Episode 03: What is inspiration?

Jan 28, 2021

What is inspiration? How does it help us act with courage and compassion in the face of great obstacles? Barger Leadership Institute Director and Professor of Psychology Dr. Ram Mahalingam speaks on inspiration and its relevance for mindful leadership. In a hyperconnected world, Ram draws on his own personal sources of inspiration and how inspiration can transform our lives and help us reconnect to others and our values.  (19 min)

Episode Transcript is available.

Episode Resources

Processing/Reflection Questions:

Ram defines inspiration as a positive emotion that nurtures the motivation to change. What or who is inspiring you right now? Think about a motivational goal you draw from that inspiration.

He suggests that inspiration is an antidote to mindless social comparison. What does that mean to you? Can you think of an example?

Learn more about the Barger Leadership Institute

Speaker Bio:

Ram Mahalingam

Ram Mahalingam

Ph.D. and Director of the Barger Leadership Institute

Ram received his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. He was originally trained as a civil engineer and held more than 12 different jobs (math tutor, film scriptwriter, children’s theater activist, poet, writer, lecturer, night watchman, dishwasher, cook, book stacker, and preschool teacher) including being a structural engineer for 8 years before becoming a psychologist. He is currently a Professor of Psychology in the Personality and Social Contexts program at the University of Michigan. His research is centered around intersectionality — the way that different identities we embody intersect shape how we make sense of our lives. He pursues three lines of research: (a) Dignity and Invisibility in the workplace with a specific focus on janitors in India, US, and South Korea; (b) Mindfulness, social justice and leadership with a specific focus on interconnectedness; (c) Relationship between cell phones and self. He is also the Director for the Mindful Connections Lab (https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/rams-lab/). Full bio here.


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