Weekly Word Archives

Weekly Word 24 March 2015

Illustration by Kevin Christopher M. Tee (2015)
Illustration by Kevin Christopher M. Tee (2015)

| ɪnˈspʌɪə |

What inspires you? Or when do you feel inspired to do something?

We each have our own God-given set of gifts, abilities, and even interests. He placed them in us for a reason, for a purpose to serve Him. There are some things that stir our interest in something as much as an ant stirs up an airplane – for example, in my case, sports. But there are others that with just one drop can get us talking night and day about it already.

What are these catalysts? They may be a certain speech. They might be a visual work of art that gets your hands itching to make your own. It might even be the kind actions of someone, whether they be a friend or a stranger – done for you or not. But there’s something bound to awaken a flame in you and grant you the desire to do something so much so that rest should not come to you until you’ve done it.

It’s also good to look at the catalyst of inspiration. Surround yourself with it if possible – but don’t suffocate yourself both figuratively and literally! These things or individuals can serve as your mentors as you try to form concrete action out of your inspiration.

You might be inspired by someone to become more like them – like how I am inspired by J. R. R. Tolkien and Jesus Himself. Or you may take inspiration from any kind of art that makes you want to be an artist yourself, such as how an ice cream cake prepared by The Honourable Nigella Lawson gets me raring to make my own for my family and friends. If something inspires you, follow it. It may be just what God called you to be, or be doing.

Know how you’re inspired and what inspires you. These are likely to be surface-level indications or clues of your deep desires and interests, which in turn serve as clues for your purpose in life.


verb [with obj.]

  • to fill sb. with the urge or ability to do or feel sth., esp. to do sth. creative
    • to create (a feeling, esp. positive) in sb.
    • (“to inspire someone with“) to animate sb. with a feeling
    • to give rise to
  • to breathe in (air); to inhale


From Middle English enspire, itself from Old French inspirer, itself from Latin inspirare (“to breathe or blow into”), from in- (“into”) + spirare (“breathe”).

It was originally used of a divine or supernatural being, in the sense of “to impart a truth or idea to someone”.

In other languages

  • Bahasa Indonesia: mengilhamimengilhamkan
  • بهاس ملايو:
    • مڠيلهمكن (mengilhamkan)
  • Cebuano: dasig
  • Deutsch: inspirieren
  • Español: inspirar
  • Filipino: pukawin
  • Français: inspirer
  • 한국어: 영감 (yeong-gam)
  • Italiano: ispirare
  • ភាសាខ្មែរ: ជម្រុញ (ch mrou nh)
  • Latino: inspiro
  • မြန်မာဘာသာ: အတုယူအား (aatuyuu aarr)
  • 日本語: 動かす (うごかす); 吹き込む (ふきこむ)
  • ພາສາລາວ: ແຮງບັນດານໃຈ (aehng bandan chai); ຈັນໂລງໃຈ (chan olng chai)
  • ภาษาไทย: จุดประกาย (cud prakāy)
  • தமிழ்: ஊக்குவிக்கும் (ūkkuvikkum)
  • Tiếng Việt: cảm hứng
  • 中文: 啟發 (qǐfā)

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