We All Need Inspiration

I need inspiration – stories that excite my imagination, give me hope for the future and make clear just what we can accomplish when we set our minds to it.

Murder; terrorism; despotism; huge storms; the vagaries of the stock market; the latest, newest and greatest occupy our minds – and our searches – they are what trend – the 15 second or 15 gig (as my friend Bob Greenberg says) syndrome. And, frankly, they depress me.

Last week I wrote about short-term thinking and the effect on innovation, on people and on motivation because of the vagaries of financial markets whose rewards are based on that system.

This week, as I compiled my notes, I was struck by the trending global search info – Monster Storm bearing down on the US; iPad Mini; Windows 8 and Surface launch; Morgan Freeman – yes! But frankly I found nothing that inspired me – nothing that I really wanted to share – nothing that I hoped would make a point different than what you might have been reading or following or viewing.

Then I saw it and felt redeemed. No doubt you will be puzzled – why this story fueled my dreams; why this story fed my mind; why this story felt redeeming.

So here goes…

It’s the story of the SpaceX Dragon capsule that has completed its first scheduled (of 12) mission at the International Space Station (ISS) and will be returning to Earth starting Sunday – an event that can be watched on NASA TV – and is as exciting as a new James Bond movie.

So you are shaking your head – people are getting killed; people are starving; there is injustice and despotism – and this is what inspires you? Have you lost it????

Frankly – I’m tired of the elections in the US and all the discussion of online targeting and re-targeting when the bulk of the money – ungodly sums in fact are being spent on broadcast – and by broadcast I mean across all channels; I’m tired of the latest app being hailed as the next greatest thing only to go from hero to zero in weeks or days; I’m tired of endless discussion about technology that is really not technology at all – in fact, I had a discussion with an analyst recently who told me that Amazon Prime was the most innovative part of Amazon – check it out – best practice of catalog companies since Sears in the 1800s…

So bottom line – I was looking for something real – not another Internet monetization scheme; not the next and only way ever to connect with a friend, or meet someone or buy something. What I wanted was something that would make me look beyond admiration for a business plan and a huge valuation; something that would induce discussion beyond the usual do you think it’s overpriced or undervalued – something that would cause me to look up and out – daydream a bit and wonder about the possibilities and the future.

And there you have it – The SpaceX Dragon – private enterprise at its best. Tackling the “final frontier” – proving that space is an option and that governments do not need to be in control…

I looked up and out – literally as this turns out … and my imagination runs wild to the Asimov and Heinlein of my youth (confession – I still read them) and I must say – at least for me the change from the debate on the viability of Zynga as the gamification change platform of all time is not just refreshing – it’s downright spiritual.


“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” Albert Einstein

Einstein wrote a lot about imagination – he believed in it – it was a part of his “religion” of thinking – it drove his thinking.

And to him – imagination wasn’t the next release of Angry Birds (don’t get me wrong, I love it) but where we were going in the cosmos.

So if you are like me – if you accept as a given where the world is today – meaning that there is no debate about what is digital or not; meaning that yes you love tablets and want to consume and create; meaning that you watch “content” on big screens, little screens and in-between screens; meaning that you want more to hang your dreams on – find your own SpaceX…

And when you find it – share it! We all need the need inspiration…at least I do…

What do you think?


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