Inspiration Collective

13 March 2014

By definition a chain letter consists of a message that attempts to convince the recipient to make a number of copies of a letter and pass it on to as many recipients as possible.  Typically there’s a bad luck or physical threat involved if the receipt fails to break the “get-rich-quick, altruistic, humorous, money-generating chain.”

This was different.

A few weeks ago my friend CJ bcc’ed me on an e-mail with a simple “social experiment” type request. CJ is one of my confidants, one of my go-to’s for cultural and professional awareness and when I read his email I thought – really? This is coming from CJ? At first, I thought it was a spammy- type email but as  I re-read it again I thought, why not?!

The subject line was “inspiration collective,” basically you forward one inspirational quote to someone whose name is in the e-mail.  The email urged that the quote, phrase, parable is one that’s easy for you to recall and one you lean upon often for support and inspiration. Then the recipient each sends an inspirational quote to you and the cycle continues.

I sent my email to a handful of friends.  People whom (like CJ must have thought when he sent it to me) I considered would appreciate the serendipity, positivity and social experiment elements of this “inspiration collective.”

I put some of my favorite quotes that I received below, along with the directions on how to do it if you want to start one on your own.  The quotes I’ve received from strangers and old friends are incredibly telling, timely and heck –  who doesn’t like a little dose of personal inspiration delivered unexpectedly?

The first few emails I received could not have been more relevant:

“You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.”  –Joseph Campbell

“The key to staying, on top of things is treat everything like it’s your first project. Like it’s your first day like back when you was an intern, just stay hungry.” – Notorious B.I.G in Jay-Z’s “My First Song.

Here is the example email for the inspiration collective for those interested in starting one on your own:

Dear Friends,

Someone has started an inspiration collective and hopefully an uplifting exchange. It’s a one-time thing and I agreed to participate. We have picked those we think would be interested in participating as well as making it fun. If you want to participate, please send an encouraging quote or verse to the person whose name is in position #1 below (even if you don’t know him or her). It should be a favorite text verse/motivational poem/meditation that has lifted you when you were experiencing challenging times or needed an extra push. Don’t agonize over it–it is one you reach for when you need it or the one that you always turn to.

1. first person’s email (person who sent you the email)

2. second person’s email (the person sending the email)

After you’ve sent the short poem/verse/meditation/quote/ etc to the person in position 1, and only that person…copy this letter into a new email, move my name to position 1 and put your name in position 2. Only my name and your name should show when you send the email. Send to some friends and make sure to Bcc.

Try to do it in the next few days if you are going to do it. If you participate, thank you, and I hope that we all enjoy some new inspiration. If you choose not to participate, please don’t feel obligated or pressured, I know we are all pressed for time and you should only do it if it sits well with your heart.


Featured Image: My favorite series by the brilliant photographer, Adam Friedberg, “Cambridge House.

Categories: Lifestyle

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