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As I sat down to write this piece, I thought about the word “InspIre.” No wonder the word starts with the letter “I” and “U” is nowhere to be found. Yet, isn’t it interesting that when we think of the word InspIre, it is often to think of who InspIres us and is even more likely to be answered with some external person, mentor or idol?

What if we began to truly see the “I” in InspIre and recognized the ways in which we InspIre ourselves and others? Don’t get me wrong, it is a beautiful thing to be InspIred by others. But in some ways, perhaps, isn’t it like reality TV? That is, people watch how other people live their lives in interesting, strange and often unique ways, while they sit on their couches dreaming of another life, or what their life could be like.

What if instead of watching other people live cool and different lives, what if instead of looking to others to InspIre us, we fully embraced our own uniqueness, authenticity, passion and greatness and looked for the ways in which we can and do InspIre ourselves and others?

I don’t have to look very far back in my own life to remember a time when I kept looking outside of myself for InspIratIon. I kept searching for some “thing”, some “it”, some “one” that could InspIre me, encourage me, or mentor me to be a better me. One day I woke up and realized, hey wait a minute, if it isn’t coming from within first, nothing out there will ever truly InspIre me.

That is when my life truly began to transform. I began to dream again. I began to push the envelope, live outside my comfort zone and do the things that make my heart and soul sing. In doing so, I realized I was beginning to InspIre others inadvertently in the process. I received notes and words of confidence and gratitude from friends, thanking me for InspIrIng them to be a better “them.”

What it did for me, was InspIre me to keep going, to keep living more and more in my truth every day. It allowed me to open up and follow my heart, reach for the stars, dream my big dreams and shine my light brighter every day.

What are you waiting for in your life to InspIre yourself and others? What is one little step you can take today towards your dream, to waking up and living more fully in your life every day and to InspIrIng yourself first and then others magically in the process?

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Pilar Stella is the CEO and Founder of OneGiving®, a global giving platform to enable anyone to give any where, any time, any amount in any currency. Pilar is an author, speaker, social entrepreneur and advocate on peace, human rights, social justice, strategic giving and corporate social responsibility. Pilar is a visionary who has worked for over 15 years across public and private partners, with for profits and nonprofits and across sectors towards social, economic and environmental change.

Pilar is the author of two books, Seeking Serenity, a kids’ book on peace blessed by The Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu and other Nobel Peace Laureates, and Being the Present: 101 Ways to Inspire Living and Giving, a book about living in the moment and giving back.

Pilar was raised bi-culturally in an Italian American home, with an Italian engineer father and American artist mother. She is well-spoken in Italian and has spent much of her life traveling and working on multi-cultural issues as she has grappled in her own life with the duality of walking between two worlds and finding harmony in this duality through her growth process. Through her experiences, she has come to recognize that despite our differences we are more similar and connected than we realize and seeks to harness this connection to create change on the planet.

Pilar may be found in southern California working on starting up her company and dream, OneGiving and writing, traveling, taking photographs, leading Kundalini yoga and gong meditations, surfing and playing in the water. For more information on Pilar Stella, go to


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