Seeking Life’s Inspiration: One Act at a Time

by Al Smith

guest blog post by Marcus Sheridan


Seeking Life’s Inspiration: One Act at a Time


I think we all want it. We want to be lead in the right direction. We want to feel like we’re on the right path. And we certainly want to feel a sense of peace in our life.

For the last 10 years, I’ve looked high and low to find this inspiration we all seek.

I’ve read hundreds of books on the subject.                                                                                       

I attended multiple events.

I’ve read thousands of articles online.         

But none of these activities have affected my life, and helped me feel the power of inspiration, as one simple act.

What is it? Each day, at least once, I seek an opportunity to help one person.

Yep, that’s it. That’s what I do.

Sometimes it’s an unexpected phone call just to say hello.

Sometimes it’s an email or text to give words of encouragement and honest praise.

But almost always, the person on the receiving end is surprised.

Recently, I read that one of my friends online was struggling with his life in a variety of ways. He contacted me for my advice, and upon finding out that he lived about 4 hours from my home, I suggested that we meet together for a hike up a mountain in that area.

My friend accepted, and he wrote about our time together here.

But to make a long story short, it was a truly rewarding day, as you can likely see in the photo. He talked and reflected. I listened and gave my best counsel. And because of that experience we both benefited.

In fact, I’m sure I learned just as much as he did.

But such is the way service works. When we give of ourselves, our time, and our resources; our minds are opened and we see the world a little differently than before. Such acts not only keep us grounded, but they also allow us to truly make a difference, one day at a time.

So if you’re looking for inspiration, put down your books, stop reading this post, and call a friend. Go help someone who needs it.

Will it take some of your time?

Yeah, sure it will, but the light and lessons that enter your life will be more than worth it.

Your Turn:

What’s your key to finding inspiration in your life?  Whether it’s with your family, friends, or workplace; I’d love to hear your thoughts.




Liked this article? Read more from Marcus Sheridan where he writes passionately about business and life on his popular blog, The Sales Lion.



{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Craig McBreen November 29, 2011 at 11:39 am

Hey Marcus,

Very nice to see you at Al’s place.

After reading your post on Steve the other day, then having a conversation with Al, I decided to read Steve’s post about your meeting. I also took a bit of time to listen to more of the Penelope Trunk interview. Still not sure how I feel about that episode, but Steve had the guts to post it.

The guy has a ton to deal with right now obviously and that was mighty cool of you to pay him a visit and discuss things. Sounds like he really needed that, but what he really needed was someone to listen to him. And as you’ve written, you benefited from this experience as well.

As I mentioned to Steve, I grew up in Maryland, so remember many long trips to Harpers Ferry, WV. The photo certainly brought me back. Well, it really reminds me of my dad’s obsession with long trips in the car … then doing a Chevy Chase (Clark Griswold at the Grand Canyon) … “Okay, we’ve seen it, let’s get back in the car.” ;)

My wife supports me, encourages me and listens to all my crap, so she gets a medal for that. With my dad’s failing health, I’m really amazed at my mother’s attitude. She’s a very strong woman and her dedication and strength is something to behold. Sometimes the people you know best amaze and inspire you.
Craig McBreen recently posted..Who else wants to live like a twenty-something globetrotter?


Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion November 30, 2011 at 12:09 am

Craig, I had no idea you grew up near Harpers Ferry man. That’s really, really cool. I seriously love the place and eventually plan on buying a place there to just sit, write, and look at the mountain. :-)

Very cool of you to contact and support Steve as well. He’s a good guy, and I really hope he pulls through all of this.

Oh, and tell your wife I said she was awesome. ;-)

Thanks for the comment bud,

Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion recently posted..Are Some Industries Just Too ‘Boring’ to Blog About? A Sales Lion Video


Erin Feldman November 29, 2011 at 2:09 pm

I can find inspiration in many ways – reading, listening to music, et cetera – but I think I often find it during conversations with other people. I learn something new, or I realize I have a viewpoint that other people don’t know or haven’t heard. It’s funny, but the more we give away, the more we get. I like that.
Erin Feldman recently posted..Write Right: Quit Clobbering Me with Cliches


Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion November 30, 2011 at 12:11 am

So true Erin, the more we give, the more we get.

I don’t know how many blog articles I’ve written that have come as a direct result of a conversation with a peer, but it’s a LOT.

So great to see you lady and thanks for the comment. :-)

Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion recently posted..Are Some Industries Just Too ‘Boring’ to Blog About? A Sales Lion Video


Melody | Deliberate Receiving November 29, 2011 at 2:55 pm

So… helping others is really a selfish act? Imagine that! ;)
We were never meant to play this game of life on our own. When we get together with others, there’s always an energy exchange that benefits both. And when we focus on them, on what we can give them, instead of what we can get from them (we can figure that out later), we let that energy flow freely. Then, we both benefit.

I’m at my best when I get asked questions. Sure, I can come up with topics on my own (just try to get me to shut up!), but it’s so much easier when someone asks me. Why? Because then I’m allowing the energy to flow. This person is looking for an answer that they are now ready to hear, and I get the honor of being the delivery girl of that answer. Since it’s basically my intention to be that delivery girl to as many people as possible, we both get what we want. And, as an aside, when I publish that answer on my blog, I benefit even more people, get more readers, etc., etc. I think many people, but especially bloggers and those who work for themselves, fall into this trap that they can or have to do everything on their own. But it’s so much more fun and it’s so much easier when we allow ourselves to play with others.

Thanks so much for sharing yourself so generously here. :)

Melody | Deliberate Receiving recently posted..How People Still Manage To Manifest What They Want While Bitching and Complaining


Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion November 30, 2011 at 12:13 am

This was great Melody! The fact that you’re so good at asking questions, and then letting the inspiration flow from that, is a skill that I think many, many people could improve on.

Thanks again for this Melody, it was excellent…

Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion recently posted..Are Some Industries Just Too ‘Boring’ to Blog About? A Sales Lion Video


Jack@TheJackB November 29, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Perspiration leads to inspiration for me. No Joke, it works.
Jack@TheJackB recently posted..Are You Guilty of Bad Blogging


Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion November 30, 2011 at 12:13 am

I’m with you Jack. If I didn’t have my elliptical to hop on every night, I don’t know where the heck I’d be. ;-)
Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion recently posted..Are Some Industries Just Too ‘Boring’ to Blog About? A Sales Lion Video


Nancy Davis November 29, 2011 at 3:26 pm

I was taught a long time ago that serving others is the very best way to get out of your own way. I have gone out of my way to help others, and the help almost always comes back just when I need it most. The surest way for me to stay grounded is to remember there is always someone doing worse than me, and I need to be grateful for what I do have.
Nancy Davis recently posted..What Does Success Look Like To You?


Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion November 30, 2011 at 12:15 am

That’s exactly right Nancy. It so very easy to fall into a trap of feeling sorry for ourselves…until we see someone who is so much worse off. Kind of like the guy who felt sorry for himself because he had no shoes until he saw a man with no feet.

Stay strong lady!

Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion recently posted..Are Some Industries Just Too ‘Boring’ to Blog About? A Sales Lion Video


Al Smith November 29, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Thanks Marcus and all the great comments. Erin said it in her comments, “The more we give away, the more we get” That sounds familiar. It is so true. This post is so perfect, especially for this time of the year. We got all caught up in our wants and needs and forget about helping others. Or just listening. Or encouraging. Or inspiring. and on and on. I love this sentence from the post;

“When we give of ourselves, our time, and our resources; our minds are opened and we see the world a little differently than before.” Wow.

It’s really all about choices. Choose to make a difference today. Choose to Inspire. Choose to CARE.

Thanks again Marcus. For all you do.



Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion November 30, 2011 at 12:16 am

Honored to be here Al, and to be a little part of what you’re growing in your neck of the woods my friend.

Just keep on keepin on ;-)

Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion recently posted..Are Some Industries Just Too ‘Boring’ to Blog About? A Sales Lion Video


Jk Allen November 29, 2011 at 5:32 pm


That was excellent. I really enjoyed it. What you did; going to meet with Steve represents the kind of guy you are. Out to help others as much as you can.

My personal key to finding inspiration is being aware. Aware of my blessing of life foremost. Understanding that so many people that look just like me didn’t wake up this morning. Or didn’t wake up able to hug and kiss their kids. Or didn’t wake up to good health. That really gets me going everyday. It makes me feel purposed. I figured if I’m still breathing, I’m granted this gift to do something with it…not just let it waste away.

So it all starts with the idea of life for me. It’s the essence of all things that we can understand. I’ve seen it taken away from enough people to really understand how much of a gift it is. So I say my thank yous and prayers daily – and from it I’m abundantly inspired.
Jk Allen recently posted..The Factor that Matters Most in our Results Driven Economy


Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion November 30, 2011 at 12:17 am

AWARE–such a powerful word, and one that, well frankly, doesn’t exist for the majority of us. Heck, I know personally when I get down it’s simply due to a lack of awareness, exactly as you described JK.

Thanks for the great comment and support bro, I really appreciate it.

Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion recently posted..Are Some Industries Just Too ‘Boring’ to Blog About? A Sales Lion Video


Diana November 30, 2011 at 7:03 am

I am certain that helping others is a selfish act that loads us up with endorphins and allows us, above all, to see our own troubles in a perspective that is realistic. I am motivated by goodness. Seeing and feeling goodness in others inspires me to do more, be more, try harder, get out there and give. I have learned that everyone has a story of some kind of survival. Life does not get easier as we get older, but we do learn to cope and if we are gifted with wisdom, we also can use our empathy and caring when coping doesn’t come easily for someone we know.

You motivate me Marcus, but you’ve also taught me something (or maybe you reminded me of something I already knew) – that being a source of positive energy and being a person who faces forward with resilience can put wind beneath your wings and help others to gather wind as well. We each need to find our ways to help others and give. Because we each have, in reality, been given so much.

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Cindy December 6, 2011 at 6:03 pm

my most serious problem with the finding of my inspiration is, that the result don’t last long:( when i find some inspiration in something, im always happy, but in the next days, it always losts its magic. is the problem in me? am i not able to find some long lasting inspiration?
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Steve Roy December 12, 2011 at 3:35 pm

I just found this post and wanted to say thanks for sharing it. Even more so though, I want to thank you for taking the time to meet with me and give me some of the best advice I’ve ever had.

You are truly a remarkable guy and your care for others is very apparent.You’ve told me in the past that you wake up each day with the thought of “how can I help someone today”? What a great way to go through life and it’s no surprise how successful you are.

Thanks again brother…
Steve Roy recently posted..Fear Of The Almighty Dollar


Catwoman January 23, 2012 at 6:44 pm

To find inspiration in our world is really hard nowadays. All in the social as in the personal life it isn’t easy. The holidays are over, we got back to work, I always feel depressed these times. But sometimes, when I go for a drive and I can empty my mind, I can find the beauty and some inspiration in everything. The best source for finding inspirations is the nature, I think.
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