Unlikely Inspiration

By Kelly Bradley, Guest Blogger August 18, 2015

On a particularly ordinary Thursday night at the gym, my personal trainer changed my life when he asked me, “What do you want to do with your life? What would make you happy?”

Now this is someone who, at the time, knew very little about me. I had only recently joined this gym and he was randomly assigned to me as a personal trainer. The two of us had spent, maybe, a few hours together over the course of a month. Yet, in between the lunges, push-ups, and bike sprints I realized he was paying close attention to the casual details I had shared about myself. So much that he picked up on the fact that I was feeling conflicted about the direction my life was headed.

It was a period of time where I was faced with some big professional and personal decisions and I wasn’t exactly sure what I should do. He recognized the struggle and called me out right there in the middle of the gym.


image via werf-en.nl

When he asked me those two questions I remember feeling incredibly caught off guard. Not necessarily that he asked them, but that I honestly could not give him any kind of answer. I think I actually responded, “I don’t know. I’m not really sure what I want.”

That was an eye-opening moment for me. The truth was I had been feeling conflicted. And if I didn’t know what would make me happy, I was probably more lost than I even realized. I left the gym that night feeling unbelievably inspired and determined to find the answers to those two questions. I needed to find purpose and I needed to figure out what was going to make me happy.

I don’t think my trainer intended to spark the motivation I needed to find clarity. And I certainly could not have predicted such an impactful life-moment at the gym. I think he saw how unsure I was and, simply, wanted to know what would make me happy.

Sometimes inspiration comes when a stranger (or friend) challenges the way we think about things.

Nevertheless, those two questions were exactly what I needed to feel inspired. That conversation stuck with me for the rest of the day and many days after that. To be honest, that conversation continues to inspire me to find purpose and happiness. I never want to be without answers to those two questions again.

Inspiration can come in many shapes and forms. Most of the time we are aware of what inspires us. We feel motivated by wisdom that aligns with our own ideas. But it is also possible for inspiration to come from an unintended and unlikely source. Sometimes inspiration comes when a stranger (or friend) challenges the way we think about things.

We might hear someone give us the same advice over and over and not find it meaningful, but one day wake up and realize it all makes sense. It’s all about being open to listening, really listening, to what other people have to say. Inspiration can come when we least expect it, but also when we need it most. We just have to be open and ready to hear it. 

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About Kelly

KELLY_BRADLEY_writer_bio_(1).jpgKelly is a Midwestern girl, a daughter, sister, and friend. She earned her Bachelor’s degree (and currently works) in Fashion Merchandising, but has always had a passion for writing. Kelly also loves photography, music, and (of course) fashion. Kelly hopes to inspire young girls and women to discover and embrace what makes them truly extraordinary. Tweet her @KelBee6


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