1. The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.
    • a person or thing that inspires.


I’ll be honest, I hate definitions that rely on a derivation of the original word, but here we go.


  1. Fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.


Better. So an inspiration is a person or thing that fills you with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially something creative. The middle of last year a good friend of mine, Malathi Mahadevan (blog|twitter), tweeted this:

And I can’t tell you how good that makes me feel. It got me thinking about what inspires me, and honestly, what inspiration is in general. For me my inspirations come from people. There are places I love and places where I feel more at home than others, but for inspiration, it’s almost always people.

Frequently it’s my family. My son is one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met, my daughter one of the most creative and my wife the most driven. I love jokes and I love putting them out on twitter. I’d say more than half the time I write down something funny it comes from my wife and kids.

Another great source of inspiration for me is the SQL community, sometimes called #sqlfamily. The kindness, generosity, intelligence, creativity and so on that I see every day from this group of people can’t help push me forwards and upwards. And finally, as corny as it may sound, I gain inspiration from you. The people who read the ramblings of someone who never considered himself good at writing, or teaching, or really anything but a few technical skills. So thank you for that.

Lastly, believe it or not, a great source of inspiration is people that irritate me ??. You start annoying me enough and I’ll write code to stop whatever you are doing. Aggravation has been the source of some of my best posts and best code in general.

Inspiration can come in many forms. I’ve seen the odd statement by someone that starts a train of thought and off I go into some odd or funny piece of code or joke or whatever. Heck, a simple thank you has sent me thinking and wondering for almost six months now.

So. What inspires you? What brings out your best? What can drive you onward and upward?

Thanks Mal, for being one of my sources of inspiration.

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