I'm passionate about minimizing suffering, everything from making work life enjoyable to preserving life on this planet. So, things that inspire me are ideas and situations which contribute to this passion of minimizing suffering.
On a professional front, as others have said, I'm inspired by anything that helps me to help my users. When users have to use bad software, it really does cause unnecessary suffering. On the other hand, giving users good software makes them happy. Software makes employees happy when it meets their actual business needs and helps them become more efficient so that they can spend time doing the parts of their job that they really want to be doing. So, I feel inspired when I learn or discover techniques that help me understand the business needs better and how to make more efficient queries, etc. When your users are literally buying you gift cards for chocolate and giving you hugs, you know you have made the world a better place. 🙂
I'm also inspired by ideas that help me to communicate and teach better. It's terribly painful to sit through a bad training, and as part of my job, I not only get to create databases and the applications which use those databases, I also get to train our staff on how to use the software. I want staff to look forward to my trainings, which is one component of helping staff learn better--which minimizes suffering.
Here's one Training Tip/Example: treats for participation works well when a training is in person. Think: positive reinforcement that we use to train non-human animals. Works great on humans too... I bring that example up, because it is an example of how I was inspired by something completely outside of the SQL Server and software development world. It totally works too. Most staff LOVED the treats for answering questions and asking questions and even for nodding their heads to show me they were with me (while I was giving in-person trainings). I use other techniques for giving effective trainings too, and I still hear from managers how it makes their staff happy when I'm coming to a meeting (now via zoom) to present something. Every time I take a training, in addition to trying to absorb the content, I also look at the way the training is given to get ideas/inspiration.
We can't fix the world by ourselves, but we can try. And by trying, we do our best to make our own little corner of the world better. That very idea inspires me and helps me make decisions all the time, both personally and professionally.