requires a deep appreciation for language, storytelling, and the power of words to create impact and inspire change.

By embracing the craft of essay writing, you can transform your ideas into compelling narratives, persuasive arguments, and thought-provoking reflections. Whether you are writing for academic purposes, personal expression, or professional communication, embracing the craft will help you communicate effectively, connect with your audience, and leave a lasting impression.

Related Post

How to master the art of writing expository essays and captivate your audience, convenient and reliable source to purchase college essays online, step-by-step guide to crafting a powerful literary analysis essay, tips and techniques for crafting compelling narrative essays.


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Why Inspiration Matters

  • Scott Barry Kaufman

“When your Daemon is in charge, do not try to think consciously. Drift, wait, and obey.“ — Rudyard Kipling In a culture obsessed with measuring talent and ability, we often overlook the important role of inspiration. Inspiration awakens us to new possibilities by allowing us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations. Inspiration propels a person […]

“ When your Daemon is in charge, do not try to think consciously. Drift, wait, and obey. “ — Rudyard Kipling

  • SK Scott Barry Kaufman is scientific director of the Imagination Institute in the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania. He is author of Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined and co-author of the upcoming book Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind (with Carolyn Gregoire). Kaufman is also co-founder of The Creativity Post and he hosts The Psychology Podcast .

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Home Essay Samples Life

Essay Samples on Someone Who Inspires Me

At its core, inspiration is a powerful force that ignites passion, propels dreams, and molds individuals into extraordinary beings. It is the vibrant pulse that surges through our veins, pushing us to achieve greatness even in the face of adversity. Crafting an essay about someone who inspires you allows you to shine a spotlight on the transformative power of such individuals.

How to Write an Essay on Someone Who Inspires Me

Here are some useful example you shpuld consider when writing a college essay about someone who inspires you:

  • Consider beginning with a heartfelt introduction that captivates the reader’s attention and sets the stage for the awe-inspiring journey to come.
  • Share a personal anecdote or a defining moment that sparked the connection between you and your inspirational figure, allowing the reader to empathize with your experience.
  • Delve into the qualities and actions that make this individual so inspiring. Explore their accomplishments, perseverance, and unwavering determination. Showcase how their words and deeds have impacted your life, shaping your values and aspirations. Be vivid and descriptive, illustrating the profound influence they have had on your personal growth and development.
  • Weave in personal reflections throughout your essay. Share introspective thoughts and revelations, highlighting the lessons you have learned and the ways in which your perspective has evolved. By doing so, you invite the reader to embark on a transformative journey alongside you, creating a powerful emotional connection.

To aid you in your writing process, we provide a sample essay about someone who inspires you. It serves as a guiding light, illustrating the structure, tone, and depth needed to craft an outstanding piece. Drawing inspiration from this sample, embrace your unique voice, infuse your essay with passion, and let your words leave an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of the readers.

A Bond Beyond Words: Reflecting on My Relationship with Someone Special

There are moments in life when we cross paths with someone who transforms our world in inexplicable ways. For me, that person is someone special who has walked alongside me, sharing laughter, tears, and countless memories. Our relationship is a testament to the beauty of...

  • Someone Who Inspires Me

A Beacon of Inspiration: A Descriptive Peace about the Person I Admire

Amidst the myriad of individuals who have crossed the path of my life, there is one who stands as a beacon of inspiration, illuminating the way with her unwavering determination, boundless compassion, and unyielding spirit. Her name is Emma, and her presence in my life...

A Person I Will Always Remember: My English Teacher

Throughout our lives, we encounter countless individuals who leave a lasting impact on us. Among them, there is always that one person who stands out — a person whose presence, actions, and words etch a permanent mark in our memories. In this essay, I will...

  • Influential Person

My Grandmother as My Role Model: Her Role in Shaping My Identity

The identities of Americans are diversified. One’s identity is made up of a person's culture, heritage, personality, and how they strive to succeed. The identity of a person is created, through the hardships faced and their history, whether it is that one is born in...

  • Grandmother
  • Grandparent

My Role Model and My Heroes: Mother and Father

Heroes can have a massive superb have an effect on on your life. My heroes are my mother and my dad. They are heroes to me each day and I have continually seemed up to them. I have always wanted to be just like my...

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Audrey Hepburn: Life Of A Timeless Inspiration Of Mine

When I think of an individual who I look up to and aspire to emulate, the first person that comes to mind is Audrey Hepburn. Audrey Hepburn’s career in both entertainment and humanitarian work is a path I know I will follow because it is...

  • Audrey Hepburn

Oprah Winfrey and Ariana Grande: Women That Inspire Me

Oprah Winfrey was born in Mississippi on January 29,1954. Her parents were not married and broke up soon after she was born. Oprah Winfrey’s grandmother was strict and gave her plenty of discipline as she grew up on an isolated farm. Her grandmother taught her...

  • Oprah Winfrey

St. Bernadette: The Woman That Inspires Me

The qualities that St. Bernadette of Soubirous has that I admire are; being humble, being modest, being obedient, and loving. I admire these qualities because they make a person better. Saint Bernadette was modest and humble because, she didn’t brag about seeing Mother Mary, and...

  • Catholic Church

Simone De Beauvoir One of the Greatest Woman

Simone-Ernestine-Lucie-Marie-Bertrand de Beauvoir was a French writer, political activist, feminist thinker and existentialist philosopher. She had worked alongside other famous existentialist such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus and Maurice Merleau-Ponty and was able to produce wonderful works such as She Came to Stay, Pyrrhus and...

  • Existentialism
  • Simone De Beauvoir

Ned Kelly: American Hero Or Villain

Ned Kelly was a bushranger and was born in June 1855 at Beveridge, Victoria. His father was John Kelly and his mother was Ellen Kelly. Ned became the father of his family at a very young age because of his fathers early death. In 1869...

Joan of Arc One of the Most Heroic Women in French History

Joan of Arc was one of the most heroic women in French history. She has claimed to hear voices that told her to lead France in the Hundred Years War leading France to some victories. Although some believe that the Joan of Arc heard the...

  • Joan of Arc

Who Inspired Me to Become a Nurse

To me, nursing is a selfless job. You put the patients’ needs before yours to provide them with the care that they deserve. As a nurse, you are the healing hands. With the energy, compassion, and dedication you build with the patients, you make a...

  • Life Changing Experience

Mary Kom, The Person Who Inspired Me to Pursue My Dreams

A question simply arises in my mind that how someone can be a great leader. I thought on this and then I came across various leadership qualities which leaders are having in them. Let me explain first about the leadership qualities. Leader is a word...

The People Who Shaped Me

At a young age of 7, I subconsciously started noticing my mom reminisce about her past and it made me see the way music connected her to her roots and in a way, made her human. It was waking up and witnessing a scene that...

Three People Who Influenced Me Throughout My Life

My parents are undeniably the people who gave me the most profound influence. I would not talk about them separately because they are truly in one flesh. My parents met each other at bible college, and after they married, they served in church and drug...

  • Personal Life

Life Lessons in the Diary of Anne Frank

Anne Frank was a 13-year-old Jewish that has made a big impact on people around the world. Making us realize the crimes we create are destroying all of humanity just because some of us have different views and beliefs are certain things. If you don't...

  • The Diary of Anne Frank

The Diary of Anne Frank by Frances Goodrich: An Inspiration to All  

How would one respond to the most miserable and unpromising situation? In The Diary of Anne Frank by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, the main character, Anne Frank, is deprived of her freedom and forced to hide in a secret annex. As a Jewish girl...

Tara Curb, Her Acts of Kindness Association, and Her Unique Vision of Kindness

It is a late-afternoon, November 7, 2019, on a freezing thirty-five degree and gloomy Thursday at the University of Oklahoma Bizzell Memorial Library. In one of the conference rooms held a Acts of Kindness Association meeting. Running the organization meeting was a smart young woman,...

Biography of Jackie Robinson - National Hero

“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” (Jackie Robinson). In the United States in the 1940s, segregation was the way of life. You probably know Jackie Robinson as number 42; the first black man to play major league...

  • Jackie Robinson

Life And Art Of Andy Warhol

I remember the first time I saw Andy Warhol’s artworks was about ten years ago at an exhibition in Taipei, Taiwan. At that time, I was not a big fan of Andy Warhol and I didn’t understand why all the works that only show some...

  • Andy Warhol

Best topics on Someone Who Inspires Me

1. A Bond Beyond Words: Reflecting on My Relationship with Someone Special

2. A Beacon of Inspiration: A Descriptive Peace about the Person I Admire

3. A Person I Will Always Remember: My English Teacher

4. My Grandmother as My Role Model: Her Role in Shaping My Identity

5. My Role Model and My Heroes: Mother and Father

6. Audrey Hepburn: Life Of A Timeless Inspiration Of Mine

7. Oprah Winfrey and Ariana Grande: Women That Inspire Me

8. St. Bernadette: The Woman That Inspires Me

9. Simone De Beauvoir One of the Greatest Woman

10. Ned Kelly: American Hero Or Villain

11. Joan of Arc One of the Most Heroic Women in French History

12. Who Inspired Me to Become a Nurse

13. Mary Kom, The Person Who Inspired Me to Pursue My Dreams

14. The People Who Shaped Me

15. Three People Who Influenced Me Throughout My Life

  • Career Goals
  • Personal Experience
  • Personality

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essay about sources of inspiration

The internet can be a dark and, quite often, violent place for women — many of whom are subjected to trolling, harassment, and threats on a daily basis. But it can also be a truly wonderful place, one that provides free access to news, educational resources, entertainment, communication, and wealth of incredible writing — including these empowering essays by women you can read online right now . Written by Cecile Richards, Lindy West, Lady Gaga, and more, these essays are filled with inspiration and wisdom to guide you through your day.

For female readers, the online world can sometimes feel like a minefield, one that is littered with destructive words meant to tear women down or shut them up. But for famous authors and writers, beloved celebrities, and popular athletes, it can also serve as the perfect platform to share their empowering stories, which often include plenty of inspirational anecdotes and practical advice that makes the whole mess of the internet worth it.

Whether you’re looking for a bit of guidance in your own life, or hoping to inspire your friends with some sage advice from more experienced women, here are nine empowering essays you can read for free online right now .

"The Most Daring Women Don’t Always Make Headlines" by Cecile Richards

"Today, women across this country are doing her proud. The earth is shifting under the force of millions of women standing up for themselves, for each other, for their daughters and their mothers and sisters," writes the former president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund Cecile Richards in her inspiring piece about women and activism for Harper's Bazaar . "Women are no longer asking for permission. They’re just diving in and taking risks. They know we can’t afford to sit this one out."

Read the full essay here .

"Rebranding Motherhood" by Diksha Basu

"If anything, so far being a mother feels quite delightfully self-indulgent. I have a daughter in whom I can constantly look for and find little bits of myself or, better yet, improved bits of myself," writes Windfall author Dikashu Basu in a moving essay for The New York Times about redefining motherhood. "Recently a construction worker called out to me on the street in Lower Manhattan and I got my angry anti-catcalling face ready to respond but he very respectfully said, 'You have a beautiful daughter, ma’am.' My vanity now has two bodies within which to reside — the sacrifice looks more like narcissism from certain angles."

Read the full essay here.

"This Is Survival" by Aly Raisman

In a heartbreaking but incredibly powerful essay for The Players' Tribune , American gymnast Aly Raisman opens up about her experience with sexual abuse, and offers some words of encouragement to anyone else who has gone through the same thing. "I am not a victim. I am a survivor. The abuse does not define me, or anyone else who has been abused. This does not define the millions of those who’ve suffered sexual abuse," the two-time Olympian writes. "They are not victims, either. They are survivors. They are strong, they are brave, they are changing things so the next generation never has to go through what they did."

"What I Learned at War" by Tammy Duckworth

Senator Tammy Duckworth has often spoken out about her time serving in the U.S. army, including in this persuasive essay about the price of war and what it can teach us that she wrote for Politico. "That day, I lost both of my legs, but I was given a second chance at life," she writes, recounting her experience fighting in the Iraq War. "It’s a feeling that has helped to drive me in my second chance at service—no one should be left behind, and every American deserves another chance."

"The 'Perfect Body' Is a Lie. I Believed It For a Long Time and Let It Shrink My Life" by Lindy West

If you have read Lindy West's memoir Shrill , you know that she has a lot of incredibly insightful things to say fat acceptance and body positivity. In an essay for The Guardian, she shares some of them, saying "The 'perfect body' is a lie. I believed in it for a long time, and I let it shape my life, and shrink it – my real life, populated by my real body. Don’t let fiction tell you what to do. In the omnidirectional orgy gardens of Vlaxnoid, no one cares about your arm flab."

"Bring It On" by Ibtihaj Muhammad

The first Muslim American to medal in the Olympics, fencing champion Ibtihaj Muhammad opened up about what it is like to compete in an sport where so few people look like her. "One day, during a fifteen-hour flight to a training camp in Beijing, I arrived at a moment where I said enough is enough — I’d spent years fighting for every win, every opportunity, every ounce of respect on my path to becoming an Olympian, and I was no longer going to allow other people to affect how I perceived myself or restrict what I was capable of," she writes in Lenny Letter. "When people stared me down at a tournament, I didn’t know if it was a race thing or a religious thing or that they weren’t ready for change, but I finally realized: Why was that burden on me to figure out? I didn’t have the time to acquire their baggage or analyze why anyone wanted to make me feel inferior. I had a job to do on that team, and that job was winning a medal."

"Why It's So Important That CEOs Like Me Speak Out Against Trump" by Reshma Saujani

In an essay about corporate responsibility in the age of Trump by Reshma Saujani, the Girls Who Code founder and CEO reminds readers that individuals have a lot of power to enact change. "But if every American has the power to sway a CEO," she argues in a piece for Teen Vogue, "then every American quite literally has a chance to sway public opinion, to shape the way we talk and think and act on our values system — to change the way we treat our fellow Americans and those who come here seeking a better life for their families."

"Ava DuVernay on How to 'Pivot Towards Positivity' in Trying Times" by Ava DuVernay

There are few creatives as wise, or as giving when it comes to advice, as A Wrinkle in Time director Ava DuVernay. "These days I’m a lot less competitive, a lot less concerned about what other people do. I’m much more focused on the things that make me happy," she writes in an inspirational essay for InStyle. "I believe that good comes when you put out good, and so I just try to emanate joyful vibes. Why not? I’m not going to spend my day hating on someone else. I’ve got so many better and more joy-filled things to do."

"Portrait of a Lady" by Lady Gaga

In her 2016 essay on being a woman in the modern world, Lady Gaga opens up and offers a truly refreshing and inspiring perspective. "Being a lady today means being a fighter. It means being a survivor," she writes. "It means letting yourself be vulnerable and acknowledging your shame or that you're sad or you're angry. It takes great strength to do that."

essay about sources of inspiration

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Challenges in College , Getting Into College , Going Back to College , Tips for Online Students , Tips for Students

Inspirational College Application Essay Decoded!

Updated: July 11, 2022

Published: October 29, 2021


If you are applying to a college that requires a college application essay, you will undoubtedly want your college essay to leave a lasting impression on its readers. 

Many colleges request a college application essay; some colleges will provide prospective students with the topic they want you to write about, while others will leave the choice up to you.  

So, how do you write an inspirational essay? There’s no single right way to source college essay inspiration, but there are some recommendations that we’ve compiled here to help you along with your process. 

essay about sources of inspiration

What is a Personal Statement?

A personal statement, or college application essay, is an opportunity to share something about yourself through writing that the college admissions team won’t necessarily glean from your resume , transcript, or letters of recommendation. 

It provides applicants with the space to share more about their personality and complement the other pieces of your application to offer a well-rounded picture of who you are. 

Things to Note 

Before you get started on your college essay, there are some important things to keep in mind . You’ll likely have been spending a lot of time compiling all the other components for your application, which may include transcripts, SAT/ACT scores, letters of recommendation, and more. 

When it comes time to write your personal statement, be sure to:

Read the Directions Closely

Many prospective students and enrolled students will note that their college essay was the most challenging aspect of completing their college application. This is because it requires the most thought, time, and can also be somewhat open-ended. As such, it’s vital that students read the college essay guidelines and directions closely. In itself, the college essay is like a test for college admissions committees to see how well you can follow directions. 

Avoid Clichés 

There are many inspirational essay examples you can choose from to find ideas, but when using inspiration, avoid using clichés. While clichés exist for a reason because they are based in truth, many students will likely use them. To prevent your essay from getting overlooked, use your own words and voice to describe what you write about so that you can stand apart. 

Once you have your essay drafted, be sure to plan enough time to proofread and edit your work. Even if you feel unsure of putting words on the page, write them down. You can spend time making it better with a second, third, and fourth look. The proofreading stage should also include an objective set of eyes (someone you trust) who can give you their honest opinion about your essay.

A Step-by-Step Guide 

Your college essay isn’t going to write itself. You have to put in the work, but it can be overwhelming to know where to start. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide that should help you start and finish your inspirational college essay. 

Organize and Brainstorm 

Before you get started on drafting your college essay, organize your thoughts. If you’ve been given essay prompts, dedicate at least 5-10 minutes to each prompt to think about what you may write about.  

Choose Your Topic 

Based on how much you come up with for each prompt, you can choose which prompt will suit your story the best. If you have an open-ended prompt, think about defining moments in your life, your passions, inspirations, achievements, and the like to come up with some ideas of what you can share. 

Create an Outline 

There will be a lot of details that you’ll want to add to your essay to convey your point(s). To keep the flow organized, begin by outlining what you will talk about. A clear starting point is a brief introduction with a hook sentence to grab the reader’s attention. Then, list where you will go next with main points and supporting evidence (anecdotes from your past, examples of your point, etc.). Finish up with a conclusion that reiterates your main point (topic/gist), and close out with something that leaves the reader thinking or feeling something strongly so that your essay lingers in their mind. 

Once you have your outline sorted, you can get to drafting up your inspirational essay. While it’s difficult not to edit as you write, try to let everything out. You’ll have time to clean it up after, but allowing your train of thought to appear on the page may lead to something brilliant. 

Many college essays will provide you with a maximum word count. Remain aware of this word count as you write. 

Pro Tip: If you use Google Docs, go to Tools> Word Count> Select “Display Word Count While Typing.”

The chances are, you’ll probably find it easier to write more than less. To cut down your word count, read each sentence and ask yourself if that sentence or word is necessary to convey your point. Keep an eye on grammar and spelling. Even though you will use the word processor’s spelling and grammar review upon completion, it doesn’t always catch everything. 

After you’ve edited down your college essay, read it over a few times, and entrust someone (or multiple people) to give you some feedback. Try not to take the feedback personally, as the people you allow to read your essay will likely have your best interest in mind, and they are just trying to help you write a better final product. 

College Essay Inspiration 

You’ll want your personal statement to be considered an inspirational college essay. To make this vision a reality, remember to: 

  • Be passionate 
  • Be specific 
  • Be yourself 

Some topics that make for inspirational college essays include stories about:

  • Overcoming a challenge 
  • Learning something new 
  • Making a significant life change 
  • Sharing an epiphany 
  • Expressing your interests and reasoning 

essay about sources of inspiration

Your Story is Important 

Whether you believe it or not, your personal statement and story is important. No two people have the same life circumstance or outlook as another, so sharing your truth with a college admissions team can be the root of inspiration, and ultimately, admission. 

Believe in yourself and your words, and take the necessary time to prepare, edit, and write your very own inspirational essay for college. The truth is that it can be all the difference to granting your acceptance into the college of your dreams.

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essay about sources of inspiration

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Follow YES! For Teachers

Eight brilliant student essays on what matters most in life.

Read winning essays from our spring 2019 student writing contest.

young and old.jpg

For the spring 2019 student writing contest, we invited students to read the YES! article “Three Things That Matter Most in Youth and Old Age” by Nancy Hill. Like the author, students interviewed someone significantly older than them about the three things that matter most in life. Students then wrote about what they learned, and about how their interviewees’ answers compare to their own top priorities.

The Winners

From the hundreds of essays written, these eight were chosen as winners. Be sure to read the author’s response to the essay winners and the literary gems that caught our eye. Plus, we share an essay from teacher Charles Sanderson, who also responded to the writing prompt.

Middle School Winner: Rory Leyva

High School Winner:  Praethong Klomsum

University Winner:  Emily Greenbaum

Powerful Voice Winner: Amanda Schwaben

Powerful Voice Winner: Antonia Mills

Powerful Voice Winner:  Isaac Ziemba

Powerful Voice Winner: Lily Hersch

“Tell It Like It Is” Interview Winner: Jonas Buckner

From the Author: Response to Student Winners

Literary Gems

From A Teacher: Charles Sanderson

From the Author: Response to Charles Sanderson

Middle School Winner

Village Home Education Resource Center, Portland, Ore.

essay about sources of inspiration

The Lessons Of Mortality 

“As I’ve aged, things that are more personal to me have become somewhat less important. Perhaps I’ve become less self-centered with the awareness of mortality, how short one person’s life is.” This is how my 72-year-old grandma believes her values have changed over the course of her life. Even though I am only 12 years old, I know my life won’t last forever, and someday I, too, will reflect on my past decisions. We were all born to exist and eventually die, so we have evolved to value things in the context of mortality.

One of the ways I feel most alive is when I play roller derby. I started playing for the Rose City Rollers Juniors two years ago, and this year, I made the Rosebud All-Stars travel team. Roller derby is a fast-paced, full-contact sport. The physicality and intense training make me feel in control of and present in my body.

My roller derby team is like a second family to me. Adolescence is complicated. We understand each other in ways no one else can. I love my friends more than I love almost anything else. My family would have been higher on my list a few years ago, but as I’ve aged it has been important to make my own social connections.

Music led me to roller derby.  I started out jam skating at the roller rink. Jam skating is all about feeling the music. It integrates gymnastics, breakdancing, figure skating, and modern dance with R & B and hip hop music. When I was younger, I once lay down in the DJ booth at the roller rink and was lulled to sleep by the drawl of wheels rolling in rhythm and people talking about the things they came there to escape. Sometimes, I go up on the roof of my house at night to listen to music and feel the wind rustle my hair. These unique sensations make me feel safe like nothing else ever has.

My grandma tells me, “Being close with family and friends is the most important thing because I haven’t

essay about sources of inspiration

always had that.” When my grandma was two years old, her father died. Her mother became depressed and moved around a lot, which made it hard for my grandma to make friends. Once my grandma went to college, she made lots of friends. She met my grandfather, Joaquin Leyva when she was working as a park ranger and he was a surfer. They bought two acres of land on the edge of a redwood forest and had a son and a daughter. My grandma created a stable family that was missing throughout her early life.

My grandma is motivated to maintain good health so she can be there for her family. I can relate because I have to be fit and strong for my team. Since she lost my grandfather to cancer, she realizes how lucky she is to have a functional body and no life-threatening illnesses. My grandma tries to eat well and exercise, but she still struggles with depression. Over time, she has learned that reaching out to others is essential to her emotional wellbeing.  

Caring for the earth is also a priority for my grandma I’ve been lucky to learn from my grandma. She’s taught me how to hunt for fossils in the desert and find shells on the beach. Although my grandma grew up with no access to the wilderness, she admired the green open areas of urban cemeteries. In college, she studied geology and hiked in the High Sierras. For years, she’s been an advocate for conserving wildlife habitat and open spaces.

Our priorities may seem different, but it all comes down to basic human needs. We all desire a purpose, strive to be happy, and need to be loved. Like Nancy Hill says in the YES! Magazine article “Three Things That Matter Most in Youth and Old Age,” it can be hard to decipher what is important in life. I believe that the constant search for satisfaction and meaning is the only thing everyone has in common. We all want to know what matters, and we walk around this confusing world trying to find it. The lessons I’ve learned from my grandma about forging connections, caring for my body, and getting out in the world inspire me to live my life my way before it’s gone.

Rory Leyva is a seventh-grader from Portland, Oregon. Rory skates for the Rosebuds All-Stars roller derby team. She loves listening to music and hanging out with her friends.

High School Winner

Praethong Klomsum

  Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica, Calif.

essay about sources of inspiration

Time Only Moves Forward

Sandra Hernandez gazed at the tiny house while her mother’s gentle hands caressed her shoulders. It wasn’t much, especially for a family of five. This was 1960, she was 17, and her family had just moved to Culver City.

Flash forward to 2019. Sandra sits in a rocking chair, knitting a blanket for her latest grandchild, in the same living room. Sandra remembers working hard to feed her eight children. She took many different jobs before settling behind the cash register at a Japanese restaurant called Magos. “It was a struggle, and my husband Augustine, was planning to join the military at that time, too.”

In the YES! Magazine article “Three Things That Matter Most in Youth and Old Age,” author Nancy Hill states that one of the most important things is “…connecting with others in general, but in particular with those who have lived long lives.” Sandra feels similarly. It’s been hard for Sandra to keep in contact with her family, which leaves her downhearted some days. “It’s important to maintain that connection you have with your family, not just next-door neighbors you talk to once a month.”

Despite her age, Sandra is a daring woman. Taking risks is important to her, and she’ll try anything—from skydiving to hiking. Sandra has some regrets from the past, but nowadays, she doesn’t wonder about the “would have, could have, should haves.” She just goes for it with a smile.

Sandra thought harder about her last important thing, the blue and green blanket now finished and covering

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her lap. “I’ve definitely lived a longer life than most, and maybe this is just wishful thinking, but I hope I can see the day my great-grandchildren are born.” She’s laughing, but her eyes look beyond what’s in front of her. Maybe she is reminiscing about the day she held her son for the first time or thinking of her grandchildren becoming parents. I thank her for her time and she waves it off, offering me a styrofoam cup of lemonade before I head for the bus station.

The bus is sparsely filled. A voice in my head reminds me to finish my 10-page history research paper before spring break. I take a window seat and pull out my phone and earbuds. My playlist is already on shuffle, and I push away thoughts of that dreaded paper. Music has been a constant in my life—from singing my lungs out in kindergarten to Barbie’s “I Need To Know,” to jamming out to Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” in sixth grade, to BTS’s “Intro: Never Mind” comforting me when I’m at my lowest. Music is my magic shop, a place where I can trade away my fears for calm.

I’ve always been afraid of doing something wrong—not finishing my homework or getting a C when I can do better. When I was 8, I wanted to be like the big kids. As I got older, I realized that I had exchanged my childhood longing for the 48 pack of crayons for bigger problems, balancing grades, a social life, and mental stability—all at once. I’m going to get older whether I like it or not, so there’s no point forcing myself to grow up faster.  I’m learning to live in the moment.

The bus is approaching my apartment, where I know my comfy bed and a home-cooked meal from my mom are waiting. My mom is hard-working, confident, and very stubborn. I admire her strength of character. She always keeps me in line, even through my rebellious phases.

My best friend sends me a text—an update on how broken her laptop is. She is annoying. She says the stupidest things and loves to state the obvious. Despite this, she never fails to make me laugh until my cheeks feel numb. The rest of my friends are like that too—loud, talkative, and always brightening my day. Even friends I stopped talking to have a place in my heart. Recently, I’ve tried to reconnect with some of them. This interview was possible because a close friend from sixth grade offered to introduce me to Sandra, her grandmother.  

I’m decades younger than Sandra, so my view of what’s important isn’t as broad as hers, but we share similar values, with friends and family at the top. I have a feeling that when Sandra was my age, she used to love music, too. Maybe in a few decades, when I’m sitting in my rocking chair, drawing in my sketchbook, I’ll remember this article and think back fondly to the days when life was simple.

Praethong Klomsum is a tenth-grader at Santa Monica High School in Santa Monica, California.  Praethong has a strange affinity for rhyme games and is involved in her school’s dance team. She enjoys drawing and writing, hoping to impact people willing to listen to her thoughts and ideas.

University Winner

Emily Greenbaum

Kent State University, Kent, Ohio 

essay about sources of inspiration

The Life-Long War

Every morning we open our eyes, ready for a new day. Some immediately turn to their phones and social media. Others work out or do yoga. For a certain person, a deep breath and the morning sun ground him. He hears the clink-clank of his wife cooking low sodium meat for breakfast—doctor’s orders! He sees that the other side of the bed is already made, the dogs are no longer in the room, and his clothes are set out nicely on the loveseat.

Today, though, this man wakes up to something different: faded cream walls and jello. This person, my hero, is Master Chief Petty Officer Roger James.

I pulled up my chair close to Roger’s vinyl recliner so I could hear him above the noise of the beeping dialysis machine. I noticed Roger would occasionally glance at his wife Susan with sparkly eyes when he would recall memories of the war or their grandkids. He looked at Susan like she walked on water.

Roger James served his country for thirty years. Now, he has enlisted in another type of war. He suffers from a rare blood cancer—the result of the wars he fought in. Roger has good and bad days. He says, “The good outweighs the bad, so I have to be grateful for what I have on those good days.”

When Roger retired, he never thought the effects of the war would reach him. The once shallow wrinkles upon his face become deeper, as he tells me, “It’s just cancer. Others are suffering from far worse. I know I’ll make it.”

Like Nancy Hill did in her article “Three Things that Matter Most in Youth and Old Age,” I asked Roger, “What are the three most important things to you?” James answered, “My wife Susan, my grandkids, and church.”

Roger and Susan served together in the Vietnam war. She was a nurse who treated his cuts and scrapes one day. I asked Roger why he chose Susan. He said, “Susan told me to look at her while she cleaned me up. ‘This may sting, but don’t be a baby.’ When I looked into her eyes, I felt like she was looking into my soul, and I didn’t want her to leave. She gave me this sense of home. Every day I wake up, she makes me feel the same way, and I fall in love with her all over again.”

Roger and Susan have two kids and four grandkids, with great-grandchildren on the way. He claims that his grandkids give him the youth that he feels slowly escaping from his body. This adoring grandfather is energized by coaching t-ball and playing evening card games with the grandkids.

The last thing on his list was church. His oldest daughter married a pastor. Together they founded a church. Roger said that the connection between his faith and family is important to him because it gave him a reason to want to live again. I learned from Roger that when you’re across the ocean, you tend to lose sight of why you are fighting. When Roger returned, he didn’t have the will to live. Most days were a struggle, adapting back into a society that lacked empathy for the injuries, pain, and psychological trauma carried by returning soldiers. Church changed that for Roger and gave him a sense of purpose.

When I began this project, my attitude was to just get the assignment done. I never thought I could view Master Chief Petty Officer Roger James as more than a role model, but he definitely changed my mind. It’s as if Roger magically lit a fire inside of me and showed me where one’s true passions should lie. I see our similarities and embrace our differences. We both value family and our own connections to home—his home being church and mine being where I can breathe the easiest.

Master Chief Petty Officer Roger James has shown me how to appreciate what I have around me and that every once in a while, I should step back and stop to smell the roses. As we concluded the interview, amidst squeaky clogs and the stale smell of bleach and bedpans, I looked to Roger, his kind, tired eyes, and weathered skin, with a deeper sense of admiration, knowing that his values still run true, no matter what he faces.

Emily Greenbaum is a senior at Kent State University, graduating with a major in Conflict Management and minor in Geography. Emily hopes to use her major to facilitate better conversations, while she works in the Washington, D.C. area.  

Powerful Voice Winner

Amanda Schwaben

essay about sources of inspiration

Wise Words From Winnie the Pooh

As I read through Nancy Hill’s article “Three Things That Matter Most in Youth and Old Age,” I was comforted by the similar responses given by both children and older adults. The emphasis participants placed on family, social connections, and love was not only heartwarming but hopeful. While the messages in the article filled me with warmth, I felt a twinge of guilt building within me. As a twenty-one-year-old college student weeks from graduation, I honestly don’t think much about the most important things in life. But if I was asked, I would most likely say family, friendship, and love. As much as I hate to admit it, I often find myself obsessing over achieving a successful career and finding a way to “save the world.”

A few weeks ago, I was at my family home watching the new Winnie the Pooh movie Christopher Robin with my mom and younger sister. Well, I wasn’t really watching. I had my laptop in front of me, and I was aggressively typing up an assignment. Halfway through the movie, I realized I left my laptop charger in my car. I walked outside into the brisk March air. Instinctively, I looked up. The sky was perfectly clear, revealing a beautiful array of stars. When my twin sister and I were in high school, we would always take a moment to look up at the sparkling night sky before we came into the house after soccer practice.

I think that was the last time I stood in my driveway and gazed at the stars. I did not get the laptop charger from

essay about sources of inspiration

my car; instead, I turned around and went back inside. I shut my laptop and watched the rest of the movie. My twin sister loves Winnie the Pooh. So much so that my parents got her a stuffed animal version of him for Christmas. While I thought he was adorable and a token of my childhood, I did not really understand her obsession. However, it was clear to me after watching the movie. Winnie the Pooh certainly had it figured out. He believed that the simple things in life were the most important: love, friendship, and having fun.

I thought about asking my mom right then what the three most important things were to her, but I decided not to. I just wanted to be in the moment. I didn’t want to be doing homework. It was a beautiful thing to just sit there and be present with my mom and sister.

I did ask her, though, a couple of weeks later. Her response was simple.  All she said was family, health, and happiness. When she told me this, I imagined Winnie the Pooh smiling. I think he would be proud of that answer.

I was not surprised by my mom’s reply. It suited her perfectly. I wonder if we relearn what is most important when we grow older—that the pressure to be successful subsides. Could it be that valuing family, health, and happiness is what ends up saving the world?

Amanda Schwaben is a graduating senior from Kent State University with a major in Applied Conflict Management. Amanda also has minors in Psychology and Interpersonal Communication. She hopes to further her education and focus on how museums not only preserve history but also promote peace.

Antonia Mills

Rachel Carson High School, Brooklyn, N.Y. 

essay about sources of inspiration

Decoding The Butterfly

For a caterpillar to become a butterfly, it must first digest itself. The caterpillar, overwhelmed by accumulating tissue, splits its skin open to form its protective shell, the chrysalis, and later becomes the pretty butterfly we all know and love. There are approximately 20,000 species of butterflies, and just as every species is different, so is the life of every butterfly. No matter how long and hard a caterpillar has strived to become the colorful and vibrant butterfly that we marvel at on a warm spring day, it does not live a long life. A butterfly can live for a year, six months, two weeks, and even as little as twenty-four hours.

I have often wondered if butterflies live long enough to be blissful of blue skies. Do they take time to feast upon the sweet nectar they crave, midst their hustling life of pollinating pretty flowers? Do they ever take a lull in their itineraries, or are they always rushing towards completing their four-stage metamorphosis? Has anyone asked the butterfly, “Who are you?” instead of “What are you”? Or, How did you get here, on my windowsill?  How did you become ‘you’?

Humans are similar to butterflies. As a caterpillar

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Suzanna Ruby/Getty Images

becomes a butterfly, a baby becomes an elder. As a butterfly soars through summer skies, an elder watches summer skies turn into cold winter nights and back toward summer skies yet again.  And as a butterfly flits slowly by the porch light, a passerby makes assumptions about the wrinkled, slow-moving elder, who is sturdier than he appears. These creatures are not seen for who they are—who they were—because people have “better things to do” or they are too busy to ask, “How are you”?

Our world can be a lonely place. Pressured by expectations, haunted by dreams, overpowered by weakness, and drowned out by lofty goals, we tend to forget ourselves—and others. Rather than hang onto the strands of our diminishing sanity, we might benefit from listening to our elders. Many elders have experienced setbacks in their young lives. Overcoming hardship and surviving to old age is wisdom that they carry.  We can learn from them—and can even make their day by taking the time to hear their stories.  

Nancy Hill, who wrote the YES! Magazine article “Three Things That Matter Most in Youth and Old Age,” was right: “We live among such remarkable people, yet few know their stories.” I know a lot about my grandmother’s life, and it isn’t as serene as my own. My grandmother, Liza, who cooks every day, bakes bread on holidays for our neighbors, brings gifts to her doctor out of the kindness of her heart, and makes conversation with neighbors even though she is isn’t fluent in English—Russian is her first language—has struggled all her life. Her mother, Anna, a single parent, had tuberculosis, and even though she had an inviolable spirit, she was too frail to care for four children. She passed away when my grandmother was sixteen, so my grandmother and her siblings spent most of their childhood in an orphanage. My grandmother got married at nineteen to my grandfather, Pinhas. He was a man who loved her more than he loved himself and was a godsend to every person he met. Liza was—and still is—always quick to do what was best for others, even if that person treated her poorly. My grandmother has lived with physical pain all her life, yet she pushed herself to climb heights that she wasn’t ready for. Against all odds, she has lived to tell her story to people who are willing to listen. And I always am.

I asked my grandmother, “What are three things most important to you?” Her answer was one that I already expected: One, for everyone to live long healthy lives. Two, for you to graduate from college. Three, for you to always remember that I love you.

What may be basic to you means the world to my grandmother. She just wants what she never had the chance to experience: a healthy life, an education, and the chance to express love to the people she values. The three things that matter most to her may be so simple and ordinary to outsiders, but to her, it is so much more. And who could take that away?

Antonia Mills was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and attends Rachel Carson High School.  Antonia enjoys creative activities, including writing, painting, reading, and baking. She hopes to pursue culinary arts professionally in the future. One of her favorite quotes is, “When you start seeing your worth, you’ll find it harder to stay around people who don’t.” -Emily S.P.  

  Powerful Voice Winner

   Isaac Ziemba

Odyssey Multiage Program, Bainbridge Island, Wash. 

essay about sources of inspiration

This Former State Trooper Has His Priorities Straight: Family, Climate Change, and Integrity

I have a personal connection to people who served in the military and first responders. My uncle is a first responder on the island I live on, and my dad retired from the Navy. That was what made a man named Glen Tyrell, a state trooper for 25 years, 2 months and 9 days, my first choice to interview about what three things matter in life. In the YES! Magazine article “The Three Things That Matter Most in Youth and Old Age,” I learned that old and young people have a great deal in common. I know that’s true because Glen and I care about a lot of the same things.

For Glen, family is at the top of his list of important things. “My wife was, and is, always there for me. My daughters mean the world to me, too, but Penny is my partner,” Glen said. I can understand why Glen’s wife is so important to him. She’s family. Family will always be there for you.

Glen loves his family, and so do I with all my heart. My dad especially means the world to me. He is my top supporter and tells me that if I need help, just “say the word.” When we are fishing or crabbing, sometimes I

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think, what if these times were erased from my memory? I wouldn’t be able to describe the horrible feeling that would rush through my mind, and I’m sure that Glen would feel the same about his wife.

My uncle once told me that the world is always going to change over time. It’s what the world has turned out to be that worries me. Both Glen and I are extremely concerned about climate change and the effect that rising temperatures have on animals and their habitats. We’re driving them to extinction. Some people might say, “So what? Animals don’t pay taxes or do any of the things we do.” What we are doing to them is like the Black Death times 100.

Glen is also frustrated by how much plastic we use and where it ends up. He would be shocked that an explorer recently dived to the deepest part of the Pacific Ocean—seven miles!— and discovered a plastic bag and candy wrappers. Glen told me that, unfortunately, his generation did the damage and my generation is here to fix it. We need to take better care of Earth because if we don’t, we, as a species, will have failed.

Both Glen and I care deeply for our families and the earth, but for our third important value, I chose education and Glen chose integrity. My education is super important to me because without it, I would be a blank slate. I wouldn’t know how to figure out problems. I wouldn’t be able to tell right from wrong. I wouldn’t understand the Bill of Rights. I would be stuck. Everyone should be able to go to school, no matter where they’re from or who they are.  It makes me angry and sad to think that some people, especially girls, get shot because they are trying to go to school. I understand how lucky I am.

Integrity is sacred to Glen—I could tell by the serious tone of Glen’s voice when he told me that integrity was the code he lived by as a former state trooper. He knew that he had the power to change a person’s life, and he was committed to not abusing that power.  When Glen put someone under arrest—and my uncle says the same—his judgment and integrity were paramount. “Either you’re right or you’re wrong.” You can’t judge a person by what you think, you can only judge a person from what you know.”

I learned many things about Glen and what’s important in life, but there is one thing that stands out—something Glen always does and does well. Glen helps people. He did it as a state trooper, and he does it in our school, where he works on construction projects. Glen told me that he believes that our most powerful tools are writing and listening to others. I think those tools are important, too, but I also believe there are other tools to help solve many of our problems and create a better future: to be compassionate, to create caring relationships, and to help others. Just like Glen Tyrell does each and every day.

Isaac Ziemba is in seventh grade at the Odyssey Multiage Program on a small island called Bainbridge near Seattle, Washington. Isaac’s favorite subject in school is history because he has always been interested in how the past affects the future. In his spare time, you can find Isaac hunting for crab with his Dad, looking for artifacts around his house with his metal detector, and having fun with his younger cousin, Conner.     

Lily Hersch

 The Crest Academy, Salida, Colo.

essay about sources of inspiration

The Phone Call

Dear Grandpa,

In my short span of life—12 years so far—you’ve taught me a lot of important life lessons that I’ll always have with me. Some of the values I talk about in this writing I’ve learned from you.

Dedicated to my Gramps.

In the YES! Magazine article “Three Things That Matter Most in Youth and Old Age,” author and photographer Nancy Hill asked people to name the three things that mattered most to them. After reading the essay prompt for the article, I immediately knew who I wanted to interview: my grandpa Gil.      

My grandpa was born on January 25, 1942. He lived in a minuscule tenement in The Bronx with his mother,

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father, and brother. His father wasn’t around much, and, when he was, he was reticent and would snap occasionally, revealing his constrained mental pain. My grandpa says this happened because my great grandfather did not have a father figure in his life. His mother was a classy, sharp lady who was the head secretary at a local police district station. My grandpa and his brother Larry did not care for each other. Gramps said he was very close to his mother, and Larry wasn’t. Perhaps Larry was envious for what he didn’t have.

Decades after little to no communication with his brother, my grandpa decided to spontaneously visit him in Florida, where he resided with his wife. Larry was taken aback at the sudden reappearance of his brother and told him to leave. Since then, the two brothers have not been in contact. My grandpa doesn’t even know if Larry is alive.         

My grandpa is now a retired lawyer, married to my wonderful grandma, and living in a pretty house with an ugly dog named BoBo.

So, what’s important to you, Gramps?

He paused a second, then replied, “Family, kindness, and empathy.”

“Family, because it’s my family. It’s important to stay connected with your family. My brother, father, and I never connected in the way I wished, and sometimes I contemplated what could’ve happened.  But you can’t change the past. So, that’s why family’s important to me.”

Family will always be on my “Top Three Most Important Things” list, too. I can’t imagine not having my older brother, Zeke, or my grandma in my life. I wonder how other kids feel about their families? How do kids trapped and separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border feel?  What about orphans? Too many questions, too few answers.

“Kindness, because growing up and not seeing a lot of kindness made me realize how important it is to have that in the world. Kindness makes the world go round.”

What is kindness? Helping my brother, Eli, who has Down syndrome, get ready in the morning? Telling people what they need to hear, rather than what they want to hear? Maybe, for now, I’ll put wisdom, not kindness, on my list.

“Empathy, because of all the killings and shootings [in this country.] We also need to care for people—people who are not living in as good circumstances as I have. Donald Trump and other people I’ve met have no empathy. Empathy is very important.”

Empathy is something I’ve felt my whole life. It’ll always be important to me like it is important to my grandpa. My grandpa shows his empathy when he works with disabled children. Once he took a disabled child to a Christina Aguilera concert because that child was too young to go by himself. The moments I feel the most empathy are when Eli gets those looks from people. Seeing Eli wonder why people stare at him like he’s a freak makes me sad, and annoyed that they have the audacity to stare.

After this 2 minute and 36-second phone call, my grandpa has helped me define what’s most important to me at this time in my life: family, wisdom, and empathy. Although these things are important now, I realize they can change and most likely will.

When I’m an old woman, I envision myself scrambling through a stack of storage boxes and finding this paper. Perhaps after reading words from my 12-year-old self, I’ll ask myself “What’s important to me?”

Lily Hersch is a sixth-grader at Crest Academy in Salida, Colorado. Lily is an avid indoorsman, finding joy in competitive spelling, art, and of course, writing. She does not like Swiss cheese.

  “Tell It Like It Is” Interview Winner

Jonas Buckner

KIPP: Gaston College Preparatory, Gaston, N.C.

essay about sources of inspiration

Lessons My Nana Taught Me

I walked into the house. In the other room, I heard my cousin screaming at his game. There were a lot of Pioneer Woman dishes everywhere. The room had the television on max volume. The fan in the other room was on. I didn’t know it yet, but I was about to learn something powerful.

I was in my Nana’s house, and when I walked in, she said, “Hey Monkey Butt.”

I said, “Hey Nana.”

Before the interview, I was talking to her about what I was gonna interview her on. Also, I had asked her why I might have wanted to interview her, and she responded with, “Because you love me, and I love you too.”

Now, it was time to start the interview. The first

essay about sources of inspiration

question I asked was the main and most important question ever: “What three things matter most to you and you only?”

She thought of it very thoughtfully and responded with, “My grandchildren, my children, and my health.”

Then, I said, “OK, can you please tell me more about your health?”

She responded with, “My health is bad right now. I have heart problems, blood sugar, and that’s about it.” When she said it, she looked at me and smiled because she loved me and was happy I chose her to interview.

I replied with, “K um, why is it important to you?”

She smiled and said, “Why is it…Why is my health important? Well, because I want to live a long time and see my grandchildren grow up.”

I was scared when she said that, but she still smiled. I was so happy, and then I said, “Has your health always been important to you.”

She responded with “Nah.”

Then, I asked, “Do you happen to have a story to help me understand your reasoning?”

She said, “No, not really.”

Now we were getting into the next set of questions. I said, “Remember how you said that your grandchildren matter to you? Can you please tell me why they matter to you?”

Then, she responded with, “So I can spend time with them, play with them, and everything.”

Next, I asked the same question I did before: “Have you always loved your grandchildren?” 

She responded with, “Yes, they have always been important to me.”

Then, the next two questions I asked she had no response to at all. She was very happy until I asked, “Why do your children matter most to you?”

She had a frown on and responded, “My daughter Tammy died a long time ago.”

Then, at this point, the other questions were answered the same as the other ones. When I left to go home I was thinking about how her answers were similar to mine. She said health, and I care about my health a lot, and I didn’t say, but I wanted to. She also didn’t have answers for the last two questions on each thing, and I was like that too.

The lesson I learned was that no matter what, always keep pushing because even though my aunt or my Nana’s daughter died, she kept on pushing and loving everyone. I also learned that everything should matter to us. Once again, I chose to interview my Nana because she matters to me, and I know when she was younger she had a lot of things happen to her, so I wanted to know what she would say. The point I’m trying to make is that be grateful for what you have and what you have done in life.

Jonas Buckner is a sixth-grader at KIPP: Gaston College Preparatory in Gaston, North Carolina. Jonas’ favorite activities are drawing, writing, math, piano, and playing AltSpace VR. He found his passion for writing in fourth grade when he wrote a quick autobiography. Jonas hopes to become a horror writer someday.

From The Author: Responses to Student Winners

Dear Emily, Isaac, Antonia, Rory, Praethong, Amanda, Lily, and Jonas,

Your thought-provoking essays sent my head spinning. The more I read, the more impressed I was with the depth of thought, beauty of expression, and originality. It left me wondering just how to capture all of my reactions in a single letter. After multiple false starts, I’ve landed on this: I will stick to the theme of three most important things.

The three things I found most inspirational about your essays:

You listened.

You connected.

We live in troubled times. Tensions mount between countries, cultures, genders, religious beliefs, and generations. If we fail to find a way to understand each other, to see similarities between us, the future will be fraught with increased hostility.

You all took critical steps toward connecting with someone who might not value the same things you do by asking a person who is generations older than you what matters to them. Then, you listened to their answers. You saw connections between what is important to them and what is important to you. Many of you noted similarities, others wondered if your own list of the three most important things would change as you go through life. You all saw the validity of the responses you received and looked for reasons why your interviewees have come to value what they have.

It is through these things—asking, listening, and connecting—that we can begin to bridge the differences in experiences and beliefs that are currently dividing us.

Individual observations

Each one of you made observations that all of us, regardless of age or experience, would do well to keep in mind. I chose one quote from each person and trust those reading your essays will discover more valuable insights.

“Our priorities may seem different, but they come back to basic human needs. We all desire a purpose, strive to be happy, and work to make a positive impact.” 

“You can’t judge a person by what you think , you can only judge a person by what you know .”

Emily (referencing your interviewee, who is battling cancer):

“Master Chief Petty Officer James has shown me how to appreciate what I have around me.”

Lily (quoting your grandfather):

“Kindness makes the world go round.”

“Everything should matter to us.”

Praethong (quoting your interviewee, Sandra, on the importance of family):

“It’s important to always maintain that connection you have with each other, your family, not just next-door neighbors you talk to once a month.”

“I wonder if maybe we relearn what is most important when we grow older. That the pressure to be successful subsides and that valuing family, health, and happiness is what ends up saving the world.”

“Listen to what others have to say. Listen to the people who have already experienced hardship. You will learn from them and you can even make their day by giving them a chance to voice their thoughts.”

I end this letter to you with the hope that you never stop asking others what is most important to them and that you to continue to take time to reflect on what matters most to you…and why. May you never stop asking, listening, and connecting with others, especially those who may seem to be unlike you. Keep writing, and keep sharing your thoughts and observations with others, for your ideas are awe-inspiring.

I also want to thank the more than 1,000 students who submitted essays. Together, by sharing what’s important to us with others, especially those who may believe or act differently, we can fill the world with joy, peace, beauty, and love.

We received many outstanding essays for the Winter 2019 Student Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we’d like to share some excerpts that caught our eye:

Whether it is a painting on a milky canvas with watercolors or pasting photos onto a scrapbook with her granddaughters, it is always a piece of artwork to her. She values the things in life that keep her in the moment, while still exploring things she may not have initially thought would bring her joy.

—Ondine Grant-Krasno, Immaculate Heart Middle School, Los Angeles, Calif.

“Ganas”… It means “desire” in Spanish. My ganas is fueled by my family’s belief in me. I cannot and will not fail them. 

—Adan Rios, Lane Community College, Eugene, Ore.

I hope when I grow up I can have the love for my kids like my grandma has for her kids. She makes being a mother even more of a beautiful thing than it already is.

—Ashley Shaw, Columbus City Prep School for Girls, Grove City, Ohio

You become a collage of little pieces of your friends and family. They also encourage you to be the best you can be. They lift you up onto the seat of your bike, they give you the first push, and they don’t hesitate to remind you that everything will be alright when you fall off and scrape your knee.

— Cecilia Stanton, Bellafonte Area Middle School, Bellafonte, Pa.

Without good friends, I wouldn’t know what I would do to endure the brutal machine of public education.

—Kenneth Jenkins, Garrison Middle School, Walla Walla, Wash.

My dog, as ridiculous as it may seem, is a beautiful example of what we all should aspire to be. We should live in the moment, not stress, and make it our goal to lift someone’s spirits, even just a little.

—Kate Garland, Immaculate Heart Middle School, Los Angeles, Calif. 

I strongly hope that every child can spare more time to accompany their elderly parents when they are struggling, and moving forward, and give them more care and patience. so as to truly achieve the goal of “you accompany me to grow up, and I will accompany you to grow old.”

—Taiyi Li, Lane Community College, Eugene, Ore.

I have three cats, and they are my brothers and sisters. We share a special bond that I think would not be possible if they were human. Since they do not speak English, we have to find other ways to connect, and I think that those other ways can be more powerful than language.

—Maya Dombroskie, Delta Program Middle School, Boulsburg, Pa.

We are made to love and be loved. To have joy and be relational. As a member of the loneliest generation in possibly all of history, I feel keenly aware of the need for relationships and authentic connection. That is why I decided to talk to my grandmother.

—Luke Steinkamp, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio

After interviewing my grandma and writing my paper, I realized that as we grow older, the things that are important to us don’t change, what changes is why those things are important to us.

—Emily Giffer, Our Lady Star of the Sea, Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.

The media works to marginalize elders, often isolating them and their stories, and the wealth of knowledge that comes with their additional years of lived experiences. It also undermines the depth of children’s curiosity and capacity to learn and understand. When the worlds of elders and children collide, a classroom opens.

—Cristina Reitano, City College of San Francisco, San Francisco, Calif.

My values, although similar to my dad, only looked the same in the sense that a shadow is similar to the object it was cast on.

—Timofey Lisenskiy, Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica, Calif.

I can release my anger through writing without having to take it out on someone. I can escape and be a different person; it feels good not to be myself for a while. I can make up my own characters, so I can be someone different every day, and I think that’s pretty cool.

—Jasua Carillo, Wellness, Business, and Sports School, Woodburn, Ore. 

Notice how all the important things in his life are people: the people who he loves and who love him back. This is because “people are more important than things like money or possessions, and families are treasures,” says grandpa Pat. And I couldn’t agree more.

—Brody Hartley, Garrison Middle School, Walla Walla, Wash.  

Curiosity for other people’s stories could be what is needed to save the world.

—Noah Smith, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio

Peace to me is a calm lake without a ripple in sight. It’s a starry night with a gentle breeze that pillows upon your face. It’s the absence of arguments, fighting, or war. It’s when egos stop working against each other and finally begin working with each other. Peace is free from fear, anxiety, and depression. To me, peace is an important ingredient in the recipe of life.

—JP Bogan, Lane Community College, Eugene, Ore.

From A Teacher

Charles Sanderson

Wellness, Business and Sports School, Woodburn, Ore. 

essay about sources of inspiration

The Birthday Gift

I’ve known Jodelle for years, watching her grow from a quiet and timid twelve-year-old to a young woman who just returned from India, where she played Kabaddi, a kind of rugby meets Red Rover.

One of my core beliefs as an educator is to show up for the things that matter to kids, so I go to their games, watch their plays, and eat the strawberry jam they make for the county fair. On this occasion, I met Jodelle at a robotics competition to watch her little sister Abby compete. Think Nerd Paradise: more hats made from traffic cones than Golden State Warrior ball caps, more unicorn capes than Nike swooshes, more fanny packs with Legos than clutches with eyeliner.

We started chatting as the crowd chanted and waved six-foot flags for teams like Mystic Biscuits, Shrek, and everyone’s nemesis The Mean Machine. Apparently, when it’s time for lunch at a robotics competition, they don’t mess around. The once-packed gym was left to Jodelle and me, and we kept talking and talking. I eventually asked her about the three things that matter to her most.

She told me about her mom, her sister, and her addiction—to horses. I’ve read enough of her writing to know that horses were her drug of choice and her mom and sister were her support network.

I learned about her desire to become a teacher and how hours at the barn with her horse, Heart, recharge her when she’s exhausted. At one point, our rambling conversation turned to a topic I’ve known far too well—her father.

Later that evening, I received an email from Jodelle, and she had a lot to say. One line really struck me: “In so many movies, I have seen a dad wanting to protect his daughter from the world, but I’ve only understood the scene cognitively. Yesterday, I felt it.”

Long ago, I decided that I would never be a dad. I had seen movies with fathers and daughters, and for me, those movies might as well have been Star Wars, ET, or Alien—worlds filled with creatures I’d never know. However, over the years, I’ve attended Jodelle’s parent-teacher conferences, gone to her graduation, and driven hours to watch her ride Heart at horse shows. Simply, I showed up. I listened. I supported.

Jodelle shared a series of dad poems, as well. I had read the first two poems in their original form when Jodelle was my student. The revised versions revealed new graphic details of her past. The third poem, however, was something entirely different.

She called the poems my early birthday present. When I read the lines “You are my father figure/Who I look up to/Without being looked down on,” I froze for an instant and had to reread the lines. After fifty years of consciously deciding not to be a dad, I was seen as one—and it felt incredible. Jodelle’s poem and recognition were two of the best presents I’ve ever received.

I  know that I was the language arts teacher that Jodelle needed at the time, but her poem revealed things I never knew I taught her: “My father figure/ Who taught me/ That listening is for observing the world/ That listening is for learning/Not obeying/Writing is for connecting/Healing with others.”

Teaching is often a thankless job, one that frequently brings more stress and anxiety than joy and hope. Stress erodes my patience. Anxiety curtails my ability to enter each interaction with every student with the grace they deserve. However, my time with Jodelle reminds me of the importance of leaning in and listening.

In the article “Three Things That Matter Most in Youth and Old Age” by Nancy Hill, she illuminates how we “live among such remarkable people, yet few know their stories.” For the last twenty years, I’ve had the privilege to work with countless of these “remarkable people,” and I’ve done my best to listen, and, in so doing, I hope my students will realize what I’ve known for a long time; their voices matter and deserve to be heard, but the voices of their tias and abuelitos and babushkas are equally important. When we take the time to listen, I believe we do more than affirm the humanity of others; we affirm our own as well.

Charles Sanderson has grounded his nineteen-year teaching career in a philosophy he describes as “Mirror, Window, Bridge.” Charles seeks to ensure all students see themselves, see others, and begin to learn the skills to build bridges of empathy, affinity, and understanding between communities and cultures that may seem vastly different. He proudly teaches at the Wellness, Business and Sports School in Woodburn, Oregon, a school and community that brings him joy and hope on a daily basis.

From   The Author: Response to Charles Sanderson

Dear Charles Sanderson,

Thank you for submitting an essay of your own in addition to encouraging your students to participate in YES! Magazine’s essay contest.

Your essay focused not on what is important to you, but rather on what is important to one of your students. You took what mattered to her to heart, acting upon it by going beyond the school day and creating a connection that has helped fill a huge gap in her life. Your efforts will affect her far beyond her years in school. It is clear that your involvement with this student is far from the only time you have gone beyond the classroom, and while you are not seeking personal acknowledgment, I cannot help but applaud you.

In an ideal world, every teacher, every adult, would show the same interest in our children and adolescents that you do. By taking the time to listen to what is important to our youth, we can help them grow into compassionate, caring adults, capable of making our world a better place.

Your concerted efforts to guide our youth to success not only as students but also as human beings is commendable. May others be inspired by your insights, concerns, and actions. You define excellence in teaching.

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  • Front Hum Neurosci

The scientific study of inspiration in the creative process: challenges and opportunities

Victoria c. oleynick.

Department of Psychology, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, USA

Todd M. Thrash

Michael c. lefew, emil g. moldovan, paul d. kieffaber.

Inspiration is a motivational state that compels individuals to bring ideas into fruition. Creators have long argued that inspiration is important to the creative process, but until recently, scientists have not investigated this claim. In this article, we review challenges to the study of creative inspiration, as well as solutions to these challenges afforded by theoretical and empirical work on inspiration over the past decade. First, we discuss the problem of definitional ambiguity, which has been addressed through an integrative process of construct conceptualization. Second, we discuss the challenge of how to operationalize inspiration. This challenge has been overcome by the development and validation of the Inspiration Scale (IS), which may be used to assess trait or state inspiration. Third, we address ambiguity regarding how inspiration differs from related concepts (creativity, insight, positive affect) by discussing discriminant validity. Next, we discuss the preconception that inspiration is less important than “perspiration” (effort), and we review empirical evidence that inspiration and effort both play important—but different—roles in the creative process. Finally, with many challenges overcome, we argue that the foundation is now set for a new generation of research focused on neural underpinnings. We discuss potential challenges to and opportunities for the neuroscientific study of inspiration. A better understanding of the biological basis of inspiration will illuminate the process through which creative ideas “fire the soul,” such that individuals are compelled to transform ideas into products and solutions that may benefit society.


Describing his creative process, Mozart observed, “Those ideas that please me I retain in memory, and am accustomed, as I have been told, to hum them to myself. If I continue in this way,” he writes, “it soon occurs to me how I may turn this or that morsel to account so as to make a good dish of it… All this fires my soul” (Harding, 1948 ). Mozart’s depiction of inspiration possesses all of the core elements of the modern scientific inspiration construct—appreciation of new or better possibilities (“ideas that please me”), passive evocation (“it…occurs to me”), and motivation to bring the new possibilities into fruition (turning a morsel into a dish; “fires my soul”). Like Mozart, writers, artists, and other creators commonly emphasize the importance of inspiration in the creative process (Harding, 1948 ). Despite this, until recently, scientists have given little attention to inspiration.

Perhaps it is not surprising that inspiration has received little attention within the scientific community, given the numerous challenges that the inspiration concept has presented. Among these challenges have been (a) a lack of clarity about the meaning of inspiration; (b) difficulty of operationalization; (c) ambiguity about whether inspiration is distinct from related constructs; (d) preconceptions that inspiration is unimportant relative to “perspiration,” and (e) a variety of barriers to neuroscientific investigation. The overarching goal of this article is to address each of these challenges and to point to opportunities for expanding upon the emerging scientific literature on inspiration. We address the first challenge, ambiguity of definition, in the next section.


The term “inspiration” has been used in a variety disciplines (e.g., literary criticism, theology, psychology) and literatures within psychology (e.g., social comparison, humanism, creative process; for a review, see Thrash and Elliot, 2003 ). Often the term is not defined, is used interchangeably with other constructs, or is referenced only to be critiqued as mythical, unimportant, or unscientific. Further complicating matters, inspiration historically has been studied in a domain-specific manner, with little communication between researchers across domains. Recognizing the need for a unified, integrated definition of the inspiration construct, Thrash and Elliot ( 2003 , 2004 ) undertook the task of developing a domain-general conceptualization that drew upon the core commonalities across diverse literatures. These efforts have yielded three complementary frameworks for conceptualizing inspiration that focus on different aspects of construct definition: core characteristics, component processes, and the transmission model. In this section, we review these domain-general conceptualizations and then show how they may be applied specifically to the case of inspiration to create.

Tripartite conceptualization

The tripartite conceptualization (Thrash and Elliot, 2003 ) specifies the three core characteristics of the state of inspiration: evocation , transcendence , and approach motivation . Evocation refers to the fact that inspiration is evoked rather than initiated volitionally by the individual. In other words, one does not feel directly responsible for becoming inspired; rather, a stimulus object, such as a person, an idea, or a work of art, evokes and sustains the inspiration episode. During an episode of inspiration, the individual gains awareness of new possibilities that transcend ordinary or mundane concerns. The new awareness is vivid and concrete, and it surpasses the ordinary constraints of willfully generated ideas. Once inspired, the individual experiences a compelling approach motivation to transmit, actualize, or express the new vision. This set of three characteristics is intended to be minimally sufficient to distinguish the state of inspiration from other states.

Component processes

Inspiration may be conceptualized not only in terms of the characteristics of the inspired state, but also in terms of the temporally and functionally distinct processes that compose an episode of inspiration. Thrash and Elliot ( 2004 ) argued that inspiration involves two distinct processes—a relatively passive process that they called being inspired by , and a relatively active process that they called being inspired to . The process of being inspired by involves appreciation of the perceived intrinsic value of a stimulus object, whereas the process of being inspired to involves motivation to actualize or extend the valued qualities to a new object. For example, one might be inspired by a breathtaking sunrise, or by the elegance of a new idea that arrives during an insight or “aha” moment. Thereafter one might be inspired to paint or undertake a new research project. The individual can, at any time, look to (or recall) the evoking stimulus for motivational sustenance. Thrash and Elliot ( 2004 ) further proposed that the process of being inspired by gives rise to the core characteristics of evocation and transcendence, whereas the process of being inspired to gives rise to the core characteristic of approach motivation.

These component processes are posited to be present across diverse manifestations of inspiration. Thrash and Elliot ( 2004 ) asked participants to produce narratives recalling either a time when they were inspired or a baseline experience (control condition). The inspiration narratives spanned topics such as becoming animated by a scientific or artistic insight, discovering one’s calling, being influenced by a role model to succeed or live virtuously, and realizing that greatness is possible in response to an unexpected success. Despite superficial differences in narrative content, the inspiration narratives shared the underlying themes of having one’s eyes opened during an encounter with a person, object, event, or idea (i.e., being inspired “by”), and wishing to express or actualize one’s new vision (i.e., being inspired “to”).

Transmission model

From a less descriptive and more theoretical standpoint, inspiration may be conceptualized in terms of its purpose or function (Thrash and Elliot, 2004 ; Thrash et al., 2010b ). Whereas simpler forms of approach motivation serve the function of movement toward and attainment of desired goal objects (e.g., food or affiliation), inspiration is posited to serve a unique approach function: it motivates the transmission or expression of the newly appreciated qualities of the evoking object (Thrash and Elliot, 2004 ; Thrash et al., 2010b ). Inspiration thus serves the role of a mediator in a statistical sense. For instance, certain virtues that one observes in another person may lead to inspiration, which, in turn, leads the inspired individual to pursue these same virtues in a future self. Similarly, a creative seminal idea may inspire the individual, compelling him or her to bring the idea into fruition in the form of a creative invention, poem, or other tangible product.

Inspiration to create

The general inspiration construct as conceptualized above may be applied straightforwardly to the specific domain of creative activity. From the perspective of the tripartite conceptualization, the general characteristic of transcendence takes the form of creativity— the new or better possibilities are appreciated specifically for their creative potential. Regarding the component process conceptualization, the process of being inspired by is prompted by the emergence of creative ideas in consciousness, often during a moment of insight. Under optimal conditions (e.g., if the idea is actionable, and the person has the capacity for approach motivation), the process of being inspired by gives way to the process of being inspired to , which motivates action. Regarding the transmission model, creative inspiration often takes a specific form of transmission called actualization (Thrash et al., 2010b ), in which one is inspired to bring a creative idea into fruition (i.e., the desirable features of the elicitor are transmitted from a seminal idea to a completed product).

We emphasize that, according to our conceptualization, inspiration is not posited to be the source of creative ideas. Instead, inspiration is a motivational response to creative ideas. Thus inspiration explains the transmission, not the origin, of creativity. This distinction is critical for at least three reasons. First, claiming that creativity comes from inspiration would not aid scientific understanding, much as attributing creativity to a “muse” would be an exercise in labeling a mysterious cause, not a scientific explanation. Second, scientists have already developed a variety of scientific constructs and theories to explain the origins of creative ideas, which include situational, dispositional, self-regulatory, cognitive, historical, and neurological processes (e.g., Koestler, 1964 ; Rothenberg, 1979 ; Martindale, 1990 ; Finke et al., 1992 ; Sternberg and Davidson, 1995 ; Amabile, 1996 ; Feist, 1998 ; Bowden and Jung-Beeman, 2003 ; Simonton, 2003 ; Baas et al., 2013 ). In contrast, scientists have given relatively little attention to the processes through which creative ideas are transformed into creative products. The inspiration construct helps fill this gap in the research literature. Finally, because this conceptualization of creative inspiration is derived from a general conceptualization, it is consistent with usage of the inspiration construct in other literatures. For instance, creative inspiration is a response to (not the cause of) creative ideas, much as interpersonal inspiration is a response to (not the cause of) virtuous qualities in others.


Given the personal nature and elusiveness of the experience of inspiration, how can it possibly be measured in the laboratory? One might be tempted to throw up one’s hands and turn instead to something that is more amenable to direct experimental control.

The value of self-report

We maintain that self-report is a straightforward and appropriate method for operationalizing inspiration, because the inspiration construct is inextricably intertwined with a distinctive phenomenological experience. Numerous creators have claimed—through conscious self-reports—that they experience inspiration and that this experience is critical to their creative process (Harding, 1948 ). Operationalizing inspiration through self-report allows researchers to put such claims to the test.

Thrash and Elliot ( 2003 ) developed a trait measure of inspiration called the Inspiration Scale (IS). Although the term “trait” has a variety of connotations, trait inspiration refers to nothing other than individual differences in the tendency to experience the state of inspiration. Because inspiration is a construct that is meaningful in individuals’ lives but underappreciated by psychologists, the measure was designed to be straightforward and face valid. Items include statements such as, “Something I encounter or experience inspires me” and “I am inspired to do something.” The IS has two internally consistent 4-item subscales: inspiration frequency and intensity. Both subscales are internally consistent, with Cronbach’s αs equal to or greater than 0.90. The two subscales have been demonstrated to be highly correlated ( r = 0.60 to 0.80), and therefore scores may be summed to form an internally consistent 8-item index of overall inspiration. The IS demonstrates measurement invariance across time (2 months) and across populations (patent holders, university alumni), indicating that the underlying latent constructs have comparable meaning at different points in time and in different populations. Two-month test-retest reliabilities for both subscales are high, r = 0.77. In short, the IS has excellent psychometric properties. Notably, the intensity subscale has been adapted for use as a state measure (e.g., Thrash and Elliot, 2004 ; Thrash et al., 2010a ).

Some may worry that self-reported inspiration cannot be trusted, that it is not objective, or that it does not provide a full explanation. We respond to each of these potential limitations. First, inspiration, as assessed with the IS, tends to be unrelated or weakly related to social desirability, and its predictive validity is robust when social desirability is controlled 1 (Thrash and Elliot, 2003 ; Thrash et al., 2010a ). Second, although the IS provides a subjective indicator of inspiration, scores on this measure have been linked to a variety of external criteria and objective outcomes, as reviewed in the following section. Moreover, consciousness plays a critical role in the simulation of future action in humans (Baumeister and Masicampo, 2010 ) and may be necessary for inspired action. Accordingly, conscious self-report is intrinsically appropriate to the construct. Finally, we recognize that self-report measures may leave some researchers with a hunger for lower-level explanations, such as those involving physiological or neurological processes, but we see this as an opportunity rather than a problem—the inspiration construct may see an exciting second generation of research regarding neural underpinnings. In this case, self-reported inspiration provides a “bootstrap” that may guide researchers to underlying process. Although it is true that the self-report method is limited in some ways, it offers a well-validated starting point for neuroscientific investigations. Moreover, not investigating inspiration on the grounds that it is measured by self-report would lead researchers to overlook a critical predictor of creative output, the biological underpinnings of which would remain undiscovered.

The place of inspiration in creativity research paradigms

The field of creativity assessment is active and dynamic, and thus a review of the literature is well beyond the scope of this article (for a review, see Plucker and Makel, 2010 ). We note, however, that the dominant research paradigms used in the study of creativity have unwittingly precluded attention to inspiration. Creativity is most often assessed using tests of creative ideation (e.g., Alternate Uses) or creative insight (e.g., Remote Associates Test). While such tests are very practical in laboratory contexts and allow researchers to focus on the processes underlying the emergence of creative ideas, they do not allow participants to transform creative ideas into creative products. Failure to accommodate the idea actualization process—that is, creation per se— renders inspiration speciously immaterial to the creative process. If the function of inspiration within the context of creativity is the actualization of creative ideas into creative products, useful paradigms must allow for idea actualization. Product-based assessments, such as the Consensual Assessment Technique (CAT; Amabile, 1982 ) and analysis of patent data, are the gold standard if one wishes to investigate the unique contribution of inspiration to the creative process. 2 In fact, relevance to inspiration aside, assessment of creative products is considered by some to be the most appropriate and valid operationalization of creativity (Baer et al., 2004 ; Baer and McKool, 2009 ).

Discriminant validity

Ambiguity about whether inspiration is distinct from other constructs has been another impediment to research activity. If one presumes that inspiration is the same thing as, for example, creativity or insight, then one has no reason to study it. In this section, we clarify the distinctions between inspiration and several other constructs (creativity, insight, and positive affect).

Inspiration and creativity

While there is considerable variability in the definition and usage of the term creativity within psychology (Silvia and Kaufman, 2010 ), there is some degree of consensus that creativity implies two qualities: novelty and usefulness (e.g., Feist, 1998 ; Plucker et al., 2004 ). We find it useful to explicitly conceptualize creativity as an appraisal of novelty and usefulness that may be applied to any of a variety of objects, particularly ideas and resulting products. Depending on the aims of the research, this appraisal may be made by the creator herself, by gatekeepers within a field, by an audience, or through various other operationalizations available to the researcher. We note that researchers often appear to have either ideas or products in mind as the ultimate objects of creativity appraisals, even when the term “creative” precedes other nouns (e.g., creative activity (Simonton, 2000 ), creative insights (Csikszentmihalyi and Sawyer, 1995 ), creative personalities (Feist, 2010 ), creative states (Jamison, 1989 ), or creative processes (Kris, 1952 )).

Although the terms inspiration and creativity have occasionally been used synonymously (e.g., Schuler, 1994 ; Chamorro-Premuzic, 2006 ), our conceptualizations of inspiration and creativity involve a clear delineation. Creativity is an appraisal of novelty and usefulness that may apply (to various degrees) to content at any point in the creative process, from a seminal idea to the completed product. Inspiration, in contrast, is a motivational state. We posit that inspiration is often elicited when a creator appraises his or her idea as creative, and it is posited to motivate actualization of the idea in the form of a product that is likewise appraised (by its creator and perhaps others) as creative. We discuss empirical support for these proposals below.

Inspiration and insight

Conflation of inspiration with insight is common in everyday language. 3 An individual might exclaim, “I had an inspiration,” where “inspiration” refers to the idea itself, not to the motivational response. In the scientific context, the term insight has been used to describe the process by which a problem solver suddenly moves from a state of not knowing how to solve a problem to a state of knowing how to solve it (Mayer, 1992 ). Within the creativity context, insight has also been conceptualized as the cognitive content that enters consciousness suddenly; the “aha!” moment (Csikszentmihalyi and Sawyer, 1995 ). Regardless of its exact usage, insight can be differentiated from inspiration in terms of its theoretical function. Whereas insight research is an attempt to explain the cognitive mechanisms, such as restructuring (Ohlsson, 1984 ), by which ideas enter awareness, inspiration research is an attempt to explain the motivational response that often (but not always) follows creative insight (see Thrash et al., 2010b ).

If inspiration always followed from insight, then perhaps the inspiration construct would be superfluous. However, inspiration does not always follow. Thrash et al. ( 2010b ) found that creative ideation tends to lead to inspiration but that this effect is moderated by individuals’ approach temperament (i.e., sensitivity to reward; Elliot and Thrash, 2010 ). Individuals with a strong approach temperament tend to get inspired to create in response to creative insight, whereas individuals with a weak approach temperament report feeling a lack of inspiration in spite of their insight. Inspiration thus has important implications for the behavioral transmission of a creative insight into a creative product.

Recent work on the phenomenology of insight offers hints about how insight may lead to inspiration. Abrupt changes in processing fluency during insight have been found to endow an individual with elevated levels of positive affect (PA) and perceived truth regarding his or her solution (Topolinski and Reber, 2010 ). Given that PA is involved in both the insight “aha” experience and inspiration, it may facilitate a fluid transition from insight to inspiration. Moreover, perceiving one’s solution as true, a consequence of insight, may bolster inspired motivation. As we have noted, however, insight can occur without inspiration. Dispositional factors of the individual (e.g., low approach temperament) and situational factors (e.g., contexts in which opportunities for transmission are not available) can impede inspiration. Likewise, inspiration can occur outside of the problem-solving context and without a discrete and sudden insight.

Inspiration and positive affect

Activated PA, a high-arousal form of pleasant affect, is the strongest known correlate of inspiration (Thrash and Elliot, 2003 ). Indeed, the term “inspired” appears on the PANAS measure of activated PA (Watson et al., 1988 ). Because activated PA is often present during states of approach motivation (Watson et al., 1999 ), it particularly resembles the inspired to component process.

Although inspiration and activated PA overlap to some degree empirically and conceptually, considerable evidence supports their discriminant validity. First, inspiration and activated PA are factorially distinct (Thrash and Elliot, 2003 ). Second, consistent with the tripartite conceptualization of inspiration, experiences of inspiration involve greater levels of transcendence and lower levels of volitional control and ascriptions of personal responsibility (indicative of “evocation”) compared to experiences of activated PA (Thrash and Elliot, 2004 ). Third, inspiration and activated PA have different proximal and distal antecedents (Thrash and Elliot, 2004 ). Activated PA is triggered proximally by reward salience (environmental cues and perceptions that something desired is attainable) and distally by approach temperament. In contrast, inspiration is triggered proximally by experiences of insight and distally by openness to experience. Finally, inspiration and activated PA have different distributions across days of the week; on Fridays, for instance, activated PA is at its peak while inspiration is at its trough (Thrash, 2007 ).

Inspiration, perspiration, and creativity

Perhaps the most pernicious obstacle to research on inspiration has been the longstanding belief that it is perspiration, and not inspiration, that is critical for creative output. Thomas Edison, regarding his work, once remarked that, “what it boils down to is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration” (Edison, 1903 ). This comment has sometimes been offered in support of the idea that effort is important to creativity and that inspiration, by comparison, is unimportant (e.g., Martindale, 1989 , 2001 ; Sawyer, 2006 ). Furthering this line of reasoning, Fehrman and Petherick ( 1980 ) offered an account of why inspiration nonetheless endures as a folk explanation of creativity: when individuals are exposed to creative works, they misattribute creators’ effort to inspiration, unaware how much effort was required to produce the work. It appears that reasoning such as this has precluded attention to a legitimate role of inspiration in the creative process.

Empirical data related to inspiration, perspiration, and creativity are now available for consideration. A number of studies indicates that inspiration is a robust predictor of creativity. At the between-person (i.e., trait) level, inspiration and creative self-concept are positively correlated, and inspiration predicts longitudinal increases in creative self-concept (Thrash and Elliot, 2003 ). Trait inspiration also predicts objective indicators of creative output. In a sample of U.S. patent holders, inspiration frequency was found to predict the number of patents held (Thrash and Elliot, 2003 ). Inspiration also predicts creativity at the within-person level, such that inspiration and self-reported creativity fluctuate together across days (Thrash and Elliot, 2003 ).

In three studies of different types of writing (poetry, science, and fiction), self-reported state inspiration during the writing process uniquely predicted creativity of the final product, as assessed by expert judges using the CAT (Thrash et al., 2010b ). These findings held when a variety of covariates (e.g., openness to experience, effort, activated PA, awe) were controlled. Finally, inspiration has been shown to mediate between the creativity of seminal ideas and the creativity of final products in a manner consistent with the posited transmission function 4 of inspiration (Thrash et al., 2010b ). Covariates of inspiration (effort, activated PA, awe) failed to mediate transmission, indicating that the transmission function is unique to inspiration.

Having established a relation between inspiration and creativity, we now consider the role of “perspiration” in the creative process. Notably, Thrash et al. ( 2010b ) documented a positive relation, rather than a negative relation, between inspiration and effort, indicating that these constructs are not mutually exclusive as the Edison quote may imply. The assumption that the presence of effort indicates low levels of inspiration is further challenged by a positive relation between inspiration and the work-mastery component of need for achievement (Thrash and Elliot, 2003 ). Both of these findings were documented at two statistically independent levels of analysis (between-persons, within-persons).

Certainly effort is important to the creative process, but its role is different than that of inspiration. Whereas writers’ inspiration predicts the creativity of the product, writers’ effort predicts the technical merit of the product (Thrash et al., 2010b ). Thus inspiration and effort are unique predictors of different aspects of product quality. Moreover, screen capture data indicate that inspiration is involved in the automatic/generative aspects of the writing process (e.g., inspired writers produce more words and retain more of their original typing), whereas effort is related to controlled self-regulation (e.g., writers who exert effort delete more words and pause more to think; Thrash et al., 2010b ). In short, inspiration and “perspiration” are not mutually exclusive, and they contribute in qualitatively different ways to the creative process and product.

The question of whether the audience correctly infers the presence of inspiration remains. The misattribution hypothesis states that it is the creator’s effort that predicts the creativity of the product but that the audience incorrectly attributes this creativity to inspiration in the creator. An alternative to this model is the possibility that the audience correctly infers inspiration (Bowra, 1977 ). Thrash et al. ( 2010b ) tested these competing hypotheses. Readers were found to correctly attribute creativity to writers’ inspiration; likewise, they correctly attributed technical merit to writers’ effort. These results, in addition to providing the first empirical evidence that readers can make veridical inferences about writers’ motivational states, indicate that folk notions of the importance of inspiration are borne out by empirical data.

The psychological science of inspiration, as well as its relation to creativity, is now well-established. Inspiration has been conceptualized through integration of usages in diverse literatures, operationalized using a well-validated measure, discriminated from related constructs, and linked to creativity in multiple populations, contexts, and levels of analysis. Prior work provides a solid foundation on which investigations into the neuroscience of inspiration can rest.

Inspiration in the neuroscience laboratory

In most respects, the challenges associated with studying creative inspiration are similar regardless of whether one approaches the topic as a neuroscientist, a psychologist, etc. Therefore, the preceding general challenges and solutions are also relevant specifically in the neuroscience context. However, we reiterate the importance of attending carefully to construct definition, because the term “inspiration” has occasionally been used in the neuroscience literature to refer to constructs that are quite different than the inspiration construct that we have discussed. In their classic EEG studies of the creative process, for instance, Martindale and Hasenfus ( 1978 ) used the terms inspiration and elaboration to refer to the stages that precede and follow, respectively, creative insight (see Kris, 1952 , for a precedent for such usage in psychoanalysis). Inspiration as we have defined it—i.e., as a conscious motivational state rather than as a stage—is more likely to occur during Martindale and Hasenfus’s elaboration stage than during the inspiration stage. We now turn to challenges that are particularly relevant within a neuroscience context.

One obstacle in studying inspiration in the laboratory is the impossibility of direct manipulation through exposure to exogenous elicitors. If one seeks to elicit inspiration through use of some kind of “inspiring” stimulus, then the manipulated elicitor is the independent variable and inspiration is a dependent variable. Thus caution is needed regarding causal inference, despite use of the experimental method (Thrash et al., 2010a ). Although inspiration cannot be directly manipulated through exposure to exogenous stimuli, a researcher may build a case for causality using manipulation of elicitors in combination with statistical controls and cross-lagged analyses, as demonstrated by Thrash et al. ( 2010a ). We note that these problems are not unique to the study of inspiration. Emotions, insight, and many other constructs elude strict experimental control; at best, they may be “elicited” rather than “manipulated”.

A related challenge is that it may be difficult to capture authentic or intense experiences of inspiration in a laboratory setting, given that inspiration is elusive for certain individuals or under certain circumstances. One solution may be to, in effect, lower the threshold for what constitutes an episode of inspiration. Thrash and Elliot ( 2004 ), for instance, studied “daily inspiration” using experience sampling methods, and we suggest that such tolerance for less intense manifestations of inspiration can be extended to a laboratory study. Much as creativity is not the same thing as genius (Bruner, 1962 ), inspiration is a matter of degree, and moderate levels might be achievable even in some invasive neuroscience paradigms.

A third challenge is the need for repeatable trials and time-locking. Brain imaging techniques (e.g., fMRI, EEG, MEG) require designs in which the mental event under consideration may be (a) temporally isolated so that the recorded data and the mental event can be time-locked to an eliciting stimulus and (b) elicited repeatedly during a recording session in order to improve the signal-to-noise ratio (Dickter and Kieffaber, 2013 ). One possible method to address these requirements is to use participant self-report (indicating the onset of inspiration) as the time-locking event. Suppose, for example, participants invent captions for each of a series of photographs (a highly-repeatable activity) and report on levels of inspiration at the moment of getting an idea for each caption. Bowden and Jung-Beeman ( 2007 ) used a method similar to this in order to identify processes that distinguish solutions involving the experience of insight from those that do not. We caution, however, that inspiration generally is more prolonged in time than is insight (particularly when considerable activity is needed to actualize an idea), and therefore methods that capture subsequent variability in inspiration across time—not just the level of inspiration at the moment of insight—will be particularly valuable.

One such method for capturing variability in inspiration across time, while simultaneously reducing the burden of eliciting inspiration repeatedly, is to record electrical brain activity using a non-invasive technique (such as EEG) during the creative process. For instance, if researchers record screen capture data during the writing process as in Thrash et al. ( 2010b ), they can subsequently play back the recording to participants and collect continuous measures of recalled inspiration during the creative process (e.g., using a dial or slider input device). These ebbs and flows of inspiration can then be linked to variability in neural processes.

The difficulties associated with eliciting inspiration in order to study it at the within-person level may also be addressed by simply focusing on the individuals who are likely to be inspired (i.e., those who are high in trait inspiration). Elicitation may be circumvented altogether by examining structural brain differences between groups known to be high versus low in trait inspiration. One may separate groups into “more inspired” and “less inspired” using the IS. Additionally, as individuals higher in trait inspiration tend to exhibit greater levels of openness and extraversion, one might expect, for example, reduced latent inhibition and increased activity in the ventral tegmental area dopamine projections (Ashby et al., 1999 ; Depue and Collins, 1999 ; Peterson et al., 2002 ) for these individuals. Thus, inspiration’s nomological network can serve as an informative starting point for between-person neurological analyses.

Next, we consider the question of where to look in the nervous system. While at present there is no neuroscience of the inspiration construct per se , literatures on related constructs can offer us some hints.

Insight relates to inspiration within the tripartite conceptualization in terms of both evocation and transcendence, and within the component processes model as the initial event that often leads one to become inspired by . During “Aha!” moments, one transcends a mental set and experiences a conceptual expansion (Abraham et al., 2012 ), and the experience feels automatic and unexpected; it feels evoked (Bowden et al., 2005 ). Therefore, certain neural components involved in insight experiences may be present at the onset of an inspiration episode. However, given that the literature on the neural correlates of insight is complex and that neural processes are under debate (Dietrich and Kanso, 2010 ), we caution against relying too heavily upon any one finding in guiding work on inspiration.

As inspiration involves not only transcendence and evocation, but also approach motivation, we may also look to the neuroscience literature on states of approach motivation (Elliot, 2008 ). There exists a burgeoning literature on approach motivation and appetitive affect, with attention to underlying neuronal circuitry (e.g., Bradley et al., 2001 ; Aron et al., 2005 ; Junghöfer et al., 2010 ), subcortical reward systems (e.g., Rosenkranz and Grace, 2002 ; Wise, 2004 ; Alcaro et al., 2007 ), neurotransmitters (e.g., Bassareo et al., 2002 ; Hoebel et al., 2008 ), and neurohormones (e.g., Frye and Lacey, 2001 ; Frye and Seliga, 2003 ; Frye, 2007 ). Findings in this area may offer suggestions for the neural underpinnings of the inspired to process.

Although the neurological findings regarding certain aspects of the inspiration construct can offer clues, the neural components of these pieces alone are unlikely to tell the full story. After all, we have already argued above that inspiration is not the same thing as insight or activated PA, nor is it the sum of these parts. For instance, an individual could be in an appetitive motivational state at the same time that he or she gets a creative insight, but he or she would not be inspired if the appetitive state reflects anticipation of eating, rather than of bringing the idea into fruition. The evoking object, in this case, the insight, does not meaningfully relate to the motivational object. The critical question for neuroscience is how processes related to generation of creative ideas recruit appetitive motivational processes, such that individuals respond to creative ideas not with indifference, but rather with a feeling of being compelled to act. How exactly does the prospect of turning a morsel into a dish fire the soul, as Mozart put it (in the opening quotation)?

In the initial stages of research on the neurological basis of inspiration, it may be useful to begin with a focus on overall inspiration instead of particular aspects or component processes. Inspiration as a unified concept can be measured quite efficiently using the 4-item intensity subscale of the IS (Thrash and Elliot, 2004 ). If necessary, inspiration could be assessed with a single item from the IS. Such items are surprisingly effective at capturing the full inspiration construct as we have defined it (Thrash et al., 2010b ).

Writers, artists, and other creators have long argued that inspiration is a key motivator of creativity. Over the past decade, scientists have tested and found strong support for these claims. Scientific progress has required overcoming a number of challenges, including definitional ambiguity, difficulties of operationalization, ambiguities about discriminant validity, and skepticism about the importance of inspiration relative to perspiration. By developing an integrative conceptualization, operationalizing inspiration with the IS, establishing discriminant validity, and addressing skepticism with empirical evidence, these challenges have been largely overcome. Although additional challenges face the neuroscientist who wishes to study inspiration, similar challenges have already been overcome in relation to insight and other constructs. We believe that the stage has been set for a rigorous neuroscience of inspiration.

Brain-level explanations of an inspiration episode can then be integrated with explanations at other levels of analysis to produce a richer and more holistic understanding of inspiration. This deeper understanding will aid in determining how and why individuals sometimes feel (or do not feel) compelled to act on their creative ideas. Inspiration has the power to effect change not just for individuals, but also for societies. Technological advancements, cures for diseases, and solutions to environmental problems first emerge as promising ideas. It is difficult to overstate the importance of figuring out why, how, and for whom creative ideas to societal problems fire the soul and inspire the idea actualization process.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.


This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number SBE-0830366, Science of Science and Innovation Policy.

1 In these instances, social desirability was assessed using either the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (Crowne and Marlow, 1960 ) or the Paulhus Deception Scales (Paulhus, 1998 ).

2 We note that the Consensual Assessment Technique has also been used to assess the creativity of ideas (e.g., Faure, 2004 ). Here, we refer specifically to the use of this technique in assessing the creativity of products.

3 The language of the items and response options of the Inspiration Scale (IS) eliminate this problem by clearly using the term “inspiration” to mean a state, not a cognition or idea.

4 The authors empirically tested the transmission model , which specifies that inspiration mediates the relation between the creativity of the seminal idea and the creativity of the product. Two alternate theoretical models, the epiphenomenon model and the self-perception model , which suggest that creativity of the idea influences both inspiration and creativity of the product, or that creativity of the idea influences creativity of the product which in turn influences reports of inspiration, respectively, were also tested using structural equation modeling. The authors found support for the transmission model of inspiration over the epiphenomenon and self-perception models.

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My Book My Inspiration Essay in English: Long and Short Paragraphs

My book my inspiration essay in english : check here sample essays, tips and quotes to write an engaging essay on my book my inspiration in english in 150 words, 500 words..

Pragya Sagar

How to Write Essay on My Book My Inspiration in English

Step 1: Think of the book that you would like to write upon.

Step 2: Jot down the name of the book, the author’s name, the major themes covered, the main characters.

Step 3: Introduce the book and its author and the reason why you like it.

Step 4: Elaborate upon the characters, the background and plot of the book, the themes covered in the book.

Step 5: Conclude by summarising it all.

Quotes About Books in English

  • "There is no friend as loyal as a book." - Ernest Hemingway
  • "A room without books is like a body without a soul." - Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." - Dr. Seuss
  • "I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library." - Jorge Luis Borges
  • "So many books, so little time." - Frank Zappa
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My Book My Inspiration Essay 150 Words

Books, with their extraordinary power to inspire, ignite our imaginations, and shape our perceptions. Books have always been my source of inspiration because they have the power to transform lives in profound ways.

Ever since I was a young kid, I loved to read because it transported me to distant lands and introduced me to unique characters. These literary adventures ignited my creativity and instilled a deep appreciation for the beauty of language. I also developed emotional appreciation for different cultures and languages, transcending cultural boundaries.

Books are my best friends. Books have provided me solace in challenging times. As I grew up, my passion for diverse genres of literature deepened. Each book that I have read, has broadened my understanding

My Book My Inspiration Essay 500 words

Books have always been an integral part of my life, serving as portals to new worlds and inspiration for personal growth. Among the countless books I have read in the past few years, one book stands out as a profound source of enduring wisdom and motivation. The book that holds a special place in my heart is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. From the moment I turned its first few pages, I was spellbound by the narrative  and the wisdom embedded in the book. It has profoundly shaped my worldview and inspired me to strive for a more just and compassionate society.

From the moment I first opened its pages, "To Kill a Mockingbird" captivated me with the way it has maintained its captivating storytelling while exploring complex themes such as racial injustice, moral courage, and the power of empathy. At the heart of the story lies the unforgettable and most remarkable character of Atticus Finch, a lawyer who defends an innocent black man, Tom Robinson, against a charge of rape in the deeply segregated Alabama community. Through Atticus's unwavering commitment to justice and his unwavering belief in the inherent goodness of humanity, I was inspired to confront my own biases and to stand up for what is right, even in the face of adversity.

One of the most profound lessons I learned from "To Kill a Mockingbird" is the importance of empathy and understanding. Through the eyes of the character Scout Finch, a young girl growing up in the turbulent 1930s, I gained a deeper appreciation for the challenges faced by marginalised communities and the need to bridge the divides that separate us. Scout's innocence and her willingness to challenge societal norms taught me to question preconceived notions and to seek out the truth, even if it is uncomfortable or inconvenient.

The book's enduring message of hope and resilience has also been a source of inspiration in my own life. Atticus's unwavering belief in the power of education and his determination to instil in his children a sense of justice and compassion have resonated deeply with me. His unwavering commitment to his principles, even in the face of overwhelming opposition, has served as a guiding light for me in my own pursuit of personal integrity and social justice.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee has been more than just a book to me. To me, it is a testament to the power of literature to inspire, challenge, and transform. It has shaped my understanding of the world, ignited my passion for social justice, and instilled in me the courage to stand up for what I believe in. As I will move ahead in life, navigating the complexities of daily chores, personal and professional life, I know that the lessons I learned from Atticus Finch and the unique characters of "To Kill a Mockingbird" will continue to guide me, reminding me to always strive for a better world.

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Identifying Sources of Motivation Essay

Introduction, motivation theories, reference list.

Motivation can be defined as having an incentive to carry out a particular activity. Motivation is something that gives out encouragement to a person. It includes such things as inspiration, stimulation, and encouragement. There are various theories that are used to describe motivation. These theories are based on several beliefs, morals, desires, and inspirations of people to take action in a particular manner. In this paper, several people are going to be considered basing on different theories of motivation on how they are motivated to strive towards achieving promotion in their careers. These people include Ella whose source of motivation is biological, Marcelo whose source is psychosocial and Masoko whose motivation is based on the interactionist theory of motivation.

The first theory here to be considered is the one on whose Marcelo’s motivation is based and this is the psychosocial theory. Under this theory, it is considered that the actualization of a person’s potential is the driving force of an individual’s personality. It is considered that motivation to acquire higher accomplishments can be achieved only after the motivation for lower accomplishments has been looked for and obtained. In this case, Marcelo is seeking for promotion after knowing that accomplishments sorted out in the current job have been achieved.

This theory is also considered to relate to the individual’s self-awareness and the inner knowledge about oneself. There is a belief that when an individual has self-like and feels comfortable with oneself and how he or she participates in carrying out activities, the motivation of such a person may be higher than that of an individual who is not sure about him or herself or that person who has not fully come to understand his or her own abilities in carrying out particular tasks. In this case, Marcelo is motivated by being aware of oneself and having confidence of being able to carry out tasks and at higher level than in the current position.

Considering Ella’s case basing on the biological theory of motivation, human beings possess internal biological needs which is a driving force to carry out particular activities in order to survive. According to Heffner (2001), Sigmund Freud believed that human beings have only two fundamental drives; life and death drives (Eros and Thanatos). Everything a human being does, everything he or she thinks about and every emotion the human being feels has one of the two goals; it is either to help him or her to survive or to avoid his or her destruction. Basing on this information, Ella is seeking promotion in order to ensure improved finances. This will ensure more money for health care, food, education for children among other needs in order to achieve better survival to avoid destruction.

The third theory to be considered is the interactionist motivation theory on whose Masoko’s motivation is based. This theory is based on the assumption that individuals will go after a particular way of living on the basis of conclusions drawn as well as inferences through the interactions they have as they socialize with one another. They are these attitudes of interacting that give people the inspiration and influence them to carry out their actions in a particular manner. An individual carries out the interpretation of the society basing on the kind of people he or she comes across, the experiences that he or she shares with these people and comes up with a viewpoint basing on these encounters. This theory holds it that there can not be generalizing of the society in terms of such issues as it being backward, progressive and so on but strongly gives support to the idea that each and every individual person can decide to break free and independently come up with his or her own assumptions about a manner in which to live and not necessarily working under the influence of the majority. Part of the interactionist approach of thinking is the idea that a person is not bound by the limitations that are social and is free to go on with life basing on his or her own mind set (Magar, 2009).

Relating this theory of the interactionist motivation to Masoko, he is seeking promotion basing on the experience acquired through interacting with people. The decision is originating on the personal decision regardless of what the general society requires. Through interaction, Masoko has been able to come up with a decision about what is right according to him and this is the driving force.

In the fourth case, a hypothesis is taken in which an individual by the name Sam has a realistic combination of the motivating theories that give rise to various factors inspiring him to seek promotion in the same organization. Under this hypothesis, Sam is motivated basing on the three theories discussed. That is, the biological theory of motivation, the psychosocial motivation, and the interactionist theory of motivation.

This case of Sam is common in the real life situations since people do not just get motivated basing on just a single theory. For instance, Sam will be motivated to seek promotion basing on the fact that he might have realized his own abilities to hold a higher position and has self-confidence. This is on the basis of the psychosocial theory of motivation. The drive is coupled with his desire to be able to survive and avoid destruction. He has the desire to acquire more finances to meet all the needs that can enable him lead a more comfortable life. This is on the basis of the biological theory of motivation.

More so, the self confidence and the desire to lead a more comfortable life may be springing from the interactions he has with other people in the society that has enabled him to come up with a decision to seek promotion in order to move up from the current position. Through his own observations, on the basis of the interactionist theory of motivation, he has seen the need for him to seek promotion. He may not go with the general opinion of the public but decides to go his own way to achieve higher goals within the society.

In conclusion, the theories of motivation discussed do interact with each other in one way or the other. All the theories seek to offer an explanation as to why individuals get motivated to acquire higher positions in life than the current positions they are holding. The biological theory interact with, for instance, the psychosocial theory motivation in a way that an individual may start by assessing his or her financial needs that drives him or her to work harder and the next assessment is of the abilities that the individual has. This leads to the same goal in cases considered; to look for promotion. More so, because of the abilities and the self confidence an individual might be having and the need to have more money to be able to survive better and avoid destruction, through interacting with other people in society, he or she will be able to make an independent decision to seek for promotion. This is on the basis of the interactionist theory of motivation.

Heffner, C. L. (2001). Motivation and Emotion . Web.

Magar, P. (2009). Interactionist Theory of Motivation . Web.

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IvyPanda. (2021, December 1). Identifying Sources of Motivation.

"Identifying Sources of Motivation." IvyPanda , 1 Dec. 2021,

IvyPanda . (2021) 'Identifying Sources of Motivation'. 1 December.

IvyPanda . 2021. "Identifying Sources of Motivation." December 1, 2021.

1. IvyPanda . "Identifying Sources of Motivation." December 1, 2021.


IvyPanda . "Identifying Sources of Motivation." December 1, 2021.


13 Bizarre Sources of Inspiration For Some Of Our Favorite Pop Culture

Posted: May 21, 2024 | Last updated: May 21, 2024

15 Left-Field Inspirations For Some Of Our Favorite Pop Culture

15 Left-Field Inspirations For Some Of Our Favorite Pop Culture

13. House of the Dragon

13. House of the Dragon

12. Wednesday

12. Wednesday

11. Taylor Swift’s “Death By A Thousand Cuts”

11. Taylor Swift’s “Death By A Thousand Cuts”

10. Led Zeppelin's "Over the Hills and Far Away"

10. Led Zeppelin's "Over the Hills and Far Away"

9. The Shining

9. The Shining

8. The Exorcist

8. The Exorcist

7. Everything Everywhere All at Once

7. Everything Everywhere All at Once

6. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

6. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

5. Coyote Ugly

5. Coyote Ugly

4. Sleeping Beauty

4. Sleeping Beauty

3. Andor

2. "A Whole New World"

1. Glass Onion

1. Glass Onion

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Essay on My Book My Inspiration

Students are often asked to write an essay on My Book My Inspiration in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on My Book My Inspiration


Books are a treasure of knowledge and inspiration. My favorite book, which has greatly inspired me, is ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee.

Impact on Me

This book taught me about courage, empathy, and justice. It helped me understand that standing up for what’s right is important, even if it’s difficult.

Lessons Learned

The protagonist, Atticus Finch, taught me to treat everyone equally. This has inspired me to be fair and kind to all.

‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is more than just a book to me. It’s a guide, a source of inspiration, and a mirror to society.

250 Words Essay on My Book My Inspiration

Books are like mirrors reflecting our souls, and they can be a profound source of inspiration. Among the myriad of books I’ve read, one that particularly resonates with me is ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Viktor E. Frankl. This book has not only broadened my horizons but also served as a beacon in my life’s journey.

The Power of Perspective

Frankl’s book, based on his experiences as a Holocaust survivor, delves deep into the human psyche, highlighting the power of perspective in the face of adversity. It teaches that even in the bleakest of circumstances, one can find meaning and purpose, thereby fostering resilience. This philosophy has inspired me to view challenges as opportunities for growth rather than obstacles.

Embracing Life’s Purpose

The central theme of the book, ‘Logotherapy’, posits that the primary motivational force in humans is the pursuit of life’s purpose. It has inspired me to seek my purpose and align my actions accordingly. It’s an ongoing journey, but the book has been instrumental in shaping my approach towards life.

Resilience in Adversity

Frankl’s resilience in the face of unimaginable hardship has been a source of strength. It has taught me that the human spirit is indomitable, and we can endure any hardship if we have a purpose that anchors us.

‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ has had a profound impact on my life. It has inspired me to embrace my purpose, persevere through adversity, and view life through a lens of optimism and resilience. This book, indeed, is my inspiration, guiding me in my journey of self-discovery and growth.

500 Words Essay on My Book My Inspiration

Books have been a constant source of inspiration, offering wisdom, knowledge, and perspectives that shape our worldviews. They serve as windows to different cultures, times, and minds, enabling us to broaden our horizons and deepen our understanding. This essay explores the profound influence of a book on my life, illustrating its transformative power.

The Book That Changed My Life

The book that inspired me most is “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl. A Holocaust survivor, Frankl presents a profound exploration of life, suffering, and a quest for purpose. The book’s core message resonates with me deeply: “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”

Unveiling the Power of Purpose

Frankl’s book underscored the significance of purpose in life. He argued that even in the most dire circumstances, such as a concentration camp, one could find meaning and thus, a reason to live. This idea significantly shifted my perspective. I started to see challenges not as insurmountable obstacles but opportunities to grow, learn, and find purpose.

Embracing Life’s Uncertainties

Another important lesson from the book was the acceptance of life’s uncertainties. Frankl’s experiences taught me that life is unpredictable, and it’s our response to these uncertainties that defines us. This has encouraged me to embrace change and uncertainty, viewing them as avenues for personal growth and self-discovery.

Inspiring Personal Growth

“Man’s Search for Meaning” has become a guiding light in my journey of personal growth. It has inspired me to seek meaning in my actions, relationships, and experiences. The book has instilled a sense of resilience, teaching me to persevere through hardships and maintain hope in the face of adversity.

Impacting My Career Choices

Frankl’s book has also influenced my career choices. His emphasis on purpose and meaning has led me to seek a career that aligns with my passions and values. This pursuit of purposeful work has not only brought fulfillment but also motivated me to make a positive impact on society.

In conclusion, “Man’s Search for Meaning” has been a profound source of inspiration for me. It has shaped my worldview, personal growth, and career choices. The book serves as a testament to the power of literature in influencing our lives, reinforcing the idea that books can indeed be our best guides and companions. As we navigate through life, books like these can offer valuable insights, inspire us to grow, and help us find our purpose. The power of a book lies not just in its words, but in its ability to resonate with us, inspire introspection, and provoke change.

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Watch CBS News

Officials change course amid outrage over bail terms for Indian teen accused in fatal drunk driving accident

By Arshad R. Zargar

May 22, 2024 / 1:37 PM EDT / CBS News

New Delhi — Indian justice officials have changed course amid outrage over the bail terms set for a teenager accused of killing two people while driving a Porsche at high speed while drunk and without a license. The 17-year-old son of a wealthy businessman had been ordered to write a 300-word essay and work with the local traffic police for 15 days to be granted bail — a decision that was made within 15 hours of his arrest.

He is accused of killing two young people while speeding in his luxury car on Sunday in the western Indian city of Pune.

The lenient bail conditions initially imposed by the local Juvenile Justice Board shocked many people, including officials, across India. The local police approached the board with an appeal to cancel his bail and seeking permission to treat the boy, who is just four months shy of his 18th birthday, as an adult, arguing that his alleged crime was heinous in nature.

In 2015, India changed its laws to allow minors between 16 and 18 years of age to be tried as adults if they're accused of crimes deemed heinous. The change was prompted by the notorious 2012  Delhi rape case , in which one of the convicts was a minor. Many activists argued that if he was old enough to commit a brutal rape, he should not be treated as a minor.

On Wednesday night, after three days of outrage over the initial decision, the Juvenile Justice Board canceled the teen's bail and sent him to a juvenile detention center until June 5. It said a decision on whether he could be tried as an adult, which would see him face a more serious potential sentence, would be taken after further investigation.

Late Sunday night, police say the teen, after drinking with friends at two local bars in Pune, left in his Porsche Taycan, speeding through narrow roads and allegedly hitting a motorcycle, sending the two victims — a male and female, both 24-year-old software engineers — flying into the air and killing them.

The parents of both victims have urged authorities to ensure a strict punishment for the teen.

The suspect was first charged with causing death by negligence, but that was changed to a more serious charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. On Wednesday he was also charged with drunk driving offenses.

Police have arrested the suspect's father and accused him of allowing his son to drive despite being underage, according to Pune Police Commissioner Amitesh Kumar. The legal age for driving in India is 18. Owners of the two bars where the minor was served alcohol have also been arrested and their premises seized.

"We have adopted the most stringent possible approach, and we shall do whatever is at our command to ensure that the two young lives that were lost get justice, and the accused gets duly punished," Kumar said.

Maharashtra state's Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had described the original decision of the Juvenile Justice Board as "lenient" and "shocking," and called the public outrage a reasonable reaction.

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Adrien Bilal gratefully acknowledges support from the Chae Family Economics Research Fund at Harvard University. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.


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Why a New Yorker Story on a Notorious Murder Case Is Blocked in Britain

The article challenges the evidence used to convict Lucy Letby, a neonatal nurse, of multiple murders last year, and has led to a debate about England’s restrictions on trial reporting.

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By The New York Times

The New Yorker magazine published a 13,000-word article on Monday about one of Britain’s biggest recent criminal trials, that of the neonatal nurse Lucy Letby, who was convicted last year of the murder of seven babies .

The article, by the staff writer Rachel Aviv, poses substantial questions about the evidence relied on in court. And it raises the possibility that Ms. Letby, vilified in the media after her conviction, may be the victim of a grave miscarriage of justice.

But, to the consternation of many readers in Britain, the article can’t be opened on a regular browser there, and most news outlets available in Britain aren’t describing what is in it.

The New Yorker deliberately blocked the article from readers in Britain because of strict reporting restrictions that apply to live court cases in England. A publication that flouts those rules risks being held “in contempt of court,” which can be punished with a fine or prison sentence.

Neither The New Yorker nor its parent company, Condé Nast, responded to requests for comment on Thursday. Earlier in the week, a spokesperson for the magazine told Press Gazette , the British trade publication, “To comply with a court order restricting press coverage of Lucy Letby’s ongoing trial, The New Yorker has limited access to Rachel Aviv’s article for readers in the United Kingdom.”

Under English law, restrictions apply to the reporting of live court proceedings, to prevent a jury’s being influenced by anything outside the court hearing. After Ms. Letby’s sentencing in August last year, those restrictions were lifted. But they were reimposed in September, when the public prosecutor for England and Wales announced that it would seek a retrial on one charge of attempted murder on which the jury had not been able to reach a verdict. “There should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings,” the prosecutor stated. The retrial is set to begin in June.

Ms. Letby has requested permission to appeal her convictions. After a three-day hearing last month, a panel of judges at the Court of Appeal said it would deliver a decision on that request at a later date .

In Britain, those trying to read the New Yorker article on internet browsers are greeted by an error message: “Oops. Our apologies. This is, almost certainly, not the page you were looking for.” But the block is not comprehensive: The article can be read in the printed edition, which is available in stores in Britain, and on The New Yorker’s mobile app.

The questions about its availability in Britain have prompted a debate around England’s reporting restrictions, their effectiveness and their role in the justice system.

Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, David Davis, a Conservative Party lawmaker and former cabinet minister, questioned whether the restricting of reporting might, in this instance, undermine the principle of open justice, which allows the public to scrutinize and understand the workings of the law.

“The article was blocked from publication on the U.K. internet, I understand because of a court order,” Mr. Davis said. “I am sure that court order was well intended, but it seems to me that it is in defiance of open justice.”

He was able to raise the issue because he has legal protection for comments made in the House of Commons under what is known as parliamentary privilege . Media organizations have a more limited form of protection, known as qualified privilege, to accurately report what is said in Parliament.

In his response to the question from Mr. Davis, Alex Chalk, the justice secretary, said: “Court orders must be obeyed, and a person can apply to the court for them to be removed. That will need to take place in the normal course of events.”

Mr. Chalk added: “On the Lucy Letby case, I simply make the point that juries’ verdicts must be respected. If there are grounds for an appeal, that should take place in the normal way.”


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