riding the inspire-share-inspire cycle

After switching my college major from art to science I had a lot of catching up to do, like learning how to spelling fluoride correctly and trying to understand chemistry. By my third try at Chemistry 101, its new language started to make sense. Sort of. My brow furrowed in concentration over the textbook filled with symbols and math.

When I finally passed the class, I was shocked to be invited by the chemistry professor to be the teacher’s assistant for the next Chemistry 101 class. I got a little office in the science building, so I said yes, and posted the hours I was available for drop-in tutoring.

To my further surprise, before long my office was regularly packed. I was actually able to help people make sense of chemistry. This seemed so unlikely that I took a closer look. What I discovered was that during my journey through Chemistry 101, I’d identified several key methods for solving chemistry equations and I used them again and again. And that’s what I was showing the students who came to my office: tools and systems for conceptualizing chemistry at a deep enough level that loads of other chemistry information came into focus.

In regards to chemistry, art, photography, running a business, and more, I’ve learned that I automatically identify deep systems and share them, offering to others what has inspired me deeply and usefully.

You do this, too: offer to others what has inspired you. We’re inspired so we want to share what inspired us, and by doing so we inspire someone else. We ride this cycle all the time in all sorts of ways.


When we’re inspired … attention sharpens, breath changes, connections fire in the brain, the heart fills. We overflow.

When we share what inspires us … we offer our revelation, our story of noticing, the thing we made. We teach.

When we inspire … we illuminate someone’s journey, putting up a sign they recognize as their own. We catalyze.

And in this way, the inspire-share-inspire cycle begins again.

The cycle happens between and among people as collaboration. It happens within ourselves as courageous growth.

It happens whenever one inspired revelation leads to another.

Riding this cycle can take us anywhere we want to go.


Where do you want to go?
What inspires your journey?
What do you like to share?

Because I’m curious about the cycle and about you, I’ve created a short survey, here.

The survey is an experiment. You can do it anonymously. If by Thursday there are enough answers to share, I’ll let you know on Friday how people responded.

[Update: “Inspire-Share-Inspire Cycle Survey Results“]

Thanks for playing along!


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