Welcome to Project 365

inspire: verb
fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

inspiration: noun
the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

inspirational: adjective
the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions

What does it mean to inspire?  What is inspiration?  What makes a person inspirational?

When we think about inspiration, what inspires us most are ordinary people who have done extraordinary things. We appreciate when someone has the ability and willingness to be selfless, creative, innovative, or just dares to be different. Think Kate Sheppard, Sir Edmund Hillary, Jean Batten or Ernest Rutherford. All of them were ordinary New Zealanders who believed they could change the world or achieve the ‘impossible’ and more importantly, weren’t afraid to try.

“Who inspires you?” is a question as a journalist I’ve both asked and answered on countless occasions and there can never be a wrong answer. Inspiration presents itself in many different shapes and forms, uniquely striking each individual accordingly. To some, your biggest inspiration may be your mother, father or a sibling, to others Peter Jackson or Ella Yelich O’Connor (Lorde) might appear more exciting role models.

In a culture where we so often equate fame with success, the inverse is often true. While success should never be measured by our titles, or how often ones name appears in the national headlines, the most influential and inspiring people are rarely the smartest or most gifted, they are those that build influence and remain authentic. Those that sometimes go completely unnoticed and need only know they stepped up to make something or someone better in their corner of the world.

The corner of the world I’m here to focus on, is our very own – Aotearoa (New Zealand). For a small country located at the bottom of the world with a ratio of approximately 26,000 more sheep than people, we certainly have just as many inspirational leaders, artists and entrepreneurs as any other country with a population more than double our size. Take America for example, while they may have Woody Allen, Taika Waititi is at the forefront of our brand of humour. Similarly with Britain and the global phenomena that surrounds Adele, New Zealand’s own global superstar Lorde is just as notable. 

However, beyond global superstars we need only look around our own communities, peers and colleagues, to see that inspiration can come from not only the biggest of achievements but also the smallest, and more importantly understand that we ourselves can be an inspiration to others. No matter who you are or what it is you do, you never know who you could impact when you give and it’s no secret that giving back leaves a legacy that will live on far longer than you will.

Therefore in an attempt to dissect the ideas behind inspiration and those that inspire us, Project 365 introduces you to precisely three hundred and sixty five different New Zealanders all living inspiring lives. From our most beloved actors, musicians and athletes to the unsung heroes of our community this project focuses on the life of one interesting New Zealander a day, breaking down the barriers between fame and success to talk about their journey and the inspiration that led them on their current paths.   

Posted in 365

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