Inspirational People

Those Who Breathe Life And Inspire Action


The phrase "inspirational people" has become something of a cliche in the same way that the description of a person or activity as "heroic" has also lost the power of its original meaning.

The common and popular usage of the term inspirational people is frequently intended to express wonder and appreciation of what these people have achieved in their lives.

That's fine but essentially just an expression of a passing emotion like "wow... he/she did that...amazing..."

My use of the phrase is more specific and in line with the original root meaning of the verb "to inspire" which is derived from the latin word "spirare" meaning breath.

To inspire ["inspirare"] means to "breathe into" and has become associated with "breathing life into" something.

To expire ["expirare"] means to breath out and the modern association has to come to mean that breath has gone and the life has gone out of something, i.e. it is dead.

So to inspire life into something infers action - specific action - and therefore:

Truly inspirational people are those who breath life into something specific and in such a way that we are moved to take action on it.






2 Key Areas Where We Need To Be Moved To Take Specific Action

The theme of this site is "How To Think Effectively".

Knowing how to think effectively is important because the outcomes that you experience in your life are determined by your responses to the events in your life. The stronger your response - the better the outcome.

The intention behind this site is to show you how to respond in tough times, and to provide you with the tools to do this successfully.

At the current time of writing in late 2020, this is especially relevant as the world slowly and painfully crawls towards a post Covid-19 environment and as we collectively struggle  to come to terms with the societal, economic and financial consequence of the weaknesses of our Governments' response to this situation.

The 2 distinct and different areas in which we need to take action are:




[1] Inspirational People Who Can Teach Us How To Stop Thinking

To really learn how to think effectively we also have to learn and master the art of not thinking, because a quiet mind is an insightful mind and a resourceful mind.

The most effective way of achieving this is with the zen practise of mindfulness.




[2] Inspirational People Who Can Teach Us How To Think

We need to learn thinking skills. Thinking critically, deliberately and systematically processing information enables you to make better decisions and generally understand things better.




Inspirational People Who Contribute To The Theme And Intentions Of This Site

My key criteria for including people in this section is that in my direct personal experience they have something proven and practical to offer us in each of these 2 areas.

Naturally my selection of people who I regard as inspirational is deeply subjective. Nevertheless, I am profiling these people in the hope that you may find it that it moves you to take specific action.

This section is very much a work in progress, so please do contact me with your thoughts, comments and suggestions for other people we could feature here.

  • Eckhart Tolle -is probably best known as the author of the best selling "The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment." It was Eckhart Tolle's early work with "The Power of Now" and subsequent videos of Eckhart's talks that opened my eyes and awareness to the dimension of mindfulness.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh - is the living embodiment of mindfulness. His mindfulness teachings and practices have very wide appeal to people from various religious, spiritual, and political backgrounds. He is is one of the best known and most respected Zen masters in the world today, prolific author, poet, and peace and human rights activist. Thich Nhat Hanh is totally inclusive in his outlook and his teachings and practises transcend religious traditions.
  • Genpo Roshi - Former American Zen Master Dennis Merzel aka Genpo Roshi developed the "Big Mind" process which builds on the insights of traditional Zen practise and the Voice Dialogue therapy developed over many years by Drs Hal & Sidra Stone. The "Big Mind" process gives you a form of spiritual technology that as a simple and self facilitated technique enables you to do 2 very important things... 
  • Michael Brown - has, in my view, provided another practical tool for developing your experience of present moment awareness. His work as presented in "The Presence Process " is, in my perspective, a direct progression from Thich Nhat Hanh, Eckhart Tolle, Genpo Roshi, Jon Kabat-Zinn and many others. The specific contribution of Michael Brown's work is that he recognises and addressses the deep seated emotional and physical blockages that many of us carry...
  • Andrew Newberg - is regarded as one of leading pioneers in the field of neuroscientific study of religious and spiritual experiences, increasingly referred to as – neurotheology.  His research work focuses on the nature of religious and spiritual practices and experiences and specifically how brain function is associated with various mental states, especially the relationship between brain function and mystical or religious experiences. Andrew Newberg's work matters because it provides some of the compelling evidence for the neurological underpinning of the core theme of this site, namely how to think and how to not think.
  •  Charlie Munger - is probably best known as the Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc and long term business partner of Warren Buffett. Aside from his extremely successful business career as an investor and his various philanthropic ventures, Charlie Munger is also well known for his thinking skills and especially for his emphasis on developing multiple mental models to cut through complexity and make good judgement calls and good decisions. We can learn from some of the core principles of his thinking skills and adopt and incorporate them into our balanced toolkit of thinking skills as we learn how to think more effectively.
  • Elon Musk - is an extraordinary man. He has founded, co-founded, and leads a cross-section of the world's most technically innovative companies. One of the most interesting things about Elon Musk is the thought processes that lead to his ideas and innovations, followed by his skill, persistence and patience to see them through to implementation. I believe that Elon Musk has much to teach us about thinking skills.
  • Cal Newport - is a computer science professor at Georgetown University, who in addition to his academic research writes about the intersection of digital technology and culture. He is a millenial with a counter-cultural/counter-generational message: [1] Re-framing the old skills of focused and sustained attention  as Deep Work and [2] Reducing - if not eliminating - your reliance [addiction?] to digital distraction. He provides tools and resources to  enable you to apply these thinking skills.
  • Philip Zimbardo - and the  Stanford Prison Experiment  as updated and with revised analysis in The Lucifer Effect offers a situationist perspective on the psychology of evil. Zimbardo has contributed greatly to our understanding of why people can change and choose to exercise bad/evil behaviour in response to the pressures and demands of the environment upon them.There are 5 lessons from Philip Zimbardo's story, and the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment, to be aware of.
  • Massimo Pigliucci - a philosopher and modern advocate for Stoicism and has created a wealth of easy to understand material that is readily available online. He doesn't just talk about Stoicism he lives it. For him, stoicism is a practise.
  • Julia Galef - her contribution to the field of thinking skills is her articulate work on advancing the popularisation of applied rationality. She introduces the metaphor of soldiers and scouts and shows how we can learn how to combat biases and make smarter decisions by adopting the scout mindset.
  • Naval Ravikant - Angel Investor / Practical Philospher.
    When self-improvement fails work on finding the truth. Reference "The Almanac Of Naval Ravikant". Incomparable wisdom and insights on life the universe and nearly everything!
  • Marcus Aurelius - was Roman emperor from 161 to 180 and a Stoic philosopher. His reign was marked by years of military conflict. He practiced Stoicism and wrote about his own Stoic practice in a series of journals which he wrote solely for his own personal use. They have become one of the most influential philosophy books in the history of the world and have come to be known as:  “The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius”.  
  • Nassim Taleb - spent 21 years as a risk taker (quantitative  trader) before becoming a researcher in philosophical, mathematical and (mostly) practical problems with probability. He is the author of 5 books: "Skin In the Game", "Antifragile", "The Black Swan", "Fooled by Randomness", and "The Bed of Procrustes". He describes his work as an investigation of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, risk, and decision making when we don’t understand the world. But despite all that - he makes some very strong points about risk and probability that are important for the lay reader to be aware of! Check the [internal] links shown.






Return from "Inspirational People" to:Home Page





Zen-Tools.Net



English Chinese (Traditional) Russian French German Italian Spanish Vietnamese


LATEST ARTICLES

  1. Your Relationship With Failure Is Critical To Your Success

    Just Because You Have A Spectacular Failure Doesn’t Mean The Game Is Over. The thought that you could fail can really slow you down. But the problem is not the failure, the problem is your relationshi…

    Read More

  2. Lost, Stuck & Going Round In Circles?

    Are You Lost In Transition? To be in an alien North African city, late in the evening, in the dark, completely lost in transition from the main market square back to the obscure location of our Riad…

    Read More

  3. Seeing Is Believing Or Is It?

    Do You Believe What You See Or Do You See What You Believe? Like the characters in "The Matrix" we are fooled by the illusion that what we see is how things really are. Why? Because this is the mind's…

    Read More

  4. What Difference Did You Make?

    What Impact Will You Leave In The Lives Of Others? If you knew you were going to die tonight and you were given a few minutes to reflect before that happened, what would you say was the meaning of yo…

    Read More

  5. Compassion Is Selfish And You Need It

    If You Want Others To Be Happy, Practice Compassion. If You Want To Be Happy, Practice Compassion. Compassion is derived from the Latin words "com pati" meaning to suffer with. It has been defined as…

    Read More

  6. The Placebo Effect - 2 Key Takeaways

    The Power Of Expectation Of An Outcome Regardless Of The Lack Of Any Substance To That Expectation. Traditionally, the placebo effect occurs when false, or dummy, treatments of inert substances [that…

    Read More

  7. The Red Pill

    This Is What Will Happen After You Take It. "This is your last chance," rebel leader Morpheus tells Neo, holding a coloured pill in each hand. “You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in y…

    Read More

  8. Transformational Life Hacks

    This Has To Be One Of The Best Ways For Living The Best Life You Can Possibly Live. An online search on life hacks will invariably provide you with multiple links to ways of increasing your productivi…

    Read More

  9. This Too Shall Pass

    The Blessing And The Curse Of Impermanence. There is a story of a king who sought wisdom. Eventually he heard of a man living in a remote part of the kingdom who had a reputation for great wisdom. The…

    Read More

  10. The Stories We Tell Ourselves

    The Stories That We Tell Ourselves Are A Matter Of Choice. The stories we tell ourselves form the backcloth and the tapestry of our lives. These narratives shape and define our sense of self and how a…

    Read More

  11. Who Do You Trust?

    Trust Is A Choice And It Creates Your Reality. Nothing in life is permanent and nothing lasts forever. Every relationship ends in tears. Somebody leaves or somebody dies. This is how things are. This…

    Read More

  12. How Positive Asymmetry Can Transform Your Life

    Finding This Hidden Value Is The Key To A Huge Upside. Most of us spend our lives working to linear rules where there is an equal relationship between effort and result. Work hard you get a result. Wo…

    Read More

  13. 5 Tips For Developing A Growth Mindset

    How To Be There When Preparation Meets Opportunity. The growth mindset holds the core belief that your intelligence and personality is something you can develop and that you can expand and grow. The p…

    Read More

  14. Lost For Words? Experience Truth

    If you can't think of the right thing to say, say nothing. The concepts we employ, the categorizations we apply and the words we choose and use to articulate a direct experience put us in a double bi…

    Read More

  15. Belief - A Terrible Tyrant Or An Empowering Servant

    To Believe Or Not To Believe - That Is The Question. Nothing has inflicted more suffering on humanity than its beliefs and dogmas. The religious and cultural beliefs that sanction and allow or impose…

    Read More

  16. How To Avoid Herd Mentality

    How To Stay Far From The Madding Crowd. Herd mentality describes how we make decisions based on what everyone else is thinking and doing. It is also known as a mob or crowd mentality. We follow the he…

    Read More

  17. Are You Trying To Teach A Cat To Bark?

    We Suffer Every Time We Believe A Thought That Argues With What Is. When your mind is perfectly clear, what is, is what you want. If you want reality to be different than it is, you might as well try…

    Read More

  18. The Value Of Slack

    Slack Is The Capacity To Effect Change And The Resource To Deal With The Unexpected. Many organizations are obsessed with efficiency and try to ensure that every resource is fully utilized to its full…

    Read More

  19. 6 Tips To Help You Stop Trying Too Hard

    Less and less do you need to force things, until you arrive at non-action. We are brought up to believe that we get what we want in life as a result of what we do, by the actions that we take, that ha…

    Read More

  20. Your Point Of Focus

    Is It Helping You Or Hindering You? Your point of focus is the central point of your attention. Your point of focus is a binary choice and the result of that choice is critical to your happiness, your…

    Read More

  21. Your Secret For Success

    To accomplish any success in life, you must identify accurately what it is that you hunger for, thirst for and long for. The purpose of this article is to look at the foundation of the secret for succ…

    Read More

  22. Can You Stop Thinking?

    Discover The Joy Of A Quiet Mind Can you stop thinking? According to Zen Buddhist priest Shunmyo Masuno the art of not thinking about anything is not easy to achieve. Even practising monks find it dif…

    Read More

  23. How To Build Self Confidence

    What Is Holding You Back From Pursuing Your Dreams? Your self confidence is based on ability. Your self confidence is all about your level of trust, faith and belief in your abilities [your power] and…

    Read More

  24. How To Overcome Fear And Perform Powerfully

    Learning how to overcome fear and perform powerfully is a skill that we all need to acquire as fear of failure affects most of us at some point in our lives. Whilst it is natural to feel a level of fe…

    Read More

  25. Dance Into The Light And Stop Chasing Your Tail

    You are creating hell on earth when you are too subsumed within your underlying and deeply embedded negative energetic states. To counter your dissatisfactions and misery you initially go unconscious…

    Read More

  26. Change Your Language To Change How You Feel

    How you mentally characterize a situation has a profound impact on how you respond to it emotionally. There is a direct causal link between how you think about a situation, the words you use to articu…

    Read More

  27. How To Live In A Participatory Universe

    What good is a universe without somebody around to look at it? What Conclusions Can We Draw About Living In A Participatory Universe? The inescapable conclusion is that the world and the universe (wit…

    Read More

  28. 4 Keys To Working With The Energy Of Life

    The journey home to the energy of life does not consist in arriving at a new destination it is a coming home to one’s self. [1] How are you feeling, what is your dominant emotion right now? [2] Where…

    Read More

  29. How To Deal With The Challenges Of Playing The Long Game

    You have to be willing to suffer today in order to reap enormous rewards tomorrow. The long game is so hard to play because it involves taking a series of very small steps, that people rarely see, per…

    Read More

  30. If You Don't Take Care Of You, Who Will?

    How To Build Self Esteem In my early life and until my early twenties I suffered from a deep inferiority complex and low self esteem. Forty years later and, said in sincerity and with humility, I have…

    Read More





The Balanced Life



The Balanced Toolkit



3 Keys Solutions


Get new posts by email:



Support This Site