Hello, Readers. If you have followed this column for any length of time, you know that I don’t always write about theology or religion in general. My goal, in recent years, has been to provide some food for thought about life in general. I hope you find these weekly columns valuable and inspiring to your life. Thank you for reading.

How many people do we come into contact with every day? Think about it. You talk to your co-workers or classmates. You brush up against how many strangers, from the grocery store clerk to the barista who made you that cup of coffee? We spend time with friends or go out and do things with the expectation of meeting new people. It’s probably safe to say that in a week, you’ve probably interacted with, at least on some level, a hundred people, most of whom you barely talked to.

But what if you could take those interactions deeper, to the level of something special? What if you could inspire someone else, and, indeed, make a difference in their lives?

It’s a powerful thought. Of course, you can’t change every interaction; it would be impossible to get anything done if you did. But when you stop to think about the value that you bring to the world, the things that you know and understand in ways that no one else does, there comes the point where you have to ask, what if you could share that with someone else?

In short, what if you could be inspiring? It’s not as complicated as you think. Here are four ways to convince you that, yes, you should aspire to inspire.

1. You can help someone realize their potential. Personal growth is a fascinating process. As you get to know people, you see them in their highs and lows. It’s where those lows occur where you can find an opportunity. A word of encouragement at the right time might be just what they need to labor on and overcome a challenge.

2. It’s life-changing – for both you and them. Personal growth culminates in those tremendous moments where you might be just the person to inspire someone to change their path entirely or to consider a course of action that they might not have before.

3. The world becomes a better place. OK, maybe this seems a little over the top but think about it for a minute. That person you inspired might go on to encourage someone else. Or may build something or do something unique. Imagine now that all of that started with you. Like ripples in a pond after a rock is thrown into the water, you never know how far that influence will spread, and what shore those ripples will eventually touch.

4. You change. Remember that you’re not in it to see what you can get out of it. Inspiring others, though, can reward you with both personal fulfillment and growth. In the end, you’re not going to be the same person you were anymore. That kind of satisfaction comes with a unique special kind of happiness.

Aspiring to Inspire is a fantastic process. Give it a try, you’ll be amazed at where you end up.

Dr. Michael Layne can be reached at, 812-503-2170 or, www.faithpoints.org

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